Staying Safe Abroad

We understand that in an increasingly complex world it is important to be aware and prepared for the risks and rewards of traveling abroad. Global Experiences is committed to the safety of our students while participating on one of our programs and has developed tested systems to help manage a wide range of scenarios in each of our program locations. In 2014 Global Experiences introduced our "Blue Book" health and safety training manual that was developed in partnership with several trusted university partners, including Arizona State University. This book and scenario based training is required by all GE staff and provides clear situational based best practices to help ensure the best outcomes for all stakeholders.

As a member in the internationally recognized organization, NAFSA Association for International Educators, Global Experiences complies with NAFSA’s Resources for Health and Safety in Education Abroad. In addition, we understand that moving to a new city or country is an exciting challenge that takes adaptation to be successful. For this reason, we offer many of our events during the early stages of the program to increase contact with staff, encourage socialization and bonding as a group, and build familiarity with the host city.

Health and Safety Statement and Reopening Plan:

AIFS Study Abroad and Global Experiences are looking ahead to reopening our onsite programming as the global outbreak of COVID-19 is brought under control. We know students are keen to return to global travel and to fulfill their ambitions for an educational program abroad, but in this unprecedented time, many variables need to be considered as we undertake a safe reopening.

The first step for a safe return to programs abroad is the easy and safe access to international flights and the downgrading of the US State Department travel warning from Level 4 where it is currently. We will wait for updates on these decisions, along with all of you, as they are made by federal officials.

In preparation for reopening, AIFS is assembling a task force to review the range of new considerations required to safely welcome students to our international locations. The combined talents of our experienced international education professionals, insurance experts from our partners at CISI, members of our Academic Advisory board and other outside expertise are being engaged to help ensure we have carefully considered all factors. The plan developed by this task force will aim to provide all stakeholders with confidence in a safe reopening for our programs in a world where COVID-19 is still present.

Key areas for reopening success:

  • Audit of country-specific conditions by on-location staff for partner housing, university, internship, and support staff training
  • On-site health and safety management including systems to manage the possibility of outbreaks of COVID-19 and vetted quarantine protocols in the event a participant tests positive while on the program
  • Legal protections and student-centric refund terms that provide confidence and transparency
  • Insurance coverage options and global risk management support systems
  • Academic continuity and contingency planning for all program types
  • Consultation with emerging international education standards for COVID-19 reopening protocol

The safety of our students and the confidence of our partner universities are our top priority and we look forward to announcing a robust health and safety reopening plan in mid-summer 2020.

Safety Update: Coronavirus

Global Experiences, along with our insurance/risk management provider CISI, is monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 coronavirus worldwide. Our team continues to place our highest priority on the needs of our students and university partners, and are keeping up to date on how this impacts our current and future programs.

Effective April 6, Global Experiences made the decision to close all Summer 2020 on-location programs. Alternatively, we are able to offer a virtual, remote-based, online alternative through our GE Virtuoso Virtual International Internships program. 

GE will cancel or suspend a program if:
  1. The US State Department issues a Travel Advisory of a Level 3 or higher for the program city at any time during the program.
  2. A US State Department Travel Advisory of a Level 3 or higher for the program city is in place 45 days prior to the program start date.

Fall 2020 programs are still running as scheduled. If you have questions regarding your program, policies in place, or program updates, please call 877-432-2762, directly email your Admissions Counselor / Program Advisor, or

Safety Abroad:

Health and Safety always starts with being prepared and so all our programs include 24/7 local emergency support on location, comprehensive travel and medical insurance, and intensive pre-departure training to help participants be ready to the challenge of living in a new location. There are many types of situations that can arise while interning abroad and our team has over 15 years worth of experience to help provide quick and experienced support to each of our participants as needed, whether that be finding the right medical care or navigating security concerns. Our program locations are managed by our experienced US based team based in Annapolis, Maryland, that is constantly monitoring any global issues that may impact the safety of our students on locations. It is our head office that also keeps our university partners and parents informed should issues arise during a program.

The information we act upon is based on the recommendations from the U.S. Department of State’s travel warnings, local law enforcement in our overseas destinations, NAFSA, NACE and the World Health Organization.

Safety Tips:

  • Emergency Contacts – Each intern is required have an emergency contact listed on their application whom Global Experiences can notify in case of emergencies. It is equally as important that each intern keep their contact information updated and have the on-site Location Coordinator’s contact information on-hand.
  • Stay Updated – We encourage our participants to read the local and world news to stay informed about potential safety concerns and travel alerts in their host country. Location Coordinators keep interns updated on any information that may affect their welfare.
  • Keep Copies of Travel Documents – We advise participants to make a copy of their passport and keep it on their person while leaving their hard copy passport in a safe place in their accommodations. Interns should also keep travel and medical insurance information with them.
  • Be Aware – We encourage participants to travel in pairs or in groups at night and to familiarize themselves with a variety of ways to travel around their new city, including public transport, taxi's and Uber and walking along well traveled routes. 
  • Be Smart – Interns are given extensive pre-departure information about their host city and safety procedures, but it is up to each individual to make smart choices such as learning local laws and customs, telling others where they are going, avoiding walking alone at night, and keeping valuable items in safe places.

Standards of Behavior and Personal Responsibility:

All Global Experiences participants are over the age of 18 and are legally responsible for their own behavior while abroad. We regard the opportunity to live in a new city as a privilege that also comes with the responsibility of being a good representative of your home country, your university and yourself. To ensure the personal safety of all participants on our programs Global Experiences has set forth standards of behavior that we expect interns to uphold while participating in our programs, failure to adhere to these standards may result in removal from the program. These can be found in our terms and conditions which all participants sign as a requirement of their application.

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