Faculty Abroad Resources
Traveling internationally with students presents incredible opportunities for professional and personal growth as well as new challenges. Familiarizing yourself with these resources will help you best assist yourself and your students while on-the-ground in your host country.
Program vs. Trip: Emphasize that study abroad is an academic experience and therefore academic responsibilities have priority over personal interests. This helps to combat the occasional notion that it is merely a recreation opportunity. Similarly, refrain from referring to the experience as a trip. Instead use the word “program” since it distinguishes academic study abroad from a vacation.
Cultural Ambassadors: Reinforce the concept of students as “cultural ambassadors” and emphasize that their conduct will be seen as a reflection of the United States, the University, and the University’s partners abroad. Participants need to understand that offensive or indifferent behavior resulting in negative evaluations by partners abroad could lead to the cancellation of the program.
Personality Conflicts: Ask students to discuss how personality conflicts can undermine the atmosphere of the program. Although it may seem like common sense, faculty may need to regularly remind students to: (1) be polite and listen to one another, (2) respect each other, leaders, and local people affiliated with the program, (3) honor diversity and differences within the group and (4) look for compromise.
Free Time and Reflection: A healthy amount of free time on any program allows for students and faculty to decompress and reflect as the journey is unfolding. Free time is not just for relaxation but can be a tremendous confidence builder that allows students to navigate the local culture on their own in manageable periods of time.Overly regimented itineraries may lead to student and faculty fatigue. It is recommended that faculty be flexible in augmenting certain activities on-the-ground if they sense students are becoming a bit worn out.
An emergency is any circumstance that poses a genuine risk to, or that has already disturbed, the safety and well-being of program participants. Emergencies include, though may not be confined to, the following types of events and incidents:
- Serious illness, physical or mental
- Significant accident and/or injury
- Hospitalization for any reason
- Physical or sexual assault
- Disappearance or kidnapping of a student
- Terrorist threat or attack
- Local political crisis that could affect student safety or well-being
- Arrest or questioning by the police or other security forces
- Any legal action (lawsuit, deposition, trial, etc.) involving a student
When assessing an emergency, keep in mind the following concerns:
- What is the current physical and psychological condition of affected participant(s)? What is the imminent risk to participant(s) if they remain where they are?
- Is the Faculty Leader or Chaperones now in close contact with all affected participants? What is the proximity of the event to all program participants?
- Is adequate food, water, and medical attention available? Is adequate and secure housing available? How long will this housing be available? What other appropriate housing options are available as a backup, if needed?
- What is the proximity of the event to all program participants? Are all program participants, whether directly involved or not, aware of the emergency? How are they responding to the emergency?
- Should students be evacuated or is it safer to stay put?
As part of the comprehensive Faculty Predeparture Orientation, how to handle a potential emergency will be covered in depth. OIP also has an administrator on-call 24 hours to assist should an emergency arise along with the Department of Public Safety.
- Health and Safety First: In an emergency, your first responsibility is to protect the safety and well-being of program participants. Do whatever is necessary to ensure this, whether that means obtaining prompt and appropriate medical attention, embassy intervention, or police protection.
- Communication: In serious emergencies, the first call should be to local emergency personnel. However, the Office of International Programs must be informed of any incident involving the physical or mental health or conduct of a student. This is true regardless of how minor or serious an incident seems. OIP and the University might appear irresponsible or negligent if a family member calls OIP to inquire about their child before we are aware of the incident.
- No Medical Advice: For liability reasons, it is important that faculty do not give any medical advice (e.g., recommending a hospital; providing medicine, over the counter or otherwise; or giving treatment recommendations).
- Stay with Student(s): Faculty should accompany any students experiencing medical emergencies to the hospital. However, unless the circumstance is dire, do not drive the student there yourself. Nonmedical emergencies may also require faculty to stay with the student. During any emergencies, make sure that the rest of the group is well taken care of and that there is as little disruption to the planned program as possible.
- Use GeoBlue: Seton Hall has a contract with GeoBlue, which has a staff of doctors and nurses who will supervise and arrange appropriate medical care. GeoBlue, as well as OIP, should be your primary contacts for dealing with a medical emergency. GeoBlue will recommend an appropriate hospital. The Seton Hall’s contract with GeoBlue covers evacuation services related to political uprisings, natural disasters and medical emergencies. GeoBlue cards will be provided via email to all faculty and participants prior to departure. The cost of GeoBlue is $2.50 per day and is required for all students and faculty on Seton Hall study abroad programs.
Report to Seton Hall: To report an incident, call the Department of Public Safety on the South Orange campus.
They will know how to reach additional Seton Hall administrators depending on the
type and severity of the issue.
- Public Safety: +1 (973) 761-9300 – When you call Public Safety, request to speak with OIP and you will be connected to an administrator.
- Refer to the Emergency Binder: This contains a detailed phone list, emergency contacts and numbers, along with pertinent information about your students. Always keep this binder handy.
When on a University-approved program, faculty and students are enrolled in GeoBlue International Health insurance. GeoBlue provides worldwide insurance and emergency assistance services 24 hours a day, designed to supplement and integrate with Seton Hall’s services, procedures, and policies. You should always attempt to reach the Seton Hall emergency contacts. In order to use any of the GeoBlue medical, security, or travel services, contact GeoBlue through their app or call them directly. As faculty, you may need to act as the liaison between the student requiring assistance and GeoBlue.
- GeoBlue International Health Insurance has contracts with certain doctors and hospitals abroad, allowing the company to send payments directly so you do not have to pay upfront and will be reimbursed later.
- If you decide to go to a doctor/hospital that is not under a contract with the company, be sure to contact GeoBlue so they may reach out and try to make the same payment arrangement with the non-contracted vendor.
- In the case that the non-contracted healthcare provider does not accept GeoBlue’s payment over the phone or you do not call ahead before going for care, you must pay upfront and request a reimbursement from GeoBlue.
- For non-emergencies, use the GeoBlue App to find contracted health-care providers and arrange for Direct Pay ahead of the appointment. Further information is available in the Member Guide.
- For emergencies, go to the nearest facility and receive assistance. Call GeoBlue as
soon as possible, even if someone calls on the student’s behalf.
- You will find the 24/7 number on the health insurance card.
Faculty Leaders must be reachable at all times and their phone number should be shared with students and any others who need to know. Your cell phone must be charged and turned on at all times; if it does not work, faculty must immediately give OIP an alternate number for 24/7 contact.
The following apps will be useful for navigating your host city and country, as well as advising students.
- Airline App: If the airline your vendor chose has an app, be sure to download it. You will be able to check in for your flight and access your boarding pass through it. Airline apps also provide updates regarding any changes to your itinerary.
- Local Taxi & Transportation Apps: If your host city has a local transportation app, be sure to download it for easy access to travel schedules and purchasing tickets. Be sure to download the local taxi app as well in case you need direct transport.
- Google Maps: Google Maps provides up to date information regarding traffic time and public transportation schedules, and allows you to save and label key locations, such as your program’s living accommodation, for easy access. You can download your host city’s map for offline accessibility.
- All Trails: All Trails provides more detailed walking paths of both natural locations and major cities, as well as reviews of certain hiking trails and monuments. This app details further information regarding path accessibility and elevation in various areas.
- Google Translate: Having Google Translate downloaded is a helpful resource if you are not fluent in your host country’s language. Google Translate has the option to download certain languages offline onto your phone.
- Mobile Passport Control App: Developed, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Mobile Passport Control App allows U.S. and Canadian citizens to upload their traveler profile and customs declaration form ahead of their arrival to a U.S. airport. This digital profile allows for a smoother Customs process upon arrival.
Share Photos and Video: The best way to spotlight your program for future generations of Setonians is to record the moments that make your program unique! Encourage your students to take photos and videos of their journey and share them with Seton Hall either by tagging @SetonHall on Instagram or email [email protected] with the content you wish to share (along with a description) and OIP will post your content across Seton Hall platforms through the Social Media Planner
Future Article Ideas: As you program goes along, keep in mind how your student’s study abroad experience can be transformed into a compelling news article that can featured on the Seton Hall homepage. Feel free to email [email protected] with your article ideas either as a fully formed article or merely a sketch and OIP will work on getting it published online.
Non-Emergency Updates: OIP always welcome updates from our Faculty Led Programs even if they are non-emergencies. If it’s a cool story from your travels or a question you have, we’d love to hear from you! Email [email protected] for the quickest response to any comment or query.