Education Abroad Program Due Diligence Considerations
Appendix to Policy
Using the various resources listed in Administrative Procedure: Preparing for Student Travel and Education Abroad (Units), University units should develop their own due diligence review processes for all education abroad programs they promote to students, including any institutions, affiliates, or providers involved not already vetted by a University unit. The unit promoting the program is taking on the responsibility of performing a due diligence review.
Institutions, affiliates, and providers already vetted by a University Education Abroad Office can be found on their websites (a list of Education Abroad Offices can be found in the Contacts Section of this policy). The Director of International Health, Safety and Compliance (IHSC) can help units find out if other University units have a relationship and have already completed a review of an institution, affiliate, or provider.
Below are some considerations and resources specifically regarding the health, safety, emergency, and liability components of a new program or provider review. Units should contact the Director of IHSC to assist in the development of a due diligence review process.
- Does the provider work with other U.S. institutions? If so, what is the relationship and history with these institutions? Have these institutions performed a review of the provider and would they be willing to share their results or provide a recommendation? If not, does the provider have the experience necessary to successfully serve as a provider?
- What is the provider's general health and safety policies, emergency plan and communications, history of incidents, etc.? Do they follow the recommendations of the U.S. Department of State regarding the location specifics? Do they have a relationship with the local U.S. Embassy and other institutions in the region?
- Safety of the housing: Are there locks on doors and controlled entrance? Are fire safety and other relevant codes met? Is the neighborhood and area surrounding the building safe? If students are in home-stays, how does the institution vet families?
- Type of transportation provided and available locally. If the provider is providing or subcontracting for transportation to students, does the provider carry adequate amounts of automobile liability insurance? Are drivers properly licensed and vetted? Are they using the safest, modern vehicles available? If the partner is not providing transportation, how will students get around? The U.S. Department of State Road Safety resource and ASIRT are good resources.
- If any water activities are included in the program, does the provider have adequate insurance coverage and emergency procedures? Do they take certain safety precautions (life preservers, etc) and know how to operate safety equipment? Do they adequately train staff and instruct students on risks and mitigation strategies?
- If significant outdoor activities are included, consider whether the provider staff carry a simple wilderness first aid kit and are trained in wilderness first aid.
- What student orientations does the provider offer in terms of health and safety issues? What kind of training do they require their staff to complete in regards to working with students, health and safety, etc.?
- How is the provider insured? Do they carry commercial general liability insurance (also called public liability or third-party liability)?