Passage International : Study Abroad, Experiential Education Program in South Asia

Study Abroad, Experiential Education Program in South Asia

Safety and Health

Safety of Passage Students is our Number One Priority.

Passage has a track record of success – our programs are well established with years of experience and a solid reputation.

We conduct thorough on-site student orientation programs, especially with respect to student health, safety, security, crime and other risk issues in the country of travel.

Prior to the start of each program, students receive country-specific health guidelines including required and recommended immunizations as specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Local health issues are later reviewed with students during initial in-country program orientation and are monitored throughout the semester.

Passage has crisis management and emergency evacuation plans in place, as well as a regularly drilled and tested system for promptly reaching students and their emergency contacts in a crisis. All Passage students are required to register with their Embassy in Nepal.  Our utmost priority is the safety and security of our students. Besides the US Embassy announcements, we follow the local news closely and, since we live and work in-country, have several reliable sources of unpublished news. The coordinators and at least one of the directors will be available 24 hours a day in the event of a medical or other emergency. In the extremely unlikely event that an evacuation is necessary, we can help make arrangements to ensure it happens as fast as possible. Passage staff is well trained and knowledgeable in emergency procedures.

Total safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad, just as it cannot be guaranteed in the United States. Passage is committed to taking the necessary steps to maximize student safety at each and every program site.

Events may transpire that are reported by the media such that they are perceived by family members in the home country as a threat to the health and safety of program participants, but which may not be a real threat as assessed by Passage staff.  In many such cases, these events will be treated as a real emergency due to the need to respect the perception of an emergency until this perception can be corrected.

The Passage Risk Management Team consists of all Passage staff members – including staff on salary and contracted Program Coordinators, teachers and faculty, and home stay family members. Each member of the team is assigned responsibilities for emergency response, and for ongoing preparedness for emergencies.

Since all Passage staff is from Kathmandu, we are intimately familiar with the area. That makes it easy to know what is safe and what is not. We wish to reiterate that Passage operates in areas where we grew up and lived our whole lives. This makes Passage different from other programs. Most study abroad programs in the region are operated from the USA and American leaders are sent with students to areas where the leaders have limited experience. The American leaders then engage locals to fill in the gaps in their experience. Passage is, however, run by people from the countries in which we operate and therefore have a deep knowledge base from which to draw in every aspect of the program.

During the initial orientation period -- a critical component of each Passage program - directors and others educate students about potential safety risks and how to minimize these risks.  Our staff provides further orientation briefings and reminders at key junctures throughout the program, most notably at times of movement to a different program locale.

The home stay component of our programs provides significant additional community perspectives on local issues. Home stay family members can provide precautionary advice to our students about local conditions.

We collect information from government sources, our contacts in non-governmental organizations around the world, and - most importantly - from our own network of local contacts within each country.

Based on this information, decisions may be made to alter our operations. Students are briefed on potential risks and advised as to actions they can take to minimize these risks. At times, student movement may be curtailed, or students may be moved to a new location. In severe circumstances that involve high risk, programs are suspended and students are brought back to the USA or to another location.

 

Health Information for Travelers to Countries in South Asia. Dept. of Health and Human Services

We abide by the Responsibilities of Program Sponsors - NAFSA: Association of International Educators: Responsible Study Abroad: Good Practices for Health & Safety:

 

Contact Us

PASSAGE INTERNATIONAL
GPO Box 8974
CPC 373
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: 977-1-4650723
Send us an email