In the wake of the November 13 Paris attacks and subsequent terrorist threats, worldwide members of the Notre Dame community have raised important questions regarding measures to promote the safety and health of students abroad. They have also queried the future status of international programs, including Notre Dame International (NDI) Study Abroad programs.
NDI affirms and shares these concerns and has to date issued two related communications: one to students soon after the Paris attacks and one outlining its current position on spring 2016 programs.
The University of Notre Dame believes that serious academic engagement in countries outside the U.S. is the best way to form global citizens who are equipped to participate in and respond to an increasingly complex and interconnected world.
NDI seeks always to balance this University value with vigilance and diligence by preparing students before they depart for international programs and providing resources and response plans for the duration of their time abroad.
What follow are some of the ways in which NDI prepares and supports students who go abroad for Notre Dame-sponsored programs:
Exercises to confirm student contact information once they arrive on site and while abroad
Regular updates to students abroad regarding world and local events that may affect them
Formalization of incident response plans—both on campus and at Notre Dame’s Global Gateways
Parent webinar to take place in mid-December (will be posted here when details are finalized)
Existing and Ongoing Measures
NDI staff monitor world events through State Department channels such as the Overseas Security Advisory Council and peer groups working in higher education international risk management
NDI continues to emphasize the importance of students registering their personal travel away from program sites. While exploration of nearby sites and experiences can be a wonderful part of the study abroad experience, such travel increases variables and thus associated risk.
As part of their pre-departure preparation, students are required to attest that they have registered with the State Department’s STEP program.
Students are required to register for HTH Worldwide, Notre Dame’s provider for international health and evacuation insurance
Students attend mandatory pre-departure meetings with site-specific health and safety information as well as Student International Safety Summits, which provide information and strategies for safety while abroad.
NDI also offers support and resources to international students and scholars on campus whose lives are impacted by adverse world events.
Members of the Notre Dame community with questions or concerns are invited to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. These will then be forwarded to the most appropriate party.