Health and Safety
Safety and Security
In today’s world of heightened global security concerns, we as study abroad professionals believe more than ever in the importance of study abroad as a means to understand other peoples and cultures, and to foster universal tolerance. Lexia Study Abroad wishes to assure you that we will do our utmost to make your experience abroad as safe and secure as possible.
To this end, Lexia has in place a Crisis Management Plan for all of our staff, both on- and off-site. However, be aware that first and foremost, we will always respond as the United States government advises and we will avoid locations deemed inappropriate. In addition, we will follow the embassy/consulate advisories at each site, particularly if an emergency situation should arise.
Lexia’s programs are uniquely positioned to offer the utmost safety to students studying in the post-September 11th world. Our programs are smaller and more intimate than many other programs abroad. Groups are no larger than 25 and usually average between 10 and 15 students. We use host institution facilities and Lexia students blend in well with the indigenous student population at each site. Part of what makes Lexia unique, too, is our emphasis on cultural immersion; our classes are designed to help students engage in the local culture in a variety of ways, such as living with a local family and conducting field research.
Below, we share with you General Security Precautions, so that you can be better prepared and informed before you embark on your study abroad experience with Lexia.
The on-site orientation includes safety and security information and procedures for students to follow in case of a crisis. Basic security measures to keep in mind:
- Avoid congregating at American hangouts, such as bars, as they may be targets for terrorists.
- Avoid speaking loudly in English in public places.
- Avoid dressing in ways that identify you readily as an American (e.g., baseball caps on backwards, American college sweatshirts.)
- Keep abreast of local news through TV, radio, and newspapers.
- Stay in touch with your host family so that they know you are safe and know where to reach you in case of an emergency or should an incident cause them to worry about your safety.
- Be in regular contact with the Resident Director.
- Carry emergency contact information and a copy of your passport with you at all times.
- Keep your actual passport in a secure location.
- Do not keep your money all in one place when traveling, in case you are pick-pocketed or lose a bag.
"My home stay family was the best family ever. I felt part of the family and always right at home."
Additionally, Lexia takes the following measures to ensure the safety and security of all our students and staff:
- All students are registered with their country’s on-site Consulate or Embassy. Resident Directors maintain regular contact with the U.S. Consular and Embassy officials in order to facilitate communications should an emergency arise. Resident Directors are also in regular contact with colleagues and other study abroad programs in the area.
- A photocopy of the passport photo and signature pages of each student is kept in the Cambridge office and on-site files in order to facilitate replacement in case of loss.
- In the event of an emergency, a system of rapid communication with students and staff on-site is put in place. All student addresses and telephone numbers are maintained in the Cambridge office and on-site, and all students have 24-hour access to the Resident Director.
- All students who expect to be away from the program site overnight must inform the Resident Director and Lexia staff, their roommates, or their host family, and provide an itinerary and contact information.
- In the event of a crisis situation, it is the Resident Director’s immediate responsibility to locate all students and to inform the Cambridge office about their welfare. Students will be instructed not to travel and to remain at a location where they can be reached until further notice.
- Every Resident Director has on file sources of information and key contacts for arranging evacuation if it becomes necessary.
- Every Resident Director has a cell phone and is in regular contact with the home office in Cambridge, MA.
- Every Resident Director has an in-country evacuation plan and an out-of-country evacuation plan (as determined by the U.S. Consulate).
All Lexia students are automatically enrolled in a comprehensive medical insurance plan designed for study abroad participants.
Details regarding this insurance are mailed to students with their pre-departure materials. Supplemental coverage is provided through the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which is issued by Lexia and covered by the program fee.
Every student participating in a Lexia program (with the exception of Havana, Cuba) is automatically enrolled in a US-based health plan designed for study abroad participants that is valid abroad. The plan is provided through CMI Insurance and administered by ACE American Insurance Company in association with Worldwide Assistance.
The plan is covered in the program fee and is effective from the day before your program begins until the day your program ends. It is valid worldwide and includes a medical evacuation benefit (should you need to be flown to another country for treatment) and access to a 24-hour Worldwide Assistance line. A copy of the insurance policy will be e-mailed to you shortly after acceptance into the program; read it closely, especially the exclusions.
Students participating in the Havana, Cuba program are enrolled in a plan that covers them fully for medical needs in Cuba and are covered by the evacuation benefits of the ISIC card.
Lexia does not provide liability or theft insurance. Unfortunately, at least one student per term will have a camera, purse, wallet, laptop, or other electronic equipment stolen. Moreover, as stated in the student agreement, you are responsible for any damage to persons or property, including the furnishing of your housing (for example, if you break an appliance). We urge you to consider obtaining adequate theft and liability insurance for the duration of your studies and travels abroad.
ISIC Card Benefits
Your ISIC card entitles you to some insurance benefits in addition to the CMI insurance that Lexia purchases on your behalf. For trips outside the United States, insurance benefits are as follows:
- $300,000 Emergency Medical Transportation
- $25,000 Repatriation of Remains
- $5,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment - Air
- $1,000 (Excluding Air) Accidental Death & Dismemberment
- $25,000 Accident Medical Expense
- $500 Document Replacement
- $100 Per day Sickness & Hospital
- $100 Domestic Travel Delay
- $100 Baggage Delay
- ISIC Emergency Helpline 1.715.295.5452
As an ISIC member you also have access to the 24-hour Free ISIC Helpline. Remember that your Resident Director should be contacted in any emergency and the following should be used in addition or if further assistance is needed.
Call the international operator and ask to be connected to the above number. State your ISIC serial number located on the front of your card and you will receive free help with any of the following emergencies:
Location of a reputable doctor or hospital and dispatch of prescribed drugs and medicines, which are not available in that country, if deemed necessary.
Location of a reputable lawyer who can speak your language. The operators will also locate your embassy or consulate.
Emergency Message Handling
The operators will send urgent messages to your family at home in the event of an emergency.
The helpline is designed specifically for health and legal emergency situations and should not be used for general inquires about countries under any circumstances. ISIC does not cover any bills you may incur.