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Center For International Affairs
Case Western Reserve University
Tomlinson Hall, Room 143
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106-7031
Telephone: 216.368.2517

If this computerized translation is not clear, please contact the Office of Global Strategy for more information.

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Sorting through CWRU policies and procedures and following best practices in the field of study abroad can be daunting. The following information should provide you with the best information available to run a successful and safe study abroad program.

Academic Integrity
Whether a student is on a study abroad program or studying in the classroom on campus, students are expected to adhere to CWRU academic integrity policies. A definition of academic integrity, reporting information, and sanctions can be found at

Alcohol Policies
Currently, the CWRU alcohol policy stands for all study abroad programs. The policy can be found at We are working to clarify how the local laws of the host country affect the drinking age of the students, but at this time, the standard CWRU policy applies. If a student violates the alcohol policy, contact the Office of Education Abroad, and we will work with Student Affairs to help you to navigate through the reporting process and determine the best course of action.

Budgeting and Money Handling
The budgeting and money handling system for short-term study abroad programs is currently under review. Right now, there is no standardized process for collecting money from students and paying study abroad expenses. We are working on developing a standardized process and will update this section when that process is confirmed. For information about ways to collect student study abroad program fees and pay expenses, contact our office directly at

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Communication while Abroad
Figuring out the best way to communicate with people at home can be challenging when abroad. ITS has developed a comprehensive overview of communication options for students and faculty while abroad. This information should help you to determine the best way to keep in touch with our office, family and friends. Please visit the ITS website at

Health and Safety While Abroad
When students fill out their application, they complete a medical information form and sign a medical disclosure statement. The medical information form give the faculty member much needed information about the student’s health status, allergies, special needs, etc. The medical disclosure and statement of responsibility that the students sign gives faculty the right to communicate student medical needs with medical professionals in the host country and make decisions in the event that the student or the parents are not available. All students are automatically enrolled in the university’s free Foreign Travel Policy.

For more information about health and safety abroad, please visit the student study abroad information (link to this page once it is set up).

Pre-Departure Orientations for Students and Faculty
All students are required to complete the pre-departure orientation before they can participate in a study abroad program. Face-to-face orientation sessions are approximately two hours long and cover general study abroad issues: health and safety, crisis management, culture shock, general academics, general travel tips, etc. Starting summer 2012, this orientation will also be available online. For more information about the student orientation, visit our student pre-departure orientation webpage (link when available).

The Office of Education Abroad also offers pre-departure orientation sessions for faculty. These sessions are approximately one hour and cover the policies and procedures related to leading a study abroad program. To register for a faculty pre-departure orientation session, click here.

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Risk Management
Developing a comprehensive risk management strategy for study abroad is extremely challenging when considering the multitude of locations, cultural norms, and situations that could occur. The key to all risk management programs is communication. We expect that faculty communicate with us throughout the program. The following guidelines should assist faculty when managing the risk of study abroad programs.

Minimize the possibility for a crisis or situation
The first step to having a successful and safe study abroad program is to minimize the chance for a crisis to occur. The following are tips for minimizing crisis situations.

  • Meet with the students before you leave to get to know them.
  • Share contact information with the students so that they can contact you and each other and so that you can contact them while abroad.
  • Communicate the itinerary, in-country contacts, and hotel information to the students before you leave.
  • Develop check-in times surrounding student free time
  • Discuss university policies regarding alcohol
  • Provide your students with a cultural background to deal with problems in country
  • Check in regularly (upon arrival, after significant travel, before departure) with the Office of Education Abroad

Know the Difference between Real Emergencies and Perceived Emergencies
It is important that the students and the faculty member be able to distinguish between real emergencies and perceived emergencies. Real emergencies post a genuine and immediate risk to the well-being of the participants. Examples of real emergencies include natural disasters, serious illnesses, physical assaults, and terrorist attacks. Perceived emergencies pose no significant threat to the health, safety, and well-being of the program participants. Examples of perceived emergencies are nervous family members, missing luggage, and lost passports.

While both types of emergencies can be stressful, perceived emergencies usually do not affect the group as a whole and can be solved with additional communication with our office, the student, and the student’s family. We recommend that faculty contact us in the event of a perceived emergency so that we can help with the flow of communication and so that we are aware that an issue has occurred.

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React Appropriately and Confidently to Real Emergencies and Crises
The Office of Education Abroad is here to assist you in the event of a crisis. We register each group with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the Department of State ( . If something happens, we will be in touch with the local embassy or consulate to help you. We will also utilize other contacts that we may have in the country to come to your aid. Communication with our office, however, is key to our success in a real emergency. In the event of a real emergency, follow the following steps:
1. Stay calm, assess the situation, act (make use of local resources)
2. Make sure your group is safe and informed of the situation as appropriate
3. Contact the Office of Education Abroad
4. Continue the program or modify plans as needed.

The Office of Education Abroad deals with a crisis through the following operating principles:
1. All responses to a crisis will be informed by the highest concern for the health, safety, and well-being of program participants and staff
2. All reasonable and prudent measures will be taken to limit the University’s legal liabilities, while at the same time conforming to the standards of ethical practice for study abroad
3. The University will exercise caution and restraint in deciding when, and with whom, information about an emergency should be shared

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Case studies of specific situation will be discussed in the faculty pre-departure orientation.

Sexual Harassment Policies
Sexual Harassment is a serious issue both on campus and on study abroad programs. It can be especially challenging when dealing with other culture that may not have the same standards of conduct as the United States. Make sure students understand the norms of the country to which they will be traveling so that they can adjust accordingly.

The CWRU policy on sexual harassment is at . If you have a situation where there is suspected sexual harassment on the study abroad program, contact the Office of Education Abroad, and we will work with Student Affairs to help you to determine the best course of action.

Student (and Faculty) Conduct
This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students involved in any respect in any study abroad program. Any person studying abroad and/or involved with that studying is expected to learn and comply with the host country's laws and the host institution's policies, including but not limited to its academic integrity policies.

While abroad, such person also is expected to comply with Case Western Reserve University's policies and procedures, including but not limited to its academic integrity policies. Any person who violates any of the host country's laws, the host institution's policies, and/or the University's policies, may be subject to discipline through the appropriate internal University process and/or subject to Academic Integrity Board action. This person may also be subject to discipline and/or other judicial action by the host institution and/or host country. Any person studying abroad and/or involved with that studying represents the University and is expected to conduct himself or herself in a professional and responsible manner.

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Travel Documents
Most students going on short term programs will need a passport, but not need a visa. However, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to check on the entry requirements for US students traveling to the host country. While students are responsible for obtaining their own passports and visas, it is important for the faculty program leader to be aware of visa requirements and be able to communicate these requirements to the students. International students who are going on a short-term study abroad program should come to the Center for International Affairs to meet with someone from the Office of International Student Services to make sure they don’t endanger their current visa status and to meet with someone from the Office of Education Abroad about obtaining the appropriate visa for study abroad.

Before leaving on the program, faculty members should print out the passport information from the student application system in case a passport gets lost. Other travel document information can be found here (link on student side as soon as set up).

Best Practices Links and Resources
The following are some helpful links for faculty taking students abroad:

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