IIE Networker - Fall 2006 - (Page 32)

Knowledge Network State Department Resources Prepare for the Inevitable The Role of Embassies and Consulates in Study Abroad By Mary Thompson-Jones Study abroad: more students want it; more schools are offering it. The menu of possibilities is a lot longer than it used to be. Strictly speaking, schools have already broadened the concept beyond “study,” to include service learning and work experiences. Colleges and universities are pushing nontraditional destinations and forging partnerships with countries for whom international students are a new experience. While many study abroad programs go back decades, the number of new entrants to the field is impressive. This expansion is good for students, good for academia, and good for America, but the pace of growth poses some challenges. As study abroad numbers increase, the chance that a few students will be victims of crime, accidents, illness, or natural disasters becomes inevitable. Schools that have run successful programs for decades are only too familiar with the kinds of predicaments in which will check in with the program administrator after a disaster; where students should gather to ensure they are accounted for; how students will return to the United States should they decide to leave after the disaster; and how students will communicate with their families as quickly as possible. Yet it is hard to transmit this hard-earned knowledge in a field for which there are very few information clearinghouses, either to share the sadder-but-wiser tales or to promulgate best practices. Students are an important constituency for consular sections in our embassies and consulates. students can find themselves. Schools should have contingency plans that include preparedness measures, such as what to do in the event of a hurricane or earthquake; instructions on how students USEFUL ADVISORIES, WARNINGS, AND INFORMATION SHEETS The State Department’s consular information program consists of five documents, each with a distinct purpose: • Consular Information Sheets provide basic information to enable a traveler to make informed preparations for travel to a particular country. A Consular Information Sheet may describe unusual entry or exit requirements, road safety, crime information, areas of instability, or customs information, among other subjects. • Public Announcements disseminate information about relatively short-term conditions posing imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Terrorist attacks, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related violence, and demonstrations related to an international event have resulted in Public Announcements. Public Announcements are issued for a limited period of time—usually 90 days. • Travel Warnings recommend that U.S. citizens defer travel to a country because the situation is dangerous or unstable and/or the U.S. Government’s ability to assist Americans is constrained by an Embassy drawdown or closure. For the most part, they are for countries where there is war or civil strife. A Travel Warning is always issued for a country when the U.S. mission goes to authorized or ordered departure status. • Warden Messages issued by embassies and consulates overseas are an integral part of the Consular Information program. Posts issue warden messages, which our Office of Overseas Citizens Services clears, to provide important, timely safety and security information to American citizens living and traveling locally. • Fact Sheets provide other general information that we believe is relevant to travelers. Examples include our “Spring Break” Fact Sheet, targeted at students, International Adoptions, Road Safety, and the “Avian Influenza” Fact Sheet. All our Fact Sheets are available through http://travel.state.gov. http://travel.state.gov

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2006

IIE Networker - Fall 2006
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Leading the Way Toward True Global Engagement: A Challenge to American Colleges and Universities
The Lincoln Commission and the Future of Study Abroad
Destination India: Opportunities and Challenges for Expanding Study Abroad in a Nontraditional Location
Heritage-Seeking and Study Abroad: A Case Study
State Department Resources
Short-Term Programming
Community College
GLBT Issues
Branch Campus
Central and Eastern Europe
Freshmen Study Abroad
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2006