Each situation is unique, but below are some guidelines the Program Directors can use to manage a crisis.
Crime against a Student
Obtain the contact information of the person who filed the situation, as well as that of key witnesses.
Notify the Office of International Education and provide them with regular updates.
Arrest of a Student
Contact FrontierMEDEX for legal assistance for the student, if the situation warrants.
Inform the local U.S. Embassy or Consular Office. The office will monitor that the student’s rights are not violated. They will also notify the student’s parent/guardian if authorized to do so.
Visit the student as soon as possible; you may need to bring them basic necessities such as food.
Determine how long the student has been missing.
Gather as much information about the student as possible from roommate, host family, or neighbors. Advise them to call, immediately, if the student returns.
Check hospital(s) and police department.
If the student does not return, file a missing persons report within the allotted time.
Mental Health Emergency
Be supportive, speak with the student(s) and/or seek assistance through FrontierMEDEX or a local reputable counselor, if you notice any of the following warning signs:
Unusual poor academic performance
Expression of wish/intent to harm themselves or others
Disruptive acts, poor hygiene, mood swings, extreme anxiety
Nonsensical speech, rambling or disorientation, extreme weight loss or gain
Participating in activities under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Serious Illness, Injury, or Hospitalization
Call country’s equivalent to 911 and/or get student to the appropriate location.
If you or a member of the group does not speak the local language, locate a staff member who can translate for you at the hospital/clinic.
Contact FrontierMEDEX for medical evacuation, in the event of an emergency, or for guidance as to the hospitals and clinics in the area.
A staff person should remain with the injured student at all times, if possible.
Notify the Office of International Education (OIE). The OIE will contact the appropriate University personnel who will make notification to the student(s)’ emergency contact individual(s). The Program Director should not contact the student(s)’ emergency contact individual(s).
Death of a Student
Verify the student’s identification before notifying the Office of International Education.
The OIE will contact the appropriate University personnel who will make notification to the student(s)’ emergency contact individual(s). The program leader should not contact the student(s)’ emergency contact individual(s).
Keep a detailed log as the crisis progresses.
Ask the other members of the group if they wish to seek counseling. FrontierMEDEX can assist in making these arrangements.
Sexual Assault or Sexual Harassment
Sexual assault is a difficult situation for the both the victim and the Program Director. The Program Director must NEVER blame the student. Instead, the Program Director should reassure the student by stating that the situation was not their fault and that you wish to help them as much as possible.
Talk with the person who reported the crime and find out the location and identity of the victim. Contact FrontierMEDEX to arrange for the student to seek emergency hospital/clinic care.
Ask the student how much information they would like to share with the local authorities. Also, remind the student that the local laws may be different than they are in the United States in regards to sexual assault (Ex.: In the United States it is important to preserve evidence as quickly as possible to be used within the judicial system).
Respect the student’s confidentiality and reassure the student that you are there for help and support.
Additional Resource for Sexual Assault: In regard to sexual assault or sexual harassment the victim of the situation may want to call RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). RAINN can give the victim information about rape crisis centers within the area. The number that RAINN can be reached at 24/7 is 1.800.656.HOPE (4673).
Infectious Disease or Outbreak of an Epidemic among Participants
Determine the urgency of the situation.
Notify the Office of International Education.
Political Emergencies and Natural Disasters
Account for all participants. Make sure they are safe. If student(s) is/are injured; those injuries need to be attended to.
Ask about the intensity of the emergency or political unrest and see if there will be a presence of emergency/military personnel.
Contact FrontierMEDEX to seek information on instructions for evacuation, should that become necessary.
Inform the local U.S. Embassy or Consular Office about your presence in the area. Note: All programs should be registered with the U.S. State Department prior to departure from campus.
In consultation with the Office of International Education and FrontierMEDEX, the Program Director should determine if the program will or will not continue.