Risk Managment

MU Study Abroad Travel Guidelines
Miami University organizes all travel programs under the Miami University Study Abroad and Travel Guidelines based on the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. The Guidelines and Standards provide a strong foundation for managing the risk from the initial orientation of students, through the operation of the program, and back on campus after the program.


Effective risk management is a combination of two methodologies:

  • The philosophical approach aims to identify, analyze, and manage risks, while we tailor a practical approach to each site.
  • The ultimate goal of this combination is to protect the institution, the students, the faculty and the program.

At Miami University this is accomplished through the following protocols:


Please see the Miami University Study Abroad and Travel Guidelines for additional information.

  • Academic preparation.
  • Health and safety issues on site.
  • Legal, environmental, political, cultural, religious conditions on site/host country.
  • Potential risks – health and safety, appropriate emergency response measures.
  • Information provided for participants and their parents/families regarding when and where the sponsor’s responsibility ends and the range of aspects of participants’ overseas experience that are beyond the control of Miami University or sponsor.
Safety and Security
  • Rules regarding non-structured program time
  • Policies and rules are communicated to students and complied with
  • Students understand code of conduct and criteria for removal from program
  • Risks of accommodations and travel are assessed and conveyed to students
  • Leader will monitor possible changes in country conditions, and provide information to students and parents
  • Use reputable providers and travel agents, and avoid conflict of interest
  • Student, faculty and staff health issues
  • In cases of serious health problems, injury, or other health and safety circumstances, maintain good communication among all program sponsors and others who need to know
  • Participants understand criteria for evaluating appropriateness of participation
  • Sexual harassment is reported to the university immediately
  • International Health insurance
  • Research health resources prior to departure
Local Resources
  • Program has contact information at location to assist with emergencies and health/safety issues, including police, US overseas reps, hospitals and psychologists
  • Provide information to participants regarding aspects of home campus services and conditions that cannot be replicated overseas
Risk management
  • Disciplinary history and GPA are reviewed prior to acceptance
  • All travelers are registered and paid prior to departure
  • All travelers are age 18 or older
  • Identify various exposures and measure them against Miami’s willingness and ability to withstand potential losses resulting from those exposures
  • Transportation to and from airport
  • State department information
  • OSAC information
  • Media sources
  • Personal and professional knowledge sources
Emergency Communication
  • Adequate and clear methods and means
Emergency Contingencies
  • Individual
  • Group
Emergency Procedures
  • Students are well informed
  • Sufficient on-site staff to provide support in case of emergencies
In an emergency or crisis faculty leader will:
  • Ask/Assess – get the facts and determine situation specifics
  • Secure – make sure the students are all secure
  • Communicate – back to campus and with others
  • Document – keep records and notes


With the knowledge and understanding that every program is unique based in the discipline, student participants, faculty leadership, and host location, there are basics that need to be covered before and during travel. A checklist:

  • Required application and student acceptance process
  • Orientation
  • Check class list to make sure every student is registered prior to travel
  • Contingency plans
  • On-site orientation
  • Copies of medical and insurance information
  • Communication Protocol

See the detailed version of this checklist here (.pdf)