Health and Safety

Health & Safety at CET

CET cares for and promotes the overall well-being of everyone who participates on our programs. We design our experiences abroad recognizing that each location brings its own challenges and resources, each student their own needs. We believe in actively engaging with students and university partners -both before departure and during each program- to ensure that each person who studies with us has the resources they need to thrive while abroad.  Our overseas staff are well-trained to assist when help is needed, drawing on extensive local networks and expertise as well as GeoBlue, our medical insurance partner. We constantly monitor and assess conditions on-site, and we are available, 24/7, to respond. 

Student Health and Safety + Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a life-expanding opportunity, but it’s not always easy, and the health issues a student has at home will travel with them. CET’s proactive approach provides the time and resources each student may need to plan for these challenges. While we hope for the best, we plan for all contingencies.

Application & Pre-Departure

students wearing helmets looking down at camera

Intake Forms

After committing to their program, all students complete a Health and Wellness form, an Emergency Contact form, and a Tell Us About You survey to provide CET with a holistic picture of each person’s goals, needs, and concerns. This also covers any current physical or mental health issues, as well as any learning differences and related accommodations. 

CET reviews all the information and follows up with location-appropriate recommendations and resources. We coordinate with our colleagues abroad to ensure students can be supported and follow up with students if we have questions. This approach sets students up for success and gets them thinking proactively about how best to maintain their wellness during their time abroad (and beyond).

Preparing for Medication and Treatments Abroad

Many students have existing health challenges that need active management abroad. We recommend that participants plan to bring a full term’s worth of any prescription or over-the-counter medication with them, as some may not be available in a host country, and others may require a visit to a local doctor. We can assist students in how to work with their home-based insurance to facilitate pre-planning.

We are also ready to assist with any health issues that develop abroad, and we work with world-class medical resources in all locations in tandem with our insurance partner, GeoBlue.

Pre-Departure Guides and Other Resources

After committing to their program, students have access to four Pre-Departure Guides (PDGs) in their online CET account. These PDGs cover Academics, Wellness & Safety, Money Matters, and Student Life. Students can read about many things in detail, including housing, navigating dietary restrictions, and communicating via phone/mail/internet from abroad. We also encourage students to read their program’s Identity Abroad page for additional information on local cultural climates, helpful blog posts from former students, and to better understand what life in their host country could be like for them and/or for their future peers. And long before students fly out, they receive visa and arrival instructions from their student service coordinator

While Abroad

CET Jordan students sit on a rock in Wadi Rum

GeoBlue Insurance

CET provides GeoBlue health insurance as part of our program fee for each program’s entirety. GeoBlue covers in-person treatment, related costs (e.g., new prescriptions, aftercare), virtual care through TeleMD, and even evacuation coverage (for both individual medical emergencies and group non-medical emergencies, such as political uprisings or natural disasters). The policy also covers mental health care, including a 24/7 crisis counseling line and English-language in-person counseling, where available. Students can work with GeoBlue in advance of travel to coordinate care for ongoing and/or chronic conditions, as well as extend their own insurance beyond the dates of the program for an additional fee, should they want to travel before or after the program. See our policy information and member guide.

On-Site Staff

Our colleagues abroad are experts in supporting students in how to remain healthy and safe abroad and are there to help when problems arise. Each team annually inspects and reviews all program locations and local vendors, maintains connections with medical and assistance providers in their city, and can provide support for any concern. Each site has a 24/7 emergency line answered by a member of our staff and each staff member receives regular training and security updates as new issues arise.

Orientation & On-site Resources

Once on site, all students attend an orientation hosted by program staff. Orientation varies from program to program, but students can expect to cover site-specific information related to classes, housing, student support, wellness resources, and emergency protocols. This includes general health and safety information in the local context, covering anything from local travel warnings to what to do when feeling sick. During orientation, on-site staff also recommend registering with the US Department of State’s Smart Travel Enrollment Program to stay connected with the US embassy while abroad.

How We Choose to Run Programs

When deciding to run a program, we take a lot of factors into consideration. Our team at the DC office works with on-site staff to run through different variables and checks to ensure the situation on the ground is optimal for the study abroad experience. If any of these pillars comes into question, CET would immediately contact and collaborate with all stakeholders to determine the best way forward. 

Our on-site professional staff are confident that local conditions can support the program and its students. Our colleagues abroad live and work in our host cities and have extensive networks to draw on for information and assistance, so they are best equipped to interpret all the variables to make sound local-level assessments.

The local medical system remains open and accessible to treat all illnesses or injuries, including reasonable access to communicable disease testing. CET and our medical insurance partner GeoBlue work with a variety of medical facilities in each location to meet any health challenge a student may have abroad.

The closest US consulate or embassy’s American Citizen Services division is open for (at least) emergency services (i.e., a lost passport).

Airlines are operating with reliable frequency between the host city and US destinations. This can be via direct flights or with connections. 

Borders are open such that American citizens can reliably leave the host country and return to the US.

We can still meet the academic/experiential goals of the program while integrating local regulations and restrictions

Top Study Abroad Provider in Safety in 2023

We are proud to have our dedication to health and safety be recognized by the 2023 Go Overseas Community Choice Awards!

Policies & Other Considerations

Studying abroad is an exciting, life-expanding opportunity, but it’s not always easy, and the health issues a student has at home will travel with them. CET’s proactive approach provides the time and resources each student may need to plan for these challenges. While we hope for the best, we plan for all contingencies.

All students are required to participate in Geoblue health insurance, which is included in each program’s fee. Learn more about Geoblue insurance.

All students are required to live in CET housing for their time abroad (except for when traveling independently). 

CET believes in making study abroad accessible to all students. We recruit and actively support academically qualified students regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is an American law and CET programs function outside of the United States. However, CET endeavors to honor the spirit of the ADA whenever possible and will work with students to determine what resources are available in their program’s host country to address their specific needs.

Service Animals

CET allows students with licensed and registered service animals to participate in our programs within the confines of local law. According to the ADA, a service animal is one that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Students with service animals should contact CET once they apply to their program, as facilitating their participation will require more time to arrange.

Emotional Support Animals

CET does not permit emotional support or companion animals to accompany any student nor does it allow local animals to reside in CET Housing.

CET recognizes that some students have physical, mental, or learning differences that require accommodations. Each person seeking accommodations must submit proof of existing learning plans or assistive technology from their home institution. Some accommodations are not available in all program locations. Explore accommodations by program

All CET students are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct, and violations may result in disciplinary action and/or expulsion from the program. CET staff may be in contact with students’ home institution for any reason and at any time during the program. Read the Code of Conduct and other student policies.

Although we operate outside of the US, CET honors the spirit of key American legislation that governs student safety in academic contexts, Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Act. We report all related issues to a student’s home institution in a timely manner and work together to support students post-incident.

US-based Emergency Line*: 800.225.4262

*Emergency contact info for students abroad, families, and home institutions

US-based Emergency Line*: 800.225.4262

*Emergency contact info for students abroad, families, and home institutions

Vanessa Sterling

Questions? Get in Touch!

Vanessa Sterling

Director, Health and Safety
[email protected]

Vanessa’s career in international education began in 1995, during her time as a graduate student at CET Beijing. After several more years in China conducting research, she returned stateside and transitioned to working in education abroad. At the University of Pittsburgh, Vanessa built semester programs, advised students, and was the faculty director of Pitt in China in Shanghai for two years. Prior to joining CET, she served as the Associate Director of Pitt Global Experiences, where she developed and executed the university’s health, safety, and security strategy and training. Vanessa is an active member of Pulse: International Safety and Security Professionals in Higher Education, OSAC’s Academia Sector Committee, and several cross-provider working groups. When not working, you can find Vanessa leading a theological reading group or indulging in some Bravo TV. In addition to an MA in History from Pitt, she also holds a BA in East Asian Studies from NYU.

CET Jordan: Academic Consultation Board

Over the years, we’ve built a strong network of locally-based faculty that we’re proud to call our peers. These faculty make up our Academic Consultation Board—a select group of local voices and thought leaders that help advise and shape components of the CET Jordan program. 

Board members support the program in many ways, including but not limited to:

Academic Consultation Board Members

Learn More about our Programs