Our emergency contact number is the US is 800.225.4262. A US-based staff member is available through this number 24 hours a day. Students are instructed to call the local emergency numbers provided to them at orientation once on site.
Our Approach to Health & Safety
We take a comprehensive approach to emergency and risk management. We believe preparation, staff training, and regular review of resources are key to effectively managing crises, whether individual or group. In our 35+ years of operation, we have built a strong reputation for effective risk management. Learn more about our approach to health and safety.
CET has worked extensively to develop plans for operating high school programs in a COVID reality. Our Senior Manager of Health and Safety, alongside program staff, developed CET’s COVID Playbook which outlines the standards, policies, and communication procedures followed at each CET site to ensure students, staff, and families feel well-informed and prepared about steps CET is taking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. CET requires all in-person program participants to show proof of vaccination before departure. We’ve used the Playbook to safely run several college programs in various sites during the pandemic. Learn more about our vaccination requirement and COVID response.
Crisis Management & Communication
The health and safety of students is our first priority and we recognize the importance of communication with parents. CET staff are available through our 24/7 on-call system to provide support should any health, safety, or security concerns arise during the program.
For all programs outside of the U.S., program fees include travel health insurance through GeoBlue. Insurance is comprehensive and includes evacuation coverage for both individual medical emergencies and movement of the group in case of changing realities on the ground. On site, we provide up-to-date information about local health facilities and assist students and parents in accessing them should any health issues need to be addressed. In-network facilities bill GeoBlue directly so there’s no need to pay out of pocket.
For programs based in the United States, proof of comprehensive health insurance is required.
Homestay Vetting and Selection
Students on most CET high school programs abroad live with homestay families. Homestay families are recruited, vetted, and managed by CET staff on-site in the program location. To facilitate a mutually beneficial experience for both students and families, CET homestay families:
- Complete a CET Homestay Application
- Submit a Homestay Introductory Letter and photos
- Undergo a reference check, completed by CET on-site staff
- Review the CET Homestay Handbook
- Attend a Homestay Orientation with CET on-site staff prior to students’ arrival
- Agree to abide by all CET policies and expectations governing the homestay experience
- Are matched carefully with each CET student by CET staff in the U.S. and abroad and are invited to contact students and their families prior to student arrival
Standards for Every Program
CET’s Plan for Emergencies emphasizes prevention and preparation. Some of the efforts employed by CET in emergency prevention and preparation include:
All CET staff, both in the United States and overseas, undergo staff training on how to prevent and handle emergencies when first hired. We also hold several sessions related to student health and safety and risk management at RD Gras, our conference for all CET staff.
Based on their knowledge of each program’s region, environment, and history of past incidents, Program Managers assess risk, providing guidance about the kinds of events that pose the highest risk to students or program operation. They utilize U.S. Department of State guidance and maintain person-to-person contact with staff at the U.S. Embassy in each program site. CET leadership also receives daily risk alerts and updates from Global Rescue, and when needed, can engage Global Rescue in customized risk assessments.
At each site, program staff perform an annual audit of general health and safety measures in order to ensure that basic safety preventive measures (such as fire exits, first aid kids, emergency alert plan, etc.) are up-to-date and ready for use.
At each site, program staff compile a brief, site-specific Emergency Evacuation Plan (EEP). The purpose of this plan is not to determine exact steps for every kind of eventuality, but to think through the potential resources, operations and communication chain should a group evacuation be warranted. The EEP addresses both general risks and any specific risks associated with the region.
CET has country-specific Safety Guidelines that apprise students of safety precautions and local laws particular to their region, and provide them instructions for responding to an emergency situation. Program staff review the Safety Guidelines at each orientation, and ensure that all students sign them.
Each site also provides students lists of hospitals and health centers in their city. The list for programs abroad contains medical facilities approved by GeoBlue, our insurance provider.
All students receive an Emergency Contact Card at orientation. These cards contain the “911” equivalent in the host country, emergency contact information for on-site staff, the address of the CET center (in the host language and in English), the address of nearby CET-recommended medical centers, and contact information for the US Embassy.
Program staff also run an emergency alert drill with all students within the first 48 hours of the program. The idea of the emergency alert drill is to ensure that students respond promptly to emergency instructions or confirmation of their whereabouts.