On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine on the orders of Vladimir Putin, who announced a “special military operation”. We have alerted current students, parents, and school partners of this information, as well.
We do not offer any programs or have any students in Russia or Ukraine, nor do we have any field trips going to that region. The IES Abroad Center closest to Ukraine's western border is several hundred miles away. Our students’ safety is our top priority. We will continue to run our Spring 2022 programs as planned and we are closely monitoring the situation.
IES Abroad has set the standard for health and safety in study abroad, and our Crisis Management Teams have decades of experience managing a wide range of crises. Tracking major events that could potentially impact travel or nearby countries where we have students is key to our extensive crisis management plans and protocols—which have been in place for years and that we continue to hone.
Here are some of the many ways that we support our students abroad:
- 24/7 Emergency Support & Highly Trained Staff: We provide thorough and ongoing training of our U.S-based and on-site staff to proactively plan for, and respond to, emergencies and crises abroad. We have a dedicated Crisis Management Team made up of U.S. staff members, as well as on-site staff at every IES Abroad Center worldwide, who are on-call and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergencies and crises.
- Crisis Management Plans & Protocols: IES Abroad maintains an extensive global crisis management plan and corresponding protocols. In addition, every IES Abroad Center around the world has its own specifically tailored local crisis management plan.
- Monitoring of Local & World Events: Members of the Crisis Management Team and our Center staff receive real-time health, safety and security alerts for all of our locations worldwide, consulting both private and governmental global security sources and experts.
- Ongoing Communications: Should a serious event arise, we will consistently communicate with our sending schools, students and their parents, and our Centers throughout the process so everyone has the most up-to-date information.
- Required Health and Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation Insurance: All IES Abroad students are required to have international insurance through CISI, which provides comprehensive coverage throughout their IES Abroad program.
- Required Cell Phone: Students are required to have a cell phone that works where they will be studying abroad, in order to help our staff members and students stay in touch with you in an emergency or crisis.
- TripTracker: Students going on independent travel are required to inform on-site IES Abroad staff of their specific travel plans before leaving. This system is designed to help on-site IES Abroad staff locate traveling students swiftly in a crisis or emergency.
- Mandatory Crisis Drills: We conduct a mandatory crisis management drill at each Center at the beginning of every term and on an as needed basis.
- In-Country Network: Our on-site staff maintains close relationships with local police and governmental authorities, as well as with the local U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
As we are doing today, we will reach out to current students, parents, and school partners again with additional information as circumstances warrant.