Health and Safety
Nothing was more important to the founding API Moms than maintaining the health and safety of its programs’ participants. Over the years, that hasn’t changed. Read on to learn about how we provide for the health and safety of our program participants.
API’s Response to COVID-19
API is a global operation with programs in more than 20 countries, and we continue to adapt and change our program offerings in response to the pandemic. As part of our commitment to global learning, we innovated quickly in 2020 and leveraged our technology platform to offer virtual courses to both domestic and international students. To learn more about our response, visit our COVID-19 page.
API Safety Pre-Departure
Safety from the Start
When deciding which programs will be offered for participants, API believes in the importance of researching safety and security issues related to the desired location.
API takes pride in providing extensive health and safety information to participants during the pre-departure phase. As part of pre-departure orientation, our team of Program Managers will walk you through each step, share details and ensure you feel completely at ease.
Careful Excursion Selection
API directors/coordinators are very careful when selecting excursion sites, and seek to work only with providers that are trusted and referred by others.
All API high school, gap, and university students and interns will receive medical insurance coverage as part of the standard program fees. API insurance benefits also include emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, as well as coverage in the event of a serious security incident or natural disaster. Likewise, the policy provides coverage for political, security and natural disaster evacuation services.
Safe and Secure Housing
All API programs include housing, and safety is the number one consideration when selecting participant accommodations. All API housing is located in areas of the city with low levels of crime. Participants should be able to feel comfortable walking alone in the evening (before 9-10 p.m.) in their neighborhoods, subject to city variations. In sites where participants are housed with host families, API directors/coordinators conduct extensive interviews and work only with families who have been personally referred to API staff or who have been screened by a trusted housing agency.
A Word on Drugs and Alcohol
There are rules and restrictions regarding the use of drugs and alcohol on API Programs. Please check our Drug and Alcohol policy pages for more information about this important topic.
On-Site Safety with API
API’s highly qualified, experienced, continuously trained, English-speaking regional directors (RDs) are available to participants in each host city throughout their session abroad. API RDs are charged with essential health and safety duties.
On-Site Orientation and Arrival Services
Extensive orientation occurs on day one, and includes local-area insight and an on-site handbook that serves as a guide for participants, and which includes essential health and safety information in a concise and easy-to-read format. In addition, all participants are provided with an emergency card that details all emergency numbers for the regional director (RD), as well as local authorities, including the police, fire and 911 services, during the first day on-site. RDs also focus on establishing a rapport with each new group of participants so that they feel comfortable coming to the RDs in the event of an emergency or difficulty.
Ongoing Safety Updates to Participants
Regional directors (RDs) inform groups about local activities and news throughout the semester. In addition, API RDs may hold impromptu safety meetings to ensure everyone’s ongoing safety, and are trained to respond to participant incidents 24/7.
When traveling abroad, participants are exposed to new food and water systems and may experience increased stress. API RDs will refer participants in need of care to local doctors who speak English and/or accompany them to doctor’s appointments, as requested.
Emergency Action Plans
API believes in being prepared for the worst-case scenario and regional directors are trained to respond to emergency situations. During any emergency, API maintains regular communication with all involved parties, including families and home university officials, as appropriate.
Participants will receive details of available the insurance policies in their acceptance packet and orientation materials.
- All API high school, gap, and university students and interns will receive medical insurance coverage as part of the standard program fees. API insurance benefits also include emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, as well as coverage in the event of a serious security incident or natural disaster.
- International health coverage varies greatly from domestic insurance in the United States. International patients are generally required to pay for all medical visits up front.
- Participants should be aware that the insurance provided to treat pre-existing conditions is more limited.
- In addition to the health insurance and evacuation coverage, all participants are provided with $20,000 of life insurance for accidental death.
- Each participant will have named a beneficiary for their policy on the notarized document provided by Academic Programs International.
Optional Trip or CFAR (Cancel/Interrupt for Any Reason) Insurance
Given continued uncertainties associated with international travel, API highly recommends that all students purchase insurance protection. Doing so can decrease the risk of financial loss related to the inability to travel for any reason prior to the program start or due to premature return from abroad. The insurance plans in question are referred to as Cancellation for Any Reason (CFAR) and Interruption for Any Reason (IFAR) policies, and they must be purchased early in the planning process.
We encourage all students to consider purchasing a minimum of $2500 of insurance coverage for semester programs and a minimum of $1000 of insurance coverage for summer programs. API’s current health insurance provider has comprehensive and affordable plans available for purchase online at: culturalinsurance.com/academic-trip-protector-insurance-program.asp
Students who do not elect to purchase this optional insurance plan are notified that API cannot offer any refunds of program fees once the onsite program begins, nor can we assist students with the costs of travel arrangements home due to early departure. Please note that opting into such insurance plans carries an additional cost because they afford special financial protections in the event that you choose to withdraw from the program pre-departure or depart from the API program early due to on-site conditions, your own health or health of others in your family, etc.
Additionally it is important to note that if you opt out of purchasing this type of insurance, you remain responsible for all API fees and for all associated costs of returning home early.
*CFAR must be purchased within 21 days of the date your $400 confirmation deposit is paid to API. If your home institution covers your $400 confirmation payment, you will have 21 days from the date you submit your $150 application deposit and agree to API’s payment policies.
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