Health, Safety and Risk Mitigation
How we take care of students

Student Health


The Italian Academy is committed to fostering a healthy and safe study abroad experience. Our dedicated team is always available to support students’ health needs, providing peace of mind for both students and their families.

We prioritize the health and well-being of our students, ensuring they have access to comprehensive medical care and support throughout their study abroad journey. Our health services are designed to provide students with the resources and information they need to maintain their health, manage any medical conditions, and respond to any health emergencies that may arise while abroad.

Key Services and Support
  • Emergency Medical Assistance: We provide students with emergency contact numbers, including access to local ambulance services, hospitals, and our 24-hour emergency line, ensuring immediate assistance is available whenever needed.


  • Medical Care and Facilities: The Italian Academy has partnerships with local healthcare providers to ensure students have access to quality medical care. This includes routine health services, specialist consultations, and mental health support.


  • Health Insurance Requirement: All students are required to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical treatment abroad, including emergency medical evacuation if necessary.


  • Pre-Departure and On-site Health Briefings: We offer detailed pre-departure and on-site orientations that cover health risks, prevention strategies, and country-specific health information to prepare students for their time abroad.


  • Support for Chronic Conditions: For students with existing medical conditions, we offer personalized support to manage their health while abroad, including assistance with medication access and finding local healthcare providers.

Mental Health and Well-being


The Italian Academy is deeply committed to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of our students throughout their study abroad journey.

Recognizing the unique challenges of studying away from home, we offer comprehensive mental health support services designed to provide our students with the resources they need to thrive. Our services include:

  • access to licensed mental health professionals for consultation and advising
  • a secure website for scheduling appointments with English-speaking mental health providers
  • an array of pre-departure and on-site resources, including webinars, videos, and orientations, focused on promoting mental and emotional well-being.


Sexual Safety 

The Italian Academy is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students. We adhere to international regulations and policies to prevent and address sexual harassment and assault. Our comprehensive approach includes education, support services, and clear reporting procedures to protect our community and uphold the rights of every individual.

We provide comprehensive support systems for affected individuals, and a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct. Initiatives include mandatory training sessions for staff, confidential counseling services and ensure a respectful, supportive response to all reports of misconduct. Support services are carried out in partnerships with local organizations specializing in support for survivors of sexual assault. This expanded approach underscores our unwavering commitment to maintaining a safe, respectful, and supportive learning environment for everyone. 


Disability Services

The Italian Academy is committed to inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that all students, regardless of disability, have the opportunity to fully participate in our study abroad programs.

Our Disability Services office provides comprehensive support and accommodations tailored to meet the needs of each student. From pre-departure planning to on-site assistance, we work closely with students to navigate the challenges of studying abroad.

We encourage early communication with our office to discuss accommodations and how we can best support your educational journey. Together, we strive to create an accessible and empowering learning environment for every member of our community.

Parents & Families

As your student embarks on their study abroad journey, we recognize the vital role that parents and families play in supporting this transformative experience.

This guide is designed to provide comprehensive information to help you navigate the process alongside your student, ensuring a rewarding and enriching adventure.

Our partnership with parents and families is crucial in creating a supportive environment for our students. Together, we can ensure that your student’s study abroad experience is not only successful but also truly transformational.

Key Services and Support

Pre-Departure Preparation: We offer detailed checklists and orientation sessions to ensure students and their families are fully prepared for the upcoming experience. From travel documentation to health and safety briefings, we cover all the essentials.

Health and Safety: The well-being of our students is our top priority. Learn about our health insurance requirements, emergency response protocols, and how we promote student safety abroad.

Staying Connected: Communication is key. Discover the best ways to stay in touch with your student during their time abroad, including tips for managing time zone differences and emergency contact information.

Cultural Adaptation: Understand the challenges and opportunities your student may face as they adjust to a new culture. We provide resources to support their cultural adaptation and encourage positive engagement with their host community.

Academic Success: Gain insights into the academic structure of our programs, including credit transfer, course selection, and academic support services available to your student.

Supporting Reintegration: Returning home can be as challenging as going abroad. We offer advice on how to support your student’s reintegration, leveraging their study abroad experience for personal and professional growth.

Risk Mitigation

At The Italian Academy, ensuring the safety and security of our students abroad is paramount. Our comprehensive risk mitigation strategy is designed to prepare, protect, and support our community members throughout their international educational journey.

Identifying and Managing Risks: We proactively assess potential risks associated with each study destination and program, implementing tailored strategies to minimize these risks. Our dedicated team continuously monitors global events to make informed decisions promptly.

Orientation Health and Safety Training: Every student participates in thorough pre-departure/on-site sessions that cover health and safety protocols, emergency response, and cultural adaptation, equipping them with essential knowledge and skills for a safe study abroad experience.

Insurance and Support: The Italian Academy requires all students to have comprehensive health and travel insurance, ensuring access to quality care. Our on-ground support staff are always available to assist students with any health or safety concerns that may arise.

Emergency Preparedness: Our emergency response plan details clear procedures for a range of scenarios, ensuring swift and coordinated action when needed. Communication channels are established to keep students, families, and the academy informed during emergencies.

This approach underscores our commitment to creating a secure environment where students can focus on their academic and cultural exploration.

Risk Assessment Procedures

The Italian Academy’s risk assessment procedures involve a thorough process of identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing potential risks associated with study abroad programs. This systematic approach ensures that all aspects of student safety are considered, from environmental hazards to political stability, allowing for informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Emergency Response Plan

Our emergency response plan outlines specific strategies to address various crises, including natural disasters and health emergencies. This plan details the immediate actions, communication protocols, and support systems in place to effectively manage and mitigate any situation that may arise during the program.


  • Tier 1: These are minor incidents that impact daily activities but don’t pose direct threats to health or safety, and can generally be resolved with minimal intervention. Examples include:
    • losing personal items such as a passport or wallet
    • mental health issues, feeling homesick
    • health concerns with no doctor visit or with a doctor visit for a problem that can be treated easily or is considered minor
    • a student missing class, failing or almost failing a course, missing a mandatory orientation
    • mourning for a homestay, supervisor, professor, or anyone who is in contact with the participant during his/her/their time abroad (that is not close to the participant).
    • Wide-Scale:
      • Non-violent strikes, demonstrations and marches
      • Severe abnormal weather alerts (heavy rain, strong winds, wildfires affecting air quality).
      • Power cut in neighborhood
  • Tier 2: This tier includes incidents that may pose a risk to a student’s health and safety but are not yet critical. It covers situations needing evaluation, such as minor medical issues requiring a doctor’s visit or incidents necessitating a police report. Proactive measures and monitoring are essential to prevent escalation. These may include:
    • When it is necessary to visit a doctor, medical professional, or mental health professional (psychologist/psychiatrist/rheumatologist/etc…) for a problem that requires treatment or a follow-up visit/s
    • Mental health crisis
    • When a police report is made
    • Wide-Scale:
      • An isolated emergency that affects a small group of people, that happened either in Syracuse or in a large city in Europe, and there is a small likelihood that a participant is in the area.
      • A major accident, terrorist attack or major natural disaster (fire/earthquake) in Europe or Italy with injuries and/or casualties
      • Contagious disease in the area but none of our participants are ill (that we know of) 
  • Tier 3: Serious incidents requiring immediate attention fall into this category. They represent a significant risk to the individual’s or others’ health or safety, such as missing students, arrests, or severe medical emergencies. Prompt, coordinated response efforts are critical to manage these situations effectively. These may include:
    • A missing participant for more than 24h
    • Missing participant for less than 24 hours, but with suspected danger or death (last seen in deep water/skiing/hiking/very intoxicated)
    • The arrest of a participant
    • Sexual Assault committed by a participant
    • Serious accident or illness (car accident, drug overdose, heart attack, loss of consciousness, severe allergic reaction)
    • Psychiatric emergencies (displaying disruptive or psychotic behavior, suicide attempts or threats, disruptive behavior due to drugs or alcohol)
    • Assault of a participant leading to serious injury
    • Sexual crime against a participant (Rape or sexual assault of a student, violence from an intimate partner)
    • Wide-Scale:
      • A major accident (plane/train/bus) and a participant is hurt
      • Natural disasters (earthquakes, flooding, avalanche, severe/dangerous weather where participants are nearby and/or hurt, serious enough for the city/area to go on lockdown)
      • Terrorist attack in Europe and we have participants that are nearby, hurt, or cannot travel back to Syracuse
      • Fire/gas leak that requires evacuation of participants (from housing, university…)
      • A pandemic
  • Tier 4: The most severe emergencies, potentially involving life-threatening situations or fatalities, are classified as Tier 4. These high-profile cases demand the highest level of crisis management, involving direct communication with top-level authorities and possibly external emergency services.
    • A participant death
    • The arrest of a participant accused of murder 
    • Wide-Scale:
      • An incident that has caused deaths, such as: A major accident (plane/train/bus) resulting in participants’ death
      • Natural disasters (earthquakes, flooding, avalanche, severe/dangerous weather) resulting in participants’ death
      • Terrorist attack in Europe resulting in participants’ death
      • Pandemic and some of our participants are casualties

Pre-Departure and On-site Preparations

To minimize risks, Syracuse Academy offers comprehensive pre-departure preparations. This includes mandatory health checks, up-to-date travel advisories, and detailed safety briefings tailored to each destination, ensuring students are well-informed and prepared for their study abroad experience.

Insurance Requirements

Syracuse Academy requires all students to have comprehensive insurance coverage, encompassing health, travel, and personal liability. This mandatory insurance ensures that students have access to necessary medical and support services, safeguarding their well-being while abroad.

Communication Plan

In the event of an emergency, our communication plan facilitates timely and clear information sharing with students, parents, and local authorities. This plan emphasizes the importance of keeping all parties informed and engaged, ensuring a coordinated response to any situation.

Continuous Monitoring and Support

Throughout the duration of the study abroad program, Syracuse Academy maintains continuous monitoring and support. This ongoing risk assessment ensures that students receive the necessary guidance and assistance, adapting to changing conditions and ensuring their safety and success abroad.

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