“CEPA is there to prevent the problems. There is no reaction but a very proactive approach from CEPA. I would not go with any other organization.”
Eddie Smith, Director of Internships and Study Abroad, Clemson University
Safety doesn’t happen by accident
Studying abroad means coming into contact with different ways of life and new surroundings. The health and safety of our students is our number one priority. Being informed and prepared as best as we can to handle unexpected situations, no matter how small or large, are key factors that can help ensure the well-being of students at the European Study Center.
We have put together a set of questions that may arise but please feel free to contact us directly with any additional questions or concerns.
How well is The European Study Center prepared in case of an emergency?
With over 20 years of experience, CEPA (the operator of the European Study Center) has the expertise to handle daily safety and security needs as well as emergency situations.
Additionally, CEPA has a comprehensive crisis management plan containing protocols to be implemented in the event of a crisis. It shows the steps CEPA will follow in the event of a crisis and outlines what CEPA expects its on-site coordinators as well as its employees to do in a given emergency. It helps also to ensure that they cope effectively by specifying who must be contacted, who has decision-making authority, and who will perform certain tasks.
CEPA staff is trained and the plan is reviewed and updated on a regular basis so that effective emergency assistance support can be provided.
How are service providers, such as hotels or bus companies selected?
Accommodation is carefully selected on the basis of reputation, location, surroundings, and accessibility.
Transportation companies hired for our programs are reputable and licensed to operate. Every type of transportation option is carefully evaluated and the most efficient, safe, and convenient means of transportation are arranged.
How does the European Study Center monitor travel warnings and alerts?
Travel warnings and alerts are continually monitored from multiple sources, such as embassies.
A wide network of local coordinators helps as our “eyes and ears“ to personally assess on-site situations.
Additionally, we strongly recommend that students enroll in their own country’s overseas travel programs before they leave home.
Students from the USA:
- US State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Students from the CANADA:
- Registration of Canadians Abroad service: http://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/roca-faq
- Please also remember to check DFATD Travel Report for your host country and any country/countries that you may be planning to visit in the near future: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
What are other precautions taken by The European Study Center?
Upon arrival, students and faculty leaders attend an orientation session with their on-site coordinator, in which they learn what to do in an emergency and receive the contact information for emergency assistance. The emergency information card states the general European emergency number 112, their hotels’ and coordinators’ names and phone numbers as well as their local embassy phone number.
Furthermore, we instruct all students to:
- provide emergency contact information
- keep their on-site coordinator informed of their travel plans
- keep their cell phones turned on and with them at all times
- carry their passport with them all the time and leave copies with family and staff
Who can I contact in case of an emergency?
At all points during your program, maintain open communication with your coordinator. If you are in an emergency situation, inform your coordinator to ensure that CEPA’s crisis management team can assist you.
You may also contact CEPA’s 24-hour emergency line: 49 (0) 176 61 39 06 13
112 is the emergency number Europe-wide. In addition to 112, France offers lines for specific emergencies:
- 15 – medical emergency
- 17 – police
- 18 – fire brigade
- 115 – social emergency
- 119 – abused children
- 116000 – missing children
- 114 – National centre for emergency calls for users with disabilities
CROUS social services for students
CEPA/ESC highly recommends that semester students be fully vaccinated before travelling to France.
Since the program includes many visits and group activities, being vaccinated would guarantee a full access to all cultural and professional activities/visits and would also facilitate the daily life, as otherwise students who wouldn’t be vaccinated would need to be tested every 24h to 48h prior to each group activity/visit and the access to some places could be denied to students who wouldn’t have one of these two requirements (48-hours negative PCR test or vaccination certification).