Trinity maintains a policy of constant vigilance in monitoring the potential hazards to students in all our off-campus programs. In the case of programs abroad, this includes:
- Monitoring any updated U.S. State Department advisories pertinent to the country/region of the program, as they become available. These recommendations are then posted at the school premises (or copies distributed to students, as appropriate) and explained to the students by the program director. See the current State Department’s information on Spain
- The college receives daily safety alerts via email from the Unity Resource Group Daily Intelligence Briefing, which identifies areas of danger to public safety throughout the world.
- The off-campus program staff members review the “Emergency Response Procedures” each semester.
- Encouraging all students to register their trip with the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) of the State Department website
- Requiring all students traveling outside of Seville to complete a travel form which indicates where they are traveling and with whom
During orientation at the program site, we require program leaders to address the following topics, as appropriate for the location (Seville, Spain), including information as to:
- State Department advisories (if pertinent) included in all student orientation packets
- Additional information concerning health insurance, safety issues, and standards of conduct
- Regional information on crime, illness, and emergencies that may reasonably be expected to occur in the host city/country
- Information about the availability of medical care in the host city/country
- An emergency phone contact list linking students with those to report to in the event of an emergency (All Semester in Spain students are required to have cell phones – usually their own phone with a Spanish sim card).
- A list of emergency contacts on the home campus and a list of contacts at the program
- A card with contact information for local authorities
- An orientation to cultural practices and beliefs
- Health care and specific health risks (such as communicable diseases)
- Action plan for students should an unforeseen threat occur such as civil unrest, change in political climate, war, or terrorism.
- The plan of action following possible natural disasters in the area, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis
- Transportation problems, such as poor roads
- Guidelines on “free time” and excursions
With regard specifically to Spain, Trinity’s program in Seville, TCC Sevilla, is a member of the professional organization of American university programs in Spain, APUNE, which is “the oldest association in Europe dedicated to the needs of American university programs abroad (founded 1968). APUNE (Associación de Programas Universitarios Norteamericanos en España) is a cultural, not-for-profit organization that seeks to both further and facilitate international exchange between the U.S. and Spain.” The director of the Semester in Spain program regularly attends APUNE general informational meetings and is in frequent contact with APUNE, which in turn is charged with monitoring the situation in Spain as it relates to American students studying in the country, including threats to public safety, such as disease outbreaks, civil unrest, terrorist activity, traumatic weather events — in short, any events that might represent a danger to foreign students in Spain.
The Semester in Spain program also provides emergency medical and repatriation evacuation insurance for all students should there be the need for them to leave the country. As throughout the rest of Europe (and in the US) since 9/11, there is a heightened alert that includes stricter police checks and security, especially at hubs of public transportation (trains and planes). These are measures imposed by the government to ensure the safety of its citizens and visitors, no less in Spain than in the US.