Health and Safety

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Significant research and practice insights have been central to the development of best practices in GSL health and safety. We list these pieces immediately below and offer article abstracts farther down the page. Every effort is made to list the abstracts in the same order as the pieces are listed above (generally by most recent publication). The list developed here is listed chronologically in reverse-order, to show the conceptual development and research foundation in this growing field. We kindly request that any individuals interested in adding to this wiki do so by following the guidelines we have established.

Peer Reviewed Articles: 

Websites: 

Article Abstracts: 

Lucas, John. (2009). Over-stressed, Overwhelmed, and Over Here: Resident Directors and the Challenges of Student Mental Health AbroadFrontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. 18, 187-216.

An experience studying abroad is an excellent way for students to grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially. It is beneficial to our students and our country that we continue to innovate in the education abroad programs of international education programs around the globe. The U.S. Government is right to promote study abroad and to allocate funds to make the experience available to the widest possible range of capable students. However, as we prepare to receive a greater variety of students overseas, we need to retool our programs so that we are ready and able to provide quality service to them. Training our resident staff in recognizing the signs of mental illness when it arises and providing the overseas staff with the resources (access to psychologists and psychiatrists) they need to work with these students is a vital component of ensuring that the study abroad program can operate efficiently.

Ritchie, Mark. (2003). Risk Management in Study Abroad: Lessons from the WildernessFrontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 9, 53-69.

Both study abroad and wilderness education share a common concern for participant safety and program integrity. Similar to wilderness education, the field of study abroad has to manage risk, both in program design and administration. This essay seeks to lay out some principles from the field of wilderness education and apply those to study abroad. It will discuss judgment and risk management, with a special emphasis on practical suggestions for programs and the study abroad field more generally. While this comes out of experience in risk management in developing countries, much of it can be applied to study abroad in industrialized countries. This essay is not intended to be a comprehensive literature review on risk management in study abroad or in wilderness education. Rather, its purpose is to share some of the experiences and lessons learned from wilderness education so that they may be put to use in risk management in study abroad.

Simonelli, J. (2000). Service learning abroad: Liability and logisticsMetropolitan Universities, 11(1), 35-59. 

Learning, logistics, and liability are the three “l’s” which define off-campus experiential programs. For those planning these experiences, the liability component, including safety issues, legal concerns, and ethical responsibility to the communities we work in, can threaten program viability and overshadow educational objectives. A service focus increases these difficulties, and demands specialized preparation by all involved.