The power of student group travel: 5 tips to mitigating risk
With an increasingly global community being involved in Higher and Further education, it is more important than ever to create global graduates who are not only engaged in their international communities, but are experienced and prepared for employment in the real world.
Increasingly, HE and FE establishments are participating in international experiences with their students, to help them develop a pragmatic understanding of the world of work, international relationships and global and cultural competence.
With the aim of developing prepared, global graduates, it is important to ensure that these experiences are true reflections of the world the students are to enter.
Employers require their personnel to use a global outlook to consider opportunities for development and growth, whilst working readily and with confidence across international borders. Therefore, when engaging in international experiences, it is vital that educational establishments develop risk-aware students, who are able to cope and flourish in real-life situations, mitigating and managing risk rather than avoiding it.
1. Plan ahead
Use a regulated, legitimate, trusted supplier - StudyLink are fully accredited providing you with the utmost protection and reassurance.
Identify potential areas on the tour that are high risk - Plan how to manage these situations.
Here at StudyLink we can host a pre-departure briefing with students covering:
- Tour itinerary (schedule).
- Contact details for on tour support and key contacts.
- Cultural information.
- Health & Safety on tour.
- Information on local embassy’s in destination (including any for international students)
- Emergency procedures.
- Destination specific advice and documentation
- Medical advice
- Tips on keeping important documents safe throughout tour
- Communication advice
- Tips for staying healthy and safe
2. Stay informed
Ask your StudyLink Account Executive and University for the risk management policy and sign up to FCO updates.
Ask about current risk status of destination including:
- Planned political events
- Forecast weather disruptions
- Transport/Airline strikes that may affect the group
- Planned large scale events
- Any current health outbreaks/epidemics i.e. Zika virus etc.
- Current political climate of country
3. Use your support network
At StudyLink we can provide you with the following:
- Detailed emergency procedure
- Support offered pre-departure, during your trip and post-travel
- Safety Management Systems
- Emergency support in destination
Find out the following information from your University:
- Out of hours emergency contact numbers
- Insurance providers
4. Use your strongest resource - Your students
Further develop your students skills by using them in the risk management process, including:
- Identifying high risk situations in your travel itinerary
- Identifying different types of risk your group are subject to
- Developing plans to implement in high/medium situations to manage the risk
- Gathering information on risk status’ of destination
4. Track your travellers
Remain in contact with your Account Executive at StudyLink and your University throughout your tour by using traveller tracking, helping to:
- Monitor the progress of groups whilst in transit
- Quickly identify risk and redirect group away from developing situations
- Clear, open communication between StudyLink, University and the group in emergencies