Based on our experience, we have developed the following policies and guidelines to ensure that students are safe and secure throughout the program. Upon arrival, the Tour Director will review safety precautions specific to your program. However, it’s critical that students understand these rules in advance and behave accordingly while abroad. With cooperation and considerate behavior from each and every traveler, the program is sure to be a safe and memorable one.
EF does not allow travelers under the age of 18 to consume alcohol while abroad. The Group Leader might wish to prohibit alcohol consumption by all travelers, regardless of age, and if so they will ask travelers to sign a Policy for Prohibiting Alcohol Form. Excessive drinking or consumption of hard liquor by anyone in the group will result in disciplinary action, including immediate dismissal from the program at the traveler’s expense.
Please be aware that every person in a hotel room may not have a room key. When students receive their room assignment, they should designate a key holder or plan to leave their key at the reception desk when they are not in their room. Remember that their hotel door should remain locked at all times, both when they leave the room and when they are inside. Because the type of fire safety systems provided will vary between hotels, travelers should read the fire safety instructions in their hotel room and be sure to know where the nearest fire exits are located. Some hotel rooms may not have phones, so travelers should know where they can find their Group Leader and Tour Director at all times. The Tour Director will review safety policies while abroad, and it’s important that all travelers pay close attention.
Traffic and transportation safety
Travelers should keep in mind that traffic patterns and behaviors can be very different abroad than at home. Cars might drive on the opposite side of the road, so travelers should always look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t forget to look right! Travelers should pay special attention at intersections, use pedestrian crosswalks whenever possible and always wear a seatbelt on buses if available. In many cities there are hourly bicycle rentals readily available. Travelers should not partake in these rentals since helmets are not provided and they are not part of an organized, guided bike tour.
Travelers may have the opportunity to swim in an ocean, a lake, a river or a hotel pool. In most cases, there may not be a lifeguard on duty. Swimming will only be allowed in EF-designated areas and with the permission and knowledge of the Group Leader. If there is any question about the conditions or safety in the area, they should stay out of the water. If students decide to swim at any point, they should be sure to swim with a group of friends and to follow all swimming area rules.
Free time activities
Some programs may include some free time. However, this does not necessarily mean that students are free to do whatever they like without restriction. Travelers should always stay with others and not go anywhere alone. The Group Leader is responsible for supervision of the group at all times. EF only allows travelers to participate in EF-sanctioned optional excursions or other EF-approved activities suggested by the Tour Director. Please note that the Global Travel Protection Plan does not cover activities that are not sanctioned by EF.