RISD Global understands that the decision to pursue an off-campus global learning experience is not only an important decision for a student but it can also be a significant juncture for the family.
Off-campus global learning exposes students to enriching opportunities and can be a crucial component of the RISD college experience. The decision to pursue an off-campus program reflects a student’s desire for academic and personal development, critical opportunities, growing independence, and cross-cultural competence. For many, this may be the first opportunity for a student to travel abroad, which can bring an array of emotions for the family ranging from excitement through to anxiety. Therefore, as family members or guardians it is vital and incredibly helpful to support the student in their preparation for the trip. Encouragement is needed while leading up to the studies abroad, during the time away, and also, surprisingly, once the student returns to the main RISD campus. This involvement helps the student and provides more insight for the families and guardians as to what will be taking place abroad.
Some frequently raised concerns or queries related to families are covered below however, should there be more specific questions please contact RISD Global at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The top-priority for RISD is the safety and well being of all students, faculty, and staff engaged in off-campus learning experiences. RISD Global proactively monitors the locations where the students are traveling via the U.S. Department of State and other trusted sources, and remain in frequent contact with the local contacts in the hosting country.
While abroad, faculty members and staff remain in close touch with all students, following all recommendation issued by the State Department and the local officials.
In cases of warnings or alerts for a particular area or country that was deemed safe during program planning, RISD’s International Incident Response Team (IIRT) will carefully review the current off site situation and will follow established protocols and processes in order to lead such reviews and determine decisions.
In case of warnings or alerts on an off-campus program location prior to its start, RISD Global may choose to delay the approval and/or starting date of the program occurring in the specific location. RISD Global may also choose to deny sponsorship for study groups or award fellowships, scholarships, or travel grants to these locations.
Safety and Emergency Procedure
In accordance with off-campus partners and staff, RISD Global has defined emergency and crisis management protocols. These practices are tested and developed periodically to improve health, safety, and security.
While students are off-campus, RISD Global actively monitors the US State Department's travel advisories, warnings, and alerts regarding the students' travel locations. Should a situation arise or the U.S. State Department issues a travel warning for a particular area for country that was deemed safe during program planning, all leading faculty members, students, and staff off site will be contacted immediately. In addition, RISD has an International Incident Response Team (IIRT) on campus, ready to respond to any situation, activate all the established safety protocols, and support the students and faculty.
Prior to departure, faculty members receive all guidance on how to assist IIRT during the case of an emergency and how to contribute to the safety of the students.
Health and Safety Orientation for Students
The health and safety of the students is a top priority and RISD Global aims to prepare all students for a rich, transformative and safe experience while participating in off-campus global learning. Through pre-departure meetings and orientation sessions led by RISD faculty and staff, students are informed about the language learning tools available to them, information regarding living on the off-site location, emergency procedures related to living abroad, anticipating and explaining behavioral issues, and being familiar with the RISD Global Terms of Agreement.
Preparing the Student for a New Environment
RISD Global encourages all family members to support and advise the students in the process of researching an off-campus program. The family’s encouragement of a global-learning experience is a key element to the student’s success. As is helping the student to be conscious and aware of cultural laws and customs that are specific to the area or country of destination and the implications these might have on the student, i.e. dress codes or appropriate behavior. In addition to the support provided by RISD Global, family members are encouraged to discuss with the student any travel plans and activities that may be independent of the program, including discussions regarding safety.
Students are also expected to abide by the RISD Academic Codes of Conduct.
Communication and Finance while Off Campus
Family members are invited to help manage some of the logistical and practical aspects of the student’s time abroad, which are crucial for a more stress-free and positive travel experience. Financial planning, based on the time away and the cost of living in a country needs to be calculated along with ensuring that methods of communication are readily available or accessible.