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Student Safety/Security and Policies

Safety is of utmost importance to the entire IPSL community. Our in-country staff advise students on issues related to their safety and give them guidelines about traveling within the city and countryside. It is important that students listen to and adhere to the safety recommendations.

The Program Directors are well-informed on local and regional conditions and keep IPSL and its students apprised of any changes which might affect them. They are in regular contact with the Portland, Oregon office and are prompt in reporting any changes in conditions. In addition, IPSL has a 24-hour emergency contact system that can be utilized in case of a student health or safety emergency.

Check out our special page for parents.


IPSL prioritizes a student’s health while participating on an IPSL program. Health records are kept on file both in the Portland, Oregon office and with the resident Program Director. Before departure, students are provided with health information about the program location with advice to consult the Centers for Disease Control ( to find out what immunizations are recommended, if any.

Each IPSL program site has excellent nearby medical and mental health facilities and support available. As part of a comprehensive arrival orientation, the Program Director will tell students about these facilities and resources, and how to make use of them should they need them. IPSL encourages participants to disclose any existing medical conditions, prior to departure, so that any required care can be accessed. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply and every effort will be made for necessary accommodations. IPSL follows best practices with respect to sharing student information on a need-to-know basis with the site team abroad, the sending institution's study abroad administrators, and parents.

A portion of the program fee goes toward Medical Emergency and Evacuation insurance for the duration of a student’s program. Information about specific coverage will be sent to each student along with their pre-departure materials approximately one month prior to departure.


IPSL recognizes that students, in a new environment and culture, need the help and advice of those who know the local conditions best. IPSL students are provided with support from many people throughout the program, allowing them to gain independence step by step as they gain knowledge and familiarity with the culture and their surroundings.


The Program Director, the faculty, the agency supervisor and staff, and host families are all there to help IPSL students adjust, enjoy, and make the most of their experience. In addition to advising them on cultural, academic, medical, health and safety matters, Program Directors provide mentoring and guidance. All are professionals, fluent in English, and skilled in dealing with cross-cultural situations.

​The staff of the IPSL office in Portland, Oregon also provide assistance to students before, during and after the program. As professionals in Education Abroad, the IPSL team supports and adheres to the Forum on Education Abroad's Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Among many practices, IPSL explicitly welcomes and supports historically underrepresented and underserved populations in Education Abroad, including Black/African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino students, as well as populations of students who have not been recruited to participate in study or education abroad, including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+ students, students of color, undocumented students, non-traditionally aged students, and first generation students.

Before departing, students are given detailed information to help prepare them for their experience as well as complete contact information, including IPSL emergency contact information. Parents and students are welcome to contact the IPSL office during office hours or in the event of a student health or safety emergency by calling our 24-hour emergency telephone number.

For more information about  IPSL Safety & Security, please contact IPSL's Global Institute staff at (503) 395-IPSL (4775) or email 



Homestays: All IPSL host families are carefully selected and vetted. They go through an extensive screening, orientation and visitation process and are experienced at successfully hosting students. Families are sourced through the IPSL in-country staff and are composed of families directly or indirectly known to the Program Director. Together the chosen families form a network of support and assistance for each other and IPSL homestay participants.

As part of the pre-departure preparation for participants, information about living preferences, dietary needs and expectations are gathered and shared with the in-country staff to make the best match between a family and the participant.

Safety Abroad


IPSL proactively implements and publicizes preventative programming and responsive services to all of our students studying abroad. Given that students are enrolled in an international program, we will respond to and investigate the following complaints occurring in the context of IPSL educational and organizational programs, activities, and relationships:

  • Any situation or problem which threatens a student’s successful completion of the program.

  • A student’s death, serious injury or illness, arrest or mysterious disappearance.

  • The physical or sexual assault of a student.

  • A student’s experiencing unwanted sexual behavior, sexual harassment, relationship violence or stalking.

  • A student is accused of unwanted sexual behavior, sexual harassment, violence or stalking.

  • A criminal act committed against a student.

  • A student’s failure to attend required program activities without adequate explanation.

  • Maintain a report on the status of a victim of a crime regardless where or when the incident occurred.

  • Promptly respond, investigate and (where called for) take actions to address unequal treatment on the basis of sex.

  • Implement measures to protect the health, safety, security, confidentiality and integrity of all parties involved should there be a reporting of threat or harm against a student.

  • Provide prompt response services to any victims and/or complainant, which include access to counseling, medical assistance, resources and the opportunity to report to others, including local law enforcement, as well as the choice not to report. 

  • IPSL will follow the wishes of the complainant unless there is immediate danger to the Complainant or the community at large. Complainants may be students, employees, guests, and/or third parties.

  • Train IPSL staff based overseas on the responsibility of their roles in reporting of relevant incidences.

  • Ascertain the crime statistics and safety for our study abroad locations by obtaining up-to-date information on such areas as civil unrest, crime, security services, terrorism, kidnapping, etc. from the U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) 

To the extent possible and governed by current United States law, and to the extent the reporting party permits or requests IPSL to divulge information, IPSL will support a home institution's compliance and regulatory requirements related to the Clery Act, Title IX, and VAWA.


We encourage you to learn more about IPSL and our programs by exploring this website. Please feel free to call us at (503) 395-4775 or email us at with any questions or concerns you may have.

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