Safety and Security

Policies and Practices

IAU prides itself on having experienced staff who are committed to the safety and security of each and every student. Against this solid background of experience, IAU enthusiastically supports and endorses the recent establishment of the Health and Safety Guidelines for Study Abroad, as published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. IAU also endeavors to meet the safety and security guidelines set forth by the Forum on Education Abroad in its Standards of Good Practice.

Student safety is very important to us. In addition to observing and promoting the guidelines mentioned above, regular IAU practices regarding student health and safety include the following:

  1. Each student is registered with the U.S. Consulate in Marseille or Barcelona, depending on their program. Registration at the U.S. Consulate makes the student’s whereabouts known and makes it possible for a consular officer to contact the student in an emergency.

  2. Photocopies of student passports and visas are kept on file at IAU and are accessible to appropriate staff in the U.S. and abroad.

  3. Personal health and safety for each student is addressed on the initial program application which requests a physician’s statement that the student is in good health and not likely to require medical attention while abroad.

  4. Pre-arrival materials advise students to observe basic common sense and reasonable prudence with respect to personal behavior and preventive medicine while abroad. Periodic reminders are issued throughout the semester from Deans and On-Site Directors.

  5. Pre-arrival materials include a liability release form signed by each student to make them aware of the determinant role which their personal conduct may play in avoiding risk.

  6. Safety matters are discussed during on-site orientation at the start of each term with particular attention given to any behaviors or areas of town which should be avoided, use of public telephones, and accessing emergency services for police and medical assistance.

  7. A confidential file is maintained by staff with emergency contact information of parents or guardians and/or any special medical conditions of the student.

  8. Each student is expected to keep in their possession an IAU identification card which lists telephone numbers of the Institute, and the French or Spanish national numbers for emergency medical help.

  9. IAU staff maintains up-to-date lists of emergency contact information for both parents/guardians as well as home institution advisor for each student as provided in their initial application to IAU.

  10. Students are invited to follow IAU social media channels prior to arrival on-site. News, updates, and travel recommendations made by the U.S. State Department are posted here as well as sent to students via email when appropriate.

  11. A list of Anglophone doctors and dentists is available in the Health and Wellness Center in Aix and Barcelona.

  12. Students are discouraged from engaging in high-risk leisure activities while abroad.

  13. Each student is required to subscribe to a health insurance policy while enrolled at IAU which includes major medical, repatriation, and medical evacuation.

  14. Before departing on any non-Institute travel during weekend or vacation periods, students are required to “sign out” with IAU personnel by submitting an online form with their expected destination, contact numbers if possible, and expected date of return. This information is available to appropriate U.S. and French/Spanish staff.

  15. In case of emergency, IAU staff initiate a student check-in using email, phone, social media, and on-site contacts to confirm the safety and location of each IAU student. This information is communicated regularly to both university partners and emergency contacts until each student has been accounted for and/or the emergency has resolved.

  16. Each On-Site Director and Dean is furnished with a mobile phone that is accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to facilitate communication at any time in emergency situations.

  17. Faculty and staff who accompany students off-site are also equipped with mobile phones.

  18. When public announcements concerning American citizens are received from the U.S. Consulate, students are informed by email and/or SMS texting, and the announcement is also posted on bulletin boards throughout IAU buildings.

  19. IAU is registered with the United States Department of State listserv advisory service which communicates country specific travel advisories as well as information of concern to American citizens abroad. Public announcements are immediately communicated to all On-Site Directors and Deans for communication to students.

  20. In the event of a local, national, or international emergency, the Institute follows the instructions issued by the U.S. State Department and the French government authorities.

For further information outlining the safety and security guidelines and advisories mentioned above, please consult the following websites:






IAU recommends that students take the time to view the University of Texas at Austin's Culture of Safety Video