Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Tool Objectives:

  1. To identify potential health and safety risks associated with international travel.
  2. To practice responding to health and safety emergencies that may occur while abroad and to evaluate these responses.
  3. To develop a comprehensive program-specific, emergency response plan.

Tool Description:

This tool utilizes small group exercises to develop health and safety protocols for international travel, culminating in a program-specific emergency response plan. Through this process, students explore best practices for responding to potential crises that can arise while traveling abroad. Engaging students in a collaborative process toward preparing an emergency response plan will further sensitize students to the possible risks associated with international travel and better prepare the group as a whole to respond appropriately in the event of an emergency.

Tool Procedures:

  1. Facilitate a discussion on previous international travel. Begin by asking students if they have ever encountered a crisis while traveling, how they responded and what, in retrospect, they might have done differently. Ask students what kinds of risks are associated while traveling abroad, specifically on short-term education abroad travel, and what unique health and safety factors are associated with international travel. Introduce the goals of the activity and the process through which the class will develop a program-specific, emergency response plan.
  2. Form three groups. Each group will be responsible for researching one broad issue related to health and safety while traveling abroad and preparing a key section of the final emergency response plan. Topics include, 1.) Crime, Safety & Health, 2.) Geography, and 3.) Communication and Emergency Response. If the class enrollment is large, a fourth group may focus on precautions to avoid being subject to anti-American threats while abroad. Partial class time should be allotted for group research.
  3. Class presentations. Each group should present their findings and seek class and professor input and feedback. Within one week of class presentations, each group should submit their section for the final emergency response plan. The course professor should merge these sections, making edits as needed, and produce a hard-copy for each student. The document could be supplemented with a class roster, travel itinerary, etc.
  4. Facilitate small group discussions of potential emergency scenarios. In small groups, not necessarily the research groups, have students refer to the emergency response plan and other travel documents (i.e., health insurance plan, etc) to brainstorm appropriate responses to potential emergency scenarios (i.e., local unrest, health emergency, incapacitated faculty leader, etc.).

Tool Evaluation:

Evaluation not needed. If the course is recurring, the group research may be to revise and resubmit, rather than working from scratch.

Tool Time Requirement:

2-3 partial class sessions, or as needed (pre-departure)

Tool Author(s):

C. Sheldon & A. Ogden, 2009

Tool Handouts [.doc or .docx]:
Emergency Preparedness Handout

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.