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Since 1975, KIIS has placed the highest priority on the health, safety, and security of all its students. All KIIS programs count on the support of a dedicated group of professors and administrators, both at home and abroad. The KIIS office and each Program Director are trained and experienced in student orientation, risk assessment, and crisis management. Program Directors are also extremely knowledgeable about the socioeconomic, political, cultural, linguistic, environmental, and medical norms and practices of their respective program sites.

Insurance
Through CISI Insurance (Cultural Insurance Services International), KIIS provides all participating students and faculty with comprehensive medical insurance ($500,000 max, $0 deductible) while abroad on KIIS programs. KIIS-CISI insurance coverage no longer applies after the completion of the KIIS program.
The KIIS-CISI policy also provides students and faculty with several additional benefits:

  Security Evacuation Protection provides evacuation services in the event of threats of political, security, and natural disaster in the      host country (the benefit pays for the evacuation of students and faculty from the host country and their return to the U.S.).

  Trip Interruption Benefit ($2,500 max) offers to return the KIIS participant to the U.S. (and back to their KIIS program if desired) in the      event a family member (parents, children, siblings, or grandparents) passes away or becomes gravely ill.

  Emergency Medical Evacuation Benefit returns KIIS participants to the U.S. should they suffer a Medical Emergency during the      course of their KIIS program and require Emergency Medical Evacuation.

  The KIIS-CISI policy pays 100% of the cost for repatriation of remains.

  KIIS does not provide other forms of trip cancellation insurance (i.e. should you need to cancel your participation in the program      prior to departure or leave the program prematurely while abroad). Should you wish to purchase trip cancellation insurance      (recommended), consider Worldwide Trip Protector through Travel Insured International or similar options at www.insuremytrip.com.

  KIIS does not provide Property Insurance: Students may wish to purchase their own property insurance to insure their property from      loss or theft while abroad, since out-of-pocket replacement expenses for laptops, smartphones, digital cameras, etc. can be quite      costly.

Terrorism
In addition to the Security Evacuation Protection outlined above, The KIIS-CISI policy provides Trip Cancellation—Terrorism. The benefit pays up to $5000 of protection to recover non-refundable expenses already paid due to loss if the scheduled trip must be canceled within 45 days of departure from the U.S. due to terrorist activities (as determined by the U.S. State Department).

KIIS reserves the right to cancel any of its programs due to war, political unrest, terrorism, natural disaster, unforeseen circumstances, or a travel warning issued by the U.S. State Department.

U.S. Department of State
Prior to departure, KIIS enrolls student and faculty program participants in the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The STEP program is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. The information provided allows the Department of State to better assist KIIS student and faculty participants in the event of an emergency abroad.

KIIS encourages student participants to look over the Department of State's website specifically aimed at students who travel abroad.

Health & Safety Guidelines
For each program, KIIS follows the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC recommends that students have up-to-date immunizations, including tetatus, MMR, and polio. For the CDC's H1N1 precautions, click here. For additional health and safety information regarding individual study abroad program locations, KIIS recommends that all students consult with their family physicians, local health department, and the CDC's guidelines.

All students admitted into KIIS programs are required to read and sign several documents, including the Program Contract, Agreement and Assumption of Risk, and Medical History & Disability Accommodation. It is the student's responsibility to read each document carefully. KIIS also strongly encourages Admitted Students to read carefully their program specific KIIS Student Handbook (accessed by students in their online account); it contains valuable information on host country norms and values, what to expect abroad and guidelines on how to behave abroad, health and safety protocols, medical and emergency protocols, individual and group flights, academic schedule and requirements, meals and lodging, communication, independent travel, and more. All students and faculty must also attend the mandatory KIIS pre-departure orientation. Program participants are expected to abide by the rules and guidelines outlined in the Program Contract, Agreement and Assumption of Risk, Student Handbook, and KIIS orientation.

Disability Accommodations
KIIS makes every effort to offer students with disabilities an opportunity to participate on its study abroad programs. Students should be aware that in many foreign countries there is no comprehensive legislation that protects individuals in ways comparable to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, businesses and other establishments operating in foreign countries, which may provide KIIS support services such as lodging or transportation, may not have made any provisions for disability accommodations. Therefore, while KIIS will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodation for program participants with special needs, KIIS cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

Immediately after acceptance into their KIIS program, students are required to notify KIIS if they have a special need or disability that might require any form of accommodation abroad. Students requiring accommodations will also register with WKU's Student Accessibility Resource Center and supply documentation from a licensed professional for the type of disability and any necessary accommodations. In some cases, students may need to make arrangements, including financial provisions for a care-giver to join them on the program, should their physician, university disability office, or KIIS make such a recommendation.

Students should not request accommodations directly from their KIIS Program Director or KIIS faculty, but instead should contact KIIS directly at 270-745-4416 or haley.mctaggart@wku.edu.

If a student fails to notify KIIS immediately following acceptance into his/her KIIS program of a special need or disability, the student may not be permitted to participate on his/her KIIS program.

KIIS encourages students with disabilities to contact their Campus Representative before applying to discuss what accommodations they may require. Feel free to contact KIIS at any time should you have any questions or concerns.

Orientation
All students participating on KIIS study abroad programs must attend a mandatory student orientation prior to departure. Summer program orientations are held in April; Spring Semester orientations are held in December and; Fall Semester orientations are held in August (click here for specific dates and locations). A participating student's parents or other emergency contacts are welcome to attend the orientation. The orientation is designed to inform students of what they can expect in the foreign setting. Among the topics discussed at the orientation: host country culture and laws, academics, housing, health and safety, social and sexual mores, climate, unfamiliar or different terrain, money matters, communications, traffic, independent travel, and packing. If for any reason a student cannot attend the mandatory orientation, a $150 fee will be added to the student's program fee to cover the cost of carrying out an individual orientation.

In addition to the pre-departure orientation, Program Directors provide all students with a second, in-country orientation shortly after their arrival at the program site.

Program Preparation

Travel in foreign countries may present risks to students. The pre-departure and in-country orientations are designed to inform students of many of those risks. Students are also expected to take responsibility for informing themselves of potential risks and dangers involved in study abroad. In researching study abroad programs, students may find some useful links throughout the KIIS website. In order to gain the most from studying abroad, students are encouraged to research their chosen program site and/or country prior to departure.Below are a few resources to begin your research.

  Read "Young, American and Abroad"
  Watch "Safety and Street Smarts Abroad" Videos 1 / 2 / 3

Conduct, Discipline, and Expulsion Policy
KIIS has established certain rules and guidelines for participation, both general and program-specific. As participants, students are expected to conform to acceptable standards of behavior. Any student who, in the judgment of the Program Director, does not behave accordingly will receive a disciplinary warning or be expelled from the program. Any costs so incurred (including in-country transportation, lodging, meals, and transportation for immediate return to the United States) will be borne by the student. KIIS reports all disciplinary incidents, including expulsion, to the participant's home institution. Each home institution reserves the right to take further action against the participant. Expulsion from a KIIS program will result in the termination of status as a program participant and failing grades in all KIIS courses. KIIS will provide an official transcript of the failing grades to the student's home institution. No refund of any kind is issued to any student dismissed from a KIIS program. Once dismissed, the former participant is not permitted to remain in KIIS program facilities (such as housing) nor participate in any KIIS program group activities.

As part of the application process, accepted students will be provided with copies of rules and guidelines, and asked to sign that they understand and agree to adhere to those rules and guidelines.

Emergencies
Emergencies can occur when students are participating in study abroad programs. KIIS provides full logistical support to students in the event of an emergency. KIIS recommends that at least one family member be holding a valid passport in the event that he/she deems it necessary to make an emergency trip abroad.

In the event of an emergency, contact either:

  Dr. John Dizgun (KIIS Executive Director) at 270-227-2288 (cell)

  Ms. Rebekah Golla (KIIS Assistant Director) at 270-779-8091 (cell)


Questions
: Contact KIIS at 270-745-4416 or haley.mctaggart@wku.edu. Fax 270-745-4413.


KIIS--Western Kentucky University / 1906 College Heights Blvd #11030 / Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030 / Tel. 270-745-4416 / Fax. 270-745-4413 / kiis@wku.edu / www.kiis.org