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Be Your Own Risk Manager

GSO does its utmost to ensure the safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff while they are traveling. However, our office recommends that you supplement this support by being your own risk manager, as our office cannot predict everything that might occur in the each and every travel destination. Things you can do include: researching the top five risks in your destination, looking at the U.S. Department of State's rating of the destination, and thinking through various situations that might occur during your travel and how you might react to those situations.
A special note for faculty and staff who are leading students abroad: During their orientation sessions, students will be introduced to this concept and will be given tools to enact these principles throughout their time abroad. Nevertheless, research indicates that reinforcement of these ideas is vital in ensuring that students understand the overall importance of acting as their own risk manager. Please consider addressing this concept during your own pre-departure orientations and again on-site when your students arrive. The number one best method for mitigating risk is to enact strategies that prevent an adverse situation from occurring. By acting as their own risk manager, students can do their part to reduce risk. Consider the example below, and some potential ways in which you would respond.


Example: In your country there is an elevated risk for pickpocketing. How would you use that information to manage your own risk?

  • Consider where you are carrying your valuables.
    • Backpack? maybe carry valuables in your inner pocket without exposure to bottom of bag.
    • Pocket? Always carry in the front.
  • Consider leaving some cards/money/valuables at home.
    • Only carry what you will use plus one back up.
  • Plan for how you will react if approached by a pickpocket.
    • Surrender what they want while trying to remember as many details about them/the encounter as possible.
  • Plan for how you will report to authorities.
    • Police, program, parents, On-Call.

Please contact the Director of Global Safety & Operations with questions or concerns.