Students, parents, or educators who need to contact HECUA due to an emergency while the student is participating in a HECUA program, please call the following staff members who are based in the United States:
Executive Director, Andrew Williams:
Office phone: 651-287-3315
After hours cell phone: 612-232-8966
Director of Finance and Operations, Jim Sauder:
Office phone: 651-287-3306
After hours cell phone: 612-968-0681
Director of U.S. Programs and Community Engagement, Emily Seru:
Office phone: 651-287-3313
After hours cell phone: 612-275-4683
Safety and Security Abroad and Off-Campus
Safety is a primary concern for all who are involved in HECUA programs. As we know firsthand from events in the United States, conditions anywhere can suddenly change. Having policies and procedures in place is critical for addressing and responding to whatever challenges come up. We realize that student participants, family members, academic advisors, faculty members, the academic institutions that send and receive students, and the homestay families who host them depend on HECUA to monitor the programs and to ensure their safety.
That’s why safety and security are at the center of our daily work. Staff in St. Paul and faculty and staff abroad constantly track the political and physical circumstances at all HECUA sites of activity. Staff and faculty monitor information provided by the U.S. Department of State about all sites outside the U.S., and our local partners at those sites provide us with updates about any situation with the potential to affect program participants. State Department Advisories and Announcements refer to areas within a country and do affect decisions about if, where, and how to run a HECUA program within a country. We subscribe to updates from the Department of State and to daily reports from media outlets that are based in and cover sites outside the U.S. We also rely on the contacts and judgments of our resident program directors, who are themselves deeply anchored within local communities and closely connected to local institutions.
Home-stay families, some of whom have hosted HECUA students for years, also provide students, program directors, and HECUA administrators with another set of perspectives on both ordinary life and unfamiliar events and can offer strategies and support as students encounter the previously unknown, whether big or small.
If information from the above sources indicates unreasonable risk for HECUA students, faculty, or staff, then a team made up of member institutions’ study abroad professionals, faculty, and legal counsel will consider alternatives that may include restricting movement of those in the program, changing the program site, or even canceling the program. Changes will be made with as much advance planning and communication as possible, but if necessary, HECUA will always take immediate and unequivocal action to ensure safety.
Following the guidelines of the Association of International Educators and The Forum on Education Abroad, HECUA has in place, as do our member institutions, a written Emergency Action Plan for managing events and ensuring safety should any event occur that affects or threatens the safety or health of any individual or group involved in a HECUA program.
Student health care is provided through the medical insurance included in the cost of every HECUA program. Our plan through Seven Corners provides up to $250,000 worth of coverage for each student, and 24-hour support services in all the countries where we operate programs. To learn about details of the Seven Corners coverage plan, or to learn more about the plan in general, please contact HECUA Student Services office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 287-3319.