Student Safety

The first priority of OSAP is the health and safety of every participant and staff member. OSAP appreciates that international issues are at the forefront of the news and can sometimes cause alarm to families. While OSAP cannot guarantee a risk-free environment, every member of the OSAP staff is committed to the well-being of every student during their experience in Oxford.

Ultimately, however, it is the behavior of each participant that is the single most important factor. Prior to departure, OSAP expects every student to read the pre-departure material contained in the Acceptance Documentation and  Student Handbook in preparation for their journey to England and living and studying in Oxford.

On arrival in Oxford, the OSAP staff provides an on-site orientation to familiarize participants to England, cultural expectations, safety concerns, and guidelines for daily living. Trained and well-prepared to advise, assist, and accompany participants in times of need, the OSAP staff is a knowledgeable and supportive network.

Because personal responsibility is so important to the safety and well-being of students, OSAP expects each student to consider the following:

  • Always act responsibly.
  • Give careful consideration to physical and mental health and any special needs before deciding to apply to live and study abroad.
  • Provide accurate physical and mental health information when applying to OSAP.  This information will be given to an Oxford physician.
  • Comply with the OSAP Terms of Participation, the Code of Conduct, and Emergency Procedures, as listed on the OSAP website, Student Handbook, and elsewhere.
  • Obey the laws of the United Kingdom and of any other countries visited during breaks or vacation periods.
  • Avoid irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
  • Do not purchase, sell, or use drugs or other illegal substances.
  • Always behave in a respectful manner to everyone.
  • Accept responsibility for personal decisions and actions.
  • Keep families or guardians, informed of plans to travel away from Oxford.
  • Inform OSAP staff about travel plans.
  • Promptly express any safety concerns to OSAP staff.

Emergencies and Emergency Protocols

In the event of an emergency, OSAP will convene its Emergency Management Team (EMT), which consists at least of the Academic Director, Administrative Director, and Accommodation Manager. The EMT is responsible for assessing, in consultation with local and national (and, where appropriate, international) authorities, the possible risk(s) to OSAP staff and students, and implementing protocols aimed at ensuring safety for all.

These protocols are reviewed regularly in light of changing standards of good practice, risk management, updated guidelines issued by local, regional, and national authorities, and discussions with larger forums of study abroad and international study providers.

Should local or national conditions and/or emergencies (e.g. natural disaster, severe threat of terrorism or terrorist-related activities, popular or civilian unrest or protest) or official authorities require precautionary steps to be taken, OSAP’s EMT is prepared to do the following (this list, of course, is not exhaustive, and may vary depending upon the nature and severity of any emergency):

  • Contact participants as soon as possible to determine their well-being and give information, instructions, and advice;
  • Advise participants to contact their parents, guardians, or emergency contacts as soon as possible;
  • Contact and liaise with the U.S. Embassy and also confer with other study abroad providers and/or U.S. enterprises in the area;
  • Depending on the situation, the EMT may gather OSAP staff and students together in one location–either in an OSAP property or, if the situation should dictate, an “off-campus” location;
  • Contact the home universities with an update about the emergency (regularly if warranted);
  • In consultation with the home universities, OSAP may report to participants’ families and emergency contacts.

In the event of an emergency, OSAP will endeavor to keep all students, families/guardians, and home universities/sending campuses regularly updated via phone and email. Should they be warranted, bulletins may also be posted as an “Emergency Announcement” on the home page of the OSAP website (

All participants, their home universities, and families or guardians are encouraged to visit the following websites for more information about health and safety related to living and studying abroad:

U.S. Department of State: USA Study Abroad
U.S. Department of State: Travel Alerts and Warnings

Any prospective students, or their families, guardians, or home universities with additional questions or concerns about living abroad, safety or security, or OSAP’s emergency protocols, are encouraged to contact OSAP at [email protected].

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