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Health and safety


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What the program provides | Our risk management | 

Health and safety are the first priorities of the Africa Field Study Semester / Canadian Field Studies in Africa program.

Our guiding principle

Students and staff must commit to uphold safety standards and to assist in maintaining the overall well-being of the group.

What the program provides for staff and students

 A Canadian doctor

The program travels in Africa with a qualified medical doctor, who will be on hand to deal with any medical concerns or emergencies. We carry an extensive medical first aid kit that is prepared each year. Students who take regular medications must bring sufficient quantities for the duration of the trip as some medications are not immediately available. It is also imperative for participants to complete the medical form in advance so the program doctor can address any special medical needs. In the event of a medical emergency the patient can be evacuated to an approved hospital by air ambulance. Our physician will accompany the patient and monitor his or her medical treatment during the hospital stay.

Partnerships with local institutions

Our links with institutional research partners in Africa ensure:

  • safe, well managed facilities;
  • access to libraries, labs, and in some cases, computers and internet;
  • knowledgeable local guides;
  • safe access to surrounding lands and communities;
  • current information on travel conditions; and
  • back up for emergencies.

Connections with the UN security system

Specifically, through our partnership with ICIPE, we have access to their medical network and the security system, which is linked to the United Nations system.

Our commitment to risk management

No travel is without surprises, and no promises of absolute security can be made when study involves travel. The conditions in which you will study in Africa will be diverse and thought provoking, but they will be monitored and managed for safety. Our staff perform a full review of local conditions before the trip - or any segment of it - is approved each year.

Your commitment to risk adverse behaviour is part of that security. Students are required to follow conduct guidelines while in the field. There is no tolerance for students participating in activities dangerous to themselves or others. Those who do not abide by the rules are asked to leave the program and may receive grades of incomplete "J" (which is a failing grade included in your GPA). This is done to provide the safest environment for all participants of the field school.

We offer full information to students about risks, including a compulsory preparatory orientation session on risk and health held in Montreal before departure.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada provides a broad range of information concerning conditions in other countries, as well as advice to help Canadians prepare for international travel.