Student wellbeing and safety are our first priorities. To these ends, AIA provides students with orientation sessions, handbooks, and knowledgable support staff for both daily life and emergency needs.
We also strive to help each student become self-reliant in an unfamiliar culture. So our support services are designed, not only to address specific needs but also to help students build both the awareness and self-confidence necessary to deal with the challenges of living abroad, whether inside the program sphere or outside of it.
Before arriving in Rome, students receive AIA pre-departure information to help them prepare for their experience abroad. When students arrive, we provide them with a thorough orientation to living in the local community, as well as printed and digital handbooks, IDs and other support material.
AIA staff are available on-site Monday to Friday to provide direct assistance with facilities and equipment, to receive and hold mail and packages, to assist with typical student life issues such as locating commercial and city services, using public transportation, and locating medical services, from pharmacies to physicians, etc. AIA staff are also accessible by telephone 24-7 for emergency assistance.
AIA pre-departure information includes a digital handbook, visa application advice, FAQs, housing information, packing and shipping advice, and an arrival guide. AIA can also provide live video information sessions, and social media groups.
The AIA student handbook is a useful tool with information about student life issues, from transportation to shopping to museums. It contains a list of local medical and mental heath professionals, and also deals with safety issues of crime, drugs, drinking, etc..
“AIA’s comprehensive student handbook serves as a model for the information it includes as well as its presentation style. We, at UTSA, are using it as a template for all of our international programs.”
Richard Diem – Dean, Honors College
University of Texas at San Antonio
Upon arrival, AIA staff hold thorough orientation sessions covering student services and facilities, living in the host city/country, health and safety issues, conduct, etc. Students receive safety cards and photo ID cards, printed handbooks, and several maps annotated with useful shops and service points. We thoroughly discuss issues of personal safety and awareness of one’s surroundings, avoiding unsafe situations, unsafe personal and group conduct, handling money and valuables, using public transportation, safety in the facilities and housing — including fire safety and first aid procedures, etc. Depending on the program, orientation sessions can include social, cultural and historical introductions in the classroom and on site.
Student ID Card
Students receive a photo ID with emergency contact info including phone numbers of local authorities, clinics and hospitals, and a 24hr AIA contact number.
AIA provides assistance with urgent medical needs or police reports. AIA staff will respond to emergency calls to offer immediate telephone assistance and on-site assistance when necessary. AIA staff will coordinate further response with home institution personnel as needed. AIA staff help students make appointments with local physicians, dentist, therapists, and psychiatrists. In emergencies, students are advised to go directly to a medical facility. When necessary, AIA staff can accompany students to the hospital or police station to assist with communication.
Adult students remain responsible for their own health, safety and legal needs. So AIA encourages personal responsibility, attention to health concerns and awareness of emergency preparedness.
AIA offers comfortable, safe and convenient housing to students from short stays to semester programs. See the AIA Housing page for more information.