What are some of your biggest safety concerns?

We have found that often times the risks parents are most concerned about ones that – while potentially very serious – are also highly unlikely whereas some of the risks that we concern ourselves with administratively are rarely at the forefront of parents minds. For example, in Costa Rica, there may be a very small chance of contracting a serious vector disease, like Dengue Fever. While we certainly have epidemiological risk on our radar (particularly if hyper-local environmental or geographical factors dictate enhanced precautions), we spend a lot of our risk management cycles on the same “mundane” risk factors that exist in comparable environments in the US. Things like water safety and students’ emotional safety. In Costa Rica, we are also concerned with food safety and transportation safety. Through careful risk assessments, program planning, staff hiring and training, and a student-based approach to risk management, we reduce the potential for incidents. When an incident occurs, our field staff work with our administrative team and ISOS Emergency Assistance team to respond. We have dealt with serious incidents in the field in the past and are confident in our ability to effectively manage risk and respond to emergencies if and when they arise.