Over half a million American students travel outside the US each year. These are among our best and brightest, our future leaders and entrepreneurs.
Currently, the multibillion dollar, study abroad industry is self-regulated. There are no federal or international laws protecting our students outside the U.S. and no jurisdiction when their feet touch foreign soil. Programs and universities hosting youth abroad are not even required to report such things as theft, robbery, injury, sexual assault, or death. Students are sent to foreign countries with vague awareness of the dangers they could encounter, little preparedness on how to assess and manage risks, and even less knowledge of what to do if/when they find themselves in harms way.
Depart Smart, established in 2010, strives to advance safe global youth travel.