Students, faculty, or staff who are studying abroad or in a host community and experience sexual or interpersonal violence have access to Miami University resources, procedures, and protocol. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault/misconduct, domestic/dating violence, or stalking you have many options, resources, and services available to you. Please see Miami University’s Title IX site for complete information on resources, services, and options.
Title IX Policy and Resources
Miami University is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, and working environment and to creating an environment that promotes responsibility, dignity, and respect. This commitment extends to all global programs, whether domestic or international. All Miami University students, faculty, and staff are expected to adhere to Miami University policies, protocols, and guidelines even while studying abroad. Regardless of location, safety is important and should be taken very seriously. Host communities may have different cultural norms and attitudes regarding students, nationality, gender, race, sexual orientation, and many other identifying characteristics. These cultural differences are important to recognize and determine how they may impact life and safety abroad.
Host Communities While Abroad
Every community has different societal expectations. What is appropriate in one community may not be appropriate or expected in another community, even within the same country. Orientation sessions for students are geared to provide appropriate information and resources in order to prepare students for their experience in the program and in their Host Community. This is a good opportunity to educate students about the location where they will study abroad. Here is a list of questions we have asked them to consider prior to reaching the host community:
- What is it like in the host community?
- How are students assimilated into the host community?
- What are the safety concerns and how does the organization mitigate those risks?
- What are the stereotypes of Americans in my host community?
- How do gender roles differ in the host community?
- What are the cultural/expected norms for gender?
- Are there expected ways for an individual to talk with, approach, or act towards each other based upon gender, race, or other characteristic?
- What is the living, learning, and transportation arrangements?
- What are the local laws I should be aware of?
- What are the rules of the host institution?
Safety Tips While Abroad
Miami strives for a safe, inclusive, and respectful study abroad experience. Personal safety is as important while studying abroad as it is at home or on campus. Each community contains their own safety issues, concerns, or questions and the host community in which you are entering may require specific information, details, or tips for students and/or employees. The following is a short list of tips regarding safety while abroad:
- Your personal safety is paramount.
- Maintain a key awareness of your surroundings.
- Dress in a culturally appropriate way.
- Travel in groups.
- Don’t walk home alone.
- Know local emergency phone numbers.
- Know your program’s emergencies numbers and carry your Faculty-Led Education Abroad/Away Emergency Contact Card with you at all times.
- Locate the nearest US embassies and/or consulates before you reach your host community.
- Be aware of local customs (e.g. where and when eye contact is acceptable).
- Tell someone where you are going, when you plan to return, and what to do if you do not return on time.
Behavior and relationships may be viewed differently in host communities than students are accustomed. Be aware of norms regarding gender, behavior, dating, and relationships in your host community and share this information with students to better prepare them to immerse themselves and respect the culture into which they are entering. Public displays of affection may not be tolerated and different gender groups or friendships should be considered based upon the host community. It is important to educate yourself and your students on the social norms and local laws, particularly in regard to gender equality and same-sex relationships. Every student is encouraged to speak with peers, staff, or faculty who have been in the host community to obtain information, tips, and resources.
The Office of Student Wellness serves to enhance the community by providing educational resources and services that promote the health and wellness of Miami students. The office coordinates programming initiatives, provides information, raises awareness, and influences policies. The staff includes professionals and peer educators who can assist students on a wide variety of health-related topics as their office strives to provide information and knowledge that will result in healthy choices.
The Education Abroad office in Global Initiatives supports students and faculty through advising and consulting services before, during, and after the education abroad experience. The Education Abroad office provides risk management and crisis management support to faculty, staff, and student travelers through a well-coordinated, collaborative effort, with experts within the university, as well as contracted providers, and specialists in education abroad. (513) 529-8600
- Help for U. S. Citizen Victims of Crime
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources, 1-800-799-7233, TTY 1-800-787-3224