ECC's on-line pre-departure orientation covers a variety of valuable information and provides recommended safety precautions, links to a number of health and safety resources, and important ECC information for emergency situations.
Prior to their departure from the U.S., ECC students are given detailed information regarding their airport pick-up and transportation and are advised to only accept rides from the specified individuals. Upon the students' arrival to the program site, the ECC staff facilitates an orientation meeting to provide useful information on acclimation to the host culture as well as emergency situation procedures. The staff provides all students with instructions regarding the protocol to follow in the event of a political crisis, terrorist event, natural disaster, or other emergency. Each program participant is provided with a Contact Card upon arrival that contains 24h cell phone number for emergencies and the local equivalent to the U.S. emergency "911" number. Students are strongly encouraged to carry the contact card with them at all times while on the program. During orientation, students also receive names, addresses, and phone numbers of medical facilities at the program site. Medical facilities are recommended based on the quality of their services, proximity to the areas in which students live and/or to ECC, and their experience providing services to American students.
Emergency contact information
It is advisable to carry a mobile phone with you with the most important emergency contact information you find below. Remember that you are not alone so contact us in case of a problem or doubt. You can easily purchase a prepaid cell phone or sim card once you are here. The school will be happy to inform you about it.
Medical insurance is included in the price and covers the program participant for the official on-site period of program. This is not an optional benefit; every ECC participant will be covered by the IATI medical insurance coverage. ECC requires that all students have comprehensive insurance and has arranged for a group insurance policy. A detailed description of the coverage may be found here
While there are no risk-free residential areas in any American or foreign city, ECC's student housing accommodations are located in areas deemed to be of lower risk. The same attentiveness is given to the arrangement of lodging during ECC-organized excursions. Hotels are selected based on the security of the area in which the accommodations are located, and also on their proximity to the sites to be visited. Furthermore, all students are provided with a description of their host family or housing arrangements and a contact telephone number prior to their departure in the event that a family member in the U.S. needs to contact the student abroad.
Private excursions at weekends
ECC participants are required to inform ECC anytime they travel outside Granada. ECC participants must provide emergency contact information and must also update the school staff should their travel plans change. This is a precaution that is required as it could be necessary in the event of an emergency. Travel form online
Potential Evacuation of Students from Program Site
In case of serious political, public, weather, and terror incidents, ECC will be responsible for helping evacuation. Any decision to evacuate participants from an ECC program site will be based largely on the advisories and warnings of the U.S. State Department, but also on information gathered from news media, local government and law enforcement agencies. In the event the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Warning for Spain after the program has started, and if the warning also includes an official State Department recommendation that all U.S. citizens evacuate the country, ECC's default action will be to evacuate students. Evacuation efforts will include the following:
- ECC staff will work to help students make necessary changes to their return flights back to the United States. Students will be responsible for any fees charged by airline to change flights. ECC is prepared to temporarily cover these fees for participants who cannot pay. A detailed accounting of the expenses incurred by ECC on behalf of students will be maintained, and participants will be invoiced for the costs accordingly.
- ECC office, computers and phones at the locations will be made available for students to contact airlines and/or interested parties. The ECC office would serve as the main communications center, although all ECC student housing are also equipped with phones and internet.
- ECC will be ready to offer assistance. ECC staff is prepared to provide various resources in the event of a political unrest, and these resources would include meeting spaces, communications infrastructure, and temporary safe havens, should the entire ECC group need to remain in one place at one time to coordinate the evacuation response.
- Per the U.S. State Department web page on section regarding evacuation (www.state.gov): "Sometimes commercial transportation entering and leaving a country is disrupted during a political upheaval or natural disaster. If this happens, and if it appears unsafe for Americans to remain, the embassy and consulates will work with the task force in Washington to charter special airflights and ground transportation to help Americans to depart. The U.S. Government cannot order Americans to leave a foreign country. It can only advise and try to assist those who wish to leave.
- ECC will arrange for ECC participants' ground transportation to airport(s). Evacuation by ground transport to neighboring cities or countries may also be necessary due to airport closures, overbooking of flights, or loss of access to nearby airports. ECC will arrange and cover the expenses for this transportation. ECC agreements with providers of ground transportation will facilitate these efforts.
- ECC staff can assist students who may need to be rerouted through those locations.
- If evacuation is delayed due to circumstances beyond the students' control, ECC will arrange for students' extended housing in the host country. Students will be responsible for covering the costs of the extended housing and related incidental expenses. For students who are temporarily unable to pay, ECC is prepared to offer temporary financial assistance. Detailed accounting of the expenses incurred by ECC will be maintained and the participants will be invoiced for the costs.
- ECC will use its resources and communications network to try to keep interested parties (e.g. home institution, parents, embassy etc.) informed, as necessary and appropriate, of the students' whereabouts, status, and wellbeing.
- ECC will salvage the work they've completed during their time in Granada. ECC cannot guarantee that these efforts will be successful. ECC will explore the possibility of completing the cancelled program at an alternative location.
- If ECC cannot provide students with a reasonable means of completing the academic coursework for the affected program, ECC will make attempts to recover and refund tuition plus any other recoverable program costs.