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Group Leaders' Safety Responsibilities

Throughout the years, we’ve found that professors know how to best care for their students. That’s why Group Leaders work closely with their Field Director as the point person for each traveler’s safety and conduct.

Prior to your program, the Group Leader is responsible for:

  • Setting expectations for good behavior: It’s a Group Leader’s responsibility to maintain appropriate traveler conduct while on your program. Before departure, set clear expectations for travelers’ behavior (curfew, rules regarding drinking, etc.). You must also take disciplinary action should there be any infractions of these rules. The rules you may or may not choose to set are at your discretion as a Group Leader. However, it is always a good rule of thumb to have a conversation with your group before departure regarding the behavioral expectations for them while abroad.

  • Meeting with co-Group Leaders: Prior to departure, Group Leaders should meet with their co-leaders to discuss their roles and responsibilities. On arrival day, they will meet with the other Group Leaders they’ll be traveling with to discuss their objectives for the program, as well as any other important goals for their students that all groups should be aware of. Discussing plans together and addressing any questions or concerns daily promotes cohesion within the larger group. This can also be addressed prior to your program, which is ideal. Email addresses of the Group Leaders you’ll be traveling with will be provided on your online toolkit.

  • Being familiar with medical histories: Group Leaders have a responsibility to be familiar with the health and medical background of their travelers. Ask your Program Consultant for our Health and Medical Profile form to collect this information from students, should your institution not have a process to collect this information. Travelers' health and medical information does not need to be submitted to EF Study Abroad prior to travel.

While abroad, the Group Leader is responsible for:

  • Supervision of the group at all times: The Group Leader (or a designated responsible adult) must accompany the group at all times, including during meals, sightseeing excursions and optional excursions. The Group Leader is not required to accompany students everywhere during free time, but they should always have a general idea of where students are and set up meeting places, etc.

  • Assisting with room assignments: The Field Director may need the Group Leader’s help upon arrival at each hotel as traveler rooming configurations may change from one hotel to the next.

  • Checking attendance and “counting heads”: Group Leaders will ensure that all travelers are accounted for. This might include having travelers count off or divide into smaller buddy groups.

  • Staying behind in an emergency: In the case of illness, accident, lost passport or anything that causes a traveler to remain behind, the Group Leader must stay with this traveler. They also must ensure that the rest of the group is accompanied by a responsible adult. If there are no other adults, the entire group will stay behind.