Managing risk is a key part of any GoBeyond Journey.
We travel to far away places, expose ourselves to new foods, cultures, and ways of life. Some of our activities are adventurous in nature; so to say that there are no risks would be misleading.
The very nature of our experience is designed to encourage students to overcome challenges while living together in an unfamiliar environment. Many of the risks that exist are inherent, so can’t be eliminated without destroying the unique character of the activities themselves. However, awareness of these inherent risks is the key to minimizing them, creating structure around them to mitigate and reduce them in appropriate ways.
Our partners in risk management
It’s our view that travel risk management is a partnership between all parties and a process that should start before even enrolling in the program. Learn More...
Remote Medical International
Remote Medical International® (RMI) enhances the quality of the in-country onsite care by extending world-class medical advice and resources to any location in the world at any time. Learn More...
Ways that we mitigate risk
PROGRAM DESIGN & STRUCTURE
Unique to GoBeyond is that our journeys are run in collaboration with local service organizations. This allows for a high level of emergency preparedness, as on-the-ground coordinators often have the greatest understanding of local emergency resources.
STAFF EXPERIENCE & TRAINING
GoBeyond staff are multi-talented with extensive experience in international travel. All staff are first aid and CPR certified, and many hold advanced training certificates such as Wilderness First Responder or EMT.
We strive for a 5:1 student to staff ratio or better, and once our group is together, GoBeyond staff travel with the students full-time and are available 24 hours a day. While most excursions are done as a whole group, student exploration in small groups without staff is permitted only in approved locations.
All programs are equipped with international cell phones, and staff keep in regular contact with the GoBeyond office. When students are allowed to explore in small groups without staff, GoBeyond safety policies dictate that they should carry their personal cell phones in order to reduce risk.
From our pre-trip information packets to our location specific and project orientations, students have the opportunity to learn about GoBeyond safety policies and how to minimize risks when traveling and volunteering abroad.
What we expect from you
Parent & Student Responsibility
It’s our view that risk management is a partnership between all parties, and a process that should start before even enrolling in the program.
Parents, you know your children best, so it’s important to learn as much as you can about the journeys and GoBeyond’s safety policies so you can make an informed decision as to whether our program is a good fit at this stage of your child’s development.
Through experience, we know that each student has his or her own personal comfort zone. Whether related to immersing themselves in a new social environment, trying new activities or even tasting new foods, we are all a little different. Our goal is to create a challenging yet physically and emotionally safe environment for our students, yet the GoBeyond experience is not necessarily for everyone.
GoBeyond journeys are run exclusively overseas, often in remote locations so the health and well-being of our students are top priorities. While most Journeys are only moderately physically challenging, all programs are designed to provide an intensely emotional and interpersonal experience. Students are sometimes asked to do things they may not believe they are capable of doing. Part of our travel risk management process is to develop confidence that these activities can be accomplished. This confidence is based on our collective 40 years of experience and the skills of our facilitators along with the measured expectation that the student is fully committed to working hard, taking responsibility for him or her self to work effectively in the group to achieve the goals of the program. We expect the following from our students: Personal safety, good judgment, and appropriate leadership behavior.
Appropriate Leadership Behavior
- Follow the conduct guidelines as laid out in the GoBeyond student agreement contract
- Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem-solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.
- Contribute to a safe learning environment—no inappropriate verbal or physical behavior toward others is tolerated for any reason.
- Be able to willingly and equally share responsibility with teammates in daily group tasks. Each student may not do an equal share each day, but over a period of several days, each student should do a proportionate share. All students are learning the skills and being challenged by the conditions and activities; there can be no expectation that any other student will be able to continually assume a greater share of the work or that an instructor can continually focus a greater share of his/her energy and time on one student.
- Effectively communicate ideas and concerns on an individual and group level.
- Have the cognitive ability to learn necessary skills given normal time limitations of a GoBeyond Journey.
Personal Safety & Good Judgement
- Be able to stay alert and to focus attention for up to several hours at a time while attending classes, or receiving instructions.
- If taking prescription medications, be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from instructors or others (unless otherwise discussed with GoBeyond).
- Be able to effectively signal or notify instructors or other student team members of personal distress, injury, or need for assistance.
- Recall and understand hazards and risks previously explained by staff.
- Recognize and understand the hazards and risks posed by other team members, which include, but are not limited to, fatigue, state of mind, and actions that may influence judgment and decision-making.
- Be able to effectively alert and warn others of potential or impending dangers such as broken equipment or shifting environmental conditions (rain, wind etc).
- Act responsibly around above-stated hazards to minimize risk even when not directly supervised.
Remote Medical International
Our Risk Management Partner
A Seattle-based company with an international footprint, Remote Medical International® (RMI) enhances the quality of the in-country onsite care by extending world-class medical advice and resources to any location in the world at any time.
The RMI Global Coordination Center is accessible by phone or email 24/7, and on average it takes only seven seconds to speak to a medical coordination specialist who oversees all aspects of case management and provides resources which include:
- Medical Advice partnered with the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates
- Medical Facility Referrals
- Global Evacuation Coordination
- Hospital Admission and Payment Guarantees
- Prescription Authorization
- Medical Interpretation