for Parents

Health & Safety

During pre-departure and the first days of orientation on site, APA covers a range of safety topics to prepare everyone with the knowledge to have a successful stay. A Prevention and Emergency Action Plan has been developed to quickly disseminate information and check in with all parties in the event of an emergency.


Whether a seasoned traveler or this is the first time outside of the country for your child, below are a few helpful tips.

Physical Disabilities & Emotional and Mental Health Concerns

  • APA works diligently to accommodate students of all capabilities. When a physical, emotional, or mental health concern is disclosed to us, APA is able to proactively work with the student to create an individualized plan that will meet their needs without sacrificing the study abroad experience. Past plans have included securing English-speaking specialist doctors, weekly therapist appointments, and handicap-accessible homestays.

Safety Tips

  • Make a copy of your son or daughter’s identity page in their passport and keep on file our Paris office address and telephone number. Once your child’s homestay is announced, have this address on file as well.
  • Make sure your son or daughter has a paper copy of your contact information including address, telephone number (including work number) and email address.
  • Register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive travel updates from the US Department of State.
  • When your son or daughter is doing any personal travel, request that he or she send you the following information: what city they will be traveling to, the dates, who they are traveling with, and where they will be staying. This information is required by the APA office prior to taking any trips.


  • APA provides personal liability insurance as part of the program fees.
  • All students are responsible for providing their own health insurance. If your son or daughter is covered under your health insurance policy, please make sure that this includes international travel.
  • Some US colleges and universities automatically enroll students in international health insurance when studying abroad. Check with your son or daughter’s study abroad office to see if this is an option and to learn more about the policy.
  • If your son or daughter will need to purchase his or her own health insurance, GeoBlue and CISI are two companies that specialize in international student coverage.
  • Consider a travel insurance plan to protect against theft or lost items, trip delays, sports, and other activities. Some student travel policies combine health and travel coverage at an affordable rate such as STA Travel. Mention APA at the time of purchase and a portion of the fees will be directed to a scholarship fund for future APA students.

Cell Phones

  • We know one of the first things students want to do is check in with friends and family to let them know that they have arrived abroad safely. International cell phone fees are costly and add up quickly so one of our first stops is a host country cell phone provider for students to purchase a host country SIM card, calling plan, and cell phone if needed. These items are often a fraction of the cost of their stateside counterparts. Unlocked American cell phones (not tied into a contract) can accept a local SIM card and calling plan and be used abroad. It is required that all students procure a local SIM card and calling plan so that they may easily be reached by APA staff, host families, and professors.