Center for International and Cultural Education
The mission of the Center for International and Cultural Education is to foster compassion, empathy, and global and social responsibility by providing abundant opportunities for intercultural experiences while encouraging individuals to challenge themselves intellectually and personally toward a deeper understanding of our interconnected world.
Updated January 12, 2015
In response to the terrorist events in France, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Worldwide Caution. The safety of students on Gustavus off-campus courses is our highest priority. In response to the Worldwide Caution, our faculty leaders for January Interim Programs and Gustavus Semester in Sweden will take special care in ensuring that students are accounted for at all times. For Gustavus programs, in some locations we will provide additional guides or escorts if needed. We continue to be in daily communication with our local contacts on the ground and with our January Interim course leaders. We have a well designed emergency management protocol which will be implemented should there be need for it, which includes ensuring that students are in a safe location if there is a crisis. However, we are also encouraging our January Interim course leaders and their students to focus on the wonderful academic and experiential opportunity they are having this January, and avoid undue anxiety or panic. Note that we are also in touch with our semester program partners and are monitoring spring programs closely. Any questions about January Interim Abroad courses may be directed to Linda Shaw, CICE Assistant Director and Coordinator of January Off-Campus Study, about Spring semester programs to Jill Fischer, Study Abroad Advisor, or in either case to Carolyn O'Grady, CICE Director.
Updated November 5, 2014
Gustavus Adolphus College Health Service and Center for International and Cultural Education offices continue to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak. The CICE has no students in or planning to travel to the countries where Ebola first emerged (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone). Currently, all study away programs continue to operate normally, including our January courses to Tanzania and South Africa, and all cancellation policies are intact (January Interim, and semester/year).
Updated resources and information on Ebola can be found at the bottom of this message.
As of October 22nd, the Department of Homeland Security is requiring that persons traveling to the U.S. from the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone enter through one of five airports in the U.S. and undergo EVD screening. For more information, see the U.S. State Department website. State health departments, including Minnesota, will receive a list of individual who report their final destination as that state. The Minnesota Dept. of Health continues to provide updates to healthcare workers in Minnesota, including the Gustavus Health Service about appropriate protocols and procedures.
We are guided in our understanding of infection and transmission vectors by the expert information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. State Department. Although the epidemic in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is very serious, the risk of acquiring infection continues to be very low. Ebola can only be spread by direct contact with bodily fluids from an individual who has symptoms of the illness. Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air and can only be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids – blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen – of an infected person who is showing symptoms. The CDC continues to advise that careful hygiene and avoiding contact with blood, body fluids, animals and raw meat is an important preventive measure during travel.
To provide perspective on relative dangers, note that the CDC estimates 32,000 people in the U.S. died from influenza in 2013. Up to a quarter of the U.S. population may acquire influenza viruses which are easily transmissible through respiratory droplets of coughs or sneezes.
The Gustavus Adolphus College risk assessment team continues to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak. This group will advise administrators and faculty directors regarding communication needs and possible interventions if they become necessary. We are in close touch with our program partners and on-site contacts in other countries and will continue to monitor health and safety wherever our students study away. Study abroad programs in any location may be suspended based on recommendations from the WHO, U.S. Department of State, and in-country resources, as well as the College's insurance company.Members of the the Gustavus community will receive updated information about the Ebola outbreak when/if there is new information that could potentially impact faculty, staff, and students.
The College has implemented the following actions:
- Members of the Gustavus community have been advised about the outbreak, possible travel complications in general and particularly if coming from or going to impacted countries, and symptoms of the Ebola virus.
- Travelers from any region are asked to seek immediate health care should they become ill after arriving in this country.
- Students are not allowed to travel to the following countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, based on the CDC’s current level 3 travel advisory. Revisions to this restriction will be made if the CDC makes changes in its recommendations.
- Gustavus Health Service staff are keeping up to date with recommendations provided by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health. If a patient presents with symptoms of Ebola, the patient will be kept in the Health Service and the Minnesota Department of Health will be contacted immediately to determine the best course of action.
- Gustavus students approved to study abroad who have questions or concerns should contact the following:
- Advice for Colleges, Universities, and Students about Ebola in West Africa
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Department of Health Ebola Information Hotline: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. The line will be staffed during regular business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. MDH has made arrangements for a translation service to help facilitate calls from those who do not speak English.
- International SOS Ebola information (This organization is a medical and travel security services company. They have made their Ebola info page available to the public free of charge.)
- Ebola Deeply - a digital media project intended to provide context and information about a global crisis.
- Map: The Africa Without Ebola (Washington Pos, Nov. 3rdt)
A cross-cultural and internationalized perspective, both on campus and in off-campus environments, is essential to a quality education, to building scholarly standing, to augmenting service to society and to developing a critical awareness of the common problems facing the world. Internationalized education at Gustavus moves students to understand the richness of culture; the complexities of religion, economics and ethnicity; the nuances of power; and the histories of many people, which results in different worldviews. We value diversity and cohesion, and acknowledge that there are many different ways of knowing. Our goal is to prepare students who can communicate freely with others in the realm of ideas, think critically, and who can act as responsible, concerned citizens of an ever-changing world.
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|Carolyn O'Grady||Director of International and Cultural Education and Professor of Education||507-933-7545||web|
|Linda Shaw||Assistant Director||507-933-7150|
|Jeff Anderson||International Student Services Coordinator||507-933-7493|
|Jill Fischer||Study Abroad Advisor||507-933-7546|