Dear students, parents, faculty and administrators:
Thank you for considering ALA as your academic program provider to study abroad in Spain. Sincerely, I think it is a great choice. All of us at ALA consider students’ wellbeing to be our most important concern and concentrate all our efforts on providing the safest possible environment.
For almost 20 years I have personally been responsible for many academic programs in Spain. Working for public Spanish universities, and for private American and Spanish organizations, I have had the privileged to serve the interests of thousands of American students and to work closely with academic institutions, in Spain and the US. This now enables me to provide a healthy and safe environment for all our students.
We are always in contact with, and follow the recommendations of, all official agencies related to study abroad security. NAFSA and the US Department of State are two important sources of information and we always heed their advice. Their suggestions and warnings are always present for us and we put them into practice whenever necessary.
We are also in close contact with the American Embassy in Madrid and local authorities in all the cities where we have academic programs. In this way we are punctually informed of what American and Spanish authorities recommend in any specific situation. Following all these official recommendations allows us to develop effective protocols onsite, so we can deal with possible emergencies in accordance with the guidelines provided by the governments of the USA and Spain. In addition to these official messages and recommendations coming from agencies and governments we also have an extra tool - we know Spain, the cities where we have programs and, in many occasions, know personally people at local institutions and agencies that may be an additional source of information. Many of our staff are locals from these cities and this is an additional value for all our ALA programs.
Last, but not least, we expect all our ALA students to abide by the ALA student code of conduct listed in our policies. There, students find valuable recommendations that will guide them effectively in order to have a safe study abroad experience. In our onsite orientation we emphasize health and safety aspects including local considerations of city programs. ALA also provides an emergency telephone number, 24/7, at the disposal of students, parents, and tutors. We provide immediate assistance in case of emergencies.
A final word for students on health and safety - use common sense and do not do abroad what you would not do in your home country.
We look forward to meeting you. Rest assured, we will fulfill your expectations.
Arturo Jarque, Ph.D.