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2017 will be Loop Abroad's eighth year of exceptional summer programs for our students. Here are ten major ways in which Loop Abroad works to keep its summer students safe and happy throughout their programs.

1. Location Tourism is Thailand's number one industry, and the country works very hard to ensure that tourists are safe and feel welcome. Most people in and around program locations speak at least some English, and it is easy to communicate. The city has developed roads, fantastic hospitals, dependable wifi, and other comforts of home - including several Starbucks locations. Our South Africa programs take place on a closed reserve away from the city that is closed to volunteers other than Loop Abroad students while we are there.

2. Housing Loop Abroad students stay in safe and secure lodging with staff on the premises and only Loop students in the facility or housing unit. Rooms are separated by gender.

3. Ground Transportation Students travel in Loop-approved transport and are not allowed to seek their own transport or to use motorbikes. We use the same experienced drivers each year and our ground transportation team is very proud of their perfect safety record! (Note: students in the Vet School Veterinary Service and Young Adult Veterinary Service programs are allowed to seek their own transportation in evenings, but are not permitted to ride motorbikes.)

4. Staff Each program has its own Team Leader as well as a local, licensed Thai tour guide. Our average faculty:student ratio is 1:5. In addition, we have on-site support staff for each location. Veterinary programs are led by a US veterinarian (DVM) and supported by local veterinary staff.

5. Student Groups Because our programs are not open enrollment, each student in each group has been chosen after submitting an essay, transcript, and two academic or professional references. Average group size is 10 students. For most of our students, their Loop Abroad program is their first trip out of North America, and our staff is equipped to help them adjust and make the most of their experience. Students will never be alone and are always with their group, staff member, or a buddy. (Note: Students in the Vet School Veterinary Service and Young Adult Veterinary Service programs are allowed to be on their own in the evenings.)

6. Food and Water Our truly all-inclusive pricing includes all meals. We are committed to providing safe, healthy meals and a number of options at each meal. In addition, we can easily provide for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or other meal sensitivities. Kosher meals can be pre-arranged in Thailand for a supplemental fee. Bottled water is available in all program locations and with all meals. (Note: The Vet School Veterinary Service and Young Adult Veterinary Service programs do not include all dinners. Please check the schedule for these programs.)

7. Air Travel Over 95% of Loop students choose to travel on our group flights from the US. This option not only allows students to get to know one another, but ensures they do not have to travel alone and that they are adequately briefed and supported for their travel. Students making other travel arrangements can still be met by Loop Abroad staff upon arrival at the airport.

8. Medical Care All hospitals we use in Chiang Mai meet or exceed Western medical standards, and one of the best hospitals in the country is less than a mile from our main housing facility. Western-level hospital care in Johannesburg is available for our South Africa programs.

9. Communication Loop Abroad staff are available 24/7 in case of an emergency during your program. Students can use our phone to reach home if needed. Free wifi is available at most program locations. It is easy for students to stay in touch with home throughout their programs.

10. Expertise We partner with amazing, respected organizations such as the Elephant Nature Park to ensure our students' experience is positive and profound. We are well equipped to show our students the best that each program location has to offer in a safe and supportive environment in part because we use local staff and train our American staff on the ground at their program location. The safety and security of our students is our first priority.

We encourage you to reach out for more information! If you are interested in the safety protocols for the Veterinary Semester Abroad, please get in touch! We are happy to answer any safety questions by email, phone, or scheduled Skype meeting. We are also happy to put you in touch with students or parents from past summers to talk about their experiences. Be sure to check out the reviews, student feedback, student stories, and news coverage about our programs. We are confident that the more you learn about the Loop Abroad experience, the more certain you will be about our safety standards!