ClearCause Foundation promotes safe travel abroad

Allison Mueller

Madison Bowe / Winonan

Everyone knows how to ask for help or dial for emergency services in the country they reside in, but what about in a foreign country?

With the amount of students studying abroad every year increasing, it has become apparent how students are often times uneducated before they leave for their travels. The ClearCause Foundation intends to make a change—their mission is to help students depart for their trips well informed.

ClearCause was established in 2010 following the death of Tyler Hill, who died on a People to People trip in Japan, in a situation which could have been prevented. Every year, students traveling abroad are scammed, sexually assaulted, injured and killed; many of these instances are preventable. Since there are no state or federal laws protecting students from the dangers they may encounter abroad, many students travel across the world without acquiring simple knowledge.

“Coffee beans and bowling balls have more federal rules than America’s greatest treasure, it’s next generation of global leaders,” ClearCause founder Sheryl Hill said.

Many people are unaware that the emergency service numbers are different in countries outside of the United States. To many people’s surprise, 911 won’t get you an ambulance in most countries.  ClearCause has created a new program they call Safe Journey Academy, which offers students a program which will teach them how to not only travel abroad, but succeed in a foreign country.

There are many ways students can work to prepare themselves for studying abroad. ClearCause says taking their short 10-minute quiz is a good place to start for those seeking to find a baseline for where they stand in their knowledge for going abroad. Many students from Winona State University took a shot at the quiz; the results showed how there is room for improvement. Of the 31 students who took the quiz, 21 of them scored a sixty percent or less on the quiz, meaning a majority of the students failed. Some students were very surprised about the knowledge they didn’t realize they were missing.

“I do plan on studying abroad, I’m not one hundred percent sure where I want to go, somewhere in Europe. I had no idea that not all nations use 911,” first-year Brianna Justen said. “I guess I’m used to American ways, and even though I have traveled to Europe before I still didn’t know the answers to half of those questions.”

Hill believes ClearCause has found a great way for students to educate themselves before going abroad. For just $10, students can purchase one course for a student and their family to help prepare them for their travels. This program will offer students everything they should need to know, but they should still keep in mind the fact that unforeseen things do happen. In this case, Safe Journey Academy will leave them well prepared for worst-case scenarios.

“We believe a third party, consumer-driven solution is best to maintain neutrality. Like ClearCause,” Hill said.