High School on a Ship
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Safety & Communication

Keeping our students and crew safe boils down to two essential elements: detailed planning and preparation.

That is why we have a rigorous planning of the itinerary where safety, risk assessment and weather hold the highest priority. We also perform regular drills so that all students, faculty and crew are prepared for all possible scenarios. We routinely inform students of best practices in port based on advice or information from local contacts and the Norwegian state department. Our focus on safety also means that we might change ports, curfews or if necessary.

The ship meets the highest standards for structural integrity, safety, navigation, communication and lifesaving equipment as set out by Norwegian Flag State Authorities. She has the best rating according to it´s Class Society, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations, and has been awarded the highest safety classification by Veritas.

To keep the ship’s high safety standards, we have a meticulous maintenance program in place, backed by annual inspections and a major survey every five years. In line with Norwegian best practices, the ship has two complete sets of crew who rotate on and off the ship at regular intervals, ensuring that our professional sailors on board are always well rested, fit, and ready to put safety first. All maritime officers have extended first aid training, and our on board medic is prepared to meet student needs at any time of day. 

Communication

There is no WI-FI or cell service at sea and only emergency email communication is available provided when we sail. When we´re in port there several ways to obtain a Wi-Fi connection; students may find cafés, purchase sim-cards or connect to port WI-FI, where that is available. Once online, they can post their pictures on Instagram, snap their friends or call, skype and Facetime home.

We encourage all parents to follow the school’s social media platforms (LINKS) where we attempt to post updates from the ship on a daily basis.

Health & Medical

The school’s approach to student medical health and safety includes processes for monitoring intervention, and reporting. The school’s shipboard medic is the first point of contact for health and safety matters. For students with pre-existing conditions, and those who require routine medication, the school’s medic acts as monitor on a more routine basis—dispensing needed medications as necessary and in accordance with best practice.

Should any student need a more intensive medical intervention, the medic will accompany the student to the appropriate facility, act as the student advocate, and inform the school administration of a student´s status until the intervention is successfully complete. School administration will, in turn, relate the status of the intervention to the parents/guardians of the student.

Each visit to the medic, medically event or intervention is kept in a medical log book; the log book records the date, event, intervention, and follow-up required for each instance. 

Vaccination

We have a list of suggested vaccines based on experience and on the recommendation of the Vaccination office in Norway. Please consult your family doctor, local health clinic or center for tropical diseases regarding protection against diseases that may be contracted in some of the countries listed on our itinerary.  There may be variations from one student to another depending on medical history, previous vaccinations and the recommendations of your health professional.  Discuss your plan with and follow the directions of your own doctor, but be aware that the choice not to have certain vaccinations may result in you being denied entry into certain countries. Please also note that some vaccinations require multiple inoculations, sometimes a few weeks apart, so do not leave this until the last minute. Please also note that some vaccines are required in order to enter certain countries and areas.

All vaccinations should be recorded in the yellow “International Certification of Vaccination” which must be brought with you on board. Please inform A+ World Academy of any changes to your medical status since the submission of your medical report.

When visiting your family doctor (or health clinic) be sure to:

  • Bring a copy of the itinerary and inform him / her that we will spend 3-5 days in each port.
  • Inform him / her that most nights will be spent on board, although, there may be an occasional night spent off the ship (camping/home stay).

It is highly recommended that students take the following vaccines as they may have implication on your opportunity to enter certain countries.

  • Yellow fever (essential)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid
  • Meningitis

For the ports outside of Europe, it is also essential that you protect yourself with mosquito spray containing DEET in order to avoid Dengue fever, Zika virus, Malaria and Chikungunya fever. You should also bring malaria tablets which the medic can store for you in the hospital.

If you chose not to take certain vaccinations (such as yellow fever or malaria), you may have to stay onboard the ship and thus miss organized and unorganized port time.

Students may also consider vaccines against diarrhea.

Allergies

Be sure to list all allergies on you medical form before starting the school year. This is essential also if you have a food allergy so that we may accommodate your allergy. If you have a severe food, or other, allergies which may require the immediate use of an EpiPen, you are required to bring with you two (2) EpiPens for such potential emergencies. All medications and special health care history or conditions must be reviewed with the Medical Officer within 24 hours of your arrival. 

Safeguarding

All people who come into contact with students at our school have a duty to safeguard children and young adults from harm and to promote their welfare. Our policy is to establish and to maintain an environment in which our students and staff can pursue personal, social, academic, cultural and interpersonal experiences without fear of exploitation, assault, abuse or discrimination.

We review our safeguarding, welfare and student protection policies on a regular basis and train our staff to effectively implement these policies.