Barcelona SAE uses a four-level tier system to classify emergency situations in order to provide an accurate response depending on severity. This system divides situations on a scale, from Tier 1 (least severe) to Tier 4 (most severe).


Tier 1: Minor incidents that do not necessarily affect the health or safety of the participants but impact their daily routine/life.

Individual Incident:

  • Losing a passport, losing personal items, a student being pickpocketed
  • Mental health issues, feeling homesick
  • Health concerns with no doctor visit
  • Health concerns with a doctor visit for a problem that can be treated easily or is considered minor
  • A student missing class, failing or almost failing a course, missing a mandatory orientation
  • Death of a homestay, supervisor, professor, or anyone who is in contact with the participant during his/her/their time abroad (that is not close to the participant).


  • Non-violent strikes in Barcelona, taxi strikes, metro strikes, security control strikes at the airport, non-violent demonstrations, and marches.
  • Severe abnormal weather alerts in Barcelona (heavy snow, heavy rain).
  • A power cut in a Barcelona neighborhood
  • A toxic gas explosion near Barcelona
Tier 2: An incident that may put a student’s health and safety at risk, however, nothing major has yet been reported by participants.

Individual Incident:

Any type of reported incident regarding a participant that needs evaluation and investigation by Barcelona SAE staff. This incident may put a student’s health and safety at risk.

  • When it is necessary to visit a doctor, medical professional, or mental health professional (psychologist/psychiatrist/rheumatologist/etc…) for a problem that requires treatment or a follow-up visit/s
  • Mental health crisis
  • When a police report is made


An isolated emergency that affects a small group of people, that happened either in Barcelona or in a large city in Europe, and there is a small likelihood that a participant is in the area.

  • A major accident (plane/train) in Europe or Spain with injuries and/or casualties
  • A major natural disaster (fire, earthquake) in Europe or Spain with injuries and/or casualties
  • A terrorist attack in a European city, violent protests or demonstrations in Barcelona specifically in neighborhoods where we have participants
  • Contagious disease in Catalonia but none of our participants are ill (that we know of)
  • Robbery in a building where participants are living
Tier 3: Incidents that are a serious risk to the individual or others.
Individual Incident:
  • A missing participant for more than 24h
  • Missing participant for less than 24 hours, but with suspected danger or death (last seen in deep water/skiing/hiking/very intoxicated)
  • The arrest of a participant
  • Sexual Assault committed by a participant
  • Serious accident or illness (car accident, drug overdose, heart attack, loss of consciousness, severe allergic reaction)
  • Psychiatric emergencies (displaying disruptive or psychotic behavior, suicide attempts or threats, disruptive behavior due to drugs or alcohol)
  • Assault of a participant leading to serious injury
  • Sexual crime against a participant (Rape or sexual assault of a student, violence from an intimate partner)


An incident that has a broad scope within Barcelona and/or Europe and it directly affects our participants’ health and safety.

  • A major accident (plane/train/bus) and a participant is hurt
  • Natural disasters (earthquakes, flooding, avalanche, severe/dangerous weather where participants are nearby and/or hurt, serious enough for the city/area to go on lockdown)
  • Terrorist attack in Europe and we have participants that are nearby, hurt, or cannot travel back to Barcelona
  • Violent protests in Barcelona and a participant is hurt
  • A terrorist attack in Barcelona or in Spain
  • Unrest or violence targeted towards Americans/our participants’ nationality or identity (violent protests or otherwise)
  • Loss of electricity/water/resources in the area that requires an evacuation from the city
  • Fire/gas leak that requires evacuation of participants (from housing, university…)
  • A pandemic
Tier 4: High-profile emergency cases resulting in the death of the participant or when a participant is accused of homicide.

Individual Incident:

  • A participant death
  • The arrest of a participant accused of murder


An incident that has caused deaths, such as:

  • A major accident (plane/train/bus) resulting in participants’ death
  • Natural disasters (earthquakes, flooding, avalanche, severe/dangerous weather) resulting in participants’ death
  • Terrorist attack in Barcelona/Europe resulting in participants’ death
  • Pandemic and some of our participants are casualties



For Standard Barcelona SAE Programs:

  • For Tier 1-2: The onsite team will communicate the situation with our US team through a detailed incident report. Our UR representative in the US will filter the incidents according to the severity and communicate accordingly in line with the university’s requirements.
  • For Tier 3-4: The onsite team will notify the university immediately via email or phone.

For Faculty-Led Programs (CFLPS):

  • For Tier 1-2: The onsite team will report the incident to the faculty onsite and open an incident report. The faculty will decide which incidents to communicate with the university.
  • For Tier 3-4: The onsite team will notify the faculty immediately, and report the incident to the University.