Health & Safety Abroad


Based on your particular circumstance, we recommend deciding who can provide you with the most immediate and appropriate support.

  • Call the local equivalent of 911. 911 is not the universal emergency number, so you should know the number for police, fire, and ambulance; or save it on your cell phone.
    • If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, please call International SOS or your Program/University first, as laws pertaining to sexual assault differ widely across countries.
  • Call your local program/university contact. Find out who your emergency contact is before you need them, as emergencies often happen after office hours or on weekends. Save their number into your cell phone.
  • Call International SOS for assistance at +1.215.942.8478. You can also download their app on your smart phone. DU's membership number is 11BSGC000067.

To learn more about DU's Parental and Family Notification policy, click here.

DU's Commitment to Health & Safety

We are pleased that you or your student are studying abroad with DU. Our students' health, safety, and security are our highest priority, and we take numerous steps to help ensure student safety abroad. Our philosophy is that by proactively providing students with information and resources regarding potential risks, we can educate and prepare students to make good decisions regarding their own well-being while abroad. Because we cannot mitigate all associated risks with international travel though, we have extensive protocols in place to respond to student emergencies or crises.

Our office encourages and manages safety by: 

  • Consulting with DU's full-time International Travel Risk Analyst, who monitors world events along with OIE staff and reaches out to students, when appropriate, to either share information or check-in with students.
  • Evaluating on-site support and program options available to students.
  • Partnering with International SOS (ISOS)  a medical and travel assistance provider, who facilitates pre-departure travel consultations, sends email alerts regarding in-country issues, delivers 24/7 emergency response assistance, and provides evacuation and repatriation coverage for all students.
  • Asking students to contact International SOS with any questions regarding their own health and safety in the region they plan to travel to.
  • Requiring preparatory measures including a Study Abroad First Step Session and several pre-departure orientation sessions while providing online information and resources in DU Passport and information on our website including general and country-specific handbooks.
  • Registering students with International ISOS, which allows DU staff to track students' travels. (Students must update side travel for weekend or mid-term break trips).
  • Creating crisis management protocols in conjugation with the International Travel Risk Analyst and the International Travel Committee, a committee designed to assist with international travel guidelines, procedures, and crisis response efforts.
  • Asking students to visit a health care provider prior to departure to discuss health and mental health concerns;  DU's Health & Counseling Center (HCC) can provide these services.
  • Recommend students to enroll in the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the local embassy about safety conditions in the host country.
  • Collecting emergency contact information should we need to communicate information about an affected student to family and friends.

Health & Safety Considerations for Choosing a Program

Are there health/safety concerns for the area?

It is important that students research the countries and cities they are considering, in addition to the academics of the programs themselves. This research should go beyond tourist information and get to the practical realities of living as a guest in these communities. DU's partner International SOS can be a good resource in this research as they are the world's leader in medical and travel security services.

Please Note: Students must follow University policy when planning to visit any locations found on the higher-risk destinations list during their official start and end study abroad program dates. (Personal travel before or after those official program dates is not included in this policy.) Students who travel to any higher-risk destinations without prior travel authorization from DU’s International Travel Committee may face disciplinary action through DU’s Office of Rights and Responsibilities and/or may be dismissed from their program. Students should contact to inquire about the travel authorization process and timeline.

Please see Things to Consider for questions to research for each program choice and where to start this research.

Insurance Abroad

Proper insurance coverage helps ensure that you'll be covered in the event of a travel emergency. That is why DU is proud to offer all students, faculty, and staff on international DU  travel, coverage under one comprehensive accident, sickness, and emergency care insurance plan at no cost to them and with no need to enroll. Highlights of the plan are $0 deductible, no out-of-pocket expenses, and includes travel insurance benefits such as lost luggage and trip interruption. This plan works in tandem with International SOS so, there's only one number to remember for insurance and assistance. All assistance services and insurance benefits are initiated by calling International SOS at +1 215-942-8478 or via the International SOS Assistance app.

More information about the insurance

More Resources

Wellness Abroad

Discover our Health & Wellness Country Guides as well as resources developed together with Health and Counseling Center’s Health Promotion Team.

Learn More