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Preparing for International Travel

The University proudly supports its students, faculty, and staff who travel the world. Whether someone is a seasoned traveler or taking a first trip abroad, careful preparation and planning can lead to a safe and successful travel experience. Here are some pre-departure and risk awareness steps you can take to help make your journey a safe one:

Contact International SOS for Advice and Information

The University has a membership with International SOS, a medical and travel security services company. International SOS provides travel, medical, and security advice before and during travel, as well as emergency help, 24/7 worldwide. All University travelers engaged in full-time educational or research activities while traveling internationally are covered under the International SOS evacuation and repatriation plan at no additional cost. 

The University’s International SOS membership number is 11BSGC000067. Use this to login to the International SOS website or use when contacting International SOS by phone (in the US, the number is 1.215.942.8226). Travelers should carry the International SOS membership card while traveling. The card includes important contact information, including phone numbers for the four International SOS call centers. Obtain an International SOS card by printing a card from the International SOS website.

Travelers can use the International SOS website to view country guides and online medical and security reports, and sign up for email alerts, which can provide helpful emergency information while traveling. Travelers can also call the International SOS Assistance Center at no cost for pre-travel information. A free International SOS phone consultation presents an opportunity to gain familiarity with the services available while traveling internationally. 

Before calling International SOS, make a list of relevant questions about health, safety, and travel to countries where travel will occur.  Suggested topics to cover include:

  • Vaccination requirements and recommendations
  • Traveling with prescription medications, including customs requirements
  • Traveling with a pre-existing medical condition and physician recommendations
  • Availability of needed medications at your destination
  • Night-time safety precautions
  • Current security situation
  • Common safety concerns for travelers
  • Tips to avoid common scams and petty theft

Please note that the International SOS plan is available only for University-related international travel. Persons traveling on personal matters before, in the midst of, or after University-related travel are strongly encouraged to purchase additional membership benefits at a personal cost to avoid any possible gaps in coverage. The International SOS website offers coverage at a discount off the normal rate when the University’s membership number (11BSGC000067) is entered when logging into the site.  This discounted coverage is also available for family members traveling with the student, faculty, or staff.

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Prepare for the Unexpected

All University travelers should be prepared for possible emergencies and should outline an emergency management plan in advance of travel. Use this exercise as a pre-travel opportunity to research and document in a convenient and accessible location resources such as:

  • International SOS contact information and DU's International SOS membership number;
  • DU Campus Safety contact information;
  • Contact information for local law enforcement;
  • Contact information for the closest U.S. Embassy;
  • A list of emergency contacts; and
  • Information for local medical facilities.

International SOS and the University's International Travel Risk Analyst are helpful resources as you compile this information. Another good resource is the Safety and Security Considerations for International Travelers page, found on the Enterprise Risk Management website.

In addition, persons responsible for a group of travelers, such as program leaders, must develop a written emergency management plan in advance of international travel. Program leaders should also familiarize themselves with, and travel with, a copy of the University's Emergency Response Manual for International Travel. For ease and convenience, program leaders can use the form on the last page of the manual to create a written emergency management plan. If a program leader uses a different format, it should include all components found on the provided templated form. The International Travel Risk Analyst has the authority to withhold Enterprise Risk Management approval of group travel when a program leader fails to prepare a satisfactory written emergency management plan.

Contact the International Travel Risk Analyst for additional information. The International Travel Risk Analyst is an excellent resource for assistance in developing trip-specific emergency management plans.

In addition, the University has developed an internal crisis management plan that serves as a guide for University handling of emergencies involving University students, faculty, and staff whose academic or business activities involve international travel. For more information, contact the International Travel Risk Analyst.

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Review Online Resources

Here are some online resources that will help with your pre-departure and risk awareness preparations:

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