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International Travel

In an Emergency

Unfortunately, accidents happen; emergencies develop; crises need to be addressed. Due to the unpredictability and varying circumstances of international travel, the University cannot guarantee a particular outcome or the safety of travel. Below are general emergency protocols that International Travelers should follow in the event of an emergency. Based on your particular circumstance, we recommend deciding who can provide you with the most immediate and appropriate support.

1. Call the Local Authorities

Once you have tended to your immediate well-being, contact local authorities for safety and medical issues. NOTE: 911 is not a universal emergency number, so you should know the number for police, fire, and ambulance prior to departure. If you are a victim of gender-based discrimination, harassment, violence, and stalking, please call International SOS first, as laws pertaining to sexual assault differ widely across countries.

2. Reach Out to Local Contacts

Contact your local contacts whether they be your program leader, on-site partner, or on-site contact who can provide emergency support or suggestions. 

3. Contact International SOS

In the event of a medical or security emergency, travelers should contact International SOS (1.215.942.8478) for assistance if time allows. When calling International SOS, have the University’s membership number available – 11BSGC000067 – it also appears on the International SOS card.

NOTE: There will be times when the University takes proactive steps to assist travelers in the event of an emergency. However, whenever possible, travelers should always initiate immediate contact with International SOS, as circumstances may make it difficult for the University to contact travelers depending on the type of emergency. See more details about Emergency Assistance from International SOS below. 

4. Contact Campus Safety

Contact DU Campus Safety at 1.303.871.3000 as soon as possible. Campus Safety will notify the University’s International Travel Risk Analyst and other emergency back-up contacts, who will assist as possible in addressing the medical or security emergency, provide additional resources, and document as necessary. The University’s International Travel Risk Analyst will apprise the International Travel Committee (ITC) of all emergency contacts and will work with the ITC to address crises as appropriate.

Emergency Assistance from International SOS

The International SOS plan goes hand-in-hand with an insurance policy through Nationwide Insurance. The insurance policy generally covers political, medical, and natural disaster evacuation and repatriation expenses authorized by International SOS. Please note that it is not a health insurance or medical expense policy.  Subject to certain exclusions, this policy covers most evacuation and repatriation expenses, other than International SOS administration fees. Here are examples of services that International SOS can provide in an emergency:

  • Health, safety, and security advice, including advice from an experienced, Western-trained doctor or security specialist
  • Arrange for medical transportation or care, including evacuation to a center of medical excellence if local care is inadequate
  • Locate a local doctor or other provider credentialed by International SOS medical staff
  • Locate supplies of medication or equipment
  • Obtain assistance due to the loss of travel documents or legal advice
  • Advance funds to cover medical fees, when approved
  • Monitor a traveler’s medical condition and obtain advice
  • Contact a traveler’s family

If a traveler needs medical care, the traveler should expect to pay for services personally while abroad, submitting receipts to the traveler’s health insurer afterwards. If a medical facility will not accept a credit card or the traveler does not have enough cash to pay for services, International SOS will pay for the services and then bill the University. You or your unit will be responsible for reimbursing money advanced for services. Keep in mind that students may be able to pass all or some of the charges on to the student’s health insurer. For University employees, whether the University covers the medical care depends on the circumstances and whether the employee was engaged at the time of the injury in activities related to University business. As such, employees must also maintain personal health insurance while traveling internationally.

International SOS sometimes charges administration fees for some services, such as advancing money for medical expenses. These expenses can run in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the service provided. Students must reimburse the University for the full amount of any incurred administration fees, and the charges will appear on the student’s University account. For University employees, the employee’s unit is responsible for payment of the administration fees. 

The following exclusions apply to both the International SOS Plan and the Nationwide Evacuation and Repatriation Expense Policy. This is only a general overview. The specific policy terms and applicable law – not this overview – apply to any particular incident. Refer to Enterprise Risk Management or the Office of Internationalization's website for additional information. If you are injured or need assistance while engaging in any of the following activities while traveling abroad, you will not be entitled to benefits under the International SOS membership:

  • Skydiving, hang gliding, parachuting, mountaineering (does not apply to school sponsored trips), any motorized speed race, bungee jumping, speed contests, spelunking or caving, heli-skiing, or extreme skiing
  • Participation in any war, invasion, revolution, or insurrection
  • Piloting or learning to pilot or acting as a member of the crew of any aircraft
  • Commission or the attempt to commit a criminal act
  • Any non-emergency treatment or surgery, routine physical examinations, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or contact lenses

For a complete list of exclusions, view the following International SOS Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation policy

Emergency Contact Notification 

In an emergency where travelers are capable of making their own follow-up decisions, travelers decide whether or not their emergency contacts are notified of an emergency. However, some exceptions apply. The University of Denver may choose, in consultation with others, to inform travelers' emergency contacts about a real or perceived emergency abroad without travelers' permission, such as when:

  • travelers are unable to speak for themselves;
  • travelers have been missing for more than 24 hours;
  • travelers fail to comply with legitimate directives of university officials;
  • travelers are perceived to be a danger to themselves or others;
  • or when there is a significant safety, or security incident potentially affecting travelers abroad (i.e. civil unrest, act of terrorism, extreme weather, etc.)

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