Safety and Security While Traveling Abroad
Health and Safety Resources
Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, and explore and learn new things about your surrounding and yourself. In order to help you make the most out of this opportunity, you need to plan for unforeseen emergencies. For example: What would you do if you get sick while abroad? What would you do if your are caught up on a political manifestation? Or, what would you do if you are a victim of a crime?
Having thought about how to respond to any of these unfortunate events can help you mitigate stress, safe time, and stay safe and healthy while overseas.
Lucky for you, your faculty leader(s) and the Office of Study Abroad have made some of the heavy lifting. During your classes prior to departure, your faculty leader(s) will provide you with emergency contacts and a detailed safety plan. Additionally, the Office of Study Abroad will provide health, safety and risk management information during pre-departure sessions to help you stay inform and assess for yourself the risks of travel.
In general, depending on the emergency, there are several things you can do. First, if relevant, you can contact the emergency services number in your country (the equivalent to 911); or, you can contact International SOS at (215) 942-8478. Additionally, you can contact the UTEP Police Department at (915) 747-5611.
The following information will help you when encountering unforeseen emergencies during your program abroad:
Learn about your host country
- The U.S. Department of State website contains important information to help you plan for your study abroad. In here you will find Travel Advisory, Alerts, entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- You will also need to enroll for free at STEP.state.gov to receive travel and security updates about your destination, and to help the U.S. Department of State reach you in an emergency.
- UTEP students will be required to download the Alert Traveler app. You will be able to receive real-time destination reports and alerts pushed to your cellphone in order to make informed decisions.
- UTEP students will receive worldwide insurance coverage for educational travel sponsored by The University of Texas System. This insurance policy is offered by the ACE American Insurance Company/Chubb at no additional cost.
- Through the policy, UTEP students will also have the benefits of Scholastic Comprehensive Access Membership with International SOS, which is a robust medical assistance, healthcare and travel security services company. When you call the ISOS hotline (available 24/7), you will be connected to an alarm center, which will help you addressing your concerns. This could include:
- Medical advice
- Arranging medical appointments
- Activating ambulances
- Arranging home/hotel visits and bedside nursing and monitoring
- Replacing a prescription