International LearningWestern International

Safety Abroad

All students, staff and faculty planning international travel should take the initiative to learn about their host country and take reasonable precautions to ensure they stay healthy and safe. This includes visiting a travel clinic or consulting with your own doctor about any preventative measures you can take.

Western encourages all Canadian Citizens to register with the Government of Canada while abroad. For those with non-Canadian citizenship, please consult your home country's consular services.

Steps for Students 

Step 1: Review Government of Canada travel advisories

The Government of Canada provides travel advice and advisories for Canadians travelling abroad. Review and monitor this information regularly. Western's Safety Abroad policy restricts student travel to countries with an official travel advisory stating "avoid unnecessary travel" and "avoid all travel." If your proposed destination is under an official travel advisory, or if you have questions about the Safety Abroad policy please contact Lise Laporte, Director, International Learning at lise.laporte@uwo.ca

Step 2: Complete pre-departure training sessions

All students participating in University-sanctioned international travel must complete Western's pre-departure training, in addition to any specific training required by your international program. Western International offers these sessions online via Owl or in person during one of our specified training dates.

Step 3: Obtain any required vaccinations or health checks

All students planning international travel should take initiative to learn about their host country and take reasonable precautions to ensure they stay healthy and safe. This includes visiting a travel clinic or consulting your own doctor about any preventative measures you can take. It is recommended that you be vaccinated a minimum of six weeks prior to departure so you must book vaccination appointments well in advance of  the six-week minimum timeframe. Please note that certain vaccinations may require more than six weeks to administer before you travel. 

The Middlesex London Health Unit's Travel Immunization Clinic offers personalized risk assessments, onsite immunizations, and prescriptions for preventative medications.

Step 4: Review insurance coverage for out-of-country travel

All Western travellers are required to possess out-of-country travel insurance. All full-time Western students are automatically enrolled in the USC Health and Dental Plan (undergraduates) or SOGS Health and Dental Plan (graduates) which provide out-of-country travel insurance. If you have opted out of the USC/SOGS Plans, you should check to see if you have out-of-country coverage through another plan, such as your parents'. 

Regardless of your insurance plan, it is important to review and become familiar with exactly what your plan covers, how long it lasts, and where and how it works.

Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on the importance of out-of-country travel insurance, and what coverage to look for. 

Step 5: Register with Canadians Abroad

Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency at home. This service also enables you to to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

International students and others holding international passports should check with individual consular services in their home country. 

Step 6: Register in Western’s Safety Away database

Western maintains a travel registry for all students travelling abroad on University-sanctioned activities. Once your activity sponsor enters you into the database, you will receive an email message prompting you to log into Student Centre to confirm your emergency contact information, out-of-country travel insurance and acknowledgement of students rights and responsibilities. This must be completed prior to travel. If you have questions about the safety away database please contact Lise Laporte, Director International Learning at lise.laporte@uwo.ca

Step 7: Learn how to stay safe abroad

As part of Western's commitment to our travellers, we have invested in global medical and security assistance through International SOS. This program is designed to keep our students healthy, safe and secure while they are travelling or living abroad. Resources are also available to students prior to travel to help you plan ahead.


Steps for Faculty Leading Student Trips Abroad 

Step 1: Review Government of Canada travel advisories

The Government of Canada provides travel advice and advisories for Canadians travelling abroad. Review and monitor this information regularly. Western's Safety Abroad policy restricts student travel to countries with an official travel advisory stating "avoid unnecessary travel" and "avoid all travel." If your proposed destination is under an official travel advisory, or if you have questions about the Safety Abroad policy please contact Lise Laporte, Director, International Learning at lise.laporte@uwo.ca

Step 2: Arrange pre-departure training sessions

All students participating in University-sanctioned international travel must complete Western's pre-departure training, in addition to any specific training required by your international program. Western International offers these sessions online via Owl or in person during one of our specified training dates.

Step 3: Register Participating Students in Western's Safety Away Database

Western maintains a travel registry for all students travelling abroad on University-sanctioned activities. As the activity sponsor, you or your departmental representative need to enter the names of participating students into the database, then students will receive an email message prompting them to complete necessary details prior to travel. If you do not have access to the Safety Away database, or if you have questions please contact Lise Laporte, Director International Learning at lise.laporte@uwo.ca

Step 4: Ensure Students Review and Complete the "Steps for Students" Above

Step 5: Review International SOS Services for Pre-departure, Medical, Security, and Emergency Needs

As part of Western's commitment to our travellers, we have invested in global medical and security assistance through International SOS. This program is designed to keep our students healthy, safe and secure while they are travelling or living abroad. Resources are also available prior to travel to help you plan your trip


Steps for Faculty and Staff Members Travelling Internationally 

Step 1: Review Government of Canada travel advisories

The Government of Canada provides travel advice and advisories for Canadians travelling abroad. Review and monitor this information regularly. Western's Safety Abroad policy restricts student travel to countries with an official travel advisory stating "avoid unnecessary travel" and "avoid all travel." If your proposed destination is under an official travel advisory, or if you have questions about the Safety Abroad policy please contact Lise Laporte, Director, International Learning at lise.laporte@uwo.ca

Step 2: Ensure You Have the Appropriate Travel Documents

You should review the entry requirements for your destination country(ies) as well as the passport validity requirements for your destination country (ies) well in advance. Your passport may have to be valid for up to six months after the date you enter the country you will be visiting. Check the entry/exit and passport validity requirements by country here.

Step 3: Obtain any required vaccinations or health checks

All those planning international travel should take initiative to learn about their host country and take reasonable precautions to ensure they stay healthy and safe. This includes visiting a travel clinic or consulting your own doctor about any preventative measures you can take. It is recommended that you be vaccinated a minimum of six weeks prior to departure so you must book vaccination appointments well in advance of  the six-week minimum timeframe. Please note that certain vaccinations may require more than six weeks to administer before you travel. 

The Middlesex London Health Unit's Travel Immunization Clinic offers personalized risk assessments, onsite immunizations, and prescriptions for preventative medications.

Step 4: Review insurance coverage for out-of-country travel

All Western travellers are required to possess out-of-country travel insurance Regardless of your insurance plan, it is important to review and become familiar with exactly what your plan covers, how long it lasts, and where and how it works.

Travellers should also review their Provincial health plan and understand the requirements for continuous coverage while abroad. Information on the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on the importance of out-of-country travel insurance, and what coverage to look for. 

Step 5: Register with Canadians Abroad

Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency at home. This service also enables you to to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

International students and others holding international passports should check with individual consular services in their home country. 

Step 6: Learn how to stay safe abroad

As part of Western's commitment to our travellers, we have invested in global medical and security assistance through International SOS. This program is designed to keep our students healthy, safe and secure while they are travelling or living abroad. Resources are also available to students prior to travel to help you plan ahead.


Additional Resources