International LearningWestern International

FAQ for Faculty and Staff Leading Student Trips Abroad

Why is the Travel Registry mandatory for students?

All Western students participating in University sanctioned international activities are required to enrol in Western's International Travel Registry prior to departing Canada. This information enables Western to monitor student safety, update students on travel advisories from the Canadian Government, and locate and provide assistance in case of an emergency overseas.

What constitutes University sanctioned international activities?

University sanctioned international activities refer to any undertakings involving student travel internationally that has been approved, authorized, and/or supported by a Western University unit, department, staff, and/or faculty member. These activities include: exchange, study abroad, travelling on letter of permission, summer programs, international community engaged learning, alternative spring break, internships, clinical or field placement, practicums, faculty-led programs, research, scholarly conferences, joint academic programs between Western and a partner institution.

The only exclusions are international travel facilitated through the University Students’ Council (USC) (and its associated clubs) and Society of Graduate Students (SOGS). These activities will continue to be recorded through the Safety Away database.

Do I need to complete the Travel Registry since I am leading a student trip?

It is highly recommended that faculty leading student trips abroad complete the second step of the Travel Registry related to International SOS (ISOS). This step will ensure that you as the trip leader are also receiving the same level of ISOS support, travel and medical alerts, as the students participating in the trip.

Do I need to complete the Travel Registry for personal travel?

No, any personal side trips or vacation scheduled are the sole responsibility of the traveller.

When should I advise students to complete the Travel Registry steps?

The Travel Registry should be completed as soon as the travel details are confirmed, at the earliest opportunity possible before leaving Canada. Please verify with students participating in the trip that they have completed both steps of the Travel Registry prior to departure.

Do I still need to enter student information in the Safety Away Database?

No. The Travel Registry replaces the Safety Away database for students travelling on University sanctioned international experiences. However, the Safety Away database will continue to be used for travel within Canada.

Which travel advisories do I follow when planning the trip?

Western’s Safety Abroad Policy references the Government of Canada Travel Advisories and states that student travel to destinations with an active advisory of Avoid non-essential travel or Avoid all travel will not be authorized unless exceptional circumstances exist. Please ensure that you visit the Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories site for the overall risk level for a country or territory based on an assessment of the nationwide safety and security situation.

How do I know if the location I am travelling to is deemed as ‘high risk’?

Western’s Safety Abroad Policy states that student travel to destinations with an active Government of Canada Travel Advisory of Avoid non-essential travel or Avoid all travel will not be authorized unless exceptional circumstances exist. Please ensure that you visit the Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories site for the overall risk level for a country or territory based on an assessment of the nationwide safety and security situation.

Special authorization to travel is necessary for any location deemed as high risk (Avoid non-essential travel or Avoid all travel). If your proposed destination is under an official travel advisory, please contact travelregistry@uwo.ca to discuss and evaluate the planned itinerary. 

What if I am leading a trip to multiple destinations with different advisory warnings?

Please contact travelregistry@uwo.ca to discuss and evaluate the planned itinerary. International SOS services are available to obtain travel security briefings for the proposed itinerary as well as recommendations to eliminate or reduce risks to acceptable levels.

Where can I get more information about International SOS services?

For more information about International SOS, the services offered in preparation of travel, while abroad, and in the event of an emergency, please visit Western’s International SOS webpage.

If I have additional questions about the Travel Registry, who do I contact?

Please contact travelregistry@uwo.ca.

In the event of an emergency abroad, who do I contact?

In an emergency International SOS provides all necessary emergency services including:          

  • Arranging medical transportation and care*
  • Monitoring your condition and providing advice along the way
  • Evacuating you when necessary*
  • Contacting Western and your family (with consent) so they know you are in good hands

 *Additional fees for services rendered.

Call 1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted).  You can speak to International SOS staff in any language, anytime, 24/7.

Canada's international country code is 011.