International LearningWestern International

FAQ for Students

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 affiliated clubs) and the 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 for personal travel?

No, students are only required to register their travel details pertaining to their University sanctioned international activity. Any personal side trips or vacation scheduled around or outside of the University sanctioned travel is the sole responsibility of the student.

When do I need to complete the Travel Registry steps?

The Travel Registry should be completed as soon as your travel details are confirmed, at the earliest opportunity possible before leaving Canada. Please note that specific locations may be deemed as ‘high risk’ requiring additional levels of approval. The evaluation and approval process can take up to three weeks, therefore it is important to plan in advance.

Which travel advisories do I follow when planning my 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.

If a country you are travelling to is deemed as high risk (Avoid non-essential travel or Avoid all travel), you are required to complete the Special Authorization to Travel form in conjunction with the Faculty/Supervisor/Staff member who is approving/coordinating your participation in this activity. This form must be completed as soon as possible in order for your proposed travel to be approved. The approval process may take up to 3 weeks, as such it is important that you plan your travel and completion of the form accordingly.

Within the Travel Registry Step 1, as you select your ‘Destination Country’ from the drop-down list, high-risk countries will be automatically identified and a link to the ‘Special Authorization to Travel form’ will be provided. Follow the instructions on the form to complete the necessary sections and please submit it to Western International by email (travelregistry@uwo.ca). Final review and authorization is determined by the Vice-Provost International. You will be notified of the outcome of the authorization once a final decision has been made.

What if I am travelling to multiple destinations with different advisory warnings?

If you are travelling to multiple countries as part of your trip, please select all applicable locations under the ‘Destination Country’ section it Atlas.  Any high risk countries will be automatically identified and a link to the ‘Special Authorization to Travel form’ will be provided.  Your travel details related to all destinations should be included in the ‘Special Authorization to Travel form’ as part of your itinerary.

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.

Who needs to complete Pre-departure Training?

All students travelling on University sanctioned international learning experiences are required to complete Pre-departure Training. The only exception to this policy is for students travelling internationally to scholarly conferences. Pre-departure Training is optional for students travelling to conferences, but still recommended.