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International Travel Safety and Security

As a university actively engaged in research, teaching, and learning across the globe, Drexel University sees the safety and security of its faculty, students, and staff as a top priority. The Office of International Programs provides university travelers with the resources and information that they need to prepare effectively for travel overseas and serves as a first responder in the event of an international emergency. We work actively in partnership with other units across the university and with colleagues at other universities and organizations to identify and assess international travel risks, monitor world events that may impact Drexel travelers, and follow best practices in the field to support international safety and security.

Marcia Henisz, Director of International Health, Safety, and Security in the Office of International Programs, is Drexel’s designated point-person for international emergencies. She is a member of NAFSA, the OSAC Academic Working Group, and PULSE, a network of full-time international health and safety professionals working in higher education. She has 18 years of experience in the field of international education. Please contact her if you should have any questions, concerns or suggestions. 

On Call Emergency Assistance

The University has contracted with On Call International to provide emergency medical, political and natural disaster assistance, evacuation and repatriation coverage for employed faculty, professional staff and all students participating on a university-affiliated international activity.

International Travel Checklist

Please review this checklist of important details to assist you in preparing for international travel. 

Medical / Insurance 

  • Check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have coverage while you are abroad and to understand how to make a claim should you need care while you are away. If you will be away for an extended period of time, consider purchasing an international insurance plan.
  • Put the On Call International Emergency Assistance number in your phone: 603-952-2038. (Learn more about On Call International)
  • Obtain all recommended immunizations for your destination country (Visit the CDC for more information).
  • If you will be taking any medications abroad, pack an adequate supply in your carry-on luggage with a copy of the prescription, and check to be sure that the medications are legal in your destination country.
  • If you wear glasses or contacts, pack a spare pair with you and take a copy of your prescription.
  • Consider visiting your doctor, dentist and optometrist before you leave, especially for extended travels.

Documents & Information

  • Make a photocopy of your passport, visa (if needed), and other important items (insurance card, driver's license, etc.) that you should take with you when you travel. Your passport should be valid for at least 90 days after your expected return date to the US. Some countries require 6 months of validity.
  • Contact your bank and credit card company to notify them of your location and dates of travel. Make a photocopy of the front and back of any cards that you can take with you when you travel. If you are traveling with a University P-Card, be sure that you have adequate limits and transactions for your needs.
  • Complete your registration in GRAND.
  • If you are a US citizen, register in STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. If you are not a US citizen, check your country’s foreign affairs department to see if they have an equivalent system for registering the international travel of citizens, but you may also register in STEP as a non-U.S. citizen, which will enable you to receive information, alerts, and warnings sent by the U.S. Department of State.
  • Review travel advisories and medical, safety and security information on your destination from the US Department of State or the On Call Searchlight. Monitor world and local news for your destination prior to departure.
  • If you will be traveling to collaborate on research or to present at a conference, travel with a device containing only research that is either publicly available or a product of Fundamental Research. For more guidance, please contact Export Compliance.

Communications & Contact Information

  • Check with your cell phone service about international coverage and rates. You may consider bringing an unlocked phone and purchasing a local SIM card.
  • Learn international access codes that you may need while abroad. Be sure you have contact information in your phone and your carry-on luggage for:
    • Your local contact in your destination country
    • Drexel International Health, Safety and Security (267)-571-5911
    • Local emergency number to call, the equivalent of the US 911
    • Emergency contact information for your home country’s Embassy in your destination country in your phone. (US State Department's Embassy list) 

Special Considerations

  • Food and water: Research the food and water safety of your host country and be aware of the necessary precautions needed. Be aware that serious food restrictions or allergies may be harder to manage in some countries.
  • Sexuality and sexual identification: Sexuality and sexual identification may be perceived differently in other countries based on cultural norms, and some may be more restrictive than others. Research your location and recognize the importance of taking precautions to avoid safety and security risks.
  • Disability Services: (if applicable) Research resources to support your travel. Discuss your disability needs with Drexel's Director of International Health, Safety and Security. Please be aware that disability services abroad may be limited, or in some locations unavailable.

If you have any questions or concerns about your preparations for International Travel, please contact Marcia Henisz.

Travel Health

In addition to the logistics of tickets and passports, it is important to take into consideration health needs during international travel. Each person reacts differently to their environment abroad and planning ahead for healthy upcoming international travel may help travelers to avoid difficult situations that will detract from their time abroad.

Local Health Concerns and Recommended Vaccinations

Medications Abroad

For prescription medications, it is important to take an adequate supply to cover the entire period of travel plus one week and to have a copy of the prescription. Some medications, particularly controlled substances, may be illegal in some countries so it is advisable to check on this prior to departure. It is also a good idea to take a small supply of a preferred cold medication and an anti-diarrhea medication. For more information about traveling with medications, please visit the FDA website on this topic.

Doctor Referrals

Drexel’s Emergency Assistance Provider, On Call International can provide medical referrals to university travelers as needed and can be reached at +1-603-952-2038. The US Department of State also maintains a list of medical facilities abroad under Country Specific Information in a section entitled, “Medical Facilities and Health Information.”

 

Medical Emergencies

In the event of a medical emergency abroad, please contact On Call International at +1-603-952-2038 for immediate assistance.

 

International Health Insurance

It is the responsibility of all international travelers to ensure they have the appropriate international health insurance prior to departing. On Call International is not health insurance, but emergency assistance. In most countries, patients must pay for care at the time that it is received, and the hospital will not accept a US insurance card for payment. Please check with your insurance company for details on their international coverage and reimbursement policy.

Employees who are covered under any one of Drexel's medical plans by Independence Blue Cross (IBC) may be able to access the international BlueCard Program. Students who have the student health plan offered by the University through Aetna have international coverage for incidents abroad.

 

Additional Resources