In Case of an Emergency Abroad

In case of an emergency situation abroad such as a personal medical emergency, natural disaster, political unrest, or anything that changes the circumstances of the country you are in at the time, it is important that you are prepared. Remember it is strongly recommended that you register with the nearest US Consulate/Embassy when you arrive at your host destination, so that the embassy or a US emergency contact can reach you in an emergency . The Overseas Citizen's crisis number is 202-647-5225. Share it with your family/emergency contact back home. Please review the USU Emergency Response Plan.

What to do:

  • Stay informed. Know what is going on in the world, your host country and any countries you plan to visit. Read newspapers, check the Internet, visit the US State Department website to view the Consular Information Sheets and to view travel advisories and warnings at
  • Keep your host institution program administrator and/or the USU Study Abroad Office informed of any difficulties you might be experiencing.
  • Always carry a card with you which lists information for:
    1. Local police
    2. Host institution program coordinator
    3. Local contact phone numbers, such as faculty leader, accommodations
    4. An emergency contact at home
    5. USU Study Abroad Office, 435-797-0106/1253
    6. USU police, 435-797-1939. The police will contact a representative of the Emergency Response Committee who will get in touch with you.
    7. Insurance contact information
    8. Nearest hospital
    9. Physician at home
    10. US embassy or consulate address/phone in the host country
  • If you are with a group program, the onsite director should identify a gathering place and you should visit this place.
  • Avoid crowds. You don't know what is going on and you don't need to. Stay away and read about it in tomorrow's newspaper.
  • Try, as much as possible, to blend in or to at least do as little as possible to draw attention to yourself. Dress like a native (talk to someone who has been to the country and ask what people wear), don't wear expensive jewelry, and walk like you know where you are going. Avoid wearing clothes with US symbols, etc.
  • If a crisis happens in your host country while you are visiting another, get in touch with the US embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting. Try to contact your program coordinator, if you can't, ask the embassy to contact your host country embassy and get word to the program coordinator that you are safe and where you can be reached.
  • Know where to meet your program coordinator and others in the program and attempt to get there, providing you can do so without risking your personal safety. If this is not possible, try to get in touch with someone from the program, tell them where you are, how long you plan to stay, where you can be reached, and let them know when you will contact them again. If you can't reach anyone from the program, call USU Study Abroad or the USU police who will contact a USU emergency response committee member. Then, that person will contact you and your host institution coordinator.
  • Call your emergency contact at home and let them know you are safe, where you are, and how they can get in touch with you.

USU Study Abroad - Emergency Response Plan
Revised 11/2008


In case of an emergency situation regarding a USU study abroad student(s) participating in a USU partner exchange program, USU faculty-led program, or other affiliated program at an international site, every effort will be made on the part of USU to determine the exact procedure to follow in consultation with the onsite administrator and/or faculty leader, the student, and the student's emergency contact person. Specific circumstances may call for varied responses based on information obtained from the host site and from US and/or foreign authorities.

    1. NOTE: This is a general policy to be considered in case of an emergency situation, primarily abroad, although an emergency may occur regarding an international exchange student at USU and/or traveling in the US . This is not a complete plan of operation, but provides a general guideline of procedures to follow. The actual situation will dictate the actual plan of action/response that will be determined.


  • In case of an emergency for a USU student studying abroad (or for a current international exchange student on campus), students are advised to contact the USU Study Abroad Office and/or USU Police Department. The Study Abroad Office number is 435-797-0601/1253 and the USU Police Dept number is 435-797-1939, both of which will be provided to all students during pre-departure/orientation meetings.
  • The Office of Study Abroad and USU Police Department will maintain a list of the USU Emergency Response Committee members (and their contact numbers) who will be contacted in case of an emergency that might require the development of an emergency response action plan.
  • The Office of Study Abroad, in conjunction with the international onsite administrators, will initially assess the situation and determine the need for further fact-finding/consultation to make recommendations for a plan of action. A recommendation will be developed to ascertain any immediate assistance needed, recommend appropriate student behavior, determine the scope of the emergency (individual, group or site specific), and evaluate the need for appropriate medical intervention/consultation.
  • The Office of Study Abroad , onsite administrators, and the student(s) will establish and maintain communication throughout the situation. All parties will keep each other informed regarding latest developments and any necessary program changes or services to students. During an emergency situation, students will be strongly encouraged to inform the respective institutions/administrators of their whereabouts at all times.
  • The Office of Study Abroad will maintain good communication with the emergency contact person identified by the student.
  • The U.S. Embassy or State Department will serve as a resource for important local information regarding the scope of an emergency. U.S. students are encouraged to register with the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate, so that students can be notified of pertinent information that may affect their activities in the host country.
  • In consultation with all parties, there will be an evaluation of local conditions and the real danger to the student(s). It is important to consider an event's proximity; its impact on the availability of food, water, and medical supplies; and, if political, the target of the unrest. We will seek information from the U.S. Consulate or Embassy for their advice to Americans in the area to determine the intensity of the emergency, the presence of military or emergency personnel, the feasibility of continuing classes, and the ability of students to travel in the area.
  • The Study Abroad Office (or designated member of the Emergency Response Committee) will call together a meeting of members of the Emergency Response Committee to develop an appropriate plan of action in consideration of the following:
    1. the immediate physical, mental health and safety needs of the student(s)
    2. need for an evacuation plan
    3. continuation or termination of the academic program and the financial impact on the student/university program
    4. relocation of the student(s) to another location and best means to accomplish this evacuation in consideration of local conditions
    5. develop a daily communication plan with student(s), upper level administrators and other members of the university community (president, board of trustees, staff, faculty), state and local officials, and the media
    6. response to anticipated telephone calls and inquiries from parents and other interested parties
    7. designate a response team leader to coordinate the university response to the situation
    8. provide a file of actions, communications, and recommendations.
  • In conjunction with onsite administrators, the Emergency Response Committee will coordinate a course of action and prepare an evacuation plan as needed, cognizant of existing conditions.
  • Students will be advised to follow certain procedures during the event: maintain communication, follow added security precautions, keep a low-profile, and avoid large group gatherings whether with fellow Americans or local citizenry.

USU Emergency Response Committee

The USU Emergency Response Committee will be composed of the following members: Study Abroad Director; Vice Provost and Assistant to the Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs; International Students and Scholars Director; Vice President for Student Services; and Risk Management Director.

    1. Note: In case of an emergency, the Study Abroad Director will be the first person contacted. If the Study Abroad Director is unavailable, then another member of Emergency Response Committee should be contacted to coordinate the USU response to an emergency.
Kay Forsyth
Office of Study Abroad

Madeline Greenlick
Office of Study Abroad

John Bostock
Interim Director
Risk Management
Mary Hubbard
Vice Provost
Global Engagement

James Morales
VP Student Services

Resources for the Emergency Response Committee

Additional Resource Personnel who will be contacted based on the nature and scope of the emergency situation: USU Police Chief, Director Public Relations and Marketing, University Council, President's Office.