Travel Safety

High-risk travel

For safety reasons, the University of Saskatchewan does not send students to high-risk areas that are under 'Avoid non-essential or all travel' advisory as per the Global Affairs Canada.

Exemption Request process
If you have strong academic reasons and you would like to pursue high-risk travel, please contact ISSAC to learn more about the Exemption Request process. Please note that travel to a high-risk area will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and the Exemption Request process should not be pursued if there are any alternative destinations where the proposed study or research could be conducted. Also note that the process can take several months to complete and it is not guaranteed that a request will result in an approval of travel. Therefor, travel arrangements should be made only if the process results in an authorization of travel. 

Travel safety requirements for U of S students

There are certain travel safety requirements that all university students must adhere to when they travel outside of Canada with the U of S. These requirements apply to all undergraduate and graduate students and any trips that have been approved or funded in whole or in part by the U of S. Any information collected from students is kept confidential and used only to support students in emergency situations abroad. For more information, see the university's International Travel Risk Management for Student Mobility policy.

Student requirements include:

  • Familiarize yourself with Global Affairs Canada travel advisories and recommendations for your destination country.
  • If you are a Canadian citizen, register your trip on the Global Affairs website.
  • Inform ISSAC about your upcoming travel at least 30 days prior to departure.
  • Complete an online orientation on Blackboard (waived for certain graduate travelers).
  • Complete all tasks assigned to you on the International Travel Registry (mandatory for all students).
  • Continue to monitor the news and your Usask email while abroad.
  • All study abroad groups, students taking part in fieldwork and students traveling to high-risk areas are also required to create a Travel Safety Plan to be used in emergency situations abroad. For more information, contact itr.admin@usask.ca. The plan should be prepared at least 2 months prior to travel and kept up-to-date.

A checklist for U of S students traveling abroad

In order to initiate the U of S pre-departure process and complete the above steps, please send a completed Trip set up form OR the following information to itr.admin@usask.ca at least 30 days prior to your departure:

  • NSIDs for all students
  • Names of the destination country and city
  • Travel dates from and to Canada
  • Name of faculty member overseeing the travel (if applicable)
  • Purpose of travel

Students will receive an automated email with instructions once their travel has been entered into the International Travel Registry. A second email will be sent only to those who need to complete an online Pre-departure Orientation. 

Faculty and staff responsibilities include risk assessment and site selection well in advance prior to travel, emergency and travel safety planning when accompanying students and incident reporting. To learn more, please view Travel Safety information for faculty or contact ISSAC.

Minimize risk, Maximize safety

While abroad, you will be experiencing a different way of life that can be both exciting and challenging. Sometimes we find ourselves faced with difficult situations that we normally would not be faced with at home. These situations can be easier to manage if we prepare ourselves beforehand. It is important that you are well-informed about the country you plan to visit and try to avoid situations that may put you at risk. 

  • When you register your trip with Global Affairs, the nearest Canadian Embassy will be able to better assist you abroad.
  • Visit regularly the Global Affairs website. Their advisories will keep you up to date in case any travel warnings are issued for the area you are visiting.
  • Stay informed. International news will give you regular updates about what is going on in your destination country and in the surrounding region. This information may help you avoid potentially dangerous and high-risk situations overseas.
  • Stay in touch with someone at home to give updated information about your whereabouts. We also recommend that you carry the contact information to your closest Embassy or Consulate abroad. This way help can reach you faster if needed.
  • Contact itr.admin@usask.ca if you have any questions or concerns while abroad.

Insurance

All U of S students who travel abroad must obtain a supplemental health insurance and show proof of this on the International Travel Registry. It is very important that your insurance provides coverage for the entire duration of your trip from the moment you leave until you are back in Canada. Your insurance must also be valid in all countries you are planning to visit. Also, familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your policy. Provincial health coverage will no be considered adequate for U of S affiliated travel outside of Canada. 

If you are covered under the Student Health and Dental Plan and wish to use this coverage abroad, you must first consult with the Student Health and Dental Office to inquire about potential limitations that may affect you. There may be limitations to activities and locations as well as to the length of your stay overseas.

Following are some generic guidelines that may help you determine if the insurance you have or are planning to get is sufficient for you:

  • Does the plan provide coverage for the entire duration of your trip until you return to your home country?
  • Is the coverage renewable from abroad in case you decide to extend your stay?
  • Is there a 24-hour emergency contact number in English?
  • Are medical evacuation costs covered?
  • Does the plan provide hospitalization coverage for illness and/or accident?
  • Does the plan cover doctor's visits and prescription medication?
  • Will the plan provide for direct payment of significant bills?
  • Does the policy have limitations concerning pre-existing conditions?
  • Does the plan cover dental care, ambulance and emergency transportation?
  • Does the plan cover you in all of the countries and areas you are planning to visit?
  • What is NOT covered by the plan?
  • In addition to medical coverage, does the plan cover lost luggage, stolen property or travel cancellations and delays?

Emergency situations abroad

In emergency situations abroad, follow your Travel safety plan. Contact the local emergency services for immediate assistance and the nearest Canadian Embassy or Global Affairs Canada if needed. Non-Canadians should contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country of their citizenship. Once you have received immediate emergency assistance, notify the U of S by contacting Protective Services at +1306-966-5555 for 24/7 assistance (collect calls are accepted) or ISSAC during regular office hours (CST) at +1306-966-4925 or by email at itr.admin@usask.ca

The University can support students abroad in many different ways during their travel and after their return to Canada.

What to do in emergencies checklist