The Safety Abroad Office provides health and safety support to students participating in University sanctioned activities abroad. Staff and faculty interested in learning about risks associated with travel and strategies for mitigating these risks should review the Health and Safety Travel Guide.

U of T staff member


Activity Sponsors Resources and information for staff and faculty involved in the program
Spread the word Help us inform students about Safety Abroad
Steps for sending students abroad Follow these steps to send students abroad

Activity Sponsors

Staff and faculty supporting international travel (including providing students with funding, academic credit or sponsoring academic research) have responsibilities under the Safety Abroad Guidelines found in the larger University Policy Framework on Off-Campus Safety.   

Activity Sponsors are the faculty and staff involved in the program in question that are most immediately responsible to students participating in University activities. Activity Sponsors include:
  • Academic supervisors directly responsible for student field research
  • Staff administering student exchange, course for credit programs and internship opportunities
  • Anyone who sanctions or financially contributes to student-organized extracurricular activities

To learn more about Activity Sponsor requirements, please see our Safety Abroad Manual for Activity Sponsors (see documents).



Please consult the pages below for detailed information about registering students, answering emails, reviewing processes and promoting the Safety Abroad service to students:

  • The Safety Abroad Handbook for Activity Sponsors
  • Safety Abroad Blurb for websites or handbooks
  • Safety Abroad email template for independent registration inquiries 
  • Safety Abroad Database Tutorial
  • Safety Abroad Guidelines
  • Framework for Off-Campus Safety

If you are unsure about your responsibilities, please contact us to arrange a briefing on the process for registering students.

Spread the word

We all have responsibility for ensuring that our students are prepared for the risks involved with international activities and that they continue to be supported by SAO while abroad. However, the size of the University makes it a challenge to get the word out. If you are involved with sending students abroad, please invite us to deliver an information session for students or staff. Choose whichever session best suits your needs:

Introduction to Safety Abroad (15 minutes)

This quick intro for staff and faculty covers the following topics:     

  • The Safety Abroad Guidelines

  • What is a U of T activity?

  • The steps required for activity sponsors and students prior to travel

  • High Risk Travel Processes

  • How we can help

Safety Abroad Session for administrators (1 hour)   

Many divisions and programs have assigned a staff or faculty administrator to ensure that programs comply with the Guidelines. Typically this person is responsible for distributing and collecting Terms of Participation and Consent forms, registering students on the SAO database, and ensuring that students have participated in our Safety Abroad workshop.

This in-depth session for administrators covers the following topics:

  • Safety Abroad Guidelines

  • How to register students

  • Waivers

  • Safety Abroad database tutorial

  • Common questions

  • How to increase compliance

  • Support offered by Safety Abroad


Individual meetings with Activity Sponsors

SAO offers one-on-one meetings with Activity Sponsors to review our respective responsibilities in sending students abroad.

This includes:

  • Review of Safety Abroad Guidelines

  • Completing Safety Planning Record

  • Using Terms of Participation Templates

  • Accessing database

  • What to do when your student has an emergency abroad

Individual meetings with on-site Supervisors

SAO offers one-on-one or group meetings with on-site Supervisors.

This includes:

  • Review of Safety Planning Record

  • Important policies and best practices

  • Responding to personal emergencies

  • Responding to high risk/crisis situations

Sending students abroad

Activity Sponsors are required to familiarize themselves with the full list of requirements for sending students abroad on U of T sponsored events.

Key steps include:

1. Safety Abroad Database registration: Prior to sending students abroad, you need to ensure that students are registered on the SA database and that they have updated their profiles online.

  • To understand your responsibilities, please start with the Instructions for Activity Sponsors.

  • For Independent travel (such as field research) you can direct students to the database registration form and our office will begin their registration.  Our office will need to confirm travel dates for which the participant will be abroad for the University-sanctioned part of the activity.

  • For group travel or programs that regularly send students abroad, we can create an account to directly register students or provide you with a template for registering multiple students.

  •  For more information on either process, please contact us.

2. Waivers: Please use the  Consent and Liability Waiver template and amend as necessary.  Students will need to sign this form and return it to you prior to going abroad. Please keep all documents on file.

3. Safety Abroad Workshop: Students must participate in the appropriate SA Workshop. The SAO will send students travelling independently this link to register for the SAO workshops after they complete the online form. The SAO signs the Consent and Liability Waiver once the students have completed the appropriate session and are instructed to return the documents to you. 

4. Safety Planning Record: Activity Sponsors are required to complete the Safety Planning Record for each activity. We encourage you to work with students when completing the form for independent travel.  Students may also complete the form but it will be up to the Activity Sponsor to give approval.

5. High risk destinations: Please review our high risk travel page and consult with our the CIE.  A destination is considered high risk when the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) lists a country as:

  • "Avoid Non-Essential Travel"

  • "Avoid All Travel"

Other factors that determine level of risk include areas where participants would have limited or no access to health care resources and limited access to communication devices.