Prior to making any decisions about going abroad, students should carefully consider the risks. To begin, read our Health and Safety Travel Guide. You must also register with the Safety Abroad Office (SAO) before you travel. We provide support services to give you peace of mind while you’re away from home.
Steps for going abroad
If you are travelling on University-approved international activities you must register with the SAO. To be fully registered with the SAO, you must complete the following steps at least one month before you travel:
If you have not seen your Activity Sponsor about registering with the Safety Abroad Office, please complete the Safety Abroad Database Registration Request Form (see below), then complete the steps below.
Please note: failure to follow these steps may result in you being removed from a program.
- Register with the Safety Abroad Database by filling out this form if you are a student travelling independently (e.g. Field Research, Travel Award or Bursary) should complete the safety abroad database registration form and return it to the Safety Abroad Office. Students travelling on a program (e.g., a field trip, exchange or internship administered by a program) will be contacted by their Activity Sponsor for registration information.
- Attend a mandatory Safety Abroad Workshop.
- Complete your Consent and Liability and Terms of Participation Waivers (see documents). These will typically be provided by your department administrator, the program that is sending you abroad or the Safety Abroad Office.
- Obtain supplementary travel health insurance. Review any existing health coverage, for example through your student union or UTGSU. Be sure that it is sufficient for your needs, and confirm and/or activate your insurance.
- Your Activity Sponsor must complete a Safety Planning Record. Students going abroad for an independent field trip or research may wish to develop the Safety Planning Record, but the Activity Sponsor must review and approve it.
If you are travelling to a higher risk destination (where Global Affairs Canada, formerly DFAIT, advises that people to avoid non-essential travel or avoid all travel), additional steps are required. Please review our High Risk Travel section.
Safety Abroad Database
The online Safety Abroad Database allows us to monitor your safety while you are away and assist you in the event of an emergency. If you are participating in a University-sponsored international activity, then you must register with the database.
Safety Abroad Database instructions
To log in, you must first be registered in the Safety Abroad Database. If you are not registered, please contact your activity sponsor (e.g., program coordinator or research supervisor) to ensure that an account has been set up for you.
To complete your profile, please include the following:
- passport information
- health insurance information
- emergency contact information
- overseas contact information (if you have it)
Note that in some browsers, the database may not appear to be a secure website. Make sure that your browser enables you to access it. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency contact information
IMPORTANT! Don't forget to update your local contact information while abroad.
It is essential that you keep your personal contact information up to date. If it is necessary for the University to contact you, we will use the email address and telephone numbers you have provided. In the unlikely event that we need to evacuate you from an area or if we are having difficulty connecting with you after a regional incident, this information will be shared with the Department of Foreign Affairs.