UVM faculty, staff and students often travel for study and research purposes, professional development and to conduct university business. Travel has some inherent risks associated with it. Ensuring the safety of travelers and assuring that they know what risks their trip might entail, is essential.

Risk Management and Safety recommends employees do NOT use their personal vehicles for work. Using personal vehicles exposes employees financially if there is an accident. Vehicle insurance follows the vehicle, so any claims arising from the use of a personal vehicle will be processed through the employees automobile insurance rather UVM's automobile insurance.

UVM’s insurance is always excess over any personal automobile insurance carried by the employee, who uses his/her/hir personal auto on UVM business. UVM recommends that employees who regularly use their vehicles on University business maintain auto liability insurance with limits of at least $100,000 for bodily injury and property damage liability.

For this reason, Risk Management and Safety recommends using a UVM owned or rented vehicle for UVM business. All employees, including temporary employees, and students are eligible to become a UVM Certified Driver and operate UVM owned and leased vehicles by completing training.

Study Abroad Guidelines

All program faculty/trip leaders should implement the following in their planning of UVM sponsored trips abroad:

Travel Advisories

Follow State Department travel advisories both when planning courses that include travel abroad and prior to traveling abroad. Travel should never take place to countries on the State Department’s warning list.


Health Care issues

Mandate that all students carry health insurance which would apply to payment of claims worldwide and includes repatriation and medical evacuation coverage. The UVM sponsored student health plan does provide this in combination with the emergency services program through International SOS which is already in place for all students and employees. Full-time students registered for nine or more credits can enroll in UVM’s student health plan in August or January of any given year by calling UVM’s student insurance broker, Consolidated Health Plans (CHP).

Or you may call (800) 633-7687, or email customerservice@consolidatedhealthplan.com.

Students should carry an insurance card with them at all times. For additional questions, contact the Center for Health & Wellbeing Insurance Coordinator at 656-0602.

Full time UVM employees automatically have health insurance coverage through a combination of UVM’s health plan, workers compensation and travel accident insurance. In addition, International SOS provides medical evacuation, repatriation and emergency services.

Request verification of required immunizations prior to departure. Contact UVM's Student Health Center Travel Clinic (656-3350) regarding recommended immunizations.



UVM contracts with International SOS Assistance which responds in emergency situations to coordinate health care and emergency travel services. All UVM employees and students automatically have this service. SOS Emergency cards can be obtained from the Department of Risk Management at 656-3242 or risk.management@uvm.edu, from the Office of International Education at 656-4296.

  • Develop an emergency notification plan, with contact information and details on how to access emergency funds, as well as an emergency evacuation plan.
  • All participants shall supply the name and telephone number of an emergency contact person. A master list shall be left at UVM for reference
  • Outline procedures for host families in case a student is injured in their home.
  • At least one person, instructor, staff or student, should be instructed in basic first aid. A first aid kit should be readily available.
  • Institute an incident reporting system to immediately notify UVM Risk Management (656-3242) of any event resulting in significant injury or crime against participants. This keeps Risk Management abreast of any potential liability situations. Review a sample incident report form (PDF).


Conduct a student orientation prior to departure


Faculty/Trip leaders shall be responsible for obtaining information about and advising students on how to seek help in emergency situations, including medical care and law enforcement assistance.

Remind students of the aid available from the US Embassy and how to contact them. The diplomatic corps can be especially helpful since tending to the needs of US nationals is one of their responsibilities.

Personal Safety

Encourage a "buddy system" Advise students that they not travel alone, especially at night.

  • Avoid crowds, protest groups and volatile situations

  • Lock doors, windows of room

  • Don’t divulge personal information to strangers.

  • Remind participants to be inconspicuous. Keep a low profile and don’t draw attention to nationality or wealth

  • Contact UVM's Police Services (656-3473) regarding training sessions that may be available to the University community.
  • Advise students of any planned activities that may pose unusual risk or require physical exertion.


  • Discuss code of conduct and expectations

  • Provide information on counseling and support programs available in the host country.

  • Prohibit abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs

  • Educate students as to cultural differences, including local laws pertaining to illegal drug and alcohol use.

Vehicle Use

Discourage students from renting or driving vehicles while in foreign countries because of complications in settling matters if an accident were to occur. Should students elect to rent or drive a vehicle for their personal use, they must clearly understand that the University will not be responsible for any damage or bodily injury.All drivers must attend UVM Risk Management driver training and have their motor vehicle record checked. If vehicles are chartered with a hired driver, make sure Risk Management reviews the charter agreement. Vans greater than a 12-passenger are prohibited. Charter companies must provide proof of insurance. They must never drive the vehicle that is rented for course work for personal business.

Early Termination of Trip

Outline trip cancellation and refund policies including who makes the decision
Outline process and criteria for an individual participant’s termination from the program. Be clear that related travel costs are the individual’s responsibility in this case.



  • Maintain continuous and open communications between campus administrators here and those abroad

  • Faculty will maintain e-mail access with participants, when reasonable.

  • Encourage students to call home and check in with parents from time to time.

  • Remind students to register their address and phone number with the US Embassy.

  • Faculty or supervising staff should check in periodically with campus administrators

  • Faculty should keep track of the location of their students when away from the group overnight.

  • Faculty should check the Department of State website or check in with OIE (x64296) for periodic updates on travel advisories, during their trip.



  • Have all students sign an Acknowledgement of Risk in I-Abroad which clearly outlines what conduct is expected from all participants, the consequences for non-compliance, and the responsibility assumed for personal activities.
  • During Orientation, clearly advise students of any planned activities that may pose unusual risk or require physical exertion. Students who elect not to travel with the group should complete an Alternative Transportation Waiver (PDF).


Conduct a Faculty/Staff Orientation Prior to Departure

  • Develop an itinerary which specifies course activities and activities that are outside the scope of course
  • work.
  • Cultural, safety and other issues

  • Roles of faculty and staff

  • Duties of on-site faculty and foreign staff

  • Travel procedures and processes

  • Reporting incidents, including serious injuries, crimes, medical problems

  • Provide periodic updates to UVM campus

  • Basic first aid procedures


Have UVM Risk Management review all agreements affecting the program, including touring companies, housing agreements, and charter transportation. Risk Management will require proof of insurance.

Location and inspection of host country

  • Conduct inquiry of the health and safety risks of the local environment of the program, including program sponsored accommodations, events, excursions and other activities on an ongoing basis and share information with students and parents

  • Do not place faculty and students in residences adjacent to US government offices, like embassies, since official buildings are potential targets for terrorism.

International Travel Guidelines

UVM contracts with International SOS (ISOS) to provide emergency travel services abroad while our students, faculty and staff are engaged in UVM-approved business, research or study. 

The services provided by ISOS range from telephone advice and referrals to full-scale evacuation by private air ambulance.  The ISOS network of multilingual specialists operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from ISOS Alarm Centers around the world.  Your ISOS membership, provided by UVM, protects you against a variety of difficulties that could arise while you are abroad.  The coverage is designed to supplement the policies, procedures and support which UVM already has in place.

It is important to understand that, although ISOS will offer you travel, medical and security advice and services, as well as on-line access to information which many insurance companies do not offer, International SOS is NOT health insurance.  Requests for reimbursement for medical care received while abroad should be submitted to your health insurance provider.


Using the ISOS Program

Whenever you are traveling or living abroad, you can access up-to-date reports on more than 170 countries worldwide on security and health issues, medical care and vaccination requirements via the ISOS website. 

Log in as a member with UVM’s Membership ID: 11BSGC000020.

Please be sure to review information about your destination country.  Feel free to share this information with family members who may have questions about your travels. 

The wallet card, which contains UVM’s group membership number and ISOS Alarm Center phone numbers, should be carried by you at all times when overseas.  You may print a card by looking for a card icon on the right side of the page.Instructions for printing your own ISOS wallet membership card – are available at this same link.Plastic wallet cards, if preferred can be obtained from either the Risk Management Department or the Office of International Education.

The ISOS website also contains an on-line form, MyTrips, for inputting travel and destination information. We strongly encourage all travelers to complete the form so that this information is available to ISOS and UVM on-call staff should you need to be located in the event of a crisis or emergency.

If you have an emergency situation while abroad, your first contact after using local emergency services should always be ISOS, which will work to meet your needs immediately and will contact UVM’s on-call staff in the United States. Please be aware that some of ISOS’s services, as outlined below, carry additional charges. These services have been marked so that you are aware of them. Should you request a service which has an additional charge, ISOS will inform you in advance and will require a credit card number in order to activate that service.

Should you have any questions about the coverage, please contact Risk Managment or the Office of International Education.​


Medical, Security and Travel Services

In order to utilize any of the medical, security or travel services listed under Program Benefits, contact an SOS Alarm Center from anywhere in the world by calling directly, calling collect, or by calling the toll-free number.  While we have designated the Philadelphia center in the United States as our primary contact, any of the SOS alarm centers will assist you.

To ensure a prompt response when calling, you should be prepared to provide the following:

  • Your name, date of birth, location, age, sex, and nationality Your International SOS membership number:   11BSGC000020 and that you are affiliated with the University of Vermont 
  • The telephone number from which you are calling (in case you are disconnected) 
  • Your relationship to the member (if the person calling is not you.) 
  • Name, location, and telephone number of the hospital or clinic (when applicable) 
  • Name, location, and telephone number for the treating doctor, and where the doctor can be reached (when applicable) 


Program Benefits Include Medical, Security and Travel Services:

  • Emergency evacuation 
  • Medically-supervised repatriation 
  • Companion ticket 
  • Additional travel and accommodation arrangements after medical evacuation 
  • Repatriation of mortal remains 
  • Return home of minor children 
  • Medical monitoring 
  • Inpatient admission and identification of receiving physician 
  • Emergency and routine medical advice 
  • Pre-trip information on travel health issues 
  • Medical and dental referrals 
  • Outpatient referrals 
  • Outpatient case management 
  • Claims assistance 
  • Outpatient medical expense guarantee and payment ( Extra fees will apply ) 
  • Inpatient medical expense guarantee, cost review and payment ( Extra fees will apply ) 
  • Dispatch of medication and medical supplies ( Extra fees will apply ) 
  • Travel Services 
  • Legal referrals 
  • Emergency message transmission 
  • Translations and interpreters ( Extra fees will apply ) 
  • Lost document advice 
  • Ground transportation and accommodations for accompanying family Members ( Extra fees will apply ) 
  • Emergency personal cash advances ( Extra fees will apply ) 
  • International SOS Clinics 
  • Security Services 
  • Security evacuation assistance 
  • Online travel security information 
  • Access to security crisis center 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q:   What is the role of International SOS?
A:  International SOS provides you with worldwide quality health care and emergency assistance services 24 hours a day designed to supplement and integrate with UVM’s services, procedures and policies.  If applicable, you should always attempt to contact your program’s on-site emergency contacts first, who will assist you.  If they are not available, then proceed to contact International SOS.

Q:   How can International SOS help?
A:  International SOS provides you and your parents with peace of mind.  One phone call connects you to the International SOS network of multilingual specialists for immediate help in an emergency.  International SOS services are designed to help you with medical, personal, travel, security information and legal referrals when away from home.  Call International SOS at any time to speak with a physician or security specialist about simple or critical matters.

Q:  How does it work?
A:  You will be provided with an International SOS membership card.  Carry the International SOS membership card with you at all times. It includes the telephone numbers of the three major worldwide International SOS Alarm Centers.  In the event of an emergency, call one of the emergency phone numbers listed on the card.

Q:  What do I need to do to use the program?
A:  In order to utilize any of the medical or travel services listed under contract, call any SOS Alarm Center from anywhere in the world by calling directly, calling collect or calling the toll-free number on your membership card.

Q: What if I have pre-trip questions about my travel destination or questions about the current status in that location?
A:  In addition to calling the Alarm Center for any pre-trip questions you may have, you can access Country and Security Guides website

Use your membership number, 11BSGC000020 , as your member login.  I-SOS comprehensive guides provide medical, security and general travel advice, such as information on the standard of health care, how to pay for medical care, the availability of medications, safety of the blood supply, embassy/visa information, dialing code information, cultural etiquette and financial and voltage/plug information.

International Travel - Insurance Requirements by Country

General Liability Insurance required of Vendors in Country (e.g. NGOs, tour guides, but not hotels) - protects against liability other than that arising from vehicles

Automobile Insurance Required of Vendors Hired to Drive in Country

Travel Accident Insurance

The University of Vermont carries an Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy on employees and trustees who travel on UVM business. Business is defined as "while on assignment by or at the direction of UVM for furthering its business interest, but shall not include any  period of vacation or leave of absence." 

Field Trip Safety

These guidelines are for trips involving overnight stays, unusual hazards, or physical risks.