Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

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Safety Abroad - Queen's University Emergency Support Program

The opportunity to travel, study and work around the world is one of the greatest privileges many in our campus community enjoy. However, we want to ensure that your international experience is as safe and healthy as possible.

The following information is intended to inform and guide you as you prepare for your upcoming experience abroad AND in the event of an emergency:

Checklist for Queen's University Sanctioned International Activities

Checklist for Going Abroad

All students must complete the following steps prior to departure (all others are encouraged and sometimes required to do so as well):

  1. Queen's University has partnered with International SOS (ISOS) to provide out-of-country emergency assistance for all Queen's community members traveling on university-sanctioned activities. Access the International SOS (ISOS) webpage for the Queen's Membership number and details. Before you depart you need to:
    • Print off the Emergency Contact Card and carry it with you during your travels. (You must log into the OCASP system using your Net ID for access to this card)
    • Set up your ISOS account 
  2. Ensure that you have adequate out-of-country health insurance coverage, trip cancellation insurance, property insurance, etc. Review the Health Insurance Information Sheet (PDF 206KB) to assist you in reviewing your health coverage while abroad.
  3. Learn if you need to get specific immunizations for travel to (or through) your host country or countries. DrugSmart Pharmacy, located in the ARC, operates a travel medical clinic under the direction of Dr. Jay Keystone, a world-renowned expert on tropical medicine and senior author of the textbook Travel Medicine. 
  4. Register as a Canadian abroad at travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration  OR with your country of citizenship, if you are traveling on a non-Canadian passport.
  5. Consider an Emergency Action Plan (PDF 165 KB)
  6. Research your host country/culture prior to departure using the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) Country Profiles and the International SOS portal. 
  7. Complete, submit and receive approval for the Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) Safety Planning Record which includes the on-line Pre-Departure Orientation.
  8. Cannabis Legalization -  On October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis became legal in Canada. This, however, did not change Canada’s border rules. Taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis across Canada’s international borders is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. This is the case even if you are travelling to places that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Transporting cannabis used for medical purposes is also illegal. The federal government provides detailed information on cannabis and international travel.
Pre-departure Orientation

Pre-departure Orientation

To support Queen’s participants in their preparations for study, work and travel abroad, EH&S offers an on-line pre-departure orientation (PDO). All undergraduate students taking part in Queen’s University-sanctioned international activities are required to complete the on-line modules which are embedded in the Off-campus Activity Safety Policy – On-line Planning Tool.  All other participants are strongly encouraged to complete it.  The on-line PDO offers information on travel logistics, cross-cultural adjustment, health insurance, the Queen’s Emergency Support Program and more.

EH&S also offers in-person/group PDO sessions that can be customized to meet specific travel needs including crossing cultures/cultural adjustment, risk assessment and mitigation, country-specific information and more. For information or to book an in-person workshop please contact the Queen's University Off-campus Activity Health and Safety Team.

 We recommend that you use this list of extra safety resources when planning for your international experience:

Set Up Your International SOS Emergency Support Account

Queen's University has partnered with International SOS  (ISOS) to provide out-of-country emergency assistance for all Queen's community members traveling on university-sanctioned activities. In the event of an emergency you can access International SOS to speak to a  doctor, get referred to a local health care provider, receive travel information and alerts, and assistance for immediate medical and security concerns. You can also contact International SOS prior to your travel for country-specific information. A network of multilingual specialists are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

So let's get that set up:

1. Download, print and carry the International Travel Emergency Contact Card. (You must log into the OCASP system using your Net ID for access to this card which includes the Queen's ISOS membership number)

2. Download the International SOS Assistance App on your smartphone (Use your Queen's email account and Queen's ISOS membership number to gain access to our member services!)

3. Check out the ISOS Assistance App User Guide.

4. Connect and browse around the International SOS portal. (You will need to enter your Queen's ISOS membership number to access this)

5. When you are in the portal don't forget to sign up for email alerts. eg. severe weather, political crisis, etc. in your country. (Click on the "Email Subscription" link on the left side bar to set it up) 

6. Download the Membership Pocket Guide.

7. Check out the Woman's Travel Risk Guide(Everyone should check this out...it has great info for all!)

In the Event of an Emergency While Abroad

If you find yourself in a situation that is deteriorating quickly please contact the appropriate agency, listed below, for assistance/support:

Additional ISOS resources

  • Return to Travel Q&A amid COVID-19 (PDF, 166 KB).  ***Please note that the Queen's University restrictions against all international travel due to Covid-19 are still currently in place.  This resource would only be useful to you if the University lifts those restrictions. 
  • ISOS has developed a set of micro learning courses designed specifically to assist travellers as they navigate through the challenges of COVID-19: 
    • Coronavirus Awareness - a brief, 5-minute course which includes tips for avoiding exposure
    • Mental Health (Stress Management) - dealing with stressful situations in changing environments
    • Top Tips for Staying Healthy - ways to stay healthy during this crisis