Emergency Preparations and Contact
We believe that the best way to minimize risk is by providing information and encouraging preparation. Everybody involved—Boston University, students, parents—has a role to play in preparing for study abroad.
Boston University Study Abroad has always maintained and regularly revises health, safety, and emergency guidelines. More recently, Boston University has taken a number of steps to update our preparedness to deal with emergencies abroad. These include the following:
- The Study Abroad staff in Boston is in regular contact with the resident staff at each program site, and all staff members, in Boston and abroad, possess numerous means for contacting each other, including 24-hour phone numbers and multiple e-mail addresses.
- Students and parents are provided with 24-hour contact phone numbers for both resident staff and Boston staff. Resident staffs have procedures in place to enable contact with students when necessary, and these procedures have been shared with students.
- Boston and resident staff members monitor announcements from the U.S. Department of State, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and other sources daily. Staff members automatically receive Travel Warnings and Advisories from the Department of State.
- Resident staff members at each site are in regular touch with the U.S. Embassy, local U.S. Consulate, and local authorities. U.S. government representatives abroad and local authorities are provided with information about our program, staff, facilities, and students.
- Resident staff at each site have updated their contingency plans, and have provided that information to the Boston office. These plans cover emergency communication and assembly of students, and situations up to and including cancellation of the program. These plans complement our existing Emergency Response Manual. For reasons of security, plans involving emergencies and evacuation of students may not be released except to International Programs staff. However, each program has instructed students in emergency contact procedures and provides students with updates to these procedures as well as information relating to the current situation.
- Students are required, when traveling, to provide resident staff with travel information whenever available. When students are traveling to locations where Boston University Study Abroad maintains an office, students also have access to the 24-hour emergency numbers at those locations.
- Whether traveling or at their host site, students are encouraged to behave in ways that do not call attention to themselves as Americans. These suggestions are provided to students during their orientation, and through printed materials such as those available on this website.
Emergency Contact Information
Boston University Study Abroad staff members are always happy to talk to parents and students about health, safety, and security overseas. Please feel free to contact us at 617-353-9888.
- Boston University Study Abroad after-hours emergency number: 617-594-3215
- Boston University Police: 617-353-2121
- U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs
The Bureau of Consular Affairs provides travel announcements and warnings for countries and regions around the world, along with a range of services to Americans living and traveling overseas. Call 1-888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444)
- State Department Information Specifically for Students Abroad
This has links to U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, and an online system to register with the U.S. Embassy in the host country (recommended).
- British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
The British FCO provides travel tips, specific country advice, and many of the same types of services to British subjects that the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs provides to U.S. citizens.
- Health Information for travel from the Centers for Disease Control
The CDC provides information on health conditions, required inoculations, and other valuable information for students and other travelers.
Boston University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report
Boston University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report includes crime statistics for overseas locations.