Overview of Student Safety Abroad Policy and Registry

What is the Student Safety Abroad Policy?

The purpose of the policy is to enable safer student experiences abroad through the assessment of risks and management of resources to help the university better repsond to emergency situations. Read more about UBC's Policy 69 here.

Who needs to register on the Student Safety Abroad Registry?

Registration in the Student Safety Abroad Registry is required for all students traveling internationally for university activities.

How is the information on the Student Safety Abroad Registry used?

The Student Safety Abroad Registry is used to mitigate risk and make it easier for UBC to assist you in case of a critical situation abroad. 

Regarding Destinations

I'm still trying to decide what country to go to. Are the requirements different for each one?

Depending on the advisory level of your destination country, you will need to complete different tasks. Check out the Get Started page for more information.

What are the different travel advisory levels and what do they mean?

Four different levels are associated with travel advisories for each country. In order of increasing advisory levels they are:

  • Level 1: "Exercise normal security precautions"
  • Level 2: "Exercise a high degree of caution"
  • Level 4: "AVOID ALL TRAVEL"

Learn more about what to do for the four different levels here.

I'm planning on traveling to two different countries. Do I need to fill out the registry twice?

It is possible to register multiple countries on the Student Safety Abroad Registry. You will have to sign a separate Safety Mobility Agreement for each one.

Preparing to Travel

What should I do in case of an emergency while I’m abroad?

In case of an emergency, students are advised to contact local authorities and their host organization (if applicable) for immediate support. Students are also encouraged to contact UBC's Emergency Services provider International SOS +1 215 942 8478 for emergency assistance. The Emergencies learning module is useful for learning more information on emergency procedures and assistance.

What kind of insurance do I need when I’m traveling abroad? Do I have to purchase extra insurance?

Learn more about travel medical insurance on our Travel Health and Medical Insurance learning module. This module includes additional considerations if you are traveling to regions with travel advisories of level 3: “AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL” or level 4: “AVOID ALL TRAVEL”.

Am I covered for extended travel insurance with the AMS/GSS Insurance Plan (Vancouver campus) or UBCSUO Insurance Plan (Okanagan campus)?

Yes. The AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan (Vancouver campus) and UBCSUO Health & Dental Plan (Okanagan campus) are extended health and dental coverage plans. These plans are provided by Pacific Blue Cross.

What is ROCA? Is it only for Canadian citizens? What if I’m not?

The Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) is a free service for Canadian citizens from the Government of Canada to assist you in case of an emergency abroad. Click here for more information.

Are there safety presentation sessions that I can attend?

We do offer group presentations. Please visit Group Safety Briefings to learn more or schedule a group pre-departure safety briefing.


What is considered "university activity"?

According to the Student Safety Abroad Policy, “university activities” include activities that fulfill a requirement for academic progress, are organized by the university, or are funded in whole or part from the university. Read the Policy here.

What is a Letter of Permission?

A Letter of Permission allows you to participate in studies outside of UBC and transfer the credits back to your UBC degree. You do not require the Letter of Permission if you are planning on attending courses through a Go Global partner university.