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In the event of an emergency or urgent situation abroad follow the general guidelines outlined below. This will allow you to get help in the quickest manner. We also recommend that you discuss this emergency protocol with your emergency contact(s) before you leave.
  1. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, immediately contact the local police or medical emergency services in your host country. Make sure to know the equivalent of 911 wherever you travel.
  2. In all other emergencies, contact the on-site program staff, who are in the best position to assist you. You will be provided with their contact information either pre-departure or upon arrival.
  3. In the event you cannot reach your on-site program staff, contact CU Boulder Education Abroad. During business hours, your CU Boulder Ed Abroad Program Manager should be your first contact. If it is after hours (in Colorado) or on the weekend, call our 24/7 emergency phone.
  4. Contact your loved ones in the U.S. While your instinct may be to call your loved ones first, in an actual emergency they should be the last people you contact. This is because they may be thousands of miles away and not in an immediate position to be able to help. Contact on-site staff or local authorities first to get the quickest assistance.
For non-emergency difficulties, the on-site contacts for your program will be able to provide the best assistance. These include the following: 
  • Pick-pocketing or theft (as long as no physical injuries occurred)
  • Lost or stolen passport
  • Problems with your host family or housing abroad
  • Problems with your courses abroad
  • Stress, anxiety, homesickness, and/or other mental health concerns
While your on-site contacts may have an emergency plan, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety, so it is important to develop a personal security plan you will use in the event of an emergency. This plan can be simple but should be thought through before an emergency occurs. For more information on preparing for emergencies abroad, see the State Department's Students Abroad website.
Note: The CU Boulder Education Abroad staff is required to report any incident of harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, which includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, intimate partner abuse, and stalking, to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) on campus. Each incident might be handled differently, but in general, the OIEC does not take action unless the allegation is against someone connected to the University of Colorado Boulder and the complainant (person who experienced the harm) wants OIEC to address the concerns. However, in all incidents, OIEC will provide support resources and may put in place safety measures or offer short-term remedies both immediately if requested and when a student returns to campus.  
Pro Tip: Get in touch with on-site staff

On-site staff are one of your best resources in an emergency, and they can also provide valuable support in non-emergencies, such as non-violent pickpocketing, connections with English-speaking counselors and medical services, problems with host families or housing, and issues with courses. In addition to safety and security support, on site-staff are great resources for general information and advice. They will have insight into how to adapt to local culture, navigate daily life, and provide recommendations on fun things to do.

Additional Resources

While you are abroad, you can always contact Education Abroad who can put you in touch with the appropriate resources. You may also contact these on- and off-campus offices directly:
Last Updated July 2023