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Health and Safety

While abroad, the staff at your student’s host institution will be their primary contact for any on-site issues. Of course, you can contact your student’s UNC Study Abroad Advisor with general questions or issues relating to UNC.

Call UNC Public Safety at +1 919.962.8100, any time, from anywhere in the world.

Encourage your student to download and fill out this A downloadable and printable Emergency Information Card.

Experiencing an emergency abroad? If your student is impacted by an emergency situation, there are several steps they should take and resources available to assist. It is important that you and your student keep this information handy to be able to quickly respond if needed in an emergency situation.

  • Get immediate help: Your student should research the local equivalent of 911 so they can get immediate emergency assistance. To find the local emergency phone numbers in the countries they will be visiting, go to the State Department’s site and search for your country-specific information
  • Notify the onsite contact: Encourage your student to know how to their various your Faculty Director, host institution or program provider emergency contact. Someone is available to you 24/7 on-site and you should contact this person as soon as is prudent so that s/he may assist you.
  • Contact UNC Study Abroad: During regular business hours, you and your student can reach us at +1.919.962.7002; after hours contact the UNC Police at +1.919.962.8100. Callers should ask the UNC Police to contact the Study Abroad Office.
  • Contact GeoBlue: They provide 24/7 health insurance assistance, call GeoBlue collect from outside the U.S. at +1.610.254.8771, toll free within the U.S. at 1.844.268.2686, or email
  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy: Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies abroad are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on their website. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs may also be reached for assistance with emergencies at +1 (202) 501-4444.
  • Contacting family/guardians: If students are involved in any emergency, it is important for they remain in contact with family. There is a limit to the nature and amount of information the Study Abroad Office may disclose to parents (and/or designated emergency contacts), so it is best for students to communicate with family directly.
    • In any situation where students are capable of making their own decisions, communicating, seeking medical care, and making travel arrangements, students will decide whether to notify their emergency contacts[1].
    • At its discretion, the Study Abroad Office and other campus units, in consultation with the UNC-Chapel Hill (“UNC”) Global Risk Response Team, may inform a student’s emergency contact[2] about a real or perceived health or safety emergency abroad if the student’s program is in progress. Such situations include, but are not limited to, when:
      • UNC enacts new travel restrictions;
      • UNC, the host institution, or provider decides to evacuate students from the site; or

      Students’ academic program is terminated or disrupted for more than one week, or the program location changes after the study abroad contract is signed, due to a health or safety emergency.

      [1] Emergency contacts are individuals listed by students in Connect Carolina or submitted with the study abroad application.

      [2] Only emergency contacts of students with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) waivers on file will be contacted. In case of a health or safety emergency relating to a student without a FERPA waiver on file, the UNC Global Risk Response Team, which includes the Dean of Students and the Office of University Counsel, may elect to contact the student’s emergency contact on file in accordance with the health and safety exception under UNC’s FERPA policy.

      The University will consider the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the health or safety of student or to others.  If it determines there is an articulable and significant threat to health or safety, the University will record:  (i) the articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or others that formed the basis for the disclosure; and (ii) to whom the University disclosed the information.  This record shall be included in the record of disclosures and be kept with the student’s education records in accordance with the University’s Policies and Procedures Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.