The services provided by International SOS range from telephone advice and referrals to full-scale evacuation by private air ambulance. The SOS network of multilingual specialists operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from SOS Alarm Centers around the world. SOS membership is provided by Northwestern free of charge to its students and employees to protect against a variety of difficulties that could arise while abroad. The International SOS program is designed to supplement the policies, procedures and support staff, which Northwestern University already has in place.
It is important to understand that, although International SOS will offer students and employees travel, medical and security advice and services, as well as online access to information which many insurance companies do not offer, International SOS is NOT health insurance. Northwestern University continues to require all students participating in international educational activities facilitated, sponsored, endorsed, or administered by the University (including, but not limited to study abroad programs) to maintain health insurance coverage that meets the standards set forth by the University's Office of Risk Management and to make certain that their policies cover them while abroad.
Whenever traveling or living abroad, students and employees can access up-to-date reports on more than 200 countries worldwide on health issues, medical care and vaccination requirements via the International SOS website - your home page for travel health and safety information. The International SOS website also contains an online Personal Locator form for inputting travel and destination information. Northwestern University requires all student travelers to complete this form so that important information is available to International SOS and Northwestern on-call staff should you need to be located in the event of a crisis or emergency. Although not required, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to complete the Personal locator form. Once a Locator Record is completed an Automated Travel Advisory (ATA) will be sent to you. ATA's enable Northwestern University to effectively communicate pre-travel Medical and Security information to you via email. The information will educate and prepare you for safe travel during your trip abroad and also includes vaccination recommendations when applicable for your trip destination. If a situation changes while you are abroad, you will continue to receive updates via email until you return.
While you are abroad, your first contact should always be the director of your overseas program, as instructed during your orientation. If you are traveling, and/or in a situation where you are not able to reach that person, you should contact the Northwestern Study Abroad Office (847-467-6400) during normal business hours; the University Police (847-491-3254) during off-hours; or International SOS, who will work to meet your needs immediately and will contact the University's on-call staff in the United States while coordinating services with Northwestern. Please be aware that some of International SOS's services outlined on the following pages carry additional charges. These services have been marked so that you are aware of them. Should you request a service which has an additional charge, International SOS will inform you in advance and will require a credit card number in order to activate the service. Also, please be aware that any event occurring when an expatriate student is within the territory of his/her home country or, in the case of U.S. citizens, within the territory of the United States, is not covered.
Please note: Important instructions for activating these services can be found on the Guide for Registering page. The wallet card, which contains the Northwestern University group membership number and the Alarm Center phone numbers, should be carried by students at all times when they are overseas.
Should you have any questions about the coverage, please contact Rey Andre, Interim Director of Risk Management: 847-491-5582.
Under the Access program, fees apply for all services listed below, unless otherwise noted