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Safety Abroad

Updated June 14, 2021


Notice for all upcoming travel:

The safety of Ryerson community members is of utmost importance. Ryerson has suspended all future university-sanctioned international travel and in-person activity abroad for students until the end of the fall 2021 semester. Ryerson urges faculty members to carefully consider any upcoming travel plans. When possible, consider cancelling your plans entirely, or postponing to a later date and delaying financial commitments. 

For more information for students, visit our Safety Abroad page.

For more information for faculty and staff, visit our International Risk Management page.

Updated September 15, 2021


Notice for Winter 2022 Exchange Program: 

Given the continued global travel advisory, external link, opens in new window from the Federal government to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, Ryerson University has decided to suspend the in-person exchange program for Winter 2022 (Jan - Apr).

Information regarding other types of international activity (such as co-ops, internships, placements, research and other types of experiential learning) for the Winter 2022 term is forthcoming.

Our Partner: International SOS (ISOS)

Ryerson has joined forces with International SOS (ISOS) to offer our students medical, safety and security expertise and help when traveling or living abroad.

 What happens if you have an emergency abroad?

Who do you call?
In the event of an emergency ISOS should be your first point of contact for support. You can reach out to ISOS 24/7 via phone (PDF fileAssistance Center phone numbers) or the ISOS Assistance App, external link, opens in new window. As an ISOS member, you will have access to a worldwide network of 27 assistance centers staffed by doctors, nurses, coordinators and security professionals who will provide you with local expertise and emergency assistance. 

Emergency Incident Check-ins:
If a significant travel security incident, health threat or natural disaster has affected your region, Ryerson International will reach out via International SOS to check on your safety status. It is important that you regularly check your email while traveling abroad to ensure you are keeping up-to-date on ISOS communications.

When you are away from home and in unfamiliar surroundings, there are some events that you can't predict. You may become ill, lose your passport, run out of medication or simply need advice. As an International SOS member, you receive extended security assistance 24/7 no matter where you study or travel internationally. No issue is too small. Consider them your reliable, virtual advisor for both critical and routine questions. You have access to the following services:

  • Destination specific information. Visit our Member’s Portal, external link, opens in new window for access to travel, medical and security inform on 220 countries and more than 330 cities.  
  • Regular email updates and ISOS Assistance App, external link, opens in new window notifications on the latest travel security developments and advice in response to significant travel security incidents
  • Advice before your trip from a regional expert or medical professional
  • A referral for a local doctor, dentist or other care
  • Routine or urgent medical care, including medical evacuation;
  • Counseling sessions while abroad either via phone or in-person (where available). Your membership allows you to have 5 free counseling sessions per trip. 
  • Assistance with lost passport  
  • Translation services 
  • Urgent and non-urgent travel security assistance and advice

When in doubt, call International SOS for compassionate, reassuring support.

Mandatory Pre-Departure Risk Management Steps

Ryerson University requires that all students participating in a Ryerson affiliated international activity complete the following mandatory international travel risk management steps. Ryerson University manages international travel risk in partnership with International SOS.

How can International SOS help?

  • International SOS (ISOS) provides you and your family with assurance that you will be assisted during emergency situations that may arise during travel abroad. One phone call connects you to the ISOS network of multilingual specialists for immediate help (24/7). ISOS services are designed to help you with medical, personal, travel, security and legal problems abroad.
  • For more information see: Our Partner - International SOS

How to register? (Must complete all five steps):

  1. Register a New User/Login using your email address at International SOS MyTrips, external link, opens in new window
  2. Add a “New Trip”. Must include both:
    1. Accommodations Information (For entire length of activity abroad).
    2. Flights (Return & Departure): To add flight Information you can enter it manually or forward your flight confirmation email (from your account) to:
  3. Read carefully through the “Pre-trip Advisory” email that is sent from ISOS within 24 hours of successfully adding a “New Trip”. This email contains important security and medical information relevant to your travel.
  4. Submit a “Travel Request Form” online form. The link for this form is provided in the “Pre-trip Advisory” email.
  5. Download your PDF fileInternational SOS Membership Card to keep with you at all times while traveling abroad. In the event of an emergency, call one of the phone numbers listed on the card or call via the Assistance App. 
  6. (OPTIONAL) We highly encourage you to download the International SOS Assistance App, external link, opens in new window for access to one-click dialling to the closest International SOS Assistance Centre, for immediate help while abroad. Also, provides travel alerts/notifications and country specific medical and security information.

Please email if you have any questions or concerns with registering for ISOS.

All students must sign a PDF fileliability waiver to confirm their awareness of the potential risks and accept them.  This document should be kept on file in your home academic department.

Please DO NOT drop the liability waiver off at Ryerson International.

Students are required to purchase Travel medical emergency insurance throughout the duration of their international activity abroad. This insurance is intended to protect you against unforeseen medical emergencies and expenses. Unexpected high medical expenses without adequate insurance can add considerable financial and emotional stress while traveling abroad. Read through our FAQ’s  below to understand our coverage requirements, where to purchase, etc.

Important: Don’t forget to bring a copy of your insurance Information/card with you while you are travelling. We recommend that you leave a copy of the information with a friend or relative at home.


What are the minimum requirements?
Students are required to obtain a Travel Medical Emergency Insurance that covers: Medical emergency services (i.e Hospitalization, etc), medical evacuation, and repatriation. You can compare your insurance policy to RSU’s Travel Insurance, external link, opens in new window coverage which serves as a minimum standard. Beyond this minimum coverage it is every student’s responsibility to consulate with a doctor to understand their own medical needs and if any additional coverage is needed. 

Where can I purchase travel medical emergency insurance?
Prior to purchasing travel medical emergency insurance coverage, first check to see if you are already covered through the RSU’s Travel Insurance Plan, external link, opens in new window. You can contact RSU Assistance, external link, opens in new window to see if you are covered. Please note that the RSU Travel Insurance Plan only covers the first 60 days of your trip abroad. Therefore, if you are traveling abroad for longer than 60 days you will need to obtain an additional insurance to cover the remainder of your trip. To download your RSU Travel Insurance card, go to, external link, opens in new window.     

If you are not covered under the RSU Travel Insurance Plan, you can purchase travel insurance through your employer’s insurance, travel agent, credit card company, student travel insurance companies, etc. Regardless of how you obtain travel medical emergency insurance, it is very important that you understand the eligibility requirements, terms and conditions, limitations, restrictions and exclusions of the policy. Please note: If you are traveling to a high risk destination your coverage may be affected, double check with your insurance provider that you will be covered in that location.

How does my travel medical emergency insurance coverage work abroad?
Prior to traveling abroad, you should check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage details, where you can access medical care and how their reimbursement/claims process works. This will vary greatly by insurance policy and you do not want to wait until the moment you need it abroad to try and figure out how it works. For example, some insurance companies require that you call them prior to receiving any medical care. This is important to understand as they may not reimburse you unless you called them first. Some companies only have specific health providers that they have approved under their coverage. Some companies will pay your medical bills up-front while others will require you to pay out of pocket and be reimbursed later.

These regularly-scheduled, roughly 90min sessions cover travel preparation, travel safety and security and cultural acclimatization. Visit our events page for registration information on upcoming sessions. Attendance at a pre-departure session is not required for travel to the United States.

Please note: Students participating in an exchange program will be informed of the date for their mandatory full-day pre-departure session by email from their exchange coordinator.

Students undertaking travel to High or Extreme risk destinations are asked to complete a Travel Risk Management Plan – a working document that details concrete actions undertaken to minimize travel and medical risks – which must be approved by a Dean (HIGH risk) or Provost (EXTREME risk) before the activity can move forward.

How do I know if my destination is High or Extreme risk?
Through International SOS’s Members Portal, external link, opens in new window you can search risk assessments by country. Simply use the search bar at the top of the page to type in your destination and click “search”. You will then be taken to your host country’s profile page. At the top you will see a box labeled “Risk Ratings” which will include a medical and travel risk rating. If either rating is high or extreme you will need to complete the Travel Risk Management Plan.  

When do I submit a Travel Risk Management Plan?
Students should consult with Ryerson International well in advance of their intended departure date in order to start this process as early as possible. It is recommended that students not finalize bookings until formal approval is received. The Travel Risk Management Plan should be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the intended departure date as the review and approval process between Ryerson International, the appropriate Dean (or Provost), and student traveller can take time to finalize. 

How do I complete a Travel Risk Management Plan?
Please review/complete the online application guidelines and form: Travel Risk Management Plan Form, external link, opens in new window

When travelling abroad, it can sometimes be difficult to access online resources such as G Suite at Ryerson, D2L Brightspace and the my.ryerson portal. It is important that you have access to these resources in order to facilitate contact and continued support for International Risk Management procedures. Computing and Communications Services (CCS) has created, opens in new window, a proxy service to help in many of these situations. This proxy service, much like a virtual private network or VPN, helps you access most applications on the domain that may not otherwise be available in your location.

Where should I be using, opens in new window?
The service is available for use primarily in the Asia-Pacific region but can be accessed anywhere outside of Canada, the United States and Mexico.

How can I access, opens in new window?
Bookmark, opens in new window prior to your departure in order to easily access the proxy service during your travels. As long as you’re outside of Canada, the United States or Mexico, you will be connected to the, opens in new window interface. You will need to provide your my.ryerson username, password and two-factor credentials to authenticate to the proxy. Once authenticated, you should be able to access Ryerson's online resources in the same way you do on the Ryerson campus. If you have any questions, please contact the Computing and Communications (CCS) Help Desk at or 416-979-5000, ext. 556806.

Those leading a group of students abroad are asked to complete the International Group Trip Registration form, external link.

If you haven't already, don't forget to check out our resources from Step 2: Making Your Decision. You'll find important information about Financing Your Participation & Budgeting and Identity Abroad

COVID-19 (Formerly 2019-Novel Coronavirus) FAQs

For all Ryerson university information and updates for COVID-19 including an extensive FAQ visit Ryerson COVID-19 Information and Updates. For travel specific information see Ryerson International FAQs below.

Ryerson Students

Ryerson has suspended all future university-sanctioned international travel and in-person activity abroad for students until the end of the fall 2021 semester. The latest suspension was announced on June 14, 2021, see here for complete communication

For more information regarding the Canadian Government’s travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice, see Canada’s Official Global Travel Advisory, external link, opens in new window.

The international travel suspension does not apply to full-degree seeking international students who may be travelling to Canada for their studies, however the Government of Canada travel restrictions, external link, opens in new window remain in place. Students seeking to travel to Canada at this time should review the COVID-19 information and updates page for international students, or connect directly with International Student Support (

Remote and virtual international activities (i.e. activities with organizations and institutions outside of Canada) that do not require travel nor in-person components are not affected by the above suspensions. This includes virtual exchange (for example The Creative School’s virtual exchange program) and other types of Virtual Global Learning. For information regarding Experiential Learning see question below.


CrCredit-bearing and/or required international experiential learning opportunities may be conducted remotely (including but not limited to placements, co-ops and internships) regardless of a student’s location (whether residing in Canada or in their home country). Each opportunity should be assessed on any additional criteria developed by each faculty. All considerations and decisions for experiential learning activities must align with the framework and broader directives from the Experiential Learning Office

In addition, all students are required to submit a google formRemote International Experiential Learning Confirmation Form, external link. If you have any questions or concerns about the form, please contact Emma Wright: Note that as stated above, the suspension on university-sanctioned in-person international activity (including Experiential Learning) also applies to students currently residing outside of Canada.

  • LOPs for remote/virtual activity with institutions outside of Canada are being processed. See Curriculum Advising for more information.
  • Exception: International students residing outside of Canada may apply for an LOP to take in-person courses at a university in the country in which they normally reside and in which they are currently located. See Curriculum Advising and Student Affairs COVID-19 Information and Updates for more information

If you are abroad for personal reasons the information below may be of assistance:

 Note that international students should visit International Student Support for further information and support.

  • A formal announcement will be released from the Office of the Provost regarding international travel and in-person activity abroad in the fall for activities planned for the winter 2022 term. As soon as this announcement is released, Ryerson International will send an update to all students who have been accepted into the 2021-2022 Ryerson Exchange program. 
  • If a decision is made to suspend university-sanctioned international activities (including winter 2022 exchange), the announcement will be made in advance of winter 2022 course enrolment and tuition payment deadlines so that students will be able to enrol into winter 2022 courses at Ryerson. Please remain in your fall 2021 and winter 2022 course intentions unless otherwise notified by Ryerson International.
  • Do not make any financial or logistical commitments, including booking flights, accommodation and insurance, unless otherwise notified by Ryerson International.
  • Do not email your host university. If you have questions regarding the status of the exchange semester or any further details please inquire directly with your Faculty Exchange Coordinator.
  • If at any point you would like to withdraw from the exchange program for 2021-2022 year, please notify your Faculty Exchange Coordinators as soon as possible so that your place may be offered to another student. There is no financial penalty for withdrawing from the exchange program. 
  • If the exchange program is cancelled for winter 2022, your ability to apply to the program for the 2022-2023 academic year will depend on the flexibility of your academic program and approval from your home academic department. Please inquire with your Faculty Exchange Coordinator.

Incoming Short-Term International Student Visitors to Ryerson

Ryerson University has decided to suspend the in-person semester-based exchange program for Fall 2021 (Sep - Dec).

Please note that a decision has not yet been made regarding in-person exchange for the Winter 2022 (Jan - Apr) semester. 

Please refrain from making any financial commitments connected to your potential exchange semester at Ryerson until a formal announcement has been made regarding the status of the exchange program.

Please note that virtual exchange is available through some faculties, such as The Creative School.

Ryerson will not be hosting incoming International Visiting Research Students until the suspension of international activity has been lifted. The suspension is currently in effect until August 31st, 2021. 

While an exact date can not be confirmed, the university will be revisiting decisions related to international visitors in early Spring for the fall 2021 term (i.e. start dates between September to December). 

Please refrain from making any financial commitments connected to your potential stay at Ryerson until the suspension of international activity has been formally lifted.