International Risk Management
Updated March 1, 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 and staff until August 31st, 2021, opens in new window. 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.
For information on how COVID-19 has impacted medical and travel insurance, see our Medical and Travel Insurance section.
We strongly encourage all faculty and staff to register for International SOS prior to travelling and review the information provided below regarding the services available.
For information on the mandatory pre-departure steps that all students participating in a Ryerson affiliated international activity are required to complete, see our Safety Abroad section on our Global Learning site.
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.
Faculty and staff can find information about their Travel Emergency Medical coverage in HR's employee resources, opens in new window (select your employee group and then the benefits section). The Sun Life plan for employees is still in effect and it is important that you review your coverage in detail to understand any restrictions or exemptions that may apply to your situation. If you have any questions about Travel Emergency Medical coverage please contact Jan Neiman, Director, Pensions & Benefits (email@example.com, opens in new window).
Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, external travel insurance providers (for example, trip cancellation) no longer cover travel booked on or after March 13, 2020, when the official global travel advisory, external link came into effect. For more information see the Government of Canada's site on travel insurance, external link.
International SOS Services
All Ryerson community members (including faculty and staff) have access to International SOS, Ryerson’s partner in international risk management abroad.
Ryerson International has joined forces with International SOS to provide the Ryerson community access to a worldwide network of real-time health and logistics professionals, with local expertise, preventative advice and emergency assistance while traveling abroad. International SOS is available 24/7 for any critical or routine travel, medical or security questions. No issue is too small. As an International SOS member, you will 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
- For more information on services offered, see Services provided by International SOS while abroad section below
When in doubt, call International SOS for compassionate, reassuring support.
How can International SOS help?
- International SOS (ISOS) provides you 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):
- Register a New User/Login using your @ryerson.ca email address at International SOS MyTrips, external link, opens in new window
- Add a “New Trip”. Must include both:
- Accommodations Information (For entire length of activity abroad).
- Flights (Return & Departure): To add flight Information you can enter it manually or forward your flight confirmation email (from your @ryerson.ca account) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
- Submit a “Travel Request Form” online form. The link for this form is provided in the “Pre-trip Advisory” email.
- 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.
- (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.
- Medical Care Support: ISOS provides instant access to medical experts via phone, emergency and routine medical advice, medical and dental referrals, assistance with scheduling medical appointments on the traveller’s behalf, medical monitoring and case management, translation services (90+ languages), dispatch of medication and medical supplies, logistical support and arrangement of medical evacuation or repatriation.
- Medical Expenses: If a traveller is unable to pay their medical expenses, Ryerson University has provided ISOS permission to automatically pay for medical care that is related to potential loss of life, limb or eye. For other expenses, ISOS will reach out to Ryerson International for approval prior to paying for any care. Ryerson International will then work with the faculty’s department, traveller’s insurance or traveller directly for reimbursement.
- Emotional Support Services: Travellers have access to counseling services either via phone or on location (if available). ISOS will assist the traveller in scheduling appointments. Each traveller is entitled to up to five free sessions per incident per year for the same condition.
- Travel and Security Advice: Urgent and non-urgent travel security assistance and advice by telephone or chat via ISOS Assistance App, external link, opens in new window, legal referrals, translations and interpreter (90+ languages), lost document advice, and ground transportation and accommodations referrals.
- Security emergency response and evacuation: In cases of natural disaster, civil unrest or conflict, ISOS can coordinate emergency response on the ground. For example, this might be arranging for a security review of accommodation or a secure transfer to the airport - to the other end of the spectrum of providing an incident management team on the ground to assist with a full-scale country evacuation. Afterwards ISOS will assist with coordination of post-evacuation debriefs and counselling.
- ISOS 24-Hour Assistance Centers: A local assistance center will be identified via email or ISOS Assistance App, external link, opens in new window to all travelers after registering their trip with ISOS. For all 24-hour Assistance Centre phone numbers, please visit the ISOS Locations page, external link, opens in new window.
Staying Connected to Ryerson's Network While Abroad
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 global.ryerson.ca, 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 ryerson.ca domain that may not otherwise be available in your location.
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.
To access the proxy service during your travels, go to https://global.ryerson.ca, opens in new window from your web browser. As long as you’re outside of Canada, the United States or Mexico, you will be connected to the global.ryerson.ca, 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 email@example.com or 416-979-5000, ext. 556806.
Leading a Student Group Abroad
For faculty and/or staff leading group travel abroad (Global Learning Programs Abroad - GLPA), please review required procedures as outlined in the Planning and Logistics section of our GLPA Guidelines and resources.
Note that if you are a faculty or staff member leading a group abroad (GLPA) it is your responsibility to:
- Inform participants of the mandatory pre-departure steps for students
- Complete the Travel Risk Management Plan on behalf of the group
- Complete our International google formTravel Group Registration Form, external link, opens in new window in advance of your departure
- International SOS Members Portal: Access security, medical and travel information you need to plan your program via the ISOS Members Portal, external link, opens in new window. This information and risk assessments are available for 220 countries and more than 330 cities.
- Individual Consultations with a Regional Expert: ISOS can put you in touch with regional experts to provide security, medical and travel risk consultations to meet your individual group’s needs (see Travel Security Briefing Request information in the white ISOS Assistance Center Contact Information box below). ISOS can assist in vetting hotel accommodations and providing transportation referrals. Furthermore, when one of your students needs information and support about travelling to a specific destination in regards to an existing medical issue, accommodations, or their individual profile (i.e LGTBQ2+, racialized travellers, etc) they can request individualized medical and/or security advice from one of ISOS’s experts. During these calls they can explain their concerns and receive personalized advice and recommendations.
- Chat with a medical professional: If a traveller has questions about appropriate vaccinations, prescriptions, seeking medical care for an existing health issues, or medical service availability, they can call ISOS to speak one-on-one with a medical professional who can provide destination specific advice for their unique needs.
- Emotional support services: If a traveler has known mental health challenges that they expect to intensify when traveling they may want to proactively set up a call with a counselor once they arrive at a destination. They could ask an ISOS medical professional on the phone for their opinion. Travellers have access to counseling services either via phone or on location (if available). ISOS will assist the traveller in scheduling appointments. Each traveller is entitled to up to five free sessions per incident per year for the same condition.
ISOS Assistance Center Contact Information:
Travel Security Briefing Request: Email security team directly at:
*Please use the google docISOS Travel Security Brief template email, external link, opens in new window
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, faculty and staff 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(s) can take time to finalize. As indicated above, for group travel, the faculty lead is responsible for completing the plan on behalf of the group.
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.