International SOS FAQ

Q: What is the role of SOS?
A: International SOS provides you with worldwide quality health care and emergency assistance services 24 hours a day designed to supplement and integrate with the policies, procedures and other resources of the University.

Q: How can SOS help?
A: One phone call connects you to the SOS network of multilingual specialists for immediate help in an emergency. SOS services are designed to help you with medical, personal, travel, security information and legal referrals when away from home. Call International SOS at any time to speak with a physician or security specialist about simple or critical matters.

Q: How does it work?
A: You will be provided with an SOS membership card. Carry the International SOS membership card with you at all times. It includes the telephone numbers of the three major worldwide SOS Alarm Centers. In the event of an emergency, call one of the emergency phone numbers listed on the card.

Q: What do I need to do to use the program?
A: In order to utilize any of the medical or travel services listed under contract, call any SOS Alarm Center from anywhere in the world by calling directly, calling collect or calling the toll-free number. To ensure a prompt response when calling, you should be prepared to provide the following:

Q: What if I have pre-trip questions about my travel destination or questions about the current status in that location?
A: In addition to calling the Alarm Center for any pre-trip questions you may have, you can access Country and Security Guides from this website:
Use your membership number, 11BSGC000037, as your member login. In addition to the information covered at the pre-departure sessions and on-site by your program, the SOS comprehensive guides provide medical, security and general travel advice, such as information on the standard of health care, how to pay for medical care, the availability of medications, safety of the blood supply, embassy/visa information, dialing code information, cultural etiquette and financial and voltage/plug information.

Q: Do I need to activate my membership?
A: No, your membership is already active. Simply carry the card at all times while traveling. Whenever you need service, contact one of the emergency phone numbers listed on the back of the card. You do not need to report specific trip dates to SOS each time you travel. However, you can create a personal on-line account with SOS into which you can save medical, family and emergency information. Unless you input your information into an account, it will not be available for staff. Medical and personal information can only be accessed by an SOS doctor.

Q: What are Email Alerts?
A: You have the option to sign up for Email Alerts. You can choose to sign up for medical and/or security alerts by logging on and signing up. Medical alerts are issued when there is an unusual health risk that, in the opinion of the SOS Medical staff, may negatively impact travelers or expatriates visiting a country. Security alerts are issued when SOS Security professionals have identified a security risk in a specific country.

Q: What if I need a doctor?
A: You should first activate the on-site emergency support network for your location. If you are traveling, or in a situation where you cannot contact the on-site program staff, you should contact SOS directly. The SOS Alarm Centers are listed on the back of your card. Call the SOS Alarm Center that is nearest to you for a referral to a doctor who speaks your language.

Q: What if I need a lawyer while overseas?
A: Call the nearest SOS Alarm Center for legal referrals. If you are in a situation where you require legal assistance, your off-campus program director should be informed of this immediately.

Q: What if I need prescription medication?
A: If you require a prescription that a local physician cannot obtain, or you need to replace lost, stolen or depleted medication, SOS will, when permissible by local law, send the needed medication to you. (Additional Fees for the Medication Apply.)
Q: What if I am hospitalized?
A: You should first activate the on-site emergency support network for your location. However, if you are in a situation or location where you cannot reach the program director call the nearest SOS Alarm Center. SOS will immediately take steps to evaluate the care you are receiving and determine what actions must be taken to ensure your safe and speedy recovery. SOS will notify the University immediately if you or your program director have not already done so.

Q: What if local medical facilities are not adequate for my specific requirements?
A: If you are hospitalized in an area where adequate medical facilities are not available, International SOS will obtain approval from the University to evacuate you to a medical facility capable of providing the required care. A physician supervises evacuations, and when necessary, a medical specialist or nurse will accompany you during the evacuation. An air ambulance will be used when required.

Q: What happens when I am released from the hospital and still need help?
A: When your condition is stabilized and SOS has determined that it is medically advisable to bring you home or to a facility near your permanent residence, SOS will again obtain approval from the University and arrange the repatriation under medical supervision.

Q: Will SOS pay my medical bills?
A: SOS is not health insurance. However, if a medical provider requires payment or a guarantee of payment in order to provide services, SOS will guarantee and advance payment to that provider once a family member or the University has authorized a line of credit in your name. You are ultimately responsible for the costs of medical care. This is why you should maintain separate, comprehensive international health insurance coverage for the duration of your time abroad. SOS will also medically monitor and evaluate your condition and ongoing medical expenses during your hospitalization. In situations where medical care is critical, by activating SOS you authorize medical care as necessary, and acknowledge that you will be billed for medical expenses incurred. These expenses may be reimbursable to you from your personal health insurance company.

Q: How can SOS assist in the event of death?
A: SOS will render all assistance possible to the University to obtain clearances and arrange transportation for the return of mortal remains.

Q: What should I do in the event of a security emergency?
A: Call an alarm center listed on the back of your membership card, and a security specialist will assist you.

Q: What is security evacuation assistance and coordination?
A: The SOS Security Division will assist the University in the event of threatening situations such as civil and/or political unrest, insurrections, revolution or similar situations by providing information, guidance and resources in the event personal safety and security can no longer be assured.

Q: How do I access up-to-the-minute information about security alerts, warnings and the latest situations?
A: You can visit the website below: