When traveling internationally, it is recommended to prepare for the possibility that you could misplace, lose, or someone could steal items or documents that you need. In order to mitigate the negative impact that such an occurence could have on your trip, make copies of certain documents and:
- Share copies with family members, friends or trusted colleages (for students and group travelers, this also can include your trip leader)
- Submit a legible copy of your passport picture page (and visa page, if a visa is required) to your supervisor. This will help us locate you in the event of an emergency.
- Unless you encrypt them, do not send electronic copies of confidential identifying documents or their contents via email as this may expose them to data breach.
- Keep copies securely with you, separate from where you carry the original documents at all times, particularly when the original is being secured elsewhere.
Documents that you should copy include:
- Passport Identification Page and Visa
- Driver's License
- Insurance Card(s)
- Credit Cards (front and back)
- Flight and other travel itineraries
- Immunizations and Prescriptions; other important medical history (e.g., surgeries, severe allergies)
- Traveler Prepardness Plan (see below)
- Important Telephone Numbers (keep in mind that numbers for friends and family are likely programmed in your phone and you would not remember them if you lose it; write them down!)
Print and Take with You
It is very important that you bring with you and email yourself a copy of your Travel Emergency Assistance Program card; take the cards for all the programs for which you are eligible. See Travel Emergency Assistance Services for additional details.
Program Into Your Phone
If you are either taking with you a mobile device or purchasing one in your host country, you should immediately program the telephone numbers for all the resources listed above, together with other Important Telephone Numbers and the following:
- Number(s) at your host country to reach your trip leader or emergency contact your your program's operation (whichever is applicable)
- Number to your hotel or other lodging
- Number to reach your airline, both in the U.S. and in your host country
- U.S. (or your home country's) Embassy in your Host Country (visit the website USEmbassy.gov from the U.S. Department of State)
- Equivalent to 911 for your Host Country (the U.S. Department of States Students Abroad's Emergencies page includes ambulance, fire, and police numbers for countries around the world.)
Additionally, if you plan to bring and enable a smartphone to work during this trip, you should download the ISOS App. When you first start the App, you’ll be asked to enter the Columbia University Membership # 11BSGC000064:
Complete a Traveler Prepardness Plan
Use the Traveler Preparedness Plan template to collect the pertinent emergency contact information for your trip. Once completed, you should copy and share the plan, together with you contact list (all numbers previously described.)
- Share a copy of your travel itinerary, pertinent contact information from above with family or friends.
- Provide them with a copy of your passport data page and any visas as well. This will make it easier for them to contact you in an emergency.
- It is also a good idea to share with them any changes in your plans as these happen. You do not want to find yourself in an emergency without others knowing where you are.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org