Additional Emergency Resources and Information

What constitutes an emergency?
PIC defines an emergency as an incident requiring immediate assistance (life-threatening medical situation, an incident resulting in serious physical harm, natural disaster requiring immediate evacuation, and the like.) Emergency situations typically require immediate on-site support from local resources. Consider situations when you would call 911, although, be advised that each country may have a different emergency call number, and in some instances, there is no equivalent to a U.S. 911 emergency line.
We advise all students to ask during their on-site orientation what the local emergency contact numbers are for the area.
Urgent situations or Crises
Urgent or crisis situations may involve minor health concerns, hospitalization with non-life threatening health matters, academic disciplinary actions, non-life threatening emotional or behavioral disorders, property damage, theft, natural disasters not requiring evacuation, arrest, legal concerns, or any other issue where a student is in need of additional support in order to successfully resolve a critical incident he or she is facing.
When to contact PIC
Students should contact PIC if they find themselves in any situation that jeopardizes their physical or mental health.  Examples may include: illness/injury, sexual assault, a natural disaster, hospitalization, emotional or behavioral disorders, academic disciplinary actions, an illegal act resulting in legal actions in the host country, public health risks, damage to property, theft, or any other issue where a student is in need of additional support to successfully resolve a critical incident.
Victims of Crimes Overseas: Seek additional information through these websites below
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) – Toll-free 24/7 hotline for sexual assault counseling and referrals: 1-800-656-HOPE,
U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office – Information about local sexual assault victim assistance:
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) is a Federal Advisory Committee with a U.S. Government Charter to promote security cooperation between American business and private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. The website provides country-specific safety news and information.
Notification Procedures
In the case of an emergency, students are strongly advised to contact appropriate on-site staff immediately. The on-site staff may contact the Padnos International Center, however, we do appreciate hearing directly from the student when possible. Once the Padnos International Center is notified, we will offer whatever support we can to assist the student. Depending on the situation, PIC may contact the emergency contacts listed in the student’s online study abroad account.
In many instances, family members or close friends are the first to be notified of a critical incident.  If you are contacted by a loved one overseas regarding a critical incident, please contact the Padnos International Center at (616) 331-3898.  After normal business hours, please call the number for the GVSU Campus Police.  GVSU Campus Police will contact a member of the PIC staff who will follow-up with you regarding the incident you are reporting.
The following information will be helpful to the PIC when gathering information about a critical incident:
Name of person reporting the incident
City, and country of where the incident took place
Name and location of the study abroad program
Student(s) names involved in the incident
Date & time of occurrence/current condition 
Description of situation/incident
Action taken thus far
Action requested of Officer (if appropriate)
Contact information of the person calling
PIC’s Response to Emergencies
Every critical incident requires a tailored response; however, there are many resources that may be accessed in PIC’s response to a critical incident.
In the event of a political, social, or natural emergency, PIC will be in contact with the on-site staff and/or primary program contacts to maintain an up-to-date assessment of the situation and to more effectively coordinate an appropriate response. Most situations involve a coordinated a response with on-site professionals who can assist the student directly.
When the situation warrants such, the PIC will convene a crisis response team made of representatives from across the University to help respond to a crisis.  Additionally, PIC may utilize services available through an emergency assistance program called Travel Guard Chartis, the US Embassy in the host country, resources available through the U.S. Department of State, and, where appropriate, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Travel Guard Chartis - WorldRisk Assistance Card
All students who have been accepted to study abroad through GVSU’s Padnos International Center are covered under an emergency assistance program.  Every student is given a card prior to departure which describes services available and contact numbers for emergency situations. Students must have the policy number to access services.  
Travel Guard Chartis can provide the following assistance:
Medical assistance and travel medical emergency services
Personal and pre-trip services
Legal assistance
Emergency cash – from personal funding source
Lost baggage or passport assistance
Insurance coordination
Evacuation and repatriation
Emergency messaging center
Other general assistance
Travel Guard can be reached by calling:
Outside of the US call collect  +01 (817) 826-7008
Within the US or Canada, call (800) 401-2678
US Department of State
The US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, D.C. aids Americans needing emergency assistance. The US State Department’s Crisis Emergency Center telephone number in Washington, D.C. is 202.647.5225.
Reminder: ALL GVSU students are required to register their travel dates with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. (STEP).
US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs 
Emergencies and Crisis Abroad - Website
Overseas Citizens Services of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (OCS) is responsible for the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad. 

From within the U.S. 1-888-407-4747
From outside the U.S. 1-202-501-4444
American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) a branch of OCS, assists individuals in matters involving protective services for Americans abroad, including arrests, deaths occurring abroad, financial or medical emergencies, and welfare and whereabouts inquiries.

US State Department Travel Warnings
Foreign Consulate Offices
This website has a comprehensive list of foreign consulates located in the United States.


Page last modified October 10, 2018