In Case of Emergency

Always be prepared for emergencies when traveling. Someone invariably will have to see the doctor or go to the hospital. The best source of information is the Chubb Insurance phone number on the company website. Hotels can also be of help in directing you to medical care.

In case of emergency, always contact Chubb and the Center for Study Abroad

If money is stolen or there are other emergencies for which you need help, please contact either the director or assistant director of the Center for Study Abroad.

Safety Concerns

It’s a good practice to communicate safety concerns multiple times with students. Group leaders need to communicate clearly where students should meet in the event of an emergency, civil unrest, terrorist attack, or other political or cultural crisis in the country. It is recommended that this meeting point be the current accommodation. In addition, the university is to be contacted immediately.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Note: 1 is the U.S. country code (to call another country besides the U.S., you will need to know their country code).

Emergency Communication Protocols

There are several lines of communication that need to be established in order for emergency information to be communicated effectively from one party to another. The following outlines the protocols for communicating information from one party to another. 

In the event of an emergency, the parent may:

  • Contact their student directly (the student must then contact the group leader), or
  • Contact the emergency contact number for the faculty trip leader, or
  • Contact the George Fox Center for Study Abroad. If that office is unavailable, they should contact Campus Public Safety. University officials will then contact the study abroad group leader. The leader will get the information to the student as soon as possible, and assist the student in contacting their parents.

If the student has emergency information that needs to be communicated to the parent, they may:

  • Contact the parent directly and inform the faculty leader, or
  • Contact the faculty leader who will assume responsibility for getting information to the parent, either by contacting the parent directly or by contacting the Center for Study Abroad office, who will then contact the parent. (If the Center for Study Abroad is closed, the group leader should contact Campus Public Safety.)

In the event that a group leader needs to communicate information to university officials, the group leader should contact the Center for Study Abroad. If the Center for Study Abroad is unavailable, the call should go to Campus Public Safety, who will contact the appropriate university officials to work with the group leader.

Protocols for Emergencies that May Occur While Traveling Abroad

In the tragic event of a student death on a trip, please follow these steps:

  • Verify the identity of the student.
  • Notify the George Fox Center for Study Abroad (see Emergency Protocol above), which will contact the appropriate university individuals.
  • Notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the student’s death. Request name of the U.S. consular officer assigned to the case. If the deceased student is not a U.S. citizen, work with the university to notify the appropriate embassy. Visit this Death Abroad resource page for more information. 
  • Gather as much information as possible about the circumstances surrounding the student’s death. Be sure to gather and keep any receipts for expenditures relating to the incident for insurance reimbursement.
  • Begin a written log of communications and actions as the crisis progresses. Include as many details as possible about location, timing of events, and witnesses. Itemize all steps taken before, during and after the death.
  • George Fox University will contact family members.
  • Request that all students and affected participants prepare signed and dated witness statements while details are still fresh in their minds.
  • Obtain a death certificate with the help of the local consulate.
  • Consult the Center for Study Abroad and U.S. Consular Services in arranging for repatriation of remains.
  • The U.S. consular officer will ensure that the required consular mortuary certificate and affidavit is executed by the local (overseas) funeral director.
  • In addition, the U.S. consular officer will ensure that a transit permit accompanies the remains.
  • Receive and assist parents and/or designated college officials (with airport pick-up and accommodations) arriving to accompany the body back to the U.S.
  • If the remains are not accompanied by a passenger, a bill of lading must be issued by the airline company to cover the transport.
  • Arrange to have student belongings shipped home to the family.
  • Arrange in-country care for remaining students:
    • Call a student group together to communicate accurate information about the student’s death, along with resources, which will be made available to students for processing their grief.
    • Designate a second on-site leader or an in-country resource to provide pastoral care, if possible, to the student group, as the primary on-site leader is occupied with logistical arrangements surrounding the death.
    • Consult with the Center for Study Abroad, which will consult appropriate on-campus administrators, to determine whether the experience should continue or be canceled. If canceled, work with the Center for Study Abroad to arrange flights home for students.
    • If applicable, consider extending coursework deadlines and deferring assessments of assignments.
  • Do not speak with the U.S. or host country press corps. All statements to the press will be made by and referred to George Fox’s director of public relations. It is critically important that public statements be factually correct, are not contradictory, and do not speculate as to blame or liability.
  • Upon returning home, the faculty leader should finalize the written summary of all critical events and submit copies to the Center for Study Abroad, which will forward the summary to appropriate university individuals.
  • Consult campus protocol for student deaths. This protocol can be obtained from the vice president for student life and should be used in addition to the steps outlined here.

The following are general guidelines on how to respond to students who are victims of a sexual assault while on one of George Fox University’s approved international travel experiences. Leaders will be provided with documentation and support as needed.

A variety of offices at George Fox can provide information on appropriate and compassionate response to a victim of sexual assault, including:

Any of these offices can assist in responding to an assault, moving the process forward, and overseeing the documentation process. Further information can be found on the George Fox Title IX page

George Fox is committed to providing a Christ-centered community that fosters a safe living, learning, and work setting for students, employees and visitors. A core value of this institution is to maintain a respectful environment for all individuals that is free of the following:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Dating violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Harassment and discrimination
  • Bias-related incidents and hate crimes

In the event an incident of sexual misconduct or sexual assault occurs during your supervision of an off-campus trip, you may be called upon to provide assistance, support and appropriate referrals. The following are some steps that administrators and trip leaders should take:


  • Discuss the issues with students before departing. Make sure at pre-departure orientation the issue of sexual misconduct and sexual assault is addressed. Emergency contact information and other materials should be given to students. This information is included in the Safety Manual.
  • Keep a current file. All information regarding what to do and who to contact should be kept in an easily accessible file and updated so that it is always current. This information can also be found in the International Safety Handbook.
  • Discuss the importance of notification. Let students know that reporting any type of gender based harm, including sexual assault, is considered courageous and will be met with empathy. As appropriate, the university will provide care and support for the victim in these situations.

 After an incident occurs

  • The first concern is always the immediate physical and emotional well-being of the student, but there are many post assault related issues. There is no typical reaction to being sexually assaulted. Victims present with varying affect and concerns. As a result of the trauma they have and are currently experiencing, victims may express themselves in a variety of ways. Be empathetic and accepting and take the following steps.
  • Let the student make decisions. The victim may feel helpless and powerless. Allowing the victim to make decisions regarding her/his emotional and physical well-being helps to re-establish some control in a situation where they may have felt was very out of their control. Ask clear and focused questions and respect her/his wishes. “Do you want to go to the police?” “Where would you like to stay tonight?” “Who do you want to stay with?” Honor her/his decisions even if they conflict with your beliefs.
  • Be supportive. Remember your first priority is to be supportive. Do not attempt to persuade the student to follow a certain course of action or try to force her/him to do something she/he doesn't want to do. Maintain your role as advocate for the choices she/he makes. Provide an empathetic and compassionate listening ear. Be careful to avoid questions that may insinuate blame or guilt such as, “How could you go to a place like that?” or “Why would you go out with a man you barely know?” Remember, sexual assault is a crime of power and she/he is a victim of the crime. The victim may feel embarrassment, shame, anger, anxiety, fear, and helplessness. Accept those feelings by actively listening to her/his concerns and validating the student’s decision to seek out help.
  • Make sure the student feels safe. Help to restore a sense of security for the student. If she/he does not feel safe in her/his room or with her/his host family, arrange for her/him to stay in a hotel with a friend. Allow the student to tell you what she/he thinks would make her/him feel safe. Explore suggested options with the student.
  • After you have spoken with the student using the above guidelines, make contact with other entities as appropriate and based on the student’s wishes.
  • Contact the Center for Study Abroad:

    Lynn Scott, Assistant Director
    Office: 503-554-2150
    Mobile: 503-550-3299
    or the Campus Public Safety office at 503-554-2090

  • The Center for Study Abroad will notify the appropriate campus personnel, including the International Risk Management Team.
  • On-campus resources for counseling include:
    • Health & Counseling Center (medical and counseling needs), Woodward House, 503-554-2350, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
    • Spiritual Life, 503-554-2320 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • As soon as possible after a report of a sexual assault, with the consent of the student, call Chubb at the phone number listed on your identification card. Chubb will assist in all cases where a member has been sexually assaulted. All actions taken will be done to maintain the safety, respect and dignity of the victim, and to guide them to medical, legal and counseling resources. Chubb will assist with the following but is not limited to:
    • Helping the member locate the nearest embassy or consulate
    • Contacting emergency services
    • Filing a police report and legal recourse
    • Encouraging the member to seek medical assistance
    • Advising the member to preserve as much evidence as possible by placing clothing in a paper bag, not drinking, eating, showering, brushing teeth or rinsing mouth
    • Assisting the member with seeking medical evaluation and treatment, and
    • Offer a referral for post-incident counseling
  • Contact the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Consular officers are available around the clock to help the students obtain medical care, explain the local criminal justice process, and connect students to local and U.S.-based resources. Again, you should seek permission from the student before contacting the embassy. Embassy or consulate staff can help the student understand whether police agencies may handle an investigation differently – slower (or not at all), less delicately, or otherwise – than police in the United States. Regardless, documentation of as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. Note that consular officers cannot investigate crimes or provide legal advice.
  • Local police. Many foreign law enforcement agencies will not begin to investigate unless a report has been filed. If possible, students should ask for a copy of the police report. Do not contact the police without the student’s permission.
  • Ask if the student is comfortable calling her parents or guardians. If the answer is yes, help facilitate this contact.
  • Remind the student of resources available upon returning to campus.
  • Provide accompaniment. Someone of her/his choosing should accompany the student on assault-related follow-up: to the hospital, to the police station, to her/his apartment, etc.
  • Maintain a level of confidentiality. Let the student know you are obligated to contact the university and report the incident to the Title IX coordinator and the Center for Study Abroad office. Inform the student who you’re calling and why. Allow her/him to choose whether or not to contact additional support and resources.
  • Document everything. Take copious notes. Create a chronology of events. What you want to capture is the following:
    • Location of medical facility and date/time taken there. Record what was said between the medical staff, the student, and whoever else is present.
    • The time of each of your contacts and what transpired.
    • Document the conversations you have with the student. Identify who is present, what’s discussed, and what decisions the student makes.
    • Date and time the U.S. Embassy/Consulate and local police are notified. Document what transpires between the student and the police.
    • Keep documenting until the designated university contact tells you to stop.

Although not frequent, natural disasters and/or terrorist activity can occur when traveling internationally. It is prudent for all cross-cultural and service trip leaders to plan in advance for a possible crisis situation so that students and educators will know how to respond in the event of a natural disaster or terrorism. This would include:


  • Discuss with students in advance what they should do if terrorism or natural disaster would occur (who to contact, where to meet)
  • Establish a central meeting place (a location to shelter in place or to regroup)
  • Provide students with instructions on how to contact the leader (text, email, phone call).

If an incident occurs

Make sure students are safe and accounted for. Stay calm, as students will take their cue from you.

  • Immediately make contact with all students to ask them to provide their location and their safety status, and to give them instructions on where to meet up with the group.
  • Evaluate the physical and psychological condition of students.
  • Obtain medical treatment if needed.
  • Find a location to “shelter in place” or move students to a safe location as appropriate.
  • Contact the Center for Study Abroad office at 503-550-3299 or Campus Public Safety at 503-554-2090.
  • The study abroad office will communicate with the appropriate university administrators and the International Risk Management Team.
  • The study abroad office and the trip leaders will be in communication as the best way to proceed.
  • Work with the study abroad office to determine what correspondence needs to go to families and other offices on campus.
  • Once the safety of all students is confirmed, the study abroad office will contact family members who the student has indicated as their emergency contact.
  • Notify the closest U.S. Embassy.
  • Determine if you have adequate food, housing, water and access to medical treatment and for how long.
  • Consider multiple methods of communication with students and campus since, in a crisis situation, telephone, cell phone or electricity may be compromised.
  • Keep accurate and complete notes for when you file your incident report.
  • Note any imminent risk to students, advice from the U.S. Embassy, curfew or travel restrictions imposed by the host city.
  • Once the situation is stabilized, follow up to ensure continued support.
  • Work with the study abroad office and the Health and Counseling Center to determine what, if any, emotional support is needed.
  • Upon return, file an incident report with the Center for Study Abroad. Send a copy to Campus Public Safety.
  • If contacted by the media, please refer all requests for interviews to the university’s director of public information.
  • If it is determined that the group must return home, leaders need to work with their travel agent and the Center for Study Abroad office on the arrangements.

Following are guidelines for homestays:

  • Assure students have a means of communicating with the trip leader during their homestay.
  • Do not send students to a homestay where a family member is exhibiting signs of a contagious illness. Err on the side of health, not cultural sensitivity or academics.
  • If a homestay family member exhibits signs of a contagious illness, the student should immediately contact the tour leader. The tour leader can then make other arrangements for the student‘s housing.
  • If the leader is unable to find an alternate homestay for the student, alternate lodging will be arranged.
  • If a student exhibits signs of illness prior to or during their homestay, exempt the student from the homestay experience and find an alternative. In addition, initiate the protocol for illness.
  • Immediately initiate emergency protocol.
  • Begin a written log of symptoms, communication and actions as the situation progresses, including date, time, actions taken, etc.
  • If the illness worsens, go to a medical facility.
  • Contact and begin George Fox international insurance claim.
  • Contact the Center for Study Abroad office.
  • The study abroad office will communicate with appropriate on-campus persons, including the Health and Counseling Center.
  • The study abroad office will communicate with the ill leader about the best treatment alternatives.
  • If necessary, assist with logistics for the return of the faculty member to the U.S.
  • The healthy co-leader will remain in close contact with the study abroad office regarding the situation’s status.
  • The healthy co-leader will continue with the course/trip, keeping in close contact with the co-leader.

If a student becomes ill or has an accident on a trip, several options are available, depending on the seriousness of the illness or accident. Please remind students to tell you immediately if they are sick or have an accident. Students are often reluctant to communicate this with you.

Options may include taking the student to a doctor or emergency room, consulting with Chubb, and/or the university’s Health and Counseling Center, or sending the student home. The faculty member should show proper concern and discuss the severity of the injury or illness with the student.

Moderate Illness

  • Once the student reports an illness, monitor the student’s health closely to see if the health issue becomes more serious. Initiate a monitoring log listing the symptoms and apparent severity, and communications and actions relating to the illness. This should include date, time, actions taken, etc.
  • The student may be allowed to rest with someone nearby. For example, they may be allowed to stay at the hotel while the group is involved in a day activity.
  • If symptoms become more serious, see a health care provider. Remember to think holistically (vs. responding to a single symptom). Serious symptoms include (but are not limited to):

Physical Symptoms:

  • Increasing fever (or if >102° F x 24 hours)
  • Respiratory distress
  • Neurological disturbances (seizures, etc.)
  • Increasing pain

Mental Health Symptoms:

  • Suicidal or homicidal ideation
  • Disorganized thinking (rambling speech, delusions, etc.)
  • Hallucinations (visual or auditory)

Severe Illness/Injury

If it is determined that the injury or illness is severe, the student should be taken to a local health provider or emergency room. Also, be sure to notify the university’s international insurance provider and start a claim. Finally, notify the Center for Study Abroad office, which will do one or more of the following as appropriate:

  • Contact the Health and Counseling Center and physician
  • Contact the student's designated emergency contacts to appraise the situation
  • Facilitate communication between the student, faculty, emergency contact, and the university’s International Risk Management Team.

Medical Guidelines

  • Only use medications as prescribed.
  • In the event of needing to see a health care provider, one of the faculty/staff must accompany the student.
  • One of the faculty/staff leaders must stay with the student until released by medical personnel, and then if possible, rejoin the group. Staying in a nearby hotel is fine if the student must stay overnight.
  • If the student must stay in the hospital the other faculty/staff leader can continue the tour and keep in touch with the co-leader that remains behind.
  • The co-leader will remain in close contact with the Center for Study Abroad regarding student health and situation status.

Accommodations Protocol

  • If the group is staying at the same location the student can be given permission to remain in the hotel for the day.
  • Always inform the hotel staff that there is a sick or injured student.
  • Collect all receipts. Students are responsible for being reimbursed and must turn in all receipts to the university’s insurance provider.
  • It may be determined, after consultation with the Health and Counseling Center, the Center for Study Abroad, the International Risk Management Team, and the trip’s faculty, that the illness or injury is severe enough that it is necessary to send the student home. In this case, the faculty member must work with the Center for Study Abroad and the travel agent about return airline arrangements and notifying the student’s emergency contact.
    • If the student is not able to safely fly home on their own, either a faculty member or university personnel, or possibly a family member (this person would have to make arrangements to meet the student) will need to accompany the student home.
    • The student must keep all receipts, which need to be submitted to the university’s international insurance provider for refund upon their return.
  • The faculty leader must communicate with the Center for Study Abroad office and/or the Office of Academic Affairs (AAO) about the situation before sending the student home.
  • The faculty leader must keep written documentation relating to all relevant behavior of the student to be sent home.
  • The faculty leader must keep written documentation and receipts of all arrangements and costs pertaining to sending the student home.
  • The student needs to contact their parent/guardian in the presence of the faculty leader. If the parent/guardian does not answer the phone, the student must leave a message giving instructions to the parent to return a call to either the faculty leader or Center for Study Abroad or AAO. If the parent/guardian does not call that day, the Center for Study Abroad or AAO must contact the parent/guardian.
  • The faculty leader and Center for Study Abroad will work out the best way to bring the student home (change current ticket for a fee or purchase new ticket). The faculty leader and/or George Fox will pay for all expenses and add these charges to the student’s account. The student will be responsible for all costs incurred to bring them home: taxi, bus, hotel, airline ticket, etc. The faculty leader needs to inform the student that they may also be responsible to pay the university’s portion of the trip cost.
  • The faculty leader must escort the student to the airport and stay with them until they are checked in.
  • Once the student has checked in, the student is responsible to make all connections as they travel home.
  • The Center for Study Abroad office will communicate with the parents all details of the return trip once finalized.
  • The Center for Study Abroad office will notify the International Risk Management Team and other appropriate university personnel of the incident.
  • The faculty leader will meet with the director of Center for Study Abroad upon return from the trip. 
  • The faculty leader must submit detailed documentation and copies of all receipts regarding the incident.
  • The Center for Study Abroad office will create a student incident file, which will contain copies of all documents.