In case of an emergency outside of Canada:
- First, contact local authorities and/or your host organization (if applicable) for immediate assistance. Depending on your location, this may be local police, or the Canadian consulate.
- Next, contact VIU Campus Security at +1-250-740-6600, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Campus Security will need to know:
- Who to contact at VIU: Faculty of International Education Emergency Contact (Dean/Associate Dean/Director of Student Services)
- First and last name, along with VIU student number
- Country and location
- Number to call you back
- Reason for call
The university is committed to providing well-supported programs that contribute to safe international learning experiences. However, critical incidents may occur while students are abroad requiring an effective and timely response. Each situation requires specific information and procedures. The university looks to support students in any reasonable way it can.
Emergency Consular Assistance
There are a few ways to access emergency consular assistance while you are abroad:
For emergency help during business hours, call your nearest embassy or consular directly.
If you call outside of office hours, your telephone call will automatically be transferred to a consular officer in Ottawa, OR you will be asked to leave a message for a return call. Under normal circumstances, an operations officer will get back to you within 15 minutes/quickly. However, this delay may be longer during large-scale emergencies.
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call collect 613-996-8885
- SMS: 613-209-1233 (carrier charges may apply)
- From within Canada, call 1-800-267-6788, or 1-613-944-6788.
You may be asked to leave a message. Please follow the instructions carefully. Under normal circumstances, an operations officer will get back to you within 15 minutes. However, this delay may be longer during large-scale emergencies.
Emergency Travel Wallet Card:
All participants in VIU Education Abroad Programs will be provided with copies of the wallet card to keep with them and to provide to emergency contacts at home.
You will have a major impact on your own health and safety abroad through decisions you make before and during the program and through your day-to-day decisions.
Many of the more common illnesses and incidents experienced by students overseas are behavior-induced and therefore preventable.
Threats to your safety abroad include health risks, crime, political unrest, road accidents and so on. What can you do to protect yourself?
During your time abroad
- Obey host-country laws. Remember, when you are in a foreign country you are subject to its laws and ignorance of those laws is no defense;
- Comply with the terms of participation for your program;
- Accept responsibility for your decisions and actions;
- Keep program staff informed of your whereabouts and well-being;
- Be aware of local customs and conditions that may present health or safety risks; carry a photocopy of your passport separate from your passport;
- Don't carry large amounts of cash and make sure your valuables are carried in a money belt or left in the hotel safe;
- Carry money in several locations on your person;
- Be discreet in your public behavior;
- To avoid being approached or harassed, dress and act conservatively and follow local customs.
If you find yourself in legal trouble or if your passport is lost or stolen, contact the nearest Canadian Embassy immediately: travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates
The adjustment process does not end when you get home. Upon your return to Canada, you may find many things are different from how you left them. Fortunately there are a lot of things that can be done to help re-adjust to life at home and to “anchor” your experience abroad.