In an Emergency

Members of the Columbia University community who need emergency assistance or other travel assistance while abroad on University activities should:


  1. In a life-threatening or other serious emergency, first call the equivalent to "911" for your Host Country

See the U.S. Department of States Students Abroad's Emergencies page; it includes emergency (Ambulance, fire and police) numbers for countries around the world.

  1. In case of any emergency, call the ISOS’s Scholastic Members' line: +1 (215) 942-8478.

(as needed, you could dial any of the other international numbers located on the back of your ISOS card)

A caller must provide the following information to the ISOS alarm center:

→ Caller’s name and relationship to Columbia University or relationship to eligible Columbia traveler

→ Eligible Columbia traveler’s name, location, age, sex, and nationality

→ School or department with which the eligible traveler is associate

→ Our International SOS membership number: #11BSGC000064; (this number is also found on the front of your ISOS card)

→ Telephone number of where you can be reached

→ Name, location, and telephone number of doctor, hospital, or clinic (if applicable)

ISOS has been instructed to first contact Columbia University's authorized persons/first responders.

  1. In a Medical Emergency: Columbia students covered by the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan through Aetna Student Health should also reach out to OnCall: +1 (603) 328-1926.  

This step is crucial for later seeking reimbursement for international services from that insurer.

  1. Lastly, if the authorized persons/first responders are not available, ISOS has ben instructed to contact the Columbia Universty Public Safety at +1 (212) 854-5555, as it is 24/7 operation on campus. Public Safety will route the call or message to the appropriate school/department/program ISOS Program Coordinator.

The  first responders will work with ISOS for immediate emergency actions and will act as a liaison for the University. After receiving all pertinent facts from the local ISOS team, the first responders will disseminate to all appropriate University personnel. If the traveler requires medical attention, the first responders will bring health services into all discussions.

Dean, Department Head, or ISOS Program Coordinator will contact the traveler's family and take over case management after the immediate emergency has been addressed.


For Questions Contact

If you can't find what you

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Related Links

At Columbia:


Insurance and Risk Management

Outside Columbia:

Emergencies (U.S. Department of State)