Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Health and Safety
In Case of Emergency

You should always know whom to contact in case of an emergency, medical or otherwise. Your first contact should be the resident director of your program overseas. Please keep this person's phone number on you at all times. If you are living with a host family, they will be an important resource for you as well.

In addition to your on-site support system, the Department of State here in the United States offers important information in case of a global emergency. You can visit the “Get Help In An Emergency” webpage. However, it is important to understand what the U.S. Department of State can and cannot do in providing assistance.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs, a branch of the State Department, is responsible for protecting the interests of U.S. citizens abroad. They can assist in locating travelers in case of emergencies back home. They can also help you find medical treatment, legal counsel, or financial assistance in emergency situations. Their advice: In an extreme medical emergency, first get medical treatment from local sources. If immediate medical treatment is not necessary, call the nearest Embassy or Consulate to get advice about what to do next, including notifying local police or finding English-speaking doctors. A list of U.S. Embassies worldwide can be found on the U.S. Department of State’s website at  Of course you should always contact your resident director first and always keep that person informed of your health and well-being.

Additionally, it is always advisable for you to register your time overseas with the U.S. Department of State through their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  It is also important for you to review the Travel Information Sheets and Travel Advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State to inform U.S. citizens of unsafe travel conditions due to terrorist threats, civil or political unrest, overt anti-American attitudes, or specific health hazards. You have direct access to these advisories through the Department of State.