Our first and foremost priority
The safety and welfare of our students abroad is our first and foremost priority. Country-specific information about health and safety is provided to students throughout the advising process and pre-departure orientation, and additional resources are available in the Study Abroad Handbook. Students are encouraged to contact their OIP advisors with any questions or concerns prior to departure or while abroad.
In an Emergency
In the event of an emergency, political crisis, or natural disaster in a city or country in which the OIP currently has a program in session, OIP staff will be in close contact with our on-site colleagues, students, and emergency contacts as necessary. Our staff will also be in contact with our international exchange students regarding events that occur in their home countries.
We care deeply about events that occur throughout the world, including those that may impact our students abroad, international exchange students currently studying at BC, and our extended university community. In the event of an emergency, political crisis, or natural disaster in a city or country in which the OIP currently has a program in session, OIP staff will be in close contact with our on-site colleagues, students, and emergency contacts as necessary. Our staff will also be in contact with our international exchange students regarding events that occur in their home countries.
The OIP monitors a variety of sources on international safety and security on a daily basis, including the U.S. Department of State travel advisories, OSAC, local media, and on-site staff around the world. We recommend that students and their parents also stay informed. As of Janurary 2018, the U.S. Department of State has announced changes to the way information is shared with U.S. citizens traveling abroad. Under the new system, every country has a travel advisory providing levels of advice from 1-4. Travel advisories replace warnings and alerts used in the past.
In the rare event of a severe natural or political disaster abroad, BC has an evacuation plan in place.
Boston College partners with GeoBlue to provide health and emergency services to Boston College students while traveling and living outside the United States.
Please note that GeoBlue does not replace required medical insurance within the United States. Rather, it will provide you with medical services and assistance overseas. General policy exclusions apply. Program coverage dates vary by program.
OIP will enroll you in the GeoBlue plan by your program's start date. Students participating in external programs with a waiver (see below) will not be enrolled in GeoBlue. Enrolled students will receive an email message from GeoBlue that includes a certificate number and details on completing the online registration process. After you receive that message, you need to register online at geobluestudents.com. The GeoBlue website will give you access to a list of medical care providers and facilities abroad that work directly with GeoBlue. In case of illness, you need to call GeoBlue at either +1-800-257-4823 or collect at +1-610-254-8771 to make an appointment with a provider. In case of an emergency, you should go directly to the nearest physician or hospital without delay and then contact GeoBlue.
The Boston College GeoBlue policy is in effect for all students studying abroad on BC semester and summer programs, as well as on most approved external programs. Please note that only students attending external programs who have their own GeoBlue policy comparable to BC will be able to waive the BC coverage. These programs are currently eligible for a waiver: Sarah Lawrence College British American Drama Academy, Boston University Geneva Internship Program. Check with your advisor for details.
Students traveling abroad before the start of their program, or those who wish to remain abroad after the program ends are not eligible for extended GeoBlue coverage through BC. You have the option of extending your coverage with GeoBlue by making a credit card payment online.