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.
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 (DoS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisories, OSAC, local media, as well as updates from on-site staff around the world. We recommend that students and their parents also stay informed. Under the current DoS system, every country has a travel advisory providing levels of advice from 1-4. As of November 2020, the CDC has implemented a new Travel Health Notice system with a four-level scale focusing specifically on COVID-19, as well as new recommendations regarding testing and international air travel for travelers.
In the rare event of a severe natural or political disaster abroad, BC has an evacuation plan in place.
In the event of an emergency, public health or 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.
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: 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.
How to Access Global TeleMD App
At GeoBlue, we know your life can be demanding. With so much to juggle, finding the healthcare you need, when you need it, should be easy. In addition to giving you convenient access to a global network of doctors and facilities, we’ve teamed up with Advance Medical, a Teladoc Health company, to bring you Global TeleMD, a new smartphone app — at no additional cost — that provides confidential access to international doctors by telephone or video call.
- Global network of doctors
- Medical guidance and consultations (for non-medical emergencies)
- Same-day virtual appointments, available 24/7
- Multiple language options
- Consultation notes sent directly to your phone
- Prescriptions and referral letters (subject to local regulation)
How to Get Started:
- Download the Global TeleMD app to your phone.
- Create a profile.
- Log in.
- You're good to go!
How to Access BC Safe App
BC Safe is the official mobile safety app for Boston College. You can use the app throughout the day to find essential information and to quickly check bus schedules, weather updates, search for key contacts, get helpful travel information, access emergency guidance and much more. Boston College Public Safety maintains the app. Regardless if you are a student, faculty, staff, alumni, visitor or a friendly neighbor, BC Safe has something for you!
- Get help, receive emergency notifications, find emergency, support and other key resources & contacts;
- How to Respond emergency guides;
- Friend Walk to share your location in real time with family or friends;
- Maps & Transportation to find out where shuttle buses are, where to park, find your way on campus;
- Travel Safety & Weather to assist with keeping you aware and safe during your day and travel.
How to Download:
- Download the BC Safe app by visiting either the Apple iTunes Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).
- Search for BC Safe and download (it only takes about 30 seconds). Be sure to allow notifications, which pushes BC alerts to your device.
- Launch the BC Safe app! Start exploring the app and become familliar with its capabilities and features.
How to Access WellTrack
WellTrack is a secure and anyonymous way for users to assess their personal well-being and quickly gain access to resources tailored to help them make progress in changing thoughts and behaviors that are not working for them. Some of the specific tools WellTrack offers are videos, relaxation exercises, mood tracking tools, and written exercises to help raise awareness and work on addressing unhelpful thought patterns.
WellTrack access for the Boston College community has been paid for by University Counseling Services.
To Create an Account:
- Visit signup.welltrack.com
- Enter your access code: BCWelltrack, and create an account.
- Watch for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your account. BC Information Technology Services recommends using a non-BC email account.
- You are now logged in and ready to begin your course.