Emergency worker walking towards and accident

Countless students have worked abroad and returned safely from their experience. While taking proper precautions can help avert crises, no level of preparation can prevent all problems or completely guarantee your safety. The following best practices will help you prepare and make the most of your work term abroad:

Plan for an emergency

  • Review the Co-op Work Term Readiness content on LEARN, which provides tips and suggestions to plan for a safe trip.
  • Review country-specific travel advice on the Government of Canada website and download a travel brief from the Anvil Group.
  • If you are a Canadian Citizen, register with Canadians Abroad. If you are not a Canadian citizen, register with a similar service in your home country.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency service numbers.
  • Review your travel and health insurance to understand your available coverage when you are abroad.
  • Keep your loved ones informed of your whereabouts and wellbeing — especially your emergency contact person (the same contact information on your Risk Management Form in WaterlooWorks).
  • Ensure your contact information is up to date in WaterlooWorks by filling out the Emergency contact and location information form (formerly My Contact and Travel Information form).

While abroad

It’s important to keep track of the following so you are ready to act in the event something happens:

What to do in an emergency

In the event of an emergency there are several resources available. Find out who to contact in an emergency including contact information for the Waterloo Special Constable Service and other emergency services. Remember to reach out to your co-op advisor to let them know about your situation.

Natural disasters or major incidents 

In case of a natural disaster or major incident in your location:

  • Get to a safe place and stay there.
  • Follow the news and local police service websites for alerts and developments.
  • Keep your communication devices charged.
  • Communicate with your family to let them know where and how you are.
  • Let your employer know where and how you are and follow their direction.
  • Contact your co-op advisor and let them know who you are with, if you are safe and what support (if any) you may need so we can assist.

Please remember we will reach out to you using your contact information in WaterlooWorks. If we cannot reach you directly, we will attempt to reach the emergency contact listed on your Risk Management Form. Ensure your contact information in WaterlooWorks is up to date.