No one wants to be sick or injured far from home. It’s important that you make smart decisions that will keep you safe and healthy. Follow these steps to plan ahead and complete the checklist on the right hand side of this webpage to ensure that you are safe while away.
Step 1: Complete the online pre-departure course in LEARN & the International Mobility Program (Non-Co-op) Acknowledgement, Release and Waiver form
All students participating in University of Waterloo sanctioned travel abroad (outside of Canada) must complete the pre-departure training course organized by Waterloo International and Co-operative Education & Career Action. This course gives you helpful travel tips and equips you with the tools you need to stay safe and healthy – plus so much more!
We will automatically enroll you in the appropriate course once you receive confirmation of your participation in an international mobility program through Waterloo International or an international work term through Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA). Planning to travel abroad for purposes other than a program coordinated by Waterloo International? Please contact us right away to let us know about your travel plans and get enrolled in the course.
In addition, before leaving Canada, you must complete a risk management form.
- For Waterloo International programs: the risk management form will be completed online via Waterloo Passport as part of your student mobility application form.
- For programs not coordinated by Waterloo International: complete the International Mobility Program (Non-Co-op) Acknowledgement, Release and Waiver (PDF) and submit to a Global Learning Coordinator, located in the Student Success Office, SCH
- For international work terms: connect with the appropriate CECA staff member below to discuss the risk management form
For any questions about enrolling in a pre-departure course or completing the risk management forms, please contact:
- Cathy Stein (firstname.lastname@example.org), CECA, for co-op students going for a co-op term to the USA
- Sandra Shantz/Judi Whitfield (email@example.com), CECA, for co-op students going for a co-op term to any country internationally except the USA
- Global Learning Coordinators (firstname.lastname@example.org), Waterloo International, for all other international programs or travel plans
Step 2: Review the Government of Canada Travel Advisories
Please monitor the Canadian Government's Travel Advisory reports for your specific country/region to determine level of advisory for your proposed location of travel.
|Exercise normal security precautions||1|
|Exercise a high degree of caution||2|
|AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL||3|
|AVOID ALL TRAVEL||4|
Students are normally not permitted to travel to countries or regions labelled as level 3 or 4 by the Government of Canada. If you wish to appeal this restriction you should contact the Associate Vice-President, International to discuss why an exemption should be considered. Please note that at present final authority for travel restrictions rests with the Vice-President Academic and Provost.
Step 3: Use the University's preferred travel agent
We strongly recommend booking your travel through the University's preferred travel provider, Frederick Travel. There are benefits to using Frederick Travel for both personal and business travel.
Frederick Travel can help you book your flight, hotels, ground transportation and more. Frederick Travel will also upload your travel itinerary into MyTrips (see International travel safety and security for more information).
Book with Frederick Travel by phone: 519-745-1860 or 1-800-578-8958
What will Frederick Travel require for the booking?
- Your name as it appears on your passport
- The issuing country of your passport
- Date of birth
- WatIAM email address (e.g. email@example.com)
- Mobile number
- Emergency contact name, email and telephone number
This information will only need to be supplied once for your traveller's profile. It will be kept by Frederick Travel for future bookings.
Step 4: Register with Canadians Abroad
Step 5: Review travel health insurance benefits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have appropriate health insurance for international travel. All full-time Waterloo students are automatically covered by the Federation of Students (FEDS)/Graduate Student Association (GSA) Health & Dental Plan unless you opt-out of the plan at the start of the term. If you have opted-out of the University's undergraduate or graduate health insurance plans, check to see if you are covered under another plan such as your parents'.
It is very important that you travel with health insurance in case of a medical emergency.
Review the following information before you travel:
- You can review the travel health benefits offered by the (FEDS)/(GSA) Health & Dental Plan at ihaveaplan.ca
- For medical emergencies, assistance while traveling and coverage details please contact the Health & Dental Plan office in is located in Health Services, room 1006 or call 1-866-369-8794
- For medical and payment assistance call 1-866-369-8794. Canada's international country code is 011
- monitor the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for your specific country/region
Step 6: Ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date
Do you need to get vaccinated before you leave Canada? Visit your family doctor or a travel clinic to find out. It’s recommended that you be vaccinated a minimum of six weeks prior to departure so you must book vaccination appointments well in advance of the six week minimum timeframe. Please note that certain vaccinations may require more than six weeks to administer before you travel.
The University of Waterloo Health Services offers a Travel Clinic where students, staff and faculty intending to travel abroad can receive information on travel vaccinations. Just be sure to give yourself enough time before you expect to travel. Contact Health Services for more information about cost and availability.
Be prepared to pay for the doctor’s visit and take the prescription to a pharmacy to obtain any vaccinations you may require. Health Services will schedule an appointment for the vaccination to be administered in the clinic by a nurse after you obtain the prescription. If you’re covered under the FEDS and GSA health coverage, you do not have to pay for vaccinations up front. Fees are coordinated with the insurance carrier.
Step 7: Learn who to contact in an emergency
Step 8: Learn how to stay safe abroad
There are a number of resources through International SOS, the University of Waterloo's international security assistance provider, to help you plan ahead.
Refer to the International travel safety and security pages and review:
- "Tell us where you're going" and
- "Stay informed while abroad"
It's also important that you complete the arrival form when you reach your host country. Information collected in the form is required so that you can be contacted in the event of an emergency.