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Emergencies Abroad

In the case of a medical emergency:
  • The traveler should go to the nearest physician or hospital.
  • Call Northwestern’s medical insurance/assistance provider, GeoBlue, at their emergency assistance line, (610) 254-8771.
    • Provide GeoBlue with traveler’s name, policy number, and the address and phone number of the hospital or medical facility
    • GeoBlue will monitor care, arrange for inpatient direct-billing, and coordinate communications
    • Often, GeoBlue can directly bill the medical facility for treatment. If they cannot directly bill the medical facility, travelers will be reimbursed for the cost of treatment
  • Students studying abroad should notify Gabrielle Viard, Exchange Program Manager, as soon as possible.
  • If there is no on-site staff associated with the program or the patient is traveling independent of a group, call Northwestern University Police 24/7 at (847) 491-3456. The duty officer will locate the Director of Global Safety and Security (or her back-up), who will return the call.
Learn more about accessing medical care abroad on the Accessing Care Abroad page.

Security Assistance
In the event a student has been a victim of crime, harassment, discrimination, terrorism, natural disaster, etc., students (or their companions) should notify Gabrielle Viard.  

Sexual Misconduct
If you experienced sexual misconduct while abroad, please review Northwestern's Information and Options for Survivors of Sexual Misconduct Abroad to review your options regarding how to respond as well as begin the healing process.

Emergency Contact/Parental Notification
In an emergency where the student is capable of making his/her own follow-up decisions, the student may decide whether or not his/her emergency contacts/parents are notified of the emergency. Some exceptions apply, however. NU may choose, in consultation with the exchange coordinator at the host school or on-site representatives, to inform a student's emergency contacts about a potential emergency abroad without the student's permission, such as when the student:
  • Is unable to speak for him/herself
  • Has been missing for more than 24 hours
  • Is perceived to be a danger to him/herself or others, or when
  • A significant health, safety, or security incident affecting the entire program has occurred abroad
Lost or Stolen Passport
To replace a U.S. passport lost or stolen abroad, American citizens must go to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and apply in person.
Please note:
  • Passport matters are usually handled on specific hours; read the embassy or consulate website carefully.
  • Travelers will need to complete a document called a DS-11, provide a passport photo, and pay a replacement fee.
Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for specific instructions, forms, and assistance.
Travelers of other nationalities should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of their citizenship. The State Department website can assist travelers in finding the right resource.