In an Emergency

If you need to contact McGill in an emergency or crisis while abroad, call McGill Campus Security at +1-514-398-3000, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When facing an emergency or crisis, communication is critical and time-sensitive. Be sure to know who to contact in case of an emergency.

Important Numbers to Have on Hand:

  • In immediate danger: call the local central emergency number (e.g., 911 equivalent) or telephone number for local police, ambulance, fire.
    • Note: some countries do not have a central 911 number for contacting police, fire, or ambulance. You should research and save local emergency number(s) on your phone!
  • In a crisis (e.g. political unrest, terror attack, natural disaster): call the Canadian consular assistance number or your home country’s equivalent.
  • For a campus-related issue: call the emergency number of the host partner institution.
  • For an academic issue: contact your supervisor or faculty advisor.
  • For an urgent financial concern: contact the Scholarships & Student Aid office (you will need to complete an In-Course Financial Aid application in Minerva)

If a Crisis Occurs & You Are Not in Danger:

  1. Contact your closest family members to confirm that you are not in danger and are safely in your place of residence. You have the option to do this through the McGill Student Travel Registry app.
  2. In the event of a change to "Avoid non-essential travel" or "Avoid all travel" travel advisory, check your McGill email and send an "I'm okay" through the McGill Student Travel Registry. McGill Abroad will reach out to you to check if you are safe. 
  3. Always remain vigilant of your surroundings at all times and follow the advice of local authorities.
  4. Remember that as a McGill student, you have access to keep.meSAFE, a 24/7 international counselling and crisis support program.

Travel Advisories

A risk level is the Government of Canada’s official measure of the safety and security of a destination, country or region. There are four possible risk levels:

  1. Exercise normal security precautions

  2. Exercise a high degree of caution

  3. Avoid non-essential travel

  4. Avoid all travel

Regional Advisories:

Risk levels may also include regional advisories. In such cases, the country may be listed “Exercise normal security precautions”, “Exercise a high degree of caution” or “Avoid non-essential travel” but contain areas within that are under a higher risk advisory. It is important to research your destination and confirm that you will not be travelling to any internal areas with an “Avoid non-essential travel” advisory, without special permission, or any areas listed as “Avoid all travel”. Regional advisories can be issued for regions, provinces, districts, cities, neighbourhoods, specific infrastructure, border areas, or proximity to certain areas of instability. If there is a regional proximity advisory at your destination, you must be sure that you are not within the stated distance for university-related activities.

Examples:

  • In a country that is listed as “Exercise a high degree of caution”, areas within 50km of borders are listed “Avoid all travel”. McGill students are not permitted to travel within 50km of the borders for university-related activities.

  • Students may be participating in a university-related activity, in city that is listed as “Exercise a high degree of caution”, that is within a country or province that has an “Avoid non-essential travel” advisory in place. If they travel through “Avoid non-essential travel” areas by land to reach the destination city, they must obtain a travel exemption.

  • A country’s regional airport is listed as “Avoid all travel”. Students must find alternatives flight routes or other means of transportation that avoid the airport. 

Changes to Travel Advisories - Safety and security conditions may change either before your travel or while you are abroad.

If the travel advisory for your destination changes before your departure:

From
To
Action

Exercise normal security precautions

Exercise a high degree of caution

No modifications required.

McGill strongly suggests students stay alert and check local safety and security conditions regularly before departure.

Exercise normal security precautions

or

Exercise a high degree of caution

Avoid non-essential travel

 

Possible cancellation of activity.

McGill may cancel the university-related activity. Students, who have properly completed their McGill student travel registry, will receive an email via their McGill email account. Students can contact McGill Abroad at safetyabroad [at] mcgill.ca with any questions or doubts they may have. In cases where a student and their academic supervisor deem travel to an area listed as “Avoid non-essential travel” as essential, they must apply for a travel exemption and have it approved by the Deputy Provost before moving forward with their travel plans.

Any level

Avoid all travel

 

Cancellation of activity.

McGill will cancel the university-related activity. No exemptions are permitted. Students, who have properly completed their McGill student travel registry, will receive an email via their McGill email account. Students can contact McGill Abroad at safetyabroad [at] mcgill.ca with any questions or doubts they may have.


If the travel advisory for your destination changes after your departure:

From
To
Action

Exercise normal security precautions

or

 

Exercise a high degree of caution

 

Avoid non-essential travel

 

Possible activity cancellation.

Students, who have properly completed their McGill student travel registry, will receive a check-in notification via the app and email from McGill Abroad to ensure that they are safe and to provide information on support resources and instructions on next steps, which may include activity cancellation. Students must follow the instructions very carefully and respond to McGill emails via their McGill account as soon as possible, as this is the primary method of contact that McGill will use to check-in with students to offer guidance and support.

In cases where a student and their academic supervisor deem the continuation of travel to an area listed as “Avoid non-essential travel” as essential, they must apply for a travel exemption as soon as they receive instructions from McGill Abroad. Please note that application for an exemption does not guarantee approval.

Any level

Avoid all travel

 

Cancellation of activity.

 

Students, who have properly completed their McGill Student Travel registry, will receive a check-in notification via the app and email from McGill Abroad to ensure that they are safe and to provide information on support resources and instructions on next steps. Students must follow the instructions very carefully and respond to McGill emails via their McGill account as soon as possible, as those who do not respond may see their international activity cancelled.

 

McGill will cancel the university-related activity for the particular location and advise students to leave until the “Avoid all travel” advisory is lifted. Students can contact McGill Abroad at safetyabroad [at] mcgill.ca with any questions or doubts they may have.

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