The University of Pennsylvania provides (at no cost to you) International SOS (ISOS) benefits. Through International SOS, Penn provides members of the Penn community who travel abroad on a Penn-affiliated activity, 24-hour worldwide assistance and emergency evacuation services. This includes pre-trip planning advice, access to country-specific travel/health/safety/security information, and in-country medical and personal assistance. This is not health insurance but does provide for medical evacuation and repatriation. Register your trip with Penn's Global Activities Registry to be automatically registered for ISOS. Make sure to print your membership card to carry with you on your travels.
Air Travel Arrangements
Some economical travel sites to try:
- Economy Travel
- Opodo (you'll have to convert cost from British Pounds)
- Premier Tours
- Student Universe
Visas & US Department of State
We highly recommend your visiting the US Department of State Website where you can sign up for notification, via email, when new travel warnings/alerts are placed. You will find much useful information, including:
- Travel warnings (visit the site often for the latest updates)
- Country background information
- Visa & passport requirements for your travel plans
Safety & Security
- Review the Department of State information on how to have a Safe Trip Abroad You will find helpful information on a number of aspects of travel
- Obtain a cell phone that will operate in the country/ies you are visiting. In addition to facilitating contacts with your local colleagues, you can use the phone to reach the nearest US embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission and/or ISOS in the event of an emergency. Please note that your ISOS benefits, in addition to assistance in medical emergencies, can help you with emergency evacuation when unsafe conditions arise from political or natural disasters.
Roadway accidents are the most frequent cause of fatalities among US citizens traveling abroad. You should always look both ways when crossing any street as bicycles, and other unregulated vehicles could be coming from the unexpected side. In countries where cars drive on the left side, it is particularly important to look both ways as cars will be coming from the "wrong" direction.
To mitigate accidents, keep in mind the following risks that are to be avoided if at all possible:
- Driving at night, particularly on bad, ill-lit roads
- Driving while under the influence - YOURS OR OTHER PEOPLE'S
- Riding on bicycles, motor scooters, motor cycles, and other two- and three-wheeled vehicles
- Failing to use a safety belt in a four-wheeled vehicle
- Walking where there are no sidewalks
- 10 Facts on Global Road Safety