Study Abroad Emergency Protocol

Western Michigan University stands ready to assist students abroad and their families in the event of a serious family or personal emergency. Students are issued a WMU Study Abroad 24/7 Emergency Assistance card prior to departure. Students are instructed to carry this card on them at all times while overseas. The card includes simple steps for reporting an emergency and seeking assistance, as follows:

WMU Study Abroad 24/7 emergency assistance

In case of emergency, students are directed to do the following:

  • Place a collect call to the WMU Department of Public Safety at 1 (269) 387-5555.
  • Tell the dispatcher they are a WMU student who is currently studying abroad.
  • Be prepared to provide the following information:
    1. Name.
    2. Current location (street address, city, country).
    3. Name of the program the student is enrolled in and its location.
    4. Nature of the emergency.
    5. A phone number at which the student can be reached (provide two numbers, if possible).

WMU's Department of Public Safety will contact Study Abroad and the situation will be addressed according to WMU emergency protocols.

The back of the emergency contact card includes blank lines where students can write in numbers specific to their host country or program. Students are provided with the first two numbers at pre-departure orientation; the last two numbers will be provided at the in-country orientation.

U.S. Embassy: _____________________________
Local 911: _____________________________
Local emergency staff: _____________________________
Health services: _____________________________

In the event that a student's family needs to reach them regarding a serious emergency while they are studying overseas, the family is advised to place a collect call to WMU's Department of Public Safety at 1 (269) 387-5555.