Travel safety

International Student and Study Abroad Centre

ISSAC assists faculty and staff with:

  • risk assessment and emergency planning,
  • overseeing the USask pre-departure process
  • maintaining the International Travel Registry
  • monitoring international events
  • providing emergency assistance to students and faculty abroad
As per USask policy, the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) must be notified of all university-approved international travel that involves student mobility. This includes but is not limited to all group travel, exchanges, study tours, internships, fieldwork, research, externships, conferences and seminars outside Canada.

Risk assessment and emergency planning

Colleges, departments and supervisors providing or approving learning opportunities abroad should familiarize themselves with the Global Affairs Canada advisories to ensure that students do not travel to high-risk areas without thorough consideration and approval from the university. An exemption from the university's International Travel Risk Management Policy will be required before travel to high-risk areas can be allowed. At minimum, travel will not be allowed to destinations that fall under "Avoid all or non-essential travel" advisory.

An exemption from the University’s Policy on International Travel Risk Management for Student Mobility may be considered only for graduate students, who have strong academic reasons to travel to a higher risk location.

To request an exemption to travel, please complete and submit the Travel Exemption Request Form to the international Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) via email ( along with

  • a detailed itinerary for the entire duration of your travel,
  • a letter from your supervisor explaining how your proposed travel is connected to your research or your program of study, and
  • any safety guidelines or host organization protocols that you would be following at your destination.

The completed form along with the accompanying documents should be submitted to ISSAC at least 2-3 months before expected travel to allow enough time for the travel exemption request to be reviewed. Please note that there is no guarantee an exemption request will result in an approval of travel and all requests are reviewed on a case by case basis.

ISSAC will work with each student on their request to ensure that it has been completed as required. Thereafter, it will be forwarded to the appropriate Dean for a college level review. If approved at the college level, it will then be sent to the Provost's advisory committee for a final review. If the exemption request is denied at either the college or Provost level, there is no appeal and travel must be cancelled or conducted in a safer location. Students are advised to wait until the exemption request has been processed before they start making travel plans.

Students that are not sure whether or not a planned travel requires an exemption request should contact ISSAC in person or via email ( ISSAC helps students understand if a travel requires an exemption request and what may be required to apply for one, e.g. a strong academic rationale, no alternative safe locations where the study could be conducted and a detailed daily itinerary that includes information about all sites to be visited and modes of local transportation.

Please complete the International Travel Safety Plan for all international travel that includes fieldwork, student groups and/or takes place in a high-risk area as per the Global Affairs Canada. This document forms the basis of your emergency plan should participants need assistance abroad. Contact ISSAC for assistance and submit a copy of the document to ISSAC at least 60 days prior to the departure by emailing it to It is also important to share the plan with all of those traveling abroad.

Pre-departure requirements

  • Staff and faculty are responsible for notifying ISSAC of any upcoming international travel involving students by submitting a completed Trip Set Up form to ISSAC at least 30 days before the estimated trip departure date. Please send the completed form to All university-approved international travel is recorded on the university's emergency response database (International travel Registry). Once a trip has been set up, students and their trip leader(s) will receive an automated email with more instructions on how to access the registry and which requirements to complete.

  • Students are required to provide certain information about themselves in the International Travel Registry in order to facilitate prompt response and support in the event of an emergency,  All provided information is strictly confidential.

  • Each student participating in a program abroad is required to complete a pre-departure organized by ISSAC. Preparing students for university-related travel is a shared responsbility between ISSAC and the affiliated college or unit. . Pre-departure sessions can be provided in a variety of formats including on campus and via Blackboard. In cases of higher risk travel, an additional or extended pre-departure orientation will be required. 

  • It is the responsibility of the faculty coordinator, group leader or college supervisor to prepare and deliver a program-specific orientation that covers academic matters relative to the program, information about activity and site-specific risks and recommendations on how to avoid and prepare for them, information about cultural issues and logistical arrangements, an emergency plan and program-specific rules of conduct.

Emergency assistance and incident reporting

If a student needs emergency assistance abroad, please contact Campus Safety 24/7 at +1306-966-5555. 

You may also contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre during office hours (8:30 am - 4:30 pm CST). If there has been an incident abroad that has already been dealt with, please complete the Incident Report provided by Safety Resources and inform ISSAC.

Study abroad

Faculty-led programs

For faculty proposing a University of Saskatchewan study abroad program with or without the use of an outside contractor, the following outlines key steps for developing a new program. The process should be initiated at least 18 months in advance of the proposed program start date.

Program plan

The faculty and staff who are interested in offering a University of Saskatchewan course abroad should create a proposal to the appropriate division or department within their college. This proposal should include the following information:

  • Name and complete contact information of the faculty/staff members making the proposal
  • Course syllabus (learning objectives, participation expectations and assignments etc.)
  • A tentative itinerary
  • Explanation of how the location and local resources enhance the learning objectives of the course
  • Cooperating institutions abroad (if applicable)
  • Culturally orienting activities
  • Student selection process
  • A proposed budget (including instructors expenses, tuition revenue, student expenses and fees and payments to outside services providers

Course challenge

Once a program plan has been approved by the appropriate division or department, the proposed course will go through the University's Course Challenge. For more information about the course challenge, please contact the Office of the University Secretary.

Logistical arrangements

Logistical arrangements are the responsibility of the faculty lead. Please begin preparing at least 12 months before the proposed program dates to allow sufficient time for planning, budgeting and bookings. Consider the following:

  • Will travel be done as a group or will participants meet at the final destination?
  • What support services are available on the ground? 
  • What facilities do students have access to and will they be sufficient for completing the assigned tasks?
  • Is there a partnership between the U of S and a local institution/service provider? If so, review all contracts carefully and make sure you understand the terms and conditions including liability.
  • Transportation and accommodation

Risk assessment

The University of Saskatchewan has a duty of care for students abroad. Risk assessment is a crucial part of proper program planning. The International Student and Study Abroad Centre can be contacted for assistance in assessing both activity and site-specific risks and should be informed in all cases when international travel is associated with the university and involves U of S students. Staff and faculty are asked to create an emergency plan that includes at least the following components:

  • Travel dates and travel destination
  • U of S primary contact
  • Emergency contact in the destination country
  • Assessment of site and activity-specific risks
  • Suggested precautions and an emergency plan
  • Program-specific rules of conduct

Student application and selection

The student application process should take place at least 5 months prior to actual travel in order to allow sufficient time for proper preparation. A formal application process will support the viability of study abroad programs. Students should expect to complete some or all of the following requirements:

  • Application form (submitted by the application deadline)
  • Transcript
  • Participation prerequisites
  • Personal suitability 
  • References
  • Statement of purpose
  • Budget plan
  • Proof of language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Program fee and payment deadlines

Evaluation of faculty-led programs

Evaluation of faculty-led programs should take place after the program has ended and before a new program cycle begins. An evaluation process should include:

  • Academic content (including objectives and actual outcomes)
  • Student feedback
  • Development of intercultural competence
  • Logistical arrangements
  • Faculty feedback

For more information and assistance, please contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

Student exchange

The University of Saskatchewan is a signatory to bilateral and multilateral exchange agreements with many insitutions located in 22 different countries. The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) has developed a protocol for administering inbound and outbound student exchange and bilateral agreements signed on behalf of the institution reflect this protocol.

Courses taken abroad are evaluated by the U of S college the student is admitted in. It is dependant on the college if the courses taken abroad are evaluated as transfer credit or will be evaluated into the student's CWA. To learn more about college-specific course evaluation models, please contact ISSAC.

If your department is considering entering into an exchange agreement, please consult with the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, which has developed templates for exchange agreements and which has general responsibility for coordinating inbound and outbound Student Exchange.

To participate in the Student Exchange Program, students must apply and meet the eligibility requirements.