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Frequently Asked Questions


WVU has joined forces with International SOS to offer our students, faculty and staff comprehensive medical, safety and security expertise when traveling abroad.

Travelers must register for their travel at the link to the right to be eligible for these benefits.

If you are traveling with family members and would like to have the same coverage, please contact Tara George-Jones ( for information.


In the event of a medical emergency, natural disaster or political unrest that necessitates an evacuation from an international location, travelers should contact International SOS (phone:  1 215 942 8478, membership #: 11BCAS589741). It is a good idea to download the assistance app ( from International SOS and to program the emergency numbers into your cell phone.

Country Specific Information

The U.S. State Department provides country specific information regarding safety, security, crime rates, travel warnings, judicial systems, health care systems, and emergency contact telephone numbers.       

You must register your travel through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) This is a free service provided by the U. S. Government to U S Citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

Remember when you are traveling abroad, it is a good idea to become familiar with the local laws. 

Country Specific information can also be found through the International SOS ( You will need to provide the membership number to access the information or you may call them at any time.

Membership #:  11BCAS589741

Phone:  1 215 942 8478

You can also download the app ( for quick access.


Proper documentation and identification is required for entry into foreign countries and for re-entry into the United States. Requirements vary by country based on citizenship, purpose of visit and length of stay.  The U. S. State Department provides information regarding the travel documents required for the country in which you will be traveling at

Along with the originals, take a copy of all your travel documents (including passport, birth certificate, visa, work permit, confirmation of vaccinations and confirmation of health insurance) with you and leave copies with someone at home. 

U.S. Passport:

Visa Service Companies: 

Travisa (

Travel Document Systems (

Travel Visa Services (


Faculty or staff who wish to travel to countries under Level 3 or 4 Advisories are urged to review the Consular Information Sheet and the Advisory ( and other available materials concerning the conditions in the destination country and to continue to evaluate the value and necessity of the travel against the risks that he/she will encounter if he/she chooses to travel.
For more information on travel alerts: Travel Advisories


Make sure you are up-to-date on your routine vaccines and that you have received any other required vaccines before departure. You can get your vaccinations by seeing your personal health care provider, the health department or student health.

The CDC Traveler’s Health website is a useful source for country-specific health recommendations, suggested and required vaccination.

Additional travel health services and questions, can be obtained by contacting International SOS.

Membership #:  11BCAS589741

Telephone #:  1 215 942 8478


If you are currently taking any medications, check with your physician and/or International SOS for recommendations while abroad.

Most U.S. prescriptions cannot be filled at a foreign pharmacy and some medications may not be available abroad.  Be sure to take enough of your prescription to last you for your entire time abroad.

If you cannot take enough of your prescription to last you for your entire time abroad, speak to your doctor about possible solutions. Sometimes, a prescription from the U.S. physician with the scientific name of the drug, along with a letter that explains the usage of the drug will be sufficient for a foreign physician to write you a local prescription. You can always contact International SOS for assistance in this process before departure or during your time abroad.

A letter from your doctor listing your medication and why you need it, is always helpful for foreign medical providers as well as customs agents.

If there are any over-the-counter medications that you must have, please be sure to take an adequate supply with you.

All medications (prescription or over-the-counter) should always be in their original, labeled packaging. It is always best to carry your prescription medication as well as any necessary over-the counter medicine with you in your carry-on in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

The laws concerning medications vary from country to country, and some may be illegal abroad. You should contact International SOS to be sure the medication that you have been prescribed is allowable in your host country.

If you have any medical condition (diabetes, severe allergies, physical condition, etc.) that may require emergency care, carry an identification tag with you at all times.

If you wear glasses or contacts, it is best to take an extra pair with you as well as a copy of your prescription.

Be sure to leave all medications in their original labeled containers.


You should check with your cell phone provider to determine if international service is provided, the cost of the service and if it is  accessible in the countries to which you are traveling. 


Below is a reference checklist of things you may want to think about before you travel: 

  • Is your passport valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date?
  • Did you acquire a visa, if necessary?
  • Did you register your travel through the WVU system?
  • Do you know the latest developments in the country you are traveling to by checking the country specific information?
  • Did you register with the US State Department STEP?
  • Did you download the International SOS Assistance app?
  • Did you program your cell phone with International SOS’s phone number?
  • Did you assure that all your vaccinations are up to date?
  • Do you have your medications in their original, labeled containers? Do you have copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs?  Have you verified that your prescription drugs are legal in the country you are traveling to?
  • Did you make two copies of your passport, airplane ticket, driver’s license, and credit cards (once copy to carry with you and one to keep at home)?
  • Have you discussed with your colleagues and your family how you will let them know you have safely arrived? Do you have a communication plan in place?
  • Do you know where the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate will be to you?


Using Outlook with the software on your laptop will cause your email access to be shut off by ITS. You must access Outlook with the web client outside the USA.

If a WVU employee is outside the continental US and needs to access a system or computer that’s behind VPN the employee needs to request a Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) account. Consider AVD as the replacement for Citrix. It can take a few days to a week, maybe more maybe less, to setup an AVD account. It’s important that a traveler notify ITS and its college IT support early in the travel process so that the AVD account can be setup and system access tested.