Families & Friends

The support of family and friends is vital for students throughout the entirety of the study abroad process.

International Safety and Security works directly with students as they prepare, study abroad, and return home. Parents, family members, and friends are encouraged to review these web pages and talk with your student to better understand their specific program, process, responsibilities, and benefits to their education.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

International Safety and Security adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly referred to as FERPA), "a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records" (U.S. Department of Education). Illinois has established guidelines for the implementation of this law, which are contained in Section X-6 of the Campus Administrative Manual and the Illinois Student Code

Who & When We Contact in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency, students are the office’s first priority. When contacted due to an emergency, students are instructed to contact their parents. The office will only contact parents when the student is unable to do so.

Incident Definition

Incidents are any non-academic contact with programmatic staff or faculty that require some action to record, assist, or manage. Events of local concern, whether or not they have a direct impact on programs may be noted as incidents if action was taken to inform students or relevant staff.

Incident Types Defined


Medical problem needing diagnosis or treatment


Student missing, accident, natural disaster


Crime, civil unrest, travel alerts/warnings, terrorism


Missed or canceled flight, train, ferry


Problem with access to funds, payment discrepancy


Immigration or arrest


Family crisis


Disruptive or prohibitive behavior

Home campus

Major campus event (such as death)

*Includes behavior incidents with underlying health connection.


Logistical questions regarding transportation, housing, in-country travel, etc.
Each program and university is unique and have their own particular security measures in place. We encourage you to contact your student's advisor or college study abroad office directly with logistical questions.

What information will the students be provided with regarding safety and security abroad (ex. embassy/consulate information, campus resources)?
International Safety and Security encourages students to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) This is a free resource to receive the latest travel updates and information from the U.S. Department of State. The office also provides students with a number of resources on campus during pre-departure training and maintains this and other web pages with the relevant information.

How does Illinois prepare its students to study abroad with regard to safety and security?
All students are required to participate in a pre-departure orientation and complete a training program with International Safety and Security.

What is the emergency number?
The emergency number is a 24-hour response line for student, faculty, and staff members abroad. The number first directs callers to the University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD), who then forwards the call to the Assistant Director for International Safety and Security. The emergency number is +1 (217) 333-1216

Additional Resources