International SOS (ISOS): Emergency & Travel Assistance Service

The wellbeing of student travelers is Duke’s top priority. To help safeguard university travelers, Duke has contracted with a travel assistance company called International SOS (ISOS), which provides emergency assistance and other services for all students (both Duke and non-Duke students) studying abroad on Duke programs. These services range from telephone advice and medical referrals, to full-scale medical evacuation by air ambulance.

For more information about the services provided by ISOS, please see:

Fees for ISOS services

Students who have been approved to study outside of the United States on a Duke-administered or Duke-approved program are eligible to receive many services from ISOS free of charge, including access to a 24/7-network of ISOS specialists, who can help provide security advice and medical referrals around the world.

Please be aware, however, that some of the ISOS services outlined on the Duke University Corporate Risk Management website ( may have additional charges. Should you activate a service that has an additional charge, you authorize Duke to bill you for this charge. Please know that such charges may not be billed until after you have returned from your time abroad.

Countries covered under ISOS

Please note that services provided by ISOS are available in all countries except for the student’s “home country,” which is defined as the country currently sponsoring the student’s passport. Any questions about this policy should be directed to Duke Corporate Risk Management at or 919-684-6226.  

ISOS is not health insurance

Finally, it is important to understand that, although ISOS offers students participating on Duke programs travel advice and medical referrals, International SOS is NOT health insurance. All students studying away on a Duke-administered program are required to maintain personal health insurance coverage for the duration of their time abroad/away from Duke. See the “Insurance Requirements and Suggestions” section under About > Forms & Policies for more information about the health insurance requirement.

Download your ISOS card

All undergraduates studying abroad through Duke, including Duke students on Duke-approved programs, receive an International SOS wallet card, which contains Duke’s ISOS membership number as well as phone numbers for ISOS Alarm Centers around the world. Carry this card with you at all times while abroad, and also leave a copy with a family member.

Download ISOS Card




International SOS (ISOS): Emergency & Travel Assistance Service

To help safeguard university travelers, Duke has contracted with a travel assistance company called International SOS (ISOS), which provides emergency assistance and other services for all students studying abroad on Duke programs. Learn what services are offered and how to make the most of this benefit provided by Duke University.

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Students with Disabilities

The Duke University Global Education Office (GEO) is committed to inclusion on its study away programs. We work closely with Duke’s Student Disability Access Office (SDAO) to help students – both Duke students and non-Duke students – with disabilities request and receive approved accommodations on study away programs to the extent that they can be arranged, given local/foreign laws, infrastructure, and other considerations.

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Smart Things You Can Do To Avoid Unsafe Situations

Just like in the United States, it is important that you are vigilant and take commonsense precautions to safeguard yourself while on your study away program. Indeed, it may be even more important to be vigilant while studying abroad, as you may not know all of the nuances of your host country’s local laws and cultural norms. There are proactive steps you can take to help make sure you have a safe trip abroad.

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World Situation FAQ

The safety and security of Duke students studying away is the first priority for Duke University. Using trusted sources of information and analysis, we are constantly monitoring and assessing the security conditions in and around our study away sites. 

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Sexual Misconduct on Study Away

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a living and learning community that is free from harassment, violence, and discrimination. Familiarize yourself with Duke’s sexual misconduct policies and the options for reporting, both confidential and non-confidential.

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Things You Can Do to Minimize the Risks of Sexual Misconduct 

Sexual assault and rape are prevalent globally, and no one is immune. While female-identifying students are statistically more susceptible, students of any gender identity should exercise caution and awareness. Sexual assault can happen at any time or place. It is important to remember that sexual violence is never your fault.

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Laptop and Smartphone Security

It is easy to carry a laptop or smartphone around; but, unfortunately, it is just as easy for thieves to steal one. In the seconds it takes you to turn around to greet a friend in a coffee shop, a thief can pick up and make off with your valuables. Bottom line: You need to guard your laptop and phone as closely as you guard your wallet.

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Health & Wellness Topics You Probably Forgot About

This checklist will help you think about your health-related needs and take care of what needs attention before you depart. Things like what to pack, what to do if your routine medical visits falls during your time away, glasses and contacts, prescription medications, and immunizations, to name a few.

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Driving While Abroad

While we strongly recommend that you not drive while abroad, should you choose to do so, you may need a special driving permit, a road permit, or both to drive in certain countries. An international driver’s permit, available from your local automobile association, should be recognized by many countries and may, with your driver’s license, suffice for driving.

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