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International SOS

Villanova University has contracted with a company called International SOS to provide worldwide assistance and evacuation services for all study abroad participants.  One phone call connects Villanova students to the International SOS network of multilingual specialists for immediate help in an emergency. International SOS services are designed to help students with medical, personal, travel, security information and legal referrals when away from home.

Available at any time. Students can call International SOS at any time to speak with a physician or security specialist about simple or critical matters. While most pre-departure and on-site services are included in the Villanova membership, some International SOS services will charge an additional fee.

SOS Wallet Card. All Villanova students will receive an International SOS wallet card at their pre-departure orientation meeting and they should plan to carry this card with them at all times while overseas.  This wallet card will include the Villanova member ID number which must be used to log in to the International SOS website and would be requested by the International SOS representative during any phone call to an Alarm Center. 

International SOS Services Provided. The services provided by International SOS range from telephone advice and referrals to full-scale evacuation by private air ambulance. The SOS network of multilingual specialists operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from SOS Alarm Centers around the world. Your SOS membership, provided by the University, protects you against a variety of difficulties that could arise while you are abroad.  The coverage is designed to supplement the policies, procedures and support staff, which Villanova University already has in place.

It is important to understand that, although International SOS will offer our students travel, medical and security advice and services, as well as on-line access to information which many insurance companies do not offer, International SOS is NOT health insurance.  Villanova University continues to require all students attending our programs to maintain health insurance coverage that meets the standards set forth by the University Health Center, and to make certain that their policies cover them while abroad. The University does offer a secondary health insurance policy that will cover claims opened in the host country through SOS if the traveler's primary policy will not cover the treatment. 

How to Use International SOS - Medical, Security and Travel Services

International SOS provides you with worldwide quality health care and emergency assistance services 24 hours a day designed to supplement and integrate with Villanova University's services, procedures and policies.  You should always attempt to contact Villanova University and/or your program's on-site emergency contacts first, who will assist you first.  If they are not available, then proceed to contact International SOS.

In order to utilize any of the medical or travel services listed in the Villanova contract, call any SOS Alarm Center from anywhere in the world by calling directly, calling collect or calling the toll-free number. To ensure a prompt response when calling, you should be prepared to provide the following:

  • Your name, location, age, sex, and nationality.
  • The program with which you are associated: (i.e. Villanova University International Studies program in ______.)
  • Your Villanova membership number (found on your Wallet Card)
  • The telephone number from which you are calling (in case you are disconnected)
  • Your relationship to the member (if the person calling is not you.)
  • Name, location, and telephone number of the hospital or clinic (when applicable)
  • Name, location, and telephone number for the treating doctor, and where the doctor can be reached (when applicable)


SOS 24-Hour Alarm Centers

If calling from the US, Mexico, Central or South America:

Philadelphia, PA

  • 24 hours: 1-215-942-8226 (call collect where available)
  • Within U.S.A. call: 1-800-523-6586


If calling from Europe, CIS, Africa or the Middle East:

London, England

  • 24 hours: 44-20-8762-8008 (call collect where available)

If calling from Asia, Australia or the Pacific Rim:


  • 24 hours: 65-6338-7800 (call collect where available)

Additional Alarm Center and Clinic contact information can be found at the SOS website at

Pre-departure Planning Assistance

In addition to calling the Alarm Center for any in-trip emergencies, students are encouraged to use the International SOS Alarm Center for any pre-trip questions.  International SOS can provide pre-trip planning assistance for students with pre-existing medical conditions, from prescription drug questions to connecting students with local medical care, if necessary. International SOS can also offer a current perspective on the current living situations in many location around the globe. 

Students can also access Country and Security Guides from the International SOS website.

Use the Villanova membership number (found on the wallet card) as the member login.  In addition to the information covered at the pre-departure sessions and on-site by the host program, the SOS comprehensive guides provide both medical, security and general travel advice, such as information on the standard of health care, how to pay for medical care, the availability of medications, safety of the blood supply, embassy/visa information, dialing code information, cultural etiquette and financial and voltage/plug information.

Email Alerts

As a member of International SOS, all Villanova students have the option to sign up for Email Alerts. Students can choose to sign up for medical and/or security alerts by logging on and signing up. Medical alerts are issued when there is an unusual health risk that, in the opinion of the SOS Medical staff, may negatively impact travelers or expatriates visiting a country. Security alerts are issued when SOS Security professionals have identified a security risk in a specific country.

Frequently Asked Questions about International SOS

Q: What are the Program Benefits offered by International SOS to Villanova Students?

A:  Medical Services

  • Emergency evacuation
  • Medically-supervised repatriation
  • Companion ticket
  • Travel and accommodation arrangements after medical evacuation
  • Repatriation of mortal remains
  • Return home of minor children
  • Medical monitoring
  • Inpatient admission and identification of receiving physician
  • Emergency and routine medical advice
  • Pre-trip information on travel health issues
  • Medical and dental referrals
  • Outpatient referrals
  • Outpatient case management
  • Claims assistance
  • Outpatient medical expense guarantee and payment  (Additional fees will apply.)
  • Inpatient medical expense guarantee, cost review and payment (Additional fees will apply.)
  • Dispatch of medication and medical supplies  (Additional fees will apply.)

     Security Services

  • Security evacuation assistance
  • Online travel security information
  • Access to security crisis center

     Travel Services

  • Legal referrals
  • Emergency message transmission
  • Translations and interpreters (Additional fees will apply.)
  • Lost document advice
  • Ground transportation and accommodations for accompanying family members (Additional fees will apply.)
  • Emergency personal cash advances (Additional fees will apply.)
  • International SOS Clinics

Q:  Do I need to activate my membership?

A:  No, your membership is already active. Simply carry the card at all times while traveling. Whenever you need service, contact one of the emergency phone numbers listed on the back of the card. You do not need to report specific trip dates to International SOS each time you travel. However, you can create a personal on-line account with SOS into which you can save medical, family and emergency information. Unless you input your information into an account, it will not be available for staff. Medical and personal information can only be accessed by an SOS doctor.

Q:  What if I need a doctor?

A:  You should first activate the on-site emergency support network for your location offered by your program provider or host university.  If you are traveling, or in a situation where you cannot contact the on-site program staff or Villanova University on-call staff, you should then contact SOS.  The International SOS Alarm Centers are listed on the back of your card. Call the International SOS Alarm Center that is nearest to you for a referral to a doctor who speaks your language.

Q: What if I need a lawyer while overseas?

A: Call the nearest International SOS Alarm Center for legal referrals.  If you are in a situation where you require legal assistance, your on-site program director should be informed of this immediately.

Q: What if I need prescription medication?

A:  If you require a prescription that a local physician cannot obtain, or you need to replace lost, stolen or depleted medication, International SOS will, when permissible by local law, send the needed medication to you. (Additional Fees for the Medication Apply)

Q: What if I am hospitalized?

A:  In many cases, Villanova University staff can assist you via our on-site emergency staff.  However, if you are in a situation or location where you cannot reach the on-site program director, or the on-call staff at the University, call the nearest International SOS Alarm Center.  International SOS will immediately take steps to evaluate the care you are receiving and determine what actions must be taken to ensure your safe and speedy recovery.   International SOS will notify Villanova University immediately if you have not already done so.

Q: What if local medical facilities are not adequate for my specific requirements?

A:  If you are hospitalized in an area where adequate medical facilities are not available, International SOS will obtain approval from Villanova University to evacuate you to a medical facility capable of providing the required care. A physician supervises evacuations, and when necessary, a medical specialist or nurse will accompany you during the evacuation. An air ambulance will be used when required.

Q: What happens when I am released from the hospital and still need help?

A: When your condition is stabilized and International SOS has determined that it is medically advisable to bring you home or to a facility near your permanent residence, International SOS will again obtain approval from Villanova University and arrange the repatriation under medical supervision.

Q:  Will International SOS pay my medical bills?

A:  After a line of credit is opened in your name, International SOS will guarantee and pay all costs associated with your medical care. You are responsible for the costs of medical care.  This is why we require you to have health insurance coverage that will cover you while abroad.  International SOS will also medically monitor and evaluate your condition and ongoing medical expenses during your hospitalization.   In situations where medical care is critical, by activating SOS you authorize medical care as necessary, and acknowledge that you will be billed for such care.

Q:  How can International SOS assist in the event of death?

A:  International SOS will render all assistance possible to the College to obtain clearances and arrange transportation for the return of mortal remains.  In such an event, the College will be the point of contact for the family in this situation.

Contact Us!

Office of Education Abroad

Villanova University
Top Floor, Garey Hall
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610-519-6412
Fax: 610-519-7649

Meet Our Staff

Take the first step: Register for an Information Session

Meet with a Study Abroad Adviser: Schedule an Individual Meeting

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