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COVID-19 Information for University of Toronto Students

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The entire University community is focused on maintaining a safe and healthy environment on our campuses, preserving your educational experience, and communicating any updates and new information. This page contains information for U of T students regarding the University’s responses and actions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Graduate Students, please also visit the School of Graduate Studies webpage for specific updates.

All students, please continue to check your U of T email, since you may be receiving emails directly from your divisions, residences, and Deans of Students.

We will continue to update this page with important information for students. Please also continue to check the University of Toronto’s coronavirus updates and frequently asked questions (FAQs) for updates relevant to the whole U of T community.

Vaccines

Last updated: July 20th, 2022 

You are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.

Please see UTogether COVID-19 vaccinations including information on on-campus clinics for additional information.

  • The University has paused the requirement to be fully vaccinated. Please note this requirement may be reinstated on short notice should public health conditions or guidance change.

    While vaccines are not required to be on campus, they are to live in residence (see below).

    Students who are not fully vaccinated may enrol in classes with in-person components as of May 1, however vaccination requirements may be reinstated with little notice, which could result in de-enrolment.

    Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations is strongly encouraged, and UCheck continues to be available for uploading proof of vaccination. Those seeking vaccination appointments can refer to the provincial vaccination portal or visit the UTogether vaccine site.

  • The University’s vaccine mandate is currently paused. We recommend that all students   be vaccinated to ensure they are in compliance and not be impacted if this requirement is reinstated.

    Students should be prepared to be vaccinated if they are in courses with an in-person component. Please speak to your registrar for further information.

    The University and its federated colleges require students living in residence during the 2022-23 academic year to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Students must have either completed a primary series and obtained a booster dose or have an approved exemption to live residence.

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone in Ontario. For information on where to obtain a mRNA vaccine, including on-campus locations, please visit the UTogether vaccine site. Information on registering your out-of-province vaccines is also available on this site. You may need to register your previous vaccines with your local Public Health Unit before obtaining any vaccines in Ontario.

  • The Ontario Ministry of Health and Health Canada has released guidelines  for those individuals who have received a non-Health Canada approved vaccine. Students who receive a non-Health Canada approved vaccine (one or two doses) should receive a dose of an mRNA vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer)

    Students should register the first and/or second dose(s) received outside Ontario via their local Public Health Office (see also: Toronto Public Health’s online portal and Peel Public Health.

    Be sure to ask for a printout no matter where you go. You can use this to upload for proof of verification.

    Vaccination Status Action Needed to Complete Primary COVID-19 Vaccination Series 
    Unvaccinated Any of: 

    • 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen 
    • 2 doses of a Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, Novavax, or Medicago Covifenz 
    • 3 doses of a non-Health Canada approved vaccine or combination thereof 
    Partially Vaccinated: Received 1st dose of 2-dose vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, Novavax or Medicago Covifenz (Health Canada approved vaccines)     2nd dose of any Health Canada approved vaccine    
    Non-Health Canada approved vaccine Either of: 

    • 1 dose of an mRNA Health Canada approved vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) or Novavax or Medicago Covifenz 
    • 2 additional doses of non-health Canada approved vaccine 
    Completed Primary Series:     Either: 

    • 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, Novavax or Medicago Covifenz 
    • 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (Health Canada approved vaccines)    
    No further action required to complete primary COVID-19 vaccination series
    1 or 2 doses of a non-Health Canada approved vaccine   Either of: 

    • 1 dose of an mRNA Health Canada approved vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) or Novavax or Medicago Covifenz 
    • 2 additional doses of non-health Canada approved vaccine 
    3 doses of a non-Health Canada Vaccine (e.g.: Sinopharm, Sinovac, Bharat Biotech)  No further action required to complete primary COVID-19 vaccination series

    * As per NACI recommendations, an interval of at least 28 days should be observed between receipt of the last vaccine and the administration of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine. 

    For information on where to obtain a mRNA vaccine, including on-campus locations, please visit the UTogether vaccine site.   

    You may wish to speak to your local health care provider for guidance if you have questions. 

    You may wish to speak to your local health care provider for guidance if you have questions.

Your Health

The COVID 19 situation brings uncertainty and stress for everyone – and some will experience this more deeply than others. If you are struggling, there are resources and supports available.

Article: Managing stress and feelings of powerlessness can be a challenge during uncertain times. U of T’s Dr. Suze Berkhout shares seven tips for mentally coping with the challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

For Students Living in Residence in Fall 2022

Last updated: September 1, 2022 

  • Yes. As part of our commitment to health and safety, the University and its federated colleges require students living in residence during the 2022-23 academic year to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

    Students moving into residence are expected to complete the primary series of vaccinations and a booster dose, at least 14 days prior to their residence move-in date (see a list in the “Which residences will require COVID-19 vaccinations?” FAQ below). Students in Ontario, including international students, looking to book a vaccination appointment can start here.

    Students in residence who cannot complete their required dose of COVID-19 vaccines before move-in day (and are not requesting an exemption) should contact ovps@utoronto.ca.

    The University will provide the information needed to facilitate vaccines for students.

    Students may request an exemption based on medical reasons or on grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Exemptions are not guaranteed.

  • Our top priority is to support the health and wellbeing of all members of the U of T community. Vaccines have been recognized by health authorities as a safe and effective way to protect you from serious illness due to COVID-19.

    Moving into residence means living in close quarters with other students. Requiring vaccination will help us to provide the residence experience students are looking forward to, and to foster a welcoming home for them on our campuses where they can learn and thrive.

    Being vaccinated reduces interruptions to their campus experience.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool for protecting our communities. U of T strongly encourages all members of our community—on campus or off—to get fully vaccinated and to keep up-to-date with their vaccinations. The University has also instituted a wide array of measures to support a safe return to our campuses. Living in residence and sharing facilities with many other students creates a unique set of conditions requiring special precautions, such as mandatory vaccinations.

  • All University of Toronto student residences, including those operated by federated colleges, require that students be vaccinated. The following residences are covered by this requirement: Chestnut Residence, Graduate House, New College Residence, Innis College Residence, St. Michael’s College Residences, Trinity College Residences, University College Residences, UTM Residences, UTSC Residences, Loretto College Residences, Victoria College Residences, Woodsworth College Residence and spaces run by the University of Toronto at Chelsea, Parkside, Campus One and HOEM.

  • Completion of the primary vaccination series (See Question #5 under Vaccines above) plus a booster dose is required to live in residence.

  • Students who have not been granted an exemption and who do not meet the requirement will not be allowed to live in a U of T residence.

  • Student must upload their vaccination documents to via StarRez; Documents will be reviewed and verified by University staff.

  • Residence students may request an exemption from vaccination on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code. Exemption requests must be submitted by Friday, August 5, 2022. Please note that exemptions are not guaranteed. Please refer to StarRez for more information.

  • Specific information about the required confirmation of vaccination, how to submit it, as well as its use and storage will be provided by email. All information will be collected, used, and stored in compliance with the University of Toronto’s obligations pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

For International Students: Entry to Canada & Pre-Arrival

Last updated October 4th, 2022

COVID-19 border measures ended on October 1, 2022

As of October 1, 2022, all COVID-19 border restrictions, including testing and quarantine/isolation requirements, vaccination, and mandatory use of the ArriveCAN travel  are no longer necessary for all travelers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea. Please see the most up-to-date information on the Government of Canada website.

  • Please review the following carefully before making your travel plans:

      • Have a valid study permit or study permit approval letter (“port of entry letter of introduction”) issued by Immigration Canada. Persons travelling to Canada for less than six months of study are not technically required to have a study permit, but the University still recommends a study permit for students in those scenarios.
      • Have either an eTA or TRV (“entry visa”) if applicable, along with your passport. USA citizens are exempt from the eTA/TRV requirement.
      • Show evidence of active attendance at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). The University of Toronto, including all campuses and colleges, is an approved DLI. It is strongly recommended that you bring an updated confirmation of enrolment letter to support your entry to Canada. Arts & Science students can download this directly from ACORN, while others can request the letter from their registrar’s office. Graduate students can request an updated confirmation of enrolment letter (also referred to as confirmation of registration) from the School of Graduate Studies.
      • Show proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. We recommend that you use up-to-date versions of the financial documents that supported your study permit application. If you have paid tuition or other fees to the university, you can get a receipt from your registrar’s office.

    Dependents/immediate family members may be permitted to come live with the international student in Canada. It is recommended that you apply for that permission at the same time that you apply for your study permit; however, this can also be done after the student has travelled ahead and settled in Canada for their studies first.

    If you have further questions about your right to enter Canada after reviewing the information above, each campus has a team of advisors that can answer your questions.

    Mississauga        international.utm@utoronto.ca
    Scarborough     isc.utsc@utoronto.ca
    St. George           isa.cie@utoronto.ca

    1. Waiting for your study permit can be stressful, but it’s important to wait until you have all your documents ready before coming to Canada. While the University cannot directly intervene in the processing of individual study permit applications we share your concern regarding long processing times and University officials are reaching out to Visa Offices and the IRCC to continue to advocate for rapid processing of study permits. While you wait for a response, please follow the instructions below.
      1. If your study permit application was submitted and complete (including medical exams and/or biometrics, if required), AND has exceeded the current estimated processing time (approximately 12 weeks), you can send a request for information and urgent processing through an IRCC web form. You should include:
      • a simple explanation that your application has taken longer than their estimated processing time and that your studies are scheduled to start soon; along with,
        • documents supporting your request for urgent consideration, like:
        • confirmation of enrollment (available from ACORN or your Registrar’s Office);
        • confirmation of course start dates (available from your faculty’s academic calendar); and,
        • flight tickets or rental contacts (only if already booked).

      Please note: We do not recommend booking a flight if you have not already done so. If you feel it is necessary to do so before your study permit has been approved, we recommend that you book a refundable ticket.

      It is important to wait until your study permit application has been approved before entering Canada. We do not recommend that you enter Canada as a visitor as you cannot begin your studies in Canada until you have a study permit. Only citizens and permanent residents of the United States or residents of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon are eligible to apply for a study permit upon entry to Canada.

      1. Reach out to your Registrar’s Office (or your academic department, if you are a grad student) to discuss your academic options in case of a delayed arrival. They will be best able to advise on what is possible for students in your program who may not be able to be in Toronto in time for the start of classes.
      2. If you have been offered a place at U of T Residence, please contact the your residence to speak with them about the potential of a delayed arrival.
    2. If you have further questions regarding your immigration status and ability to enter Canada, you can consult your campus’ immigration advising resources:
    3. U of T Mississauga
      U of T Scarborough
      U of T St. George
  • We have heard from a number of our students and families that receipt of study permits have been delayed for many, despite having applied for them several months ago.   We know that waiting for your study permit is very stressful, and we share your concerns regarding these delays.  The University has reached out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding delays.  We understand that IRCC has experienced significant challenges due to a high volume of study permit and visa applications this year but that they are doing everything in their power to prioritize applications for studies starting in September.

    Please note it is important to wait until you have received your “Letter of Introduction” (study permit approval letter) from IRCC before travelling. The Letter of Introduction is what you present to the officer at the airport or border in Canada to get your study permit.

    We hope we are able to welcome you to U of T this fall.  If there continue to be delays in study permit processing, here are some things to consider:

    • The University of Toronto is preparing for mostly in-person course delivery this fall. Details of how courses will be delivered will vary by Faculty, and by campus, according to local needs and program requirements. Please check directly with your Faculty regarding options to study remotely until you receive your study permit or whether they are offering other accommodations to support your late arrival.
    • The deadlines for late arrival for first-entry undergraduate programs are as follows:
    U of T Scarborough September 19, 2022
    Faculty of Arts & Science, Daniels Faculty, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, Faculty of Music, U of T Mississauga September 21, 2022
    Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Contact registrar@engineering.utoronto.ca
    • If you are not able to get to the University of Toronto by the late arrival date due to study permit delays, you may wish to defer your studies to September 2023. The deadlines for first year entering students impacted by study permit delays to request a one-year deferral are as follows:
    U of T Scarborough September 19, 2022
    Faculty of Arts & Science, Daniels Faculty, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, Faculty of Music, U of T Mississauga September 21, 2022
    Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Contact registrar@engineering.utoronto.ca

    Contact your registrar’s office for details on how to submit your deferral application; deferrals will be granted to all eligible students who were not able to get here due to study permit delays.

    • Your deferral will apply to the first-year residence guarantee and entrance scholarships, as applicable. This means that you will retain your residence guarantee when you come to campus next year and any scholarships that you have been awarded this year will be waiting for you.”
    • Students who have paid a tuition deposit or full tuition will receive a full refund if they are not able to get to U of T due to study permit delays, regardless of whether they choose to defer or not.

     

  • If you have been living outside of Canada for 6 months or longer you might be required to show evidence that they have completed a valid Immigration Medical Exam. You may be required to do so if you:

      • Have been living in a designated country for at least 6 of the past 12 months;
      • Or, regardless of the country where you have been living, you are:
        • A medical student;
        • A student in a health sciences field who will have work placements in health-care or home-care settings;
        • An education student who will have work placements in primary or secondary schools; or teaching small children.

    To check whether you need a valid Immigration Medical Exam and for more information on how to book a medical exam, please visit this Immigration Canada website about medical exams.

  • All students are strongly advised to apply online for a study permit, regardless of whether they are currently inside or outside Canada.

    International Student Immigration Advisors at our International Centres on each campus offer advice about study permit applications for newly admitted students. Follow the links below:

    Students from Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam are also eligible to use the expedited Student Direct Stream (SDS).

    Students can direct questions to the University’s immigration advisors:

    U of T Mississauga –international.utm@utoronto.ca
    U of T Scarborough –isc.utsc@utoronto.ca
    U of T St. George – isa.cie@utoronto.ca

  • This option is not currently recommended. We recommend that you apply for a study permit online as soon as you are able. Once you have received a response to your online study permit application, please review the documents and processes required to enter Canada.

  • Your study permit grants you legal status in Canada and controls what you can do and for how long. A temporary resident visa (TRV), or electronic travel authorization (eTA), is what allows you to enter Canada, depending on your citizenship. Make sure your study permit doesn’t expire while you’re still studying whether you’re in Canada or away temporarily.

    Check the expiry date right now. The best thing to do is apply for a study permit extension several months before the expiry date. Learn how to apply by attending one of the CIE “apply online” webinars. Your temporary resident visa (TRV), or electronic travel authorization (eTA), may expire while you’re in Canada, but you must have a valid one for re-entry. Once a study permit has been extended, students from visa-required countries may then apply for a TRV to match their study permit’s new expiry in a separate application.

  • Yes. You can authenticate your TCard/UTORid and get your U of T email address before arriving. You can make an appointment with TCard Services now for the fall (September) semester.  Having these tools will make it easier for you to connect with U of T and access resources like email (UTmail+), course content on Quercus, webinars, library resources, Microsoft365 applications, network services for international students, WiFi once on campus, and more. For full information, visit U of T TCard. You can pick up your physical T-Card when you arrive on campus.

For Newly Admitted International Students 

Last updated October 4th, 2022

For International Students: Studying Remotely

Last updated September 16, 2022

  • If you are unable to enter Canada for the Fall 2022 semester, for reasons beyond your control, please contact your Registrar’s Office to review your academic plan for the year and whether online study is available to you. You can also review how your faculty is proceeding on these faculty information websites. If your program is able to support full online study this Fall, you can begin your program through online courses outside Canada, even if your study permit, temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) have not yet been processed. You should apply for these documents as early as possible.

    If you start your academic program after August 31, 2022: you can complete up to 50% of your program online up until August 31, 2023 while maintaining your eligibility for the PGWP. You won’t have time deducted from the length of a future PGWP for studies completed outside of Canada prior to August 31, 2023 (but keeping in mind the 50% eligibility rule stated above).

  • Yes. Anyone studying in Canada whose program is 6 months or longer must have a study permit. Even if your classes are being offered entirely online at this time, you must maintain your study permit as long as you remain in Canada. Check the expiry date of your permit now. The best thing to do is apply for a study permit extension several months before the expiry date. A recording of the info-session explaining the application process is available to current students.

    If your permit has expired, and you are still in Canada, please contact an Immigration Advisor as soon as possible to discuss options for getting your status back.

    Mississauga        international.utm@utoronto.ca
    Scarborough     isc.utsc@utoronto.ca
    St. George       isa.cie@utoronto.ca

  • If your program is able to support online study this academic year, you can continue from outside Canada without a study permit while you work on your response to the refusal. You can speak with an immigration advisor for your campus about how to best respond to the refusal.

    Once approved for a study permit, Immigration Canada encourages international students to come to Canada to begin their in-person studies as soon as possible. If you start your academic program after August 31, 2022, you can complete up to 50% of your program online up until August 31, 2023 while maintaining your eligibility for the PGWP. You won’t have time deducted from the length of a future PGWP for studies completed outside of Canada prior to August 31, 2023 (but keeping in mind the 50% eligibility rule stated above). Any time spent studying outside Canada after August 31, 2023 will not count toward the length of a PGWP.

     

  • Apply for a study permit as soon as possible so you will be ready to join in-person classes when you are able.

For International Students: Leaving Canada

Last updated December 15th, 2021 

For International Students: Health Insurance

Last updated July 18th, 2022 at 10:30am EST

  • The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is a mandatory health insurance plan for all international and exchange students enrolled in an Ontario university. UHIP helps to cover the cost of hospital and medical services you may need to maintain your health while in Canada.

    Everything you need to know about UHIP is available online at www.uhip.ca.   Additional information specifically for international students at the University of Toronto can be found by visiting our UHIP page or by contacting uhip.information@utoronto.ca.

  • You are automatically enrolled in UHIP starting September 1, 2022. Fees for coverage during the regular academic year will be listed on ACORN, your student account. If you are arriving in August and would like to apply for early coverage, please email uhip.information@utoronto.ca.

    You need to show your UHIP card and carry a UHIP Claim Form every time you use health care services. Once you have added your U of T email address on your ACORN account, your UHIP card will be automatically sent to your U of T email within 72 hours. Please print your card as soon as you receive it. Watch this video to learn how to print your UHIP card.

    If you are visiting a preferred health services provider (i.e. a provider that accepts UHIP), they will record your information and bill Sun Life, the insurance provider, directly towards medical consultation fees. Please visit the Preferred Provider Network to locate a clinic or health care near you.

  • There are no changes to UHIP coverage due to COVID-19.  Please review https://uhip.ca/Help/FAQ and if you have specific questions you can email U of T UHIP staff at uhip.information@utoronto.ca.

    UHIP is a basic health insurance plan that allows international students to access health care in Ontario and covers doctor visits, hospitalizations and other services. All students are also registered in supplementary health plans offered by their student unions. Supplementary plans cover prescription medications, corrective lenses, dental care and other medical needs. For more information, please visit Different Types of Health Insurance.

    If you’re exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and are unsure whether you have UHIP coverage, please follow the advice of public health authorities, take the self-assessment and then contact uhip.information@utoronto.ca. The Government of Ontario has confirmed that COVID-19 treatment will be available for all those currently in Ontario.

  • If you have active UHIP coverage as an international student, your coverage is not affected by COVID-19.

    As of March 19, 2020, the provincial government continues to waive the three month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage and this continues to be the case. If you do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage and are uninsured, the province will fund the cost of COVID-19 services.

  • If you are enrolled at U of T as an international student you will be automatically enrolled in UHIP. If you are enrolled at U of T as a Canadian citizen, you will not be automatically enrolled in UHIP. As a Canadian citizen who will be residing in Ontario, you are eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) and can apply directly for the Ontario Health Insurance Program via Services Ontario. Please note that as of March 19, 2020, Ontario continues to waive the three-month waiting period for OHIP coverage so you can apply and be enrolled immediately on successful completion of the application. You will need to complete the downloadable form and provide three types of health care identification documents. Please note that per the full list of documents for proof of Ontario residency, your U of T academic record or your off–campus lease or residence contract are considered valid documents. You must apply for OHIP in person at a Service Ontario centre.

    If you are self-isolating and cannot go to Service Ontario to register for coverage, please contact ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-866-532-3161. INFOline staff will advise on next steps as appropriate.

For International Students: Post-Graduate Work Permit

Last updated September 16, 2022 at 12:00pm EST

  • Depending on when you start your program, your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility might not be affected if your courses were moved online due to COVID-19 and if you pursued full time classes online while outside Canada.

    If you started your academic program before August 31, 2022: you can complete up to 100% of your program online up until August 31, 2023 while maintaining your eligibility for the PGWP. Also, you won’t have time deducted from the length of a future PGWP for studies completed outside of Canada prior to August 31, 2023.

    If you start your academic program after August 31, 2022: you can complete up to 50% of your program online up until August 31, 2023 while maintaining your eligibility for the PGWP. You won’t have time deducted from the length of a future PGWP for studies completed outside of Canada prior to August 31, 2023 (but keeping in mind the 50% eligibility rule stated above).

    Please note that this only applies if:

    • you have a study permit, or
    • you’ve been approved for a study permit, or
    • you applied for a study permit before starting your study program (your study permit must eventually be approved).

    Studies completed online from outside Canada starting on September 1, 2023 will be deducted from the length of a future PGWP.

    If you choose to defer your semester, this could impact your eligibility for the PGWP. Please book an appointment to speak to an immigration advisor on your home campus (UTM, UTSC or St. George) to work out what you need to do in this situation. You can book a phone or virtual appointment or email an advisor.

  • If you want to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), you have 180 days from completing your degree program to do so. The best option is to apply within 90 days of completing your degree program, so that you’re able to remain in Canada and start working while awaiting approval.

    Your study permit automatically becomes invalid 90 days from the date you complete your degree requirements (I.e. get your final grades), despite any future expiry date printed on the permit. This means that you must apply to change your legal status to a visitor if you’re not planning to apply for the work permit within 90 days of degree program completion. You won’t be able to work during the processing time of your work permit if you don’t apply within 90 days from completing your degree requirements.

    You may speak with the international student immigration advisors on your home campus (UTMUTSC or St. George) to work out what you need to do in this situation. You can book a phone or virtual appointment or email an advisor.

For students who are on / looking to study abroad

Last updated: March 8th, 2022 

Global Affairs Canada lifted the world-wide advisory to avoid non-essential travel anywhere outside of Canada as of Feb. 28, 2022.  As a result, all students are now able to travel internationally on University sanctioned activities. Please note that travel will still not be allowed for undergraduate students for regions with Global Affairs Canada travel advisories of: “avoid non-essential travel” and “avoid all travel” as was the case pre-pandemic. If you are a graduate student that needs to travel to regions under those categories, for research or program completion purposes, please contact safety.abroad@utoronto.ca.

For all students travelling on University sanctioned activity, you must complete all safety abroad pre-departure requirements including checking travel advisories, completing safety abroad online workshops, securing travel health insurance and completing the safety abroad registry. More information on the safety pre-departure requirements for university activity abroad is available on the Safety Abroad website.