Providing SOS services abroad a smart move

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    One in every three TCU students studies abroad. The university just made it safer and easier for future Horned Frogs studying around the globe by providing emergency services overseas.

    Tracy Williams, associate director for the Center of International Studies, TCU Abroad, told the Skiff that TCU signed a contract with International SOS, an international emergency service provider that will provide medical, personal, travel, legal and security assistance services for students. The story appeared in Friday’s issue.

    In the past, students had to consult with staff members in the study abroad office to purchase an emergency evacuation supplement. Now, services with International SOS come at no additional cost to study abroad tuition.

    This move has created a more attractive study abroad program for an already popular activity at the university and will give parents peace of mind. Having a professional service to help students goes a long way toward assuaging parental concerns about their son or daughter spending months in a foreign country, and it comes free.

    The SOS service will also provide coverage for faculty members traveling abroad. Between international research and recruiting, TCU employees are regularly overseas, and this new service can only add comfort and assurance to all who travel abroad.

    The provider has a track record with other university study abroad programs. Williams told the Skiff that International SOS contracts with all of the Ivy League schools, and its Web site touts that it evacuated students from 20 Harvard University affiliates during the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006.

    In a situation abroad where anything can happen, having professional help on-hand can ease many of the stresses of international travel and keep students focused on enjoying different parts of the world and learning about different cultures. Kudos to TCU for ensuring the safety of students in the Visa way – anywhere they want to be.

    Managing Editor Joe Zigtema for the Editorial Board.