International SOS

As a leader in our industry, Rustic Pathways takes the health and wellbeing of our students extremely seriously. It is for this reason that we have partnered with International SOS, one of the world’s leading providers of medical and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to International SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership. To help cover the cost of having this important resource, every participant traveling outside their country of residence will be assessed a $69 fee for insured medical evacuation and security services during the duration of his or her program. While we realize this is additional cost, we are confident you will appreciate the services and protection this provides.

All participants will receive an International SOS membership card and important information about this service prior to travel. As a member you will have access to SOS’s extensive travel information network to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. All travelers who travel outside their country of residence also have insured medical evacuation during their program. Please make sure to read and understand these services when this information is sent to you.

Please know that this is not medical insurance. Participants are still required to provide their own medical insurance and are responsible for all medical costs incurred during their travel with Rustic Pathways. Coverage of medical evacuation costs is determined solely at the discretion of International SOS.

Below we have included further information and frequently asked questions about International SOS. If you have any further questions, please contact us at or call our office at 1.800.321.4353.

Frequently Asked Questions About International SOS

Q. Who is International SOS?
A. International SOS is a world-leading provider of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care. For more than 25 years, they have been helping their clients manage the health and safety risks facing their international travelers, expatriates, and global workforce.

Everyday millions of people put their trust in International SOS to help them wherever they live or travel. At the core of the service is a comprehensive, members-only website (www.internationalsos.com) and more than 27 assistance centers around the world, staffed by multilingual professionals. With 35 International SOS clinics and a fleet of air ambulances, members are assured of the very best routine or emergency medical assistance wherever they go.

Q. Is International SOS a medical insurance company?
A. International SOS is not an insurance company. However, many insurance companies across the globe use International SOS to provide medical assistance due to their global presence. They are a 24-hour medical assistance company having 27 assistance centers in different countries and also 35 clinics. Once a call is received by any of the assistance centers, the call is directed to their in-house doctors who then determine the nature of request and provide assistance in-terms of advice, referrals, arranging appointments, activating ambulances, alerting the emergency staff if required, arranging hotel / home visits, arranging bed-side nursing and monitoring the medical condition.

The worldwide network of providers is appropriately credentialed by medical staff prior to any referral. International SOS has signed agreements with many of these providers and are able to provide guarantee of payments on behalf of our clients. Additionally, they have dedicated air ambulances across the globe to move patients to centers of better care as and when required.

Q. Do I still need personal medical insurance?
A. Yes, all participants on Rustic Pathways programs must have comprehensive medical insurance coverage. International SOS, is not a medical insurance provider and does not cover the cost of medical treatment before, during, or after participation on a program. If necessary, International SOS can guarantee payment to prevent delays in care, but is not responsible for the actual cost of care.

Q. Does International SOS replace personal travel insurance?
A. International SOS is not a travel insurance company and you may want to consider a travel insurance provider during the duration of your program. While International SOS provides many of the assistance services as travel insurance providers, they do not cover program costs, airline tickets or other associated costs of cancelling one’s program. You may decide the addition of a travel insurance policy makes sense to insure the costs otherwise not covered by your medical insurance company or International SOS.

Q. How should I use International SOS prior to travel?
A. Rustic Pathways believes that participants and their families must be informed about the locations they are travelling and determine if the experience is appropriate for them. International SOS should be used prior to travelling to help provide important information. Once you have received your International SOS membership number, log into http://www.internationalsos.com to access important information, such as vaccination requirements, passport and visa requirements, quality of health care, advice on prevalent diseases, personal and driving safety information, hygiene: quality of food and water, culture and customs, currency, weather and what clothes to take, compatibility of electrical items, and personal safety advice. You can also call International SOS with a simple medical or travel related questions.

Q. How should I use International SOS during travel?
A. Generally speaking, you should not need to contact International SOS during travel. International SOS is part of Rustic Pathways emergency response system. When health or security concerns occur on a program, our staff often contact an International SOS alarm center for assistance in determining appropriate response. Rustic Pathways will always endeavor to contact parents and involve them in the decision making process. Often parents speak directly with an International SOS physician and Rustic Pathways staff member to ensure fully informed decisions. To ensure proper communication, participant’s family members should contact Rustic Pathways in case of emergency on their end via our 24-hour emergency number. This number will be sent prior to travel.

Q. What if I need medicine or equipment while travelling?
A. If you’ve lost or run out of medication, first aid equipment or other supplies, International SOS can help you replace it (in accordance with local and international regulations). In some cases we send fresh supplies or we can get you a prescription from your doctor at home or if required arrange a prescription from a local physician.

Q. What is an assistance center?
A. International SOS assistance centers are 24/7/365 call centers staffed by doctors and nurses, security experts, multi-lingual coordinators, and logistics support personnel. This allows them to respond rapidly to any type of emergency or call for assistance.

Q. Will International SOS pay my medical bills?
A. In case of emergency, International SOS can guarantee and pay up-front costs associated with your medical care to ensure you receive immediate treatment. Rustic Pathways must approve this and all clients will be responsible for the final cost of any and all medical bills. At times, International SOS can arrange a guarantee of payment from your company’s insurance provider for medical fees and expenses.

Q. Do I need to activate my membership?
A. No, your membership is already active. Simply carry the card in your wallet at all times while traveling. Whenever you need assistance, contact one of the phone numbers listed on the back of the card. For those with Smartphones, including Blackberry, Android and iPhone, you can also download the International SOS Assistance App, simply go to http://app.internationalsos.com or your App store.

Q. Do I have to carry my membership card with me at all times?
A. No, however it is a good idea to always carry your membership card with you since it includes the telephone numbers of the three major worldwide International SOS assistance centers and your company’s membership number. The International SOS website includes their contact information, although members will receive service more promptly if they have their membership number handy.

Q. What other travel assistance services do you help members with?
A. International SOS assists you with replacing important travel documents (e.g. passport, credit cards). If you have a change in plans they can advise you on how to extend your visa or get further vaccinations. International SOS can refer you to a lawyer or interpreter, or help to replace lost tickets (They do not make routine travel arrangements.)

Q. What is International SOS emergency medical evacuation service?
A. International SOS can be accessed at anytime to help coordinate emergency evacuations. If you are in an area where adequate medical facilities are not available, International SOS will obtain approval from Rustic Pathways 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. Are the cost of evacuation services covered?
A. Under Rustic Pathways’ Emergency Medical Service, International SOS will pay for medically related evacuations and/or repatriation expenses incurred while members are traveling outside their country of residence. International SOS maintains the right to determine if an evacuation is medically necessary and covered under their membership, although when possible, International SOS will inform us prior to initiating an evacuation if the costs are covered. In cases where an evacuation is requested and not covered under their membership, International SOS may assist in arranging and executing services on a fee for service basis. Evacuation costs not covered in our membership include, but are not limited to, evacuations caused by security related issues, natural disaster, high-risk activities, pre-existing conditions, mental health, unlawful acts, or self inflicted injury or illness. Please go to www.rusticpathways.com/sos/terms to ensure you understand the exemptions and limitations of this service.

Please contact Rustic Pathways at for any additional questions regarding our International SOS membership.