24/7 Global Assistance

How to Call When Abroad

USF strongly recommends that you always travel with a cell phone that can make and receive international calls using a cell network, independently of WiFi. Yes, you will likely use WiFi for the majority of your data needs. There are many convenient apps out there to facilitate communication over WiFi without incurring expensive charges.

However, an emergency rarely waits until you have WiFi. The ability to make or receive a phone call outside of available WiFi can make a huge difference in your experience. Before you leave, contact your U.S.-based cell phone company and ask about ways you can either turn on global calling or unlock your phone to accept a foreign SIM card. In an extreme case, consider purchasing a local disposable phone and adding international minutes for use in an emergency.

How to Make a Long Distance International Call

If you are using your U.S.-based cell phone with the U.S. cell phone number, remember that when abroad, calling the U.S. is the same as a local call – except the charges will still be at international rates. It also means that calling an international number will be like calling from the U.S.

Generally, when calling the United States from an international (land-based) number, you need to dial the U.S. country code “00” followed by “1” for long distance, then the area code and number. For example, calling the USF 24/7 International Assistance Line would be: 00+1+813+317+5815.

A good website to explain how to make an international call from anywhere in the world is www.howtocallabroad.com/. Share this site with your family and friends.

Always test your phone immediately when in-country. Call someone in the U.S., and then have them call you back. It is always easier to identify a problem with your cell when there is no crisis. It is never helpful to learn there is a problem with your cell when you really have to use it!

When Will USF Try and Call You?

USF 24/7 International Assistance may choose to call you. We monitor world events, and if it appears that a natural disaster, civil unrest, or other activity may impact you or your program, we may try to reach out to you by email and/or phone. Always monitor your official USF email while abroad. This is our only official way to communicate with you. Please also alwas keep your cell phone charged and turned on to receive international calls.

USF 24/7 International Assistance may choose to contact your emergency contacts about a situation, in situations when we cannot reach you, or when you cannot communicate for yourself. We only do this after consultation with the relevant departments following U.S. law, and this is always done with discretion.

 Specific instances when this may occur include:

  • You are unable to speak for yourself;
  • You are not where you are supposed to be and considered missing (USF does not need to wait 24 hours);
  • You are perceived to be a danger to yourself or others; or when
  • There is a significant health, safety, or security incident affecting the entire program such as a natural disaster or civil unrest.