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Travel Abroad

Preparation is very important for a safe travel experience. Follow the recommendations on this page to help safeguard your health while abroad.

This year, the Student Health Center (SHC) is offering some travel services, as a pilot program, for students studying abroad. To participate, please complete and submit the Travel Clinic Checklist. The SHC will review your Travel Clinic Checklist and contact you with your personal recommendations.

Checklist deadline for Spring 2016 travel: November 30; for Fall 2016 travel: March 30.

The CDC Hotline (1-800-232-4636) and CDC travel website provide current information on immunizations and other health and safety travel guidelines. The US Department of State is another reliable resource for safe international travel. 

Local resources include the following:

  • Martin’s Pharmacy–Short Pump 804-364-1487
  • Passport Health 804-201-4198
  • Patient First-Parham Road 804-270-2150
  • Travel Clinic at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital-Parham Campus 804-747-5627
  • VCU Travel and Tropical Health Clinic 804-828-4515
Immunizations

Expenses for immunization, medication, and/or medical exams, even if required for visa applications, are not eligible for reimbursement through the Office of International Education.

The following routine immunizations should be reviewed with a healthcare provider at least 10 weeks prior to departure to ensure the proper scheduling:

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) – two doses
  • Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, Td, or Tdap-if the last dose was > 5 years ago, consider booster.
  • Influenza (annual flu shot)
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B series
  • Meningococcal-two different vaccines: quadrivalent and group B 
  • Varicella-two doses, if no history of varicella disease (chickenpox)

The Student Health Center (SHC) may provide a copy of your immunizations from the Health History form submitted upon entrance to the University. Students may receive some basic vaccinations needed for study abroad, as well as TB testing at the SHC; Call the UR Dial-a-Nurse at 804-289-8700 for more information.

The International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow booklet) is accepted worldwide for the purpose of documentation of yellow fever vaccination and other immunizations. The booklet is required for entry into countries with a mandatory yellow fever vaccine requirement. Each immunization should be recorded with an official stamp in the yellow booklet. Booklets improperly stamped may not be accepted by health authorities in many countries. Booklets are available from most public health departments or travel clinics that provide yellow fever immunization.

HIV Testing

Some countries require international visitors to show proof of HIV testing. Contact the foreign consulate to learn about the HIV test requirement and other health-related entrance requirements.

Tuberculosis (TB) Testing

Before travelling abroad, a baseline TB test is recommended if you have not had one in the past 12 months. A follow-up TB test is recommended 60–90 days after return from travel to areas endemic for TB (from the CDC). The SHC provides TB tests for a minimal fee during the regular academic year. Call the UR Dial-a-Nurse at 804-289-8700 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Physical Exam, Medical Forms, and Housing Forms
Some programs may require a general physical exam or physician’s statement regarding health status. The SHC may be able to provide this service, but must review your required documents before determining if we may fulfill your request.

Students should note any environmental allergies (cigarette smoke, pets) or other relevant medical issues on the housing abroad application. It is the student's responsibility to request any disability accommodations for housing.

Pre-existing Conditions/Chronic Illness
It is important to discuss plans for medical care, including mental health care, with a health care professional before you travel. If you have a pre-existing or chronic medical condition, ask your healthcare provider to write a summary of the diagnosis and treatment plan. Notify the sponsor of the study abroad program to confirm appropriate medical resources are available at the destination. Another reliable resource is the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT). This organization helps coordinate care for travelers with an urgent medical problem.
Legality and Availability of Medications Abroad
If you take medications on a regular basis, it is important to determine whether those medications are legal and/or available where you will be studying or travelling.Certain medications, including mental health medications, are illegal in some countries.  Students may face legal issues when travelling with their prescriptions. The foreign consulate may provide information about the legality of specific medications. It is always recommended to learn about options prior to your departure.

Certain medications may be prescribed differently. A medication that is easy to refill here may require special documentation outside of the US, may only be prescribed at a hospital or simply be unavailable abroad. Students should take an adequate supply of their contraceptive. Students on contraceptives are advised to research the regulations governing contraceptives in the country they are visiting. For more specific information on traveling with medications, review resources from the Embassy, the CDC website and IAMAT.  Allow 60–90 days to plan prior to traveling.

Medical Records

You may create a free wallet-sized medical identification card to carry with you while abroad. It is recommended to carry the following personal medical record information (contained on a USB flash-drive, if possible): 

  • Blood type
  • Prescriptions, including eyeglasses/contact lenses
  • Copies of x-rays or EKGs for chronic medical conditions
  • List of all medications, with generic names, including non-prescription medications and supplements
  • Physician's statement of medical condition(s)
  • List of ailments, allergies, or hypersensitivities
  • Physician's full address, area code, and phone number
  • Health insurance details
  • Religion, if relevant
Illnesses After Travel

If you develop illness during the six months after returning from travel abroad, inform your physician of the date of travel and the countries you have visited.