Travel Health and Safety
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The following are guidelines to assist you in preparing for your travel experience. On this site you will find specific information regarding required medical screening forms and deadlines for those forms, which need to be completed and approved at least 60 days prior travel through a Stonehll Program. We have also compiled some tips on navigating the travel experience to help you get the most out of your program. Whether you will be participating in a Study Abroad Program, H.O.P.E. program, Learning Community (LC), domestic or international internship, Habitat for Humanity, or an alternative travel plan we sincerely hope that you enjoy your travel experience!
Any student traveling through a Stonehill associated trip is required to have their Healthcare Provider complete and sign the appropriate Stonehill College Pre-Travel Medical Clearance Form.
Health services must receive your completed form at least 60 days prior to departure. With that in mind it is necessary to plan in advance. Schedule an appointment with your Healthcare Provider(s) well in advance of your trip. We suggest you schedule your appointment with your Healthcare Provider at least 3-6 months prior to your departure. Students have found school breaks to be a convenient time to meet with their provider(s).
- Form A: Use this form if you have never traveled through a Stonehill associated trip. This form MUST be signed by your Healthcare Provider.
- Form B: Use this form if you have previously traveled through a Stonehill associated program. This is a student completed form. This form will require a Healthcare provider signature ONLY if your medical history has changed since you last completed Form A.
It is the student's responsibility to be aware of vaccination requirements and the most up-to-date health information regarding the locations to which they plan to travel. Most immunizations must be completed at least a month prior to travel, and some require a series of shots administered weeks or months apart.
We highly recommend you schedule an appointment for immunizations with a Travel Clinic and/or Healthcare Provider at least 4-6 weeks prior to your travel departure date. You will want to contact your Healthcare Provider’s office regarding whether they offer travel immunizations as many Health Care Providers will refer to a Travel Clinic.
Please consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for specific information and visit your health care provider and/or book an appointment with a Travel Clinic to get the necessary vaccination. This is also the time to ask about any special medications required for your destination, such as anti-malarial drugs.
Travel Clinics in the Boston Area include:
All students are required to have health insurance when participating in a Stonehill associated travel program.
- Confirm your health insurance status prior to departure.
- Make sure that you have enough medical insurance, and that it will cover you in the location to which you plan to travel. More information regarding health care abroad and medical evacuation services in case of an emergency can be found on the U.S. Department of State web page Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad.
- You are eligible to use your Stonehill insurance, or you may waive out of Stonehill Insurance if your family plan meets the criteria set by Health Services.
- If you are a Stonehill student who waived out of the Stonehill Student Insurance Plan in a previous semester but would like to now enroll, please enroll here.
- You may want to consider purchasing additional insurance for personal liability, property loss, trip cancellation, or other reason. The Stonehill Office of International Programs has specific information regarding these options (AIG). There is also a cell phone application you can download through AIG for easy access.
Despite the fact that the location and environment, daily routine, local customs, and fellow travelers may be different when you are participating in a program that involves travel, it is important that you consider your health, safety, and overall welfare. Travel often includes experiences and adventures that offer excitement and opportunity that you may not have ever been exposed to in your life. However, it is important to consider that there may be unanticipated short-term and long-term consequences when part of the experience involves risk or impulsive decisions. We urge you to spend some time prior to traveling thinking about what you hope to gain from your travel experiences and try to follow the practical guidelines below that are offered to help minimize risk and optimize safety and health during your travel experience.
- Use alcohol wisely and never use illegal drugs. Impaired judgment puts you at increased risk for accident, injury, and crime.
- Use safe transportation. Do not hitchhike, and stick to official, licensed buses and taxi cabs. Make sure you know how long trips will take, what the schedule for transportation is like, and how you will get back to your local home destination.
- Follow food and water safety guidelines for the areas you visit.
- Abstain from drinking tap water when there are warnings about local water.
- Do not walk alone, especially at night.
- Do not wander around with your face buried in a guidebook or behind a huge map; instead, stop for a moment to consult them in an out-of-the-way spot.
- Be aware of local laws and customs and act in a responsible manner.
- Never leave your belongings unattended.
- Practice situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to leave any public space you are visiting if you see signs of danger. Limit the times that you may be looking at your phone so you can give full attention to where you are and who is around you.
- Do not display money openly.
- Be inconspicuous in dress and demeanor. Be aware of belongings that might be perceived as valuable to thieves.
- Make responsible decisions around sexual and/or intimate behavior.
- Be wary of people seem overly friendly or interested in you.
- Inform appropriate travel leaders or coordinators of any health related issues, medical needs or special needs or changes in health that occur after you have been cleared by your health care provider at home. Since the medical clearance forms completed prior to travel are kept confidential by the Health Services office you will need to communicate directly with your trip leader if there is something in your health history for which you may need support, accommodations, or urgent intervention.
- Always inform the travel leaders/on-site coordinator or the host institution and your family of your travel plans (destinations, itineraries, and how to contact you), even if it is just a weekend trip. This information is vital in case you need to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
- Educate yourself about any destination you plan to visit prior to your departure.
- Carry a list of emergency contact numbers (local and at home) with you at all times.
- Make sure you always carry the emergency contact numbers for your on-site coordinator, the U.S. embassy/consulate, and the police.
- Do not store or carry your documents and money together in one place. Carry only the necessities to minimize chance for loss.
- If you need medical or security help while abroad:
- Call the local "911", if appropriate.
- Call International SOS at +215-942-8226 (worldwide, 24/7/365) for additional help, including non-emergency help. You may call collect.
- Follow Health Related Recommendations upon returning from your Travel Program. Continue to be proactive about your health when you return to campus; doing so could keep you and the rest of the campus population healthy. Fever or serious illness in your first month back should be evaluated by a healthcare provider immediately. Anyone who travels to a country with a high incidence of Tuberculosis should have a TB test 10-12 weeks upon returning. Use the CDC Travel site to check if your destination has a high incidence of TB, or reference the Stonehill College Tuberculosis Risk Questionnaire.
Obtain enough of all prescription medications that you require for the duration of your program, and make sure to keep them in their original containers with the pharmacy label clearly stating your name and the prescribing doctor's name. Know the expiration dates on your medications, especially for items like Epi-Pens and Albuterol Inhalers. It is also advisable to take a note from your physician stating the medication you are taking, its dosage, and the condition being treated.
- Alert! Many countries have restrictions on how much of a particular medication can be brought into the country at one time. Some common prescriptions (such as Adderall) are even considered illegal in certain countries. The State Department recommends checking with the embassy of the country you will be visiting to ask if you will be allowed to have possession of these medications.
- Alert! Always pack prescription, non-prescription medications, glasses and contacts in your carry-on luggage.
- Alert! If you take medications requiring additional medical equipment, such as syringes, needles or Epi-Pens, you should consult with your doctor about traveling with the medication and supplies.
Personal First Aid Kit
Pack a First Aid Kit containing at least bandages, antibiotic cream, non-prescription pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal medication, thermometer, hand sanitizer, sun screen, insect repellent, and antihistamines.
Glasses and Contacts
Pack extra eyeglasses or contact lenses with a written prescription. Take sufficient quantities of contact solution since it may not be readily available.
Make copies of important documents and numbers and keep them somewhere safe. If you will be bringing a phone abroad, you may wish to take a picture of the card/important document to keep with you at all times in case you misplace any items while abroad and need to access the information.
Important Document Checklist
- Passport and Visa
- Medical/Immunization Records
- Insurance Cards (Front and back of card)
- Contact Information for your healthcare providers
- Credit Cards and Phone Numbers
- Bank Account Details and Phone Numbers
Carry-On Luggage Checklist
- Check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website prior to your trip for specific instructions on packing to ensure the items comply with TSA regulations.
- Written prescriptions and prescription and non-prescription medications in original bottles.
- Contacts, Contact Solution and Glasses
- Important Documents/Money (US Dollars or equivalent and destination's local currency) & Copies of Documents.
- Address and phone number of your in-country/destination accommodation and contacts.
- Travel Itinerary.
- Laptop, cellphone and cellphone charger, camera and camera charger, power adapters, earbuds.
- Change of clothing in case your luggage is lost.
- Small supply of toiletries in case your luggage is lost.
Students with apparent or non-apparent disabilities will likely need to take special measures when planning a travel experience. Appropriate accommodations and facilities may not be available in all locations, so discuss your needs with your program adviser as far in advance as possible. Your adviser and Stonehill's Office of Accessibility Resources will work together to assist you.