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Health, Safety and Insurance

It is important to be aware of the health risks associated with traveling abroad especially if you are visiting a less developed country. Below you will find information on health and safety precautions including vacations as well as health insurance. Be sure to take the appropriate safety measures concerning your health well in advance of your departure from the United States.

Traveling to foreign countries often asks you to pay special attention to your medical care, sometime even vaccinations are recommended or required before you enter the country. Learn about this early so that you will have sufficient time before your departure to take all necessary steps.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's internet site. Vaccines are available at Vanderbilt Occupational Health and the Vanderbilt Travel Clinic.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization (WHO). Further health information for travelers is available by clicking here.

Vanderbilt Travel Clinic

Vanderbilt University offers many services to faculty and staff traveling overseas.Please visit them in-person or online before departing, and make sure you allow enough time before your trip to be fully immunized.

Vanderbilt International Travel Medicine Clinic
1301 Medical Center Drive
TVC Suite 2501
Nashville, Tennessee 37232
Phone:(615) 936-1174

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Medical Care and Vaccinations

International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
A non-profit organization created to advise travelers about health risks, the geographical distribution of diseases, and immunization requirements for all countries. Also, can provide a list of qualified English-speaking doctors.

Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management
ACS administers the Consular Information Program, which informs the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security. Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings are vital parts of this program.

Shoreland's Travel Health On-line
Provides an online guide of health and safety in more than 220 countries, including immunization recommendations, malaria prevention, and warnings about crime.

SAFETI Adaptation of Peace Corps Resources
In an effort to assist institutions in supporting health and safety in study abroad, SAFETI has adapted the Peace Corps literature for college and university study abroad programs and made it available on this web site.

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Dependent upon the length of your travel and the possibility that you may not be able to obtain your medication overseas, you will need to make arrangements to bring enough medication to cover your stay. Some other considerations may include:

  • Be aware that quantities of prescriptions exceeding three months have restrictions on refills.
  • Plan ahead and do not wait until the last minute to refill your prescription.
  • If you are allergic to any medications and/or have a chronic health problem it may be a good idea to wear a medical I.D. bracelet or necklace while traveling or working abroad.
  • Carry a copy of the prescription you are taking including the generic and trade names of the medication as well as leave the medications in their original labeled container so that they are not mistaken for illegal drugs.
  • Lastly, to ensure that you do not violate the drug laws of the countries that you visit, if you are unsure of the status of the medication you are taking, consult the embassy or consulate of those countries for precise information before you leave the United States.
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Before you travel, it is important to know how your medical insurance coverage works and that your medical insurance needs are covered.Please check with your medical insurance carrier before departure to see how your health insurance applies out-of-the-country and if they offer specific out-of-the-country insurance.

You may want to purchase supplemental travel insurance, especially if you will be out of the country for a long period of time.The companies listed below are a sample of providers that specialize in medical insurance for those going abroad for educational purposes.

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Additional Insurance Information

  • Highway to Health Worldwide. Vanderbilt University and HTH Worldwide insurance offer short-term, international health insurance to any Vanderbilt student or employee going abroad for educational purposes. Insurance can be purchased by the week or the month. For information about enrolling, click here; for a summary of coverage, click here.
  • Medex International (a medical evacuation service). The coverage includes evacuation only or evacuation with $100,000 medical insurance.
  • International Travel Health Insurance. MultiNational Underwriters®, is a full service organization offering a comprehensive portfolio of travel insurance and travel medical insurance products designed specifically to address the insurance needs of international travelers and citizens.
  • International Travel Insurance. Find travel medical plans, as well as airline ticket protection, group travel protection, and trip cancellation & interruption plan.
  • Insure My Trip. An Iternet travel insurance comparison site. Compare worldwide insurance providers and plans using's diverse selection of more than 100 travel insurance plans from 16 companies.