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Center for International and Professional Experience
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Center for International and Professional Experience Health & Safety Checklist

Health & Safety Videos

Health and Safety Abroad video series

Created by HTH Worldwide, an international travel Insurance company.


Before You Go...

Yale Administrative Tasks*

Register your travel on the Yale and the World Travel Registration Form.

Review safety information about your destination(s) on UnitedHealthcare Global.

Review Yale's Travel Policy.

Read and verify that you have read the Yale College Travel Abroad Acknowledgment and Release forms.

Register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country that you will be traveling to.

Review the Center for International and Professional Experience Pre-departure Checklist.

*You will be prompted to do all of these things through your "MyCIPE" account.


Other Important Tasks

Emergencies: Read Yale's Emergency Policy.

U.S. State Department: Review the U.S. Department of State's Travel Warnings, Alerts, and Country-specific Information.

UnitedHealthcare Global Card: Bring your UnitedHealthcare Global Card, or pick up the card at the Center for International and Professional Experience (55 Whitney Avenue, 3rd floor).

Collect Calls: Learn how to make collect calls from the country that you are traveling to. Find a list of country-specific telephone codes here:
    • www.countrycallingcodes.com
    • www.countrycodes.com

Learn the local '911': It is a good idea to know the toll-free emergency number of the country that you are visiting. Find a list of these numbers at www.sccfd.org/travel.html (be sure to verify this when you arrive!).





Immunizations: Check with your personal physician or the Yale Travel Clinic about any immunizations, inoculations, or other medical support that you might need before and while you are abroad.

Health Risks in your Destination: Obtain details of your destination's travel health risks and learn how to avoid being affected by these health risks. Review the UnitedHealthcare Global 360° Global Medical Monitor and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Prescription Medicine: Beware of customs limitations and regulations on medicines brought into your host country. Talk to your physician, Yale's Travel Clinic, your study abroad program/university, and the embassy of your host country for more information. We recommend that you bring enough medication to sustain you during your time abroad, including extra for any travel days. Be aware of the quantity of each medication that you are allowed to bring into your destination country. Some medications that are routinely prescribed in the U.S. may be much more heavily regulated in other countries. When bringing prescription drugs with you while traveling, bring also a note from your physician describing your condition and the necessity of the medication, and keep written instructions and copies of prescriptions that may be needed. Your physician should also include the generic name of the drug as specific brand names available here may not be available elsewhere in the world. Medications should be clearly labeled and in the original container.

Your Health: Assess your health and identify your health needs. Students (along with their parent/guardian, and physician) are responsible for assessing any physical or mental health conditions that may be adversely affected by travel abroad. If physical or mental health conditions require continued therapy, monitoring, or specific support mechanisms while abroad, students should consider self-disclosing the issue(s) to colleagues, program organizers, and other contacts abroad well in advance of departure so appropriate accommodations can be arranged

Health documentation: Bring health documentation such as immunization records, prescriptions, eye glass/contact prescriptions (it is advisable to bring a spare pair).



Health Insurance: Make sure you have adequate health insurance. Yale Health Plan will provide minimal coverage while abroad so you should look into other options to cover such things as routine visits, prescriptions, etc. YHP can let you know exactly what they do and do not cover while a student is abroad. You must contact YHP if you want to extend your health insurance to cover you during your time abroad. Whether you use the YHP or another provider, talk to your family and review your current health plan and make sure you will be covered while abroad. Graduating seniors planning to pursue international experiences after graduating from Yale should verify that they will have health insurance coverage for the duration of their international experience.

Personal Property Insurance: Check to see if you or your family's homeowner's or renter's insurance will cover your possessions in case of theft or loss while you are abroad. If you are not covered by a family policy, you may sign up for a personal property protection policy through Yale University. For additional information, or to sign up for this plan, please contact Yale Risk Management Office at (203) 432-0140.


Other Important Health Information

Traveling to Mexico, Asia, Africa, South America or Eastern Europe: You may require vaccinations and/or medications to help keep you healthy during your time abroad. If you have not already done so, please contact the Travel Clinic as soon as possible to find whether or not you should schedule a consultation to talk about the vaccinations, etc. that you will need before going abroad. To schedule a Travel Clinic consultation, please call 2-0093 as soon as possible. If you prefer to use your home physician, please contact her/him as soon as possible. Whether you use the Yale Travel Clinic, or your home physician, please be aware that some inoculations need to be spaced out in order to be effective so early planning is essential. Information on health conditions around the world can be found on the CDC website.
    • Travel Clinic website

AIDS and STDs are a problem worldwide: If you choose to be sexually active while abroad, please do so safely. Please note that latex condoms (the only kind you should be using!) may not always be available where you are traveling so men and women should pack their own supply. For more information, check out the Student Health Education web site on safe sex.



Read up on the country(s) that you will be traveling to.
    • Lonely Planet
    • Let's Go
    • Rough Guides
    • Moon Travel Guides


While You Are Abroad...

Emergencies: What To Do In An Emergency

Call UnitedHealthcare Global (medical emergency): Where serious injury or illness has occurred, immediately seek medical treatment at the closest medical facility. If medical service is not available, contact UnitedHealthcare Global (call collect 1-410-453-6330).
Call UnitedHealthcare Global (other emergency): Contact UnitedHealthcare Global (call collect 1-410-453-6330) to inform them of your emergency. UnitedHealthcare Global will assist, monitor and coordinate your situation until it has been resolved or you are no longer in danger.
Call Yale: Notify Yale (call Security 24/7 at 1-203-785-5555). Yale Security will notify the Office of the Secretary and, if necessary, your program.
Call Yale University Health Services: For medical emergencies, notify University Health Services (1-203-432-0123) or your personal health care provider.
Call the Consulate or Embassy: Contact the nearest U.S. Consular service or Embassy or the consulate or embassy of your country of citizenship.
Other Contacts: Contact your in-country support person/people, and contact your parents/legal guardian.



Sexual Assault: In the event of a sexual assault, call 001.203.432.6653. Yale's Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources & Education Center (SHARE) has counselors available to talk to students or meet with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also call the Yale Police at 001.203.785.5555, and they will connect your call to SHARE. You can also call UnitedHealthcare Global Emergency Response at 1.410.453.6330.

Food and Water Born Illness: Though some stomach problems may be inevitable as you get used to your new environment, avoid food and water born illness by being careful about what you eat and drink (or brush your teeth with!). Many kinds of nasty bugs can be picked up from food and beverages that have been contaminated through improper handling or inadequate purification. Please read carefully the travel advice from the CDC.

Stay informed about local events in your host country and around the world. You can do this be reading the country information available on the Department of State travel website, by reading local papers and listening to local radio stations (you can do this via the web before you even leave).

Make yourself aware of local laws. While living and traveling abroad, you are subject to the laws of your host country.

Be aware of issues (legal, safety and health) around alcohol and drug use. Remember - you are subject to the laws of your host country, and any country to which you travel. The penalties for drug possession and use can be severe, as can be the case with penalties for driving while under the influence (and legal blood alcohol levels can be much lower than is allowed in the U.S.). Drug and alcohol use and abuse are also implicated in many assaults and accidents that happen abroad. Stay safe!

Observe the behavior of the host country nationals. Local habits can give you many clues to what is safe in a city and country. Don't let your guard down as you become more familiar with your host city/country. Keep your wits about you at all times. Common sense is key!

Keep a low profile while living and traveling abroad - try not to be conspicuous in your dress (college t-shirts, baseball caps and sneakers are usually a sure sign you are from the U.S!), speech, or behavior. Try not to hang out with large groups of Americans, or at restaurants and clubs that tend to be hang-outs for visiting Americans. Exploring smaller neighborhood cafés and shops will give you a far better sense of how the locals live than you would get hanging out in tourists traps.

Sexual harassment. Harassing behavior is annoying at best and threatening and dangerous at worst. Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment. Women, however, experience the majority of sexual harassment and sexual assault. While female students are undoubtedly frustrated and angered to have to be very aware of their safety, it is best not to let this risk get you down, but instead to take a proactive attitude towards it. The key is to reduce your vulnerability as much as possible. Some rules of behavior may apply across cultural boundaries, while others are culture specific. This means that in your host country, you may have to alter the way you would behave in the United States or in your home country.

LGBTQ Abroad. It is important to be aware of the laws pertaining to homosexuality in your host country as well as the popular attitudes toward the LGBTQ community. Some students feel more acceptance abroad than they do in the United States, while others feel discrimination or harassment. Whatever the general attitude towards homosexuality in your host country, there will be those who dissent from the general attitude one way or the other. You should try to talk with other students who have interned where you are going. You may also want to consult the website of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. An additional resource, in conjunction with the NAFSA Association of International Educators, can be found at this website.

Traffic accidents are among the biggest safety risks to people traveling abroad. While the risk appears to be greatest in developing countries, students heading to all countries should be aware of road safety - as pedestrians, as drivers, and as passengers. Road safety information can be found on the web site of the Association for Safe International Road Travel and the Department of State.

Avoid crowds, protests, or other potentially volatile situations. It is also a good idea to avoid places (restaurants, clubs, etc.) where Americans are known to congregate - this includes the area around the U.S. Embassy in your host country.

Plan to make regular contact with your family back home. Mobile phones and email will make this easy to do, and will put your families mind at ease while you are far from home.

When traveling, always make certain the colleagues, friends and family (at home and abroad) know where you are going and when you are expected to return. You should provide these persons with an itinerary as well as emergency contact information.

Carry With You! Important Health and Safety Contact Information

UnitedHealthcare Global Emergency Response: 001-410-453-6330

Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources & Education (SHARE): 001-203-432-6653

Yale University Health Plan (YHP): 001-203-877-947-2237

Yale Security: 001-203-785-5555 (the police will redirect your call to the appropriate resource)

Program/In-country support Contact Information