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Students are asked to complete a medical self-assessment upon acceptance into the program. The health questions are used as a guide for program leaders or staff, allowing them to best advise medical personnel in case of an emergency. It is important to fully explain any question to which you answered “yes” to adequately provide accurate health information in case of an emergency.

CIE strongly recommends that students receive a medical examination before they leave the country, especially if they are taking prescription medication or are in regular treatment for a pre-existing condition. Some countries may even require they obtain certifications of health and/or immunizations in order to enter the country. Students should research the medical restrictions of the country to which they are traveling to avoid additional issues.

Regardless of where students are going, here are the recommended steps to help prepare them for international travel:

  • Research health and safety in the travel destination. 
  • Consult with personal medical and/or mental health providers for pre-travel planning.
    • Work with providers to develop plans in the event any conditions worsen. 
    • Make arrangements for any prescription medications, medical supplies and medical care that may be needed. Request a letter from your doctor verifying your medication for customs and refill purposes.
  • Know the details of your prescription medications.
    • Be aware of brandgeneric and foreign names, the dosage and the quantity needed for your time abroad
    • Carry all prescriptions, including glasses/contacts, in your carry-on luggage in their original prescription containers.
  • Visit a specialized travel medical provider and receive required or recommended preventive immunizations and medications (such as malaria prophylaxis or for traveler’s diarrhea) for the specified areas of travel. 
    • Some immunizations require a series or spacing for protection (as long as three months for a series of shots), so allow as much time as possible for immunizations.
    • It is recommended that you take a copy of the program information and a printout of the Center for Disease Control requirements for the program location and visited countries.
  • Have an eye and dental check-up and address any potential problems.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that routine immunizations are up-to-date and to ask if there are recommended and/or required immunizations or medications for the country/countries they will visit.

The Student Health and Wellness Center has a travel clinic that provides health services for patients who are planning foreign travel, including vaccines and immunizations. Information about the travel clinic and how to make an appointment can be found here.

If required, this form will be accessible in your study abroad application upon acceptance. It describes some of the special risks or challenges associated with the particular study abroad program or the country in which the program takes place. It asks you to contemplate your health needs and to meet with your doctor to discuss. After the consultation you are asked to have your doctor sign this form.

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) is comprehensive international health insurance coverage, which is required by the UW System for all study abroad students. It includes accident, health, medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. CISI is meant to supplement, not replace, travelers regular health insurance plans. CISI is NOT travel insurance and cannot be used to cover the cost of cancelled travel or lost luggage, for example. The CISI international health insurance coverage plan may be found here: CISI Plan for UW System

The CIE study abroad team completes the enrollment for CISI on your behalf and includes the coverage cost in your program fees. Once enrolled, you will receive information regarding access to the CISI health insurance online portal. There you will be able to:

  • View/print/e-mail your ID card, coverage brochure, consulate letter and claim form
  • Purchase extra insurance for a period of personal travel
  • View/update your online account profile information
  • Search for hospitals and clinics abroad
  • Find valuable travel-related information
If you require emergency services while abroad, please contact Team Assist, the assistance provider contracted by CISI:

From within the U.S.: 855-951-2326
From outside the U.S.,: 443-470-3043

You will be asked to provide your policy ID number, which can be found on the coverage information document. If you are concerned in any way, please contact CIE and we will work with CISI on your behalf to ensure that you are able to receive the care that you need.

For MINOR injuries/issues expect to pay out of pocket, save receipts and submit a claim. For MAJOR injuries/issues, if you are admitted to a hospital, we will contact CISI, who in turn will contact the hospital, so you will not have to pay out of pocket.

CISI contact information: 

Cultural Insurance Services International
One High Ridge Park
Stamford, CT, 06905

From within the U.S.: 800-303-8120
From outside the U.S.: 203-399-5130


Visit our website for more information on health resources.