International travel is usually very safe but health experts suggest that you take several key steps to be proactive, prepared, and protected against injury or illness while outside of the United States. This includes packing a health kit, bringing necessary medications, getting the right immunizations for safe and healthy travel, being cautious about the food you eat and the water you drink especially in developing nations.
The Washburn University Office of International Programs strongly recommends that all students who study abroad visit a health care professional before departure. Ideally, this should be done 4-6 weeks before departure so immunizations have time to take effect.
The Washburn University Student Health Services, Morgan Hall 170, offers travel health consults free of charge. http://www.washburn.edu/current-students/services/health-services/index.html. Before making your appointment for a travel consult at WU Student Health Services, you are requested to do the following:
- Obtain a copy of your full immunization records. Information on how and where to get your records may be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/immuniz-records.htm. It is very important that you take your immunization record with you to discuss with the health care provider.
- Download current information from the CDC website about the country/countries you will be traveling to: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm and read it before going to the consult. It is very important that you take the CDC information with you to discuss with the health care provider.
- Watch these two 4-minute videos before your travel consultation:
“Way to Go: Passport to Health” http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/PassportToHealth/
“Way to Go: Many Healthy Returns” http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/ManyHealthyReturns/
If you will be participating in a non-WU program that requires a health form as part of the application process, or if you will need a health exam in order to apply for a visa to a certain country, you are requested to schedule one appointment and bring all the forms at once.
If you choose to visit your own health care provider, we recommend you still follow the steps listed above, as not all health care providers have experience with travel health consultations.
NOTE – While WU Student Health Services can offer some of the needed immunizations, the Shawnee Country Health Agency http://shawneehealth.org/ also provides travel immunizations on a walk-in basis on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you are traveling to a country that requires a yellow fever vaccine, you will need to schedule a travel immunization appointment at the Shawnee Country Health Agency. Visit their website for office hours and contact information. Fees vary based on services. It is very important that you take your immunization record with you to discuss with the health care provider.