Before You Travel

While international medical experiences offer amazing learning opportunities and adventure, they should not be undertaken without adequate investigation. This includes insuring the trip will be educational, well-supervised and respectful of the limits of medical students at various levels of training, sensitive to the needs of the community, and, of course, safe. Students are expected to be academically sound and have no deficiencies in coursework to obtain approval. The following are the steps needed before students undertake any international medical travel, including travel with groups outside the UCF COM and during vacation time. Plan to complete the steps below at least 8 weeks before you travel.

Step 1

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Simms-Cendan (judith.simms-cendan@ucf.edu, room 411K). Know the dates and location of travel, the sponsors of the trip, and the purpose of the trip.

Step 2

Check the US State Department website for travel advisories. Consider registering your travel through their STEP program. Understand that the UCF COM cannot endorse any travel to countries where the US Department of State has issued a travel warning. Check passport and VISA requirements. Order appropriate documents at: http://travel.state.gov.

Step 3

Follow-up appointment with Dr. Simms-Cendan. Bring passport copy, VISA copy, emergency contact information, travel itinerary, and proof of insurance coverage.   Proof of insurance must provide coverage related to emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains.   You can read about this kind of coverage on the On Call International’s website.  Read and initial a copy of the AAMC guidelines for medical students providing patient care abroad.  Sign the  Approval for International Travel and Liability Release forms , and have the Service Learning Form signed by Dr. Simms- Cendan.  If you are a 4th year student planning an international elective, you must download the Petition for Special Clinical Study International Elective and have it signed by Dr. Simms-Cendan, as well as Dr. Boardman and Dr. Verduin. 

Step 4

Have the Service Learning Form signed by Dr. Verduin. (This is not necessary if you are a fourth year student taking this for academic credit). Have the International Elective form signed if you are a fourth year student.

Step 5

Schedule appointment at COM student clinic to receive vaccines or prophylaxis as needed here: http://med.ucf.edu/administrative-offices/student-affairs/student-life/health-services/.

Step 6

Scan a copy of all your documents, especially passport information, and e-mail it to yourself in case of theft or loss while you are abroad.

Step 7

Have a great trip!

On your return, please send in photos for the photopage. No pictures of patients please! Also, please submit a blog for posting so that other students can read about your experiences.