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 – Contact Dr. Simms-Cendan
This applies to all students who are traveling internationally, including but not limited to the following:
- Doing a 4th year elective/clerkship
- Going on an international medical service trip (e.g. Peru or MCO trip)
- Attending or presenting at an international conference
- Traveling as part of FIRE to do research
As soon as you are aware of your international travel or if you are uncertain about your travel plans abroad, contact Dr. Simms-Cendan at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you need an in-person meeting with her. Know the dates and location of travel, the sponsors of the trip, and the purpose of the trip.
Step 2 – Check U.S. State Department website
Check the U.S. 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. A Travel Authorization Petition will be required for countries who were previously listed under the Travel Warning in the old State Department advisory system. Only the below restricted destinations need provost approval prior to departure:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Israel The West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen.
Restricted Travel- Travel to destinations under a US State Dept Travel Warning (not alert). https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html
- All graduate and undergraduate students must file a Travel Approval Petition for all restricted countries.
- All faculty and staff must file a Travel Approval Petition for all restricted countries IF not listed on the exemptions list: http://global.ucf.edu/ucf-faculty-and-scholar-research/restricted-travel/#exemptions
- The online form requires a NID and NID password and is designed to assess the traveler’s experience and expertise in the higher risk destination. It therefore must be completed by the traveler themselves.
Check passport and VISA requirements. Some countries require that a traveler’s passport be valid for at least six months beyond the dates of the trip. Contact the embassy of your foreign destination for more information. Foreign embassy and consulate contact information can also be found in our Country Specific Information pages. Order appropriate documents at: http://travel.state.gov/.
Step 3 – Register with the UCF Global Travel Registry
This is a database of traveler information and itinerary that is referenced for emergency response and institutional reporting: http://global.ucf.edu/ucf-faculty-and-scholar-research/international-travel/
All students, faculty, and staff must register each international trip taken as university business (conference, medical service trip, research, study abroad, etc) including those approved via restricted travel.
- This is not an approval process but an information gathering mechanism.
- The registry consists of 6-8 questions and an itinerary.
- The registry requires a NID and NID password so therefore must be completed by the traveler themselves.
Once you register your international travel with UCF, you will be invited to enroll in a comprehensive web-guide to traveling internationally. You may self-enroll in this non-credit bearing, free webcourse by following this link: https://webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/6HGDYY
Then go to the following page to read about travel insurance and to print out your student travel assistance card: http://ehs.ucf.edu/sites/default/files/insurance/StudentTravelCard.pdf. You should carry this card with you at all times during your trip. These are new UCF regulations.
Step 4 – Obtain documentation
All students will need to obtain a passport, copy of their visa (if applicable), emergency contact information, travel itinerary and proof of insurance. Also, all students need to complete the following two forms: International Medical Experience Release of Liability and International Experiences Approval Form.
- FIRE: students or others attending an international meeting must submit all of the documentation above to Dr. Simms-Cendan.
- 4th year electives/clerkships: students must also read and initial a copy of the AAMC guidelines, fill out the Petition for Special Clinical Study for International Clerkship and have it signed by Drs. Simms-Cendan and Verduin
- International medical service trips (e.g. Peru): students must also read and initial a copy of the AAMC guidelines and have the Extracurricular Clinical Activity Approval form signed by Dr. Simms- Cendan.
Step 5 – Travel Clinic
Schedule an appointment with the COM student clinic to receive vaccines or prophylaxis as needed here: //med.ucf.edu/administrative-offices/student-affairs/student-life/health-services/.
Step 6 – Documents submission and copies
Submit all signed documents and copies to Dr. Simms-Cendan.
Scan a copy of all your documents, especially passport information, and email it to yourself in case of theft or loss while you are abroad.
Step 7 – Travel safe!
Here is a great resource from Georgetown University – School of Nursing and Health Studies on how to prepare for a medical mission trip: https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/blog/humanitarian-nursing/
On your return, please send in photos for the photo page. No pictures of patients please! Also, please submit a blog for posting so that other students can read about your experiences.
Have a great trip!
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
We ask that all UCF related international travel be registered by providing the date(s), location(s), and a few key points of information for each trip taken. Doing so provides automatic, free, and primary coverage under the UCF travel accident and sickness insurance policy.
If your destination is considered restricted according to the UCF Restricted Travel Policy you must fill out the Travel Authorization Petition. Generally this policy applies to all Department of State Travel Warning countries.
UCF provides Travel, Accident and Sickness Insurance to all faculty, staff, and students traveling on a university sponsored trip.
Review the Travel Benefits Summary for more information on the coverage.
Before departing, every faculty, staff, and student should download, print and store the Travel Assistance ID card in their wallet at all times.
|Travel Assistance Portal
A useful portal where you can find security alerts, medical provider databases, visa requirements, and country specific information and more.
The initial log-in information is below:
We strongly recommend that you register with the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and advice from the local embassy.
Visa, Entry, Exit requirements
To learn more about your destination’s Visa, Entry, Exit requirements we recommend you start here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html. While applying for a visa in person is generally less expensive, there are many services that can assist for a fee. While we cannot recommend one over another here are a few to consider:
https://www.visahq.com/ | https://www.travisa.com/
IN AN EMERGENCY
- Contact the local “911” List of Emergency Numbers Around the World.
- If you have an emergency abroad and need to reach UCF personnel immediately, please call the Emergency Abroad Hotline at 1-407-823-0595.
- For medical referral, evacuation, repatriation or other services provided to UCF community members on sponsored travel please call the travel insurance provider at 1-630-694-9764.