Information for Students Off-campus During Winter Study

Before filling out the Winter Study Travel Agreement please prepare:

For domestic and international travel:

  • Emergency contact information (typically a guardian)
  • If it’s not one of the college sponsored travel courses, an address where you will be and a phone number in case we need to contact you (the College needs a reliable way to reach you at all times)
  • Register with International SOS

For international travel the additional information is also required:

  • A JPG or PDF of your passport which you will upload to the form.
  • Watch the required pre-departure webinar.

Pre-Departure Checklist for Study Abroad
Before leaving for winter break there are several steps you must complete:

  • Get passport and visa (if applicable)
  • Complete the Winter Study Travel Agreement
  • Purchase trip cancellation insurance (recommended but not required)
  • Visit the Health Center for immunization and travel health counseling (if applicable)
    Travel to some destinations may require immunizations or other measures. You should consult the Health Center to talk about the requirements and recommendations for the country to which you are traveling well before your departure. Appointments can fill up quickly, so be in touch as soon as possible!
  • Assess your health—travel can often exacerbate physical, emotional and psychological problems. Please discuss your health needs (such as treatments, allergies, and dietary requirements) with pertinent health care professionals who, for your safety, may encourage you to share some of this information with your Winter Study Travel Course instructor.
  • Research the social, political, economic and cultural facts about your destination; do not rely solely on American resources

Medications
In addition to the vaccinations you’ll receive here in the States before you go abroad, you’ll also probably accumulate a supply of medications to take with you, especially if you’ll be traveling to a tropical or developing country. If you have any medical conditions that sometimes require medications, or routinely take a prescription medication, make sure you bring an adequate supply with you. Trying to explain what you need to a pharmacist halfway around the world in a foreign language is often a challenging and risky business. When packing, plan to take all your medications with you on the plane, and make sure they’re all in their original containers. This will reduce the risk of having them lost or stolen, and also ease your passage through customs when you arrive. Be aware that certain countries have very strict rules regarding the importation of medications, so you may want to check up on the regulations of the countries in which you’ll be traveling before you leave. Consulting the country’s embassy in the United States is usually a good place to start. Sometimes a signed prescription is necessary, and narcotics are always a difficult issue. In case you’re ever incapacitated while abroad, it’ s an excellent idea to record the generic names and doses of any medications that you take, as well as the nature of the condition they are supposed to treat. Another way to notify medical personnel of important medical conditions or allergies is by wearing a Medic Alert tag, usually in the form of a bracelet or a necklace. Although this is not a completely universal system, it’s a good idea everywhere, whether overseas or in the States. For more information, write to: Medic Alert Foundation International 2323 Colorado Avenue Turlock, CA 95380 1-800-344-3226 www.medialert.org

Medical Care Abroad
Medical care abroad is a serious issue that requires prior planning, especially since you’ll probably not be feeling one hundred percent when the need for care arises. When planning for medical care abroad, International SOS (see below) can assist with finding medical care should the need arise.

International SOS
The College also maintains specialized services with International SOS that provides our community of travelers with access to security alerts, country specific medical advice and information, and general in country advice about places you may be traveling. International SOS functions as our security and emergency concierge. They should be consulted with all manners of emergencies when abroad and can direct you to the nearest and most appropriate facility for support. Any faculty or staff member traveling with students is required to register each participant’s itinerary with International SOS via the MyTrips portal.

Before your next trip please take the following steps:

  • Register with International SOS’ MyTrips tool by clicking on this link.
  • Create a user account by clicking on New User? Register here link
  • If you choose to forward your itinerary confirmation email to [email protected] mailbox, please set up your MyTrips username by using the same email address where you normally receive the trip confirmation emails. After the one-time registration with MyTrips you can start forwarding the confirmation emails directly to the above mailbox.
  • Once you create your account, log in to MyTrips and fill out your profile details. Provide your personal email address, organization email address and phone numbers, so that we can reach you during an emergency situation.

When your trip is registered with International SOS via MyTrips, you will be provided all the necessary contact information for the nearest International SOS support center to contact in case of an emergency or to consult with about trip concerns.

While traveling out of the country, your primary healthcare insurance is what provides you coverage in an emergency. Once again, coordinating any health care needs you or your travel party might have while out of the country should be done via International SOS.

If you have any questions about International SOS or general insurance questions while traveling out of the country, please contact Shelby Walden at 413-597-4243 or Matthew Sheehy at 413-597-4775.

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
In addition to offering discounts and services at home and around the world, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) includes some basic travel insurance. There are three levels of cards ($25, $99 and $199). More details about the benefits can be found here. You are encouraged to consider purchasing at least the basic card.

Other helpful resources: