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Travel Information for Residents

Plan and Prepare for Your Global Health Project

Click on the links below for information that will assist you in planning and preparing for your Global Health project in a foreign country. Here you will find information on visa requirements, health insurance and evacuation coverage, a checklist of recommended items to bring and general information.

General Information

  • General Information about the country you are visiting can be found on the internet or in guidebooks. Ask local institutional representatives about local culture and practices that are important for you to know about and how they might pertain to the work you will be doing. One website with facts about a country is the CIA world factbook.
  • You should also inform yourself about the current political situation in a country and see if there are any current problems in the country that might affect your safety and travel. A good resource for that is the U.S. State Department.
  • You will also have to see whether you need a visa upon entry of the country. For county-specific information, click here.
  • Contact your medical insurance provider and obtain information on your medical coverage while abroad and the duration of that coverage before you go. Do the same for your legal insurance if you have one.
  • Scan your passport and other important documents and send it to yourself via email before you leave. Also make a copy of these documents and carry them in a separate place from the originals.

Travel Advice

  • You should make sure that you write down the emergency contact information of the American embassy or high-consulate in the country you are traveling to (if you are not a U.S. citizen, write down the number of the embassy of your country as well). The U.S. State Department provides additional emergency information on its website.
  • In addition, travel with contact numbers for Medical Evacuation (via insurers), your health insurers' details, and any relevant NGO or other local contact.
  • UNOPS online security course - allow two hours

Travel Health

  • Plan an appointment at a travel clinic at least 1 month before your departure so that you can get an appointment in time to obtain all the necessary vaccinations. BIDMC's Travel Clinic (617-278-8100) can help you prepare for your trip. Bring information on your prior vaccinations to the travel clinic appointment.
  • If you have any medical problem, you should make sure that it is well controlled and that you obtain enough medication for the duration of your travel before you go. Carry prescription medications in your carry-on luggage.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a great resource for country-related health information. It is regularly updated to provide information on outbreaks and implications for travelers. You will also find a useful list of things to pack in an "emergency kit".  To learn more, click here.
  • Additional information on certain diseases, travel health and vaccinations is also available through the CDC or the following websites:

  A house in BotswanaWhat to Bring

  • A flashlight (ideally one that you can wear on your head so that you have your hands free)
  • A mosquito net (remember for South America you need one with a smaller mesh because of the sand flies), preferably impregnated with mosquito repellent.
  • DEET-containing Insect repellent (30-50% DEET concentration)
  • Consider bringing a water purification system (filter or tablets)
  • First aid kit
  • Water proof bags for important documents

Contact Information

Global Health Program
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
303 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-667-0902
E-mail: gstrewle@bidmc.harvard.edu