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Before You Travel

Pre-Travel Consults


During your travel health consultation our travel nurse will:

  • Assess your medical/surgical/mental health history & individual needs based on your itinerary and the type of work/study you will be completing. 
  • Review your current vaccinations, prescribe and administer the necessary ones for your travel plans.
  • Prescribe any medications needed for traveler’s diarrhea, altitude mountain sickness prophylaxis or antimalarial medications.
  • Provide you with the latest information on health risks, and safety precautions & security tips.  
  • Discuss precautionary measures for dietary and recreational activities.

Consult times are dependent upon the type and length of travel you will be completing.  Consults range from 20 minutes to one hour. Please call SHS to make an appointment as soon as you know that you will be traveling abroad. Travel consults are first come, first serve.  Please be on time and bring any documentation relating your health or immunization history. 

Your student account will be billed for the travel consult, vaccinations and medications provided.

Pre Travel training

All students are required to complete a pre travel health and safety course.  Please contact the Global Programs and Studies (GPS) office for details regarding this requirement.  

International SOS

There may be times when you are traveling internationally that you need some extra help or advice.  Wheaton College is a member of a travel assistance program that provides answers to those questions. International SOS (www.internationalsos.com) is a program that gives up to date pre travel advice and also guidance for such situations as: I’ve lost my passport and need assistance, I am very sick and need to find a doctor, I don’t speak the language and need help.

For every student that is traveling with a Wheaton College program, they will be given a iSOS membership card during their individual travel consult at Student Health Services/International Travel Clinic. This card contains the Wheaton College membership number and also the contact information for one of their 4 contact sites.  Students can call night or day to obtain advice.  There is no extra charge for these calls. If a student needs extra assistance, they may be charged a service feel.

Please note that this is not health insurance.  This program is only travel advice. Students are instructed to review their health insurance to be sure that they are covered for medical expenses while in the country and also evacuation. 

You can download the International SOS Assistance App at this here.


Prior to your individual travel consult at the ITC, the travel nurse will review your immunization record that is in your medical chart at SHS. These immunizations will be compared with current country vaccination policies and disease processes occurring in the country. If you know you have received other vaccinations that are not recorded at SHS, please bring that with you at the time of your individual consult.

Some vaccinations will be required of students or strongly recommended when compared with the destination(s) the individual or team is going to. Some of the required/recommended immunizations may need to be administered over a period of weeks/months and also take 10-14 days for the body to build up protection; so it is important to start early. Some countries require travelers to provide proof of vaccinations. Therefore, it is best to carry your vaccination record with your passport and visa.

Health Insurance

Please review your health insurance before you travel to make sure it will cover you overseas. Investigate what your personal health insurance will cover if you should need assistance while traveling or need to be evacuated or repatriated. Personal health insurance must cover you for any pre departure needs you may have, pre existing concerns (physical and mental health) while you are abroad; post hospitalization needs if you are hospitalized; post travel care. Personal health insurance should cover you full or partially for urgent and emergency care while abroad. All students must have health insurance that you will provide coverage overseas. If you desire to have a travel insurance, you can review the Library of Resources on the Student Health Insurance website.

Many medical services overseas do not recognize USA health insurance. They will ask for cash for their services. Be prepared to pay. Remember to a keep a receipt for health care given. These receipts need to be sent to your insurance carrier upon return to the States.

Talk with your current health insurance company to see if they offer a "rider." This can be purchased for a limited amount of time. Services vary.

Wheaton College provides an accident and illness insurance to all students traveling overseas, who are on a Wheaton College sponsored trip. This health insurance does have some limits and exceptions. ACE does not cover students studying in their home country or if they are evacuated to their home country. ACE insurance does not cover flights that are non medical, i.e. to return to the country of study post medical care. ACE insurance will be explained more fully during the student's individual travel consult.

Overview of Foreign Travel Accident Insurance with ACE (PDF)

Internet Resources

Center for Disease Control (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/travel/

World Health Organizations (WHO): http://www.who.int/en/

Travelers with diabetes: http://www.diabetes.org/