Student Health

Steps for Planning Your Travel

Thumbnail Step 1: PLAN NOW

If you are planning to travel abroad it is essential that you schedule a pre-travel appointment 8 - 12 weeks prior to departure. Several vaccines are given as a series and can take several weeks to complete.  Most students travel during academic breaks or during sponsored trips which increases demand during peak seasons.  Planning now will allow you to get the best advice and avoid waiting lists and potential vaccine shortages.

Please be advised that some countries may require vaccines for entry. Other destinations may not require any pre-travel planning .

Duke has a mandatory travel registry used to respond to international emergencies, whether it's illness, injury or evacuation due to natural disaster, terrorist attack or political upheaval.  http://travel.duke.edu/ 

When traveling for Duke study, research or with funding from Duke, travelers are covered by the International SOS travel assistance program. 
https://www.internationalsos.com/MasterPortal/default.aspx?membnum=11BSGC000072, please make sure to print your membership card and bring with you on your travels. Also sign up for email alerts about your destination via the Duke-ISOS portal linked above. 

Duke maintains a Restricted Regions List https://travel.duke.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Abroad.ViewLink&Parent_ID=0&Link_ID=65D5B50A-5056-BA1F-721588502E4A5467, which includes destinations that are Federally Sanctioned as well as destinations restricted by the Provost which require a waiver before travel is allowed. Please check your destination and take the necessary steps well in advance of your departure.

The Duke Student Health International Travel Clinic will try to accommodate all students, but at peak times it can take up to 6 weeks to get an appointment. Individual appointments are available Monday - Friday with hours varying depending on the time of year. Appointments and information can be obtained by calling 919-681-9355 (WELL). Choose option #1. You should allow 90 minutes for your appointment.  If you are traveling with a group of students, you may be able to be seen as a group for education and immunizations.  Have your leader contact the Travel Clinic for additional information. Those who are not Duke students cannot be seen at the Duke Student Health International Travel Clinic.  For your convenience, a list of local options is attached.

Fees:

  • The Duke Student Health Fee covers advice and consultation at the Duke Student Health Travel Clinic.
  • Immunizations and prescription medications are not covered by the Student Health Fee and can be expensive. These fees may be billed to your insurance. However, keep in mind that different insurance plans cover different services, and you will be responsible for any unpaid charges.
  • Please refer to your personal insurance carrier for issues related to coverage. If you have the Duke-Sponsored StudentBlue plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, review the Student Medical Insurance Plan for covered costs.

Step 2: Complete Travel Questionnaire

Please complete your questionnaire here and email back to shctravel@dm.duke.edu

Step 3: Schedule appointment

Call 919-681-9355 option 2 from 8:30am to 4:30 pm to speak with a nurse and schedule your appointment. You will not be given an appointment until your travel questionnaire has been completed. 

If you are participating in a reserved group appointment, please inform the nurse so you will be scheduled with your group.

Note: Some study abroad or scholarship programs require physical exams or other lab work to accompany your application or visa process.  If you need these additional services, the Student Health Clinician will need more time than is allotted to the typical travel visit, so please alert the nurse when you call for your appointment so that they can schedule you appropriately.

Step 4: COME TO YOUR APPOINTMENT PREPARED

Please allow at least 90 minutes for the consultation and administration of vaccines. Your appointment is at the Duke Student Health Center. Late arrivals will need to be rescheduled per appointment availability.

Bring your insurance card, and any vaccine records, including your international yellow card. If you are participating in a program that has provided you with recommendations, requirements and/or an itinerary please bring them with you.

Step 5: CHECK OUT AND PAY FOR YOUR IMMUNIZATIONS AND MEDICATIONS

For those services not billable to insurance, we accept payments applied to Bursar Bill, Flex, Visa, MasterCard, or Personal Check. If you have questions or concerns about the cost of vaccines and medications please see STEP 1: FEES.

Step 6: MARK YOUR CALENDAR

  • Mark your calendar with dates for return appointments to complete vaccine series and when to start anti-malaria and /or oral typhoid medications.
  • Put your yellow international vaccination card in a safe place (with your passport).
  • Have your prescriptions filled early to avoid problems near your departure date.

Step 7: AFTER YOUR TRIP

  • If you are taking anti-malaria medication, continue it for the specified time. Depending on the medication(s) you are taking, this may include up to 4 weeks of therapy after leaving the malaria endemic area.
  • After you return, if you experience any health problems, see your personal physician or contact the Duke Student Health International Travel Clinic, noting destinations you have visited. Some symptoms could be indicative of something you have contracted while abroad or in transit.
  • Travel related illness can occur weeks to months after you return. You should make a post travel appointment to see your travel health care provider if
  • o    You were told to have a tuberculosis skin test three months after you return.
  • o    You were told to have schistosomiasis screening or you think you had an exposure to fresh water in a high risk area.
  • o    You have spent 3 months or more in rural areas of the developing world.
  • o    You were told you had or were suspected of having malaria.
  • o    You were treated or hospitalized for any medical illness.
  • o    You have any health concerns.
  • When you see your provider for follow-up, remember to tell him/her where you have traveled and your activities.