Before I Go?
Students traveling abroad to participate in international health programs may face a variety challenges and risks for which they may not be prepared. These include unfamiliar cultures and languages, political instability, and infectious diseases and other health hazards that are uncommon in the USA. To assist students in preparing for these conditions, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine requires that these students comply with the following guidelines prior to departure from the USA. It is a requirement that you register with INTERNATIONAL SOS.
International SOS manages and administers Yeshiva University's international travel portfolio by providing 24-hour international medical, security, and travel assistance. International SOS is the world's largest medical and security assistance company, with more than 6,500 professionals in 24-hour Alarm Centers, international clinics, and remote-site medical facilities across five continents. Through their worldwide network of alarm centers, clinics, and health and logistics providers, International SOS offers local expertise, preventative advice, and emergency assistance during critical illness, accident, or civil unrest. To qualify for all of these safety services, it is mandatory that all students, staff, and faculty undertaking university-sponsored international travel related to their Yeshiva/Einstein studies and/or work (including school-sponsored programs and individuals engaged in independent research or work abroad) register their travel. www.internationalsos.com. For membership number, contact email@example.com.
- Experience community service locally. You can work with the Einstein ECHO Clinic, the Montefiore South Bronx Health Promoters, or another local initiative. As one international partner organization put it, "Please don't send students to practice on us what they haven't spent time learning at home."
- Engage in a program of self-study for cultural orientation. An excellent, quick and succinct source of historical and cultural information about any developing country is the Lonely Planet web site and books.
- Gather information concerning any political problems or health hazards that may place you at risk. Consult current information provided by the State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read State Department travel warnings or call 202-647-5225. Read CDC travel warnings or call 404-639-3311.
- Obtain a printout of your immunization record from Occupational Health (219-Mazer, 718-430-3141), you should then make an appointment with a physician who does travel medicine in order to obtain medical advice, vaccinations, tetanus booster, PPD test, and prescription for medications. This can be done at the Einstein Faculty Practice at the Montefiore Medical Park, 1515 Blondell Avenue, appointment line 866-633-8255. Dr. Theresa Madaline is available for travel appointments at Montefiore Medical Park. Schedule your appointment at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the date of departure. All of the foregoing medical services are provided free of charge at Einstein (co-payments if provided elsewhere) if you have been approved for a fellowship award, however you must bring your insurance card with you. Co-payments are reimbursed for required travel medications.
- Designate an emergency contact. Provide contact information for persons in the foreign country and in the USA who may be contacted in the event of an emergency at home or abroad.
- Competency or training in the local language is strongly encouraged and in some cases it may even be required (unless you are going abroad specifically for language training).
- Obtain information from your sponsor abroad about matters such as proper dress, housing and food arrangements, and transportation.
Completion of the above steps is the responsibility of the individual student. If you need any assistance with this task, contact your local sponsor or the Global Health Center (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What can I expect when I return?
On return students should continue to make their experience have an impact, both for the global partner organization (in ways they discuss prior to and throughout their time abroad — for instance, amplifying their voices, making contacts, seeking needed supplies, etc.), as well as for the Einstein community (through written reports, published material done in coordination with the local group, oral presentations and mentorship of other students).
Ideally, students continue in contact with their global partners and friends throughout their careers, seeking to continue a relationship of "solidarity" (sharing, rather than "charity"—giving what one does not want or need) with them and other global and local communities.
Through this web site you can share reports, presentations, as well as published and unpublished research (the Global Health Alliance will work with you to publish).