IFE > Passport, Visa, Immunization, Insurance & Safety


Jesse Casanova, MS
International Field Experience Administrator
(813) 974-4247

Michelle Hodge, MPH
Field Experience Administrator
(813) 974-6665


Passport – A passport is required for an International Field Experience (IFE). You should have a valid passport at least a year in advance of your planned IFE. If you have a passport, keep in mind that some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid at least 6 months or longer beyond the dates of your trip. Photocopy the vital information from the front of your passport and keep separately from your passport. Make sure your passport has at least two blank pages. For more information, visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/fees/fees_837.html

Visa - Visas are not the same as passports. Not all countries require visas but when needed it may be a long process and should be started early--at least 3 months prior to your departure. When you apply for your visa be sure it covers a period longer than your stay in the host country. A natural disaster, an illness, a missed train or plane connection could cause over-stay on one’s visa.  Consider applying for a multiple entry Visa if available. 

Medical and Evacuation Insurance - The State of Florida requires that all students studying abroad maintain adequate medical and evacuation insurance for illness and injury. Before departure, students must show proof of existing medical and evacuation insurance coverage, which is valid outside the US.

Please go to the following site and select from the menu, “Travel Registration and Insurance” to arrange for your medical and evacuation insurance: http://educationabroad.global.usf.edu/

Make copies for yourself and for the IFE Office. The USF Education Abroad Office is located at:

4202 East Fowler Avenue, CGS 101
Tampa, Florida 33620-5550
Tel: (813) 974-4314
Fax: (813) 974-4613

If you plan to travel before or after your academic program, it is important that you purchase additional medical and evacuation insurance to cover the time period(s) outside your academic program.

Immunization - Immunizations are another consideration where early planning is necessary. Many countries require certificates of vaccination for entry in the form of a Yellow WHO Card.  Some vaccines, such as yellow fever, are not readily available, and some vaccines are given in series, sometimes months apart. USF Student Health Services, the Pinellas and Hillsborough County Health Departments all offer foreign travel services. Check on and fulfill host country’s entry requirements for required and recommended immunizations, medications and HIV/AIDS and other testing). http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

Immunization/Travel Health links:

Build Your Travel IQ

Please remember to check the Travel Warnings link on the Department of State site.

For the safety and security of our students, USF cannot permit travel to countries with State Department travel warnings.

Students should register on the State Department website before going overseas. Please make sure that you check the box that indicates that the State Department can release information to the USF Health International Office in the advent of a difficulty.

Other considerations: Health Risks and Preventive Measures

Risk Factor


Preventive Measures

Movement from place to place

Accidents (persons, vehicle)

Make use of local driver; ensure good maintenance of the vehicle; learn local driving habits; wear a seat belt; check for intoxication of the driver and negotiate the prices before entering. 


Diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, typhoid fever, polio, bilharziosis

Drink only filtered and/or chlorinated water; avoid ice creams and ice cubes; wash/peel/cook fruits and vegetables; wash hands regularly and thoroughly. Assess living environment.

Hot weather

Heat exhaustion

Do not travel during the hottest part of the day if it can be avoided; consume non-alcoholic drinks; increase salt consumption; take safe drinking water with you.


Malaria, yellow fever, dengue

Use insecticides, repellents, treated mosquito nets, protective clothing. Specific precautions: Chemoprophylaxis (malaria), vaccination (yellow fever)

Sexual behaviors

STDs, AIDS, hepatitis B

Use condoms, practice low risk sexual behavior.

Professional procedures/activities

AIDS, hepatitis B and C

Use Universal Precautions, vigilance measures: hygiene, asepsis, sterilization, waste disposal, e.g.

Adapted from: MSF: Your Health While On Mission (2nd ed.) 1999 Medecins Sans Frontieres