International Travel Policy and Procedures

International Educational, Research and Service Experiences

The faculty of the School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) recognize the educational benefits of study, research and service abroad and, to the extent such experiences can be integrated into and coordinated with the schedules and demands of a student’s course of study, will encourage and facilitate such experiences to the extent possible.

Because of the risks to health and safety which may attend such experiences, every effort will be made to assure that the student is made aware of such risks and provided the opportunity to receive such information and preventive treatments (e.g. immunizations, prophylactic medication) as necessary to mitigate such risks. The faculty of the SPHHP also requires that the policies and procedures of the University at Buffalo and the State University of New York as pertain to international educational, research and/or service experiences be followed. This policy sets forth the requirements of the SPHHP for international student travel for the purpose of education, research and/or service under the auspices of the SPHHP.

Students traveling under the auspices of Study Abroad programs at the University at Buffalo are encouraged to be familiar with the provisions of the policy which are consistent with those of the Study Abroad Program. Those students will be expected to adhere to the policies and procedures of the Study Abroad Program. While vacation travel, travel to educational or professional meetings and travel to cities in Canada are excluded from the provisions of this policy, the student may find the reminders and other information in the policy useful (e.g. regarding passports, safety and other precautions) as also, depending on the destination, the information contained on State Department links referenced in the policy. Regardless of the reason for travel, students are required to acquire health insurance coverage for travel abroad.


The student will:

  1. Obtain approval for international travel from his/her program director (e.g. MPH concentration or other graduate program) and register for any academic credits which may be available and appropriate for the experience. Availability of and arrangements for credit for the experience should be understood and worked out in advance of travel.
  2. Identify a supervising faculty member at UB and/or a faculty member or responsible official at the destination who can be responsible for seeing that an evaluation of the student's performance, consistent with the educational objectives of the experience, is completed and documented for the student's file. Recognizing that such arrangements may necessarily vary, that student should be certain that they are appropriate to the intended outcome of the experience.
  3. Register for the experience with the Office of the Dean, SPHHP, c/o Veronica Meyers, 417 Kimball Tower using the Registration Form. It is recommended that this be done no later than three months prior to departure to allow sufficient time for obtaining documents and other steps in processing. Note: Students intending to enroll in a program conducted under the auspices of the Study Abroad Program should register with the Study Abroad Office.
  4. Provide international travel details to the Office of International Education: Email Trevor Poag at with your name, country of destination, time period you will be traveling, and department and school. Subject Line: SPHHP international travel procedure_Last Name.
  5. You must have a passport for international travel that will be valid for six months beyond the end of your rotation. If your passport will expire before this you must apply for a passport renewal before departure. Applications for new US passports and passport renewals can be found on the U.S. State Department website. Some countries may require you to obtain a visa prior to departure in order to enter the country. It is your responsibility to determine whether you will need a visa, and what type of visa is appropriate. This information can be obtained from the nearest embassy or consulate for your host country.
  6. While travel to and within many countries carries no greater risk than travel within the United States, there are health risks associated with travel to some countries. At least two months in advance of your departure date, contact the Travel Clinic, Student Health Office, University at Buffalo, (716-829-3316) to obtain information regarding any possible risk of infectious diseases in the areas to which you plan to travel and regarding recommended precautions, immunizations and/or prophylactic medication. Students are also strongly advised to visit the CDC website for current travel and risk advisories and are likewise encouraged to receive the recommended immunizations and prophylactic treatments either from the Student Health Office or a provider of their choosing. Since the cost of the immunizations and or prophylactic medication may or may not be covered by insurance, students should check their health insurance policy to determine whether such treatments are covered. The clinic recommends that you browse the CDC Travelers' Health website prior to your appointment to familiarize yourself with recommended immunizations and with health concerns in the area(s) of your destination. Immunizations available from the Student Health Office and associated costs are listed on the Student Health Office website (Immunization Clinic).
  7. Obtain information from the website of the U.S. State Department about safety risks and concerns about political unrest in the destination area.
  8. Acquire medical insurance and medical evacuation/repatriation insurance as required by SUNY. This should be done sufficiently in advance of travel to assure coverage is in place upon departure. Financial support for this may be available through arrangement with the supervising faculty member and the matter should be discussed with him/her in advance of purchase. Contact Christy Guzman, Director of International Insurance-Student, Sub-Board I, Inc., 233 Student Union, (716) 645-3036 or email
  9. Read and sign the required International Rotation Student Agreement and Release and submit it to the Dean’s Office, SPHHP, c/o Veronica Meyers, 417 Kimball Tower when you register.
  10. At least two months before departure, complete the Student Health Information Form and obtain a Physician's Statement, using the provided forms. These are to go to the Student Health Office, South Campus. Keep a copy of each form for your own records.
  11. Read and sign the SPHHP Attestation Statement regarding International Student Travel and submit the signed original to the Dean's Office, SPHHP, Room 417 Kimball along with your registration form.
  12. Read and sign required SUNY Release & Waiver Form for overseas academic programs and submit the signed original to the Dean's Office, SPHHP, Room 417 Kimball.

Review and Approval

This policy is subject to review and approval by the Executive and Planning Committee, SPHHP.


The director of the Office of Global Health Initiatives, together with department chairs and program directors, will have responsibility for administration of the policy.