Travel Health Policy

Requirements for Faculty and Staff Leading Study Away Programs

Faculty and staff members who plan to lead College-sponsored study away programs will work with the Center for International and Cultural Education (CICE). Faculty and staff members may serve as Faculty Directors, the main course leader and instructor-of-record for a program, or as Program Support Coordinators (PSCs), a second College-appointed staff person who travels with the program group and assists the Faculty Leader with logistics, crisis response, and group dynamics (in exchange for their travel costs and participation in program activities). In addition, faculty members’ partners, colleagues from other institutions, and community members sometimes serve as the PSC after an approval process. Finally, two faculty or staff members may share the Faculty Director and PSC roles (aka: Faculty Co-Directors) in lieu of taking along a PSC. All Faculty Directors and PSCs must have the necessary physical capacity to complete the assigned tasks and to ensure the safety of participating students.

Please note that this stipulation does not necessarily preclude faculty members or others with disabilities from serving as Faculty Leaders or PSCs. Whenever possible, reasonable accommodations will be made to facilitate participation.

In preparation for an upcoming study away program, Faculty Leaders and PSCs must address the following:

  • Immunizations: research at least four months ahead of time the required and recommended immunizations (and prophylactics, e.g., for malaria) for areas to be visited and obtain at least the required immunizations; this information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control website – check each “What Kind of Traveler Are You?” category that applies to you;
  • Medical Clearance: schedule an appointment with your family physician/primary healthcare provider well ahead of your travel date to receive travel clearance (i.e., are you fit to travel?) and discuss any medical concerns that may arise while abroad, including the best ways to handle any medications or other medical needs while traveling;
  • Travel Clinic: plan to be seen at a specialty travel clinic, such as Park Nicollet International Immunization Clinic in Saint Louis Park, 952-993-3131; the Mankato Clinic, 507-625-1811; or the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, 800-327-3721 (the Gustavus Student Health Service is authorized by the College to treat students, but not faculty or staff); and
  • Prescription Planning: find out whether your prescriptions may be considered controlled substances (most commonly, EpiPens, narcotics, and other psychoactive medications) and if they may be carried over each of the international borders that you will cross and/or under what conditions they may legally be used in each country (e.g., is it legal to self-administer the EpiPen?). Not all medicines prescribed in the U.S. are allowed abroad (or allowed without a special pre-approval process through the country’s Embassy here), and penalties can range from the inconvenience of being detained or questioned, losing the medicine, and/or facing a modest fine all the way to, depending on locations, extreme fines, caning/lashing, life imprisonment, or even a death sentence. Use the International Narcotics Control Board websiteas well as the Embassy websites for all countries to be visited, even for airport transfers.

 All Gustavus employee health insurance plans provide benefits for preventive services such as immunizations and routine physical examinations. Immunizations and exams should be coded by your provider as preventive medicine for the above to apply. For any College-sponsored trip, faculty should charge their immunizations first to their insurance. Any remaining copayments on required immunizations and on one travel clinic visit (only the amount after the insurance applies) are also reimbursable expenses to be covered with funds from the program budget. Note that routine medications and regular physician visits are not reimbursable.

For additional coverage during travel, the CICE will arrange the same special, “overlay” medical and disaster insurance that is arranged for participating students, scheduled for your period of working abroad, and paid for with funds from the program budget. The insurance is intended as a supplement to your regular insurance policy and will generally help to cover costs excluded from health insurance that is intended for use primarily within the U.S. (e.g., “out-of-network” and similar restrictions). Like any insurance, the travel health policy has exclusions, copayments, and other stipulations. It also provides worst-case scenario coverages (political and natural disaster evacuation, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains).

If you have questions or concerns about travel health or essential physical capacities for Faculty Directors and PSCs, please contact Roger Adkins at the CICE, x7547.