Health and Safety Abroad
Take responsibility for your own safety and plan ahead.
Pre-travel medical and dental examsSince you may be living for some time with medical and dental services and general health conditions that are different from those in the United States, we strongly recommend thorough medical and dental check-ups at least 3 months before you leave the country. The following travel clinics are within close proximity to WSU campuses.
Cougar Health Services
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2302
Pullman Regional Hospital Travel Clinic
835 SE Bishop Blvd.
Pullman, WA 99163
400 E. Fifth Ave
Spokane, WA 99202
Spokane County Health Department
W. 1101 College Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Snohomish Health District
Everett (Main Office)
3020 Rucker Avenue
Everett, WA 98201
Benton Franklin Health District
7102 W. Okanogan Place
Kennewick, WA 99336
Columbia River Occupational Health
2105 NE 129th St
Vancouver, WA 98664
Passport Health of Vancouver
4610 NE 77th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98662
The Vancouver Clinic
700 NE 87th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98664
Find out which immunizations are recommended for travel to the country (or countries) you are planning to visit. Some require several weeks to become effective or to complete, so start this process early.
Immunization information is available from your own doctor, Cougar Health Services, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
WSU Cougar Health Services provides immunizations and pre-travel consultations for WSU students.
If you are planning to travel extensively in rural or jungle areas in Latin America, Africa, or Asia, be sure to talk with your doctor about preventive measures against malaria.
To make an appointment for an individualized consultation please call 01-509-335-3575 and indicate that you wish to make a Travel Clinic appointment. The Travel Clinic is located in the Washington Building at the base of Stadium Way.
If you are taking any prescription medications, you should bring a sufficient supply for your entire stay. Be sure to carry a copy of the prescription and/or a doctor’s statement with you. You may need to show these documents when going through customs. Research any restrictions the country you are visiting may have regarding the type(s) of medication and allowable import quantities.
CDC “Yellow Book”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Information for International Travel (“The Yellow Book”) is a comprehensive prevention and health guide for international travelers, covering a broad range of health topics from infectious disease to jet lag!
Learn the traffic and travel rules
Road crashes are the leading cause of death for American citizens abroad, and young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are most at risk. Every year, hundreds of Americans die in vehicle-related accidents while abroad.
You are likely to find yourself in a country with different traffic rules, unfamiliar signage, or less developed road infrastructure. Take responsibility for your safety on the road.
There are several good resources for info on traffic rules and road safety. We recommend starting with these 2:
- U.S. Department of State: Driving and Road Safety Abroad
- Country-specific handbooks from studentsabroad.com
Birth control, sex, and AIDS
It is important to remember that HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases exist in every country, and can be easily transmitted through many sexual behaviors.
Condoms and other contraceptives are not available in many areas, so it may be a good idea to take some with you if you think you may need them.
Please be aware that cultural factors often determine whether you can negotiate condom use with your partner. In some countries, condom use is expected and encouraged. In other countries, suggesting the use of a condom may risk accusations of unfaithfulness.
Become aware of the particular attitudes and customs concerning sexuality in the country you will be living in so that you can make responsible decisions about sexual relationships while overseas. As always, it is important to discuss your expectations regarding interpersonal and sexual involvement with your partner so that you can reduce physical, emotional, and other risks. Words and actions that mean one thing to you may mean something completely different to another person.