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Travel Services

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) serves a diverse and mobile population of students. Many students will travel during their time at CUMC. The Student Health Service (SHS) is your resource for travel assessment and advice as well as recommended immunizations and medications prior to your travel abroad for education, research or pleasure.

We strongly recommend that you consult us at least six weeks prior to your departure, since some immunizations require several doses over time, and certain immunizations may not be given in close proximity to each other. For information on the vaccines that may be required, and other health advisories that may apply, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travelers’ Health site.

Scheduling a Travel Appointment:

  • Travel appointments can be scheduled by calling (212) 305-3400 or via the online portal.
  • For a school-sponsored or school-required activity, please bring a completed Verification of Columbia Sponsored Travel Form, signed by your school official, to your appointment.
  • Please bring any prior travel vaccine records with you to your appointment.
  • If you are not enrolled in SHS and need a pre-travel evaluation or specific vaccines, contact the Travel Services at the Interchurch Center, located at 120th Street and Riverside Drive, at (212) 870-3053.
  • Please check with your clinician for details on coverage for travel medications and immunizations.

During Your Appointment:

At your appointment, we will review your travel itinerary, and health history, and provide the appropriate services to support a healthy trip. This includes:

  • An assessment of your immunization and health-care needs based on your itinerary and personal health history.
  • Immunizations that are required and recommended for travel anywhere in the world.
  • Education on prevention and treatment of commonly encountered health problems in the area of the world you plan to visit (food and water precautions, mosquito-borne illness, altitude sickness, sun protection, immunizations, and other relevant concerns).
  • Advice on what to do in a medical emergency and what prescription medications to take for prevention or treatment of travel-related illnesses.

Fees for travel services depend on your reason for travel (school-related versus personal) and your insurance coverage. Your clinician will discuss the fees at the appointment.

Check your health insurance plan before you travel to better understand your coverage and to know what insurance information to take with you. Make sure your plan covers medical evacuation in case of illness or injury. Many travelers may need to purchase additional insurance from companies specifically designed to meet these needs. Information about medical evacuation services is provided on the U.S. Department of State website. Students enrolled in the the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan have travel insurance benefits provided by On Call International. More information is available on the back of your insurance card, and will be provided to you at your appointment.