International Society of Travel Medicine
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)

Student Travel Abroad

Council Members

  • Mark Newell, Australia, Chair
  • Sarah Kohl, United States of America, Immediate Past Chair
  • Jorge Baruch Diaz Ramirez, Mexico
  • Catherine Ebelke, United States of America
  • Marie Plisson-Saune, France
  • Julie Richards, United States of America
  • Gail Rosselot, United States of America
  • Dawd Siraj, United States of America

***Zika has dominated the news for the last few weeks. Despite all the clinical guidelines published, we did not find any advice for practitioners taking care of students. Additionally those seeing students are finding that they are not particularly concerned about Zika infection despite the potential for an adverse outcome.

We put together a quick guideline for you to use as you counsel students traveling to and from areas of ZIka infection. We hope you find it helpful.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Sarah Kohl, Catherine Ebelke, Gail Rosselot, Anjali Silva, Mark Newell, Marie Crozier, Julie Richards.

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Student Travel Abroad

Students who travel for education, community service, pleasure or employment are a rapidly expanding population for travel medicine providers. Historically this population has been comprised of younger adults, but now we see ever increasing numbers of students of every age traveling internationally. Medical students in their 30s going to Asia, second career nursing students in their late 40s volunteering in Central America, Fulbright scholars in their late 20s heading to Africa, pre-teens attending camps in South America, as well as retirees signing on to lifelong learning programs on every continent. Increasingly, institutions of higher learning are requiring students to spend at least some of their time studying abroad. At the same time, younger students are spending summers engaged in international, rather than domestic enrichment programs.

Student travelers are more broadly defined than ever before and physicians, Physician Assistants, nurses, and pharmacists care for these travelers in a variety of settings for pre- and post-travel. Program organizers, teachers, and tour operators also have a strong interest in the travel health needs of this population. This group invites ISTM members who have an interest in student travel to join and help us identify priorities and activities. We welcome all health professionals into this multi-disciplinary special interest group as well as those with qualifications or special experience in student health.

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The Student Travel Abroad Interest Group Charter

  • Raise awareness among those who care for student travelers of the unique issues that impact this group
  • Develop evidence based good practice in the care of students who travel before, during, and after travel, and help develop tools to reduce student travel risk
  • Promote research by describing the unique needs of the student traveler
  • Promote educational and research initiatives to improve the health of student travelers
  • Work closely with other ISTM Committees and Professional and Interest groups to promote the health of student