Posted: October 14, 2011

By John Linsley
SFS Safety and Student Life Coordinator 

Todd Duncan, SFS’ director of safety and student life, and I, recently participated in a three-day training course in travel health care. The training covered a number of topics including travel vaccines, non-vaccine preventable health risks, and a review of travelers’ health resources.

I was reminded of the many challenges facing the uninformed, misinformed or otherwise ill-prepared traveler. One of the greatest being, a persistent and stubborn misconception amongst some travelers that travel health care amounts to a quick pass by the doctor’s office for a few shots.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Whether for work, study or play, before you walk down the jet way there is much to learn about the place that’s listed on your boarding pass than just which vaccines are recommended. Potential hazards to a traveler’s welfare are many and may range from human predators and sub-standard roads to weather events and water and food-borne illnesses. Developing an awareness of hazards at your destination and familiarizing yourself with ways of avoiding and mitigating those hazards will lay the groundwork for a healthy experience abroad.

Most importantly for me as a member of SFS’ safety team, this training reinforced the value of our efforts to disseminate clear and targeted information to our own students about health and safety realities in the places where SFS operates.

To learn more about health and safety at SFS please visit us at (/safety).