Travel Medicine

The CU on the Road Travel Medicine Program offers information and immunizations for international travel. This service is free for students who are enrolled in Columbia Health. They may make an appointment by calling Medical Services 212-854-7426..

For additional information about any associated costs with the program, including required and/or suggested immunizations, please see the Service Fees for Columbia Health.

For updated travel alerts and precautionary measures related to Zika virus, malaria, dengue, chikagungka, MERS or Ebola  please visit the Center for Disease Control travel information

Telephone Travel Assessments:

Telpheone Travel assessments identify health risks for a specific trip, including study abroad.
During a 30 minute telephone assessment, a registered nurse will review your travel itinerary and provide information regarding travel risks, preventative care and necessary immunizations.  The nurse will then schedule you for a 20 minute visit at Medical Services to administer immunizations and provide you with any additional information.  Please have all of your immunization records available during the initial telephone assessment and when you come to Medical Services. In some cases, more than one visit may be necessary to complete certain immunization series for your destination.

You will be provided with the most up to date travel health information, which will include recommended and required immunizations for the country(ies) to which you will be traveling.

If you will be traveling overseas for an extended period, you should plan in advance for your other prescription medication needs. Specifically, most insurance plans only allow for a 30-day supply of prescription medications. If your trip will have you out of the country for more than a month, plan ahead. Students insured under the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan should contact Aetna Student Health to request approval for a medication supply (often called “vacation override”) adequate to meet their travel needs. Students who carry other insurance plans should contact their own carrier for more information.

Travel Assessment Appointments:

The travel assessments are available by appointment only. We recommend that the initial assessment be set up as soon as the trip is contemplated and well in advance of the departure date. Some travel vaccinations may require six weeks to several months and multiple visits to complete the series. As a rule of thumb, please make an appointment at the same time you reserve your tickets for your trip.

CU on the Road also offers group appointments to several travelers traveling to the same destination for their travel education, pending availability. This visit will be followed by an individual Travel Telephone Assessment to review the health history (see section above).  The nurse will then coordinate an appointment at Medical Services to administer vaccinations.

Prior to Your Assessment

  • Please complete the online questionnaire via Open Communicator or respond to the email questionnaire, which will be sent to you once you make an appointment.
  • Collect as much information regarding your immunization history and have it available. Original documents are not necessary.

Cancelling or Rescheduling Your Appointments

  • Assessments through the CU on the Road Travel Medicine Program are in high demand. As a courtesy to other travelers, please contact us immediately if you cannot make your scheduled telephone assessment or follow-up appointments.
  • If you do not cancel your scheduled assessment at least 48 hours in advance, you will not be able to schedule another appointment within the same semester. Medical Services staff will provide other travel programs in the New York area as an alternate reference. Please keep in mind that you will be responsible for all associated costs.

Health Insurance

Whether you are traveling out of state or out of the country, it is important to understand your health insurance policy. Many travelers may need to purchase additional insurance from companies specifically designed to meet these needs. Ask your insurance provider if medical evacuation is included.

If you are enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, your travel insurance benefits are provided by On Call International. If you have an insurance card and need more information, you may find their contact information on the back of the card.

Faculty and staff who are traveling out of the country should call the HR Benefits Service Center at (212) 851-7000.



How do I make a medical appointment?

Use our secure appointment portal, Open Communicator, to make an appointment online, or call us at (212) 854-7426.

Where is Medical Services located?

Columbia Health Medical Services is located on the 4th floor of John Jay Hall.

What should I do if I need to see a medical provider when I am away from Columbia?

When you are away from Columbia and unable to come to Medical Services for an evaluation, you should call or send a secure web message on Open Communicator directly to your PCP. That way we are aware of your problem and can prepare a referral for you if necessary.

If it is an urgent problem you can be seen in the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care center without a referral.

Last updated March 06, 2017