Please Enter a Search Term

Pre-Departure Checklist

for Study/Work Abroad

Download Pre-Departure Check List in PDF

While international travel can provide numerous opportunities for students and student employees to gain valuable education and cross-cultural experiences, travel always involves some risk.

Travellers may become ill while in transit and on-site. Concerns about this upcoming academic year, in the context of the H1N1 pandemic, have led to the creation of the health checklist for you to read through as a guideline to assist you to prepare yourself appropriately.

While H1N1 is a newer threat, it is not the only illness that you may be exposed to while travelling. It is critical that you consider your own protocol to put in place to enable you to confront health-related risks and provide you with the basic means of addressing illness if it develops.

___ I am enrolled in a health insurance plan, have purchased trip cancellation insurance and am aware of the terms and conditions governing both. (Most MUN students are enrolled in a student union plan or their parents’ plans - these may provide comprehensive travel medical coverage. Travel agencies can also provide recommendations for purchasing insurance.) You should determine and plan if, for you, your insurance covers:
  • repatriation/air evacuation in case of critical illness or death.
  • parental bedside visits to host country in case of critical illness.
  • follow-up care (home care, hospital care).
  • medical emergencies arising from/related to pre-existing conditions.
  • travel to locales for which Canada has issued a travel warning.

___ I have contacted my health insurance provider to learn how to proceed if I become ill and require medical attention, and have the following information:
  • the phone number and/or the email to contact to open a file
  • a list of recommended hospitals at my destination(s)
  • how the payment for coverage is arranged.

___ I have arranged for a credit card that can ensure I have adequate financial resources in case I become ill and need to pay for medical costs upfront.

___ I have visited my family doctor/clinic for advice on preventing/managing illness while travelling abroad, and have received all necessary vaccinations and medications. Any pre-existing medical conditions have been fully discussed with my doctor.

___ I am aware that the Public Health Agency of Canada highly recommends availing of the H1N1 vaccine as a preventive measure. This recommendation is supported by the Provincial Department of Health and Community Services and the vaccine is currently available in our province. As a student travelling abroad, I may wish to consult a physician to discuss taking this vaccine before departing for study.

___ I have spoken with my exchange coordinator, co-op coordinator or workplace supervisor, or faculty contact to obtain their advice on:
  • which hospital/clinic to go to in the city/region I will be in.
  • whether I will be able to receive medical attention in English or access to interpretation services.
  • how hospitals/clinics/doctors will accept payment (credit card, cash, etc.) for medical services and what the usual fees for foreigners are.
  • how to call an ambulance or otherwise obtain emergency medical attention in my destination country.

___ I have made arrangements to meet with the contact in the host institution OR project manager/supervisor in the workplace. Lacking this, I have made arrangements in advance for a support person to help me settle into the destination country, and provide advice and assistance as necessary.

___ I have identified a local contact: someone who will advocate for me, help me seek medical care and follow-up care, and with whom I will share personal contact information should I contract any illness.

___ I know how to identify H1N1 symptoms (which include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, fatigue and lack of appetite and could also include chills, diarrhea and vomiting). Realizing these are the same symptoms of many other illnesses -- some more and some less serious -- if my symptoms worsen I know how to obtain medical attention.

___ I have discussed my destination country’s healthcare system, including H1N1 preparedness and plans (if any exist), with my exchange coordinator/co-op coordinator/faculty contact.

___ I have accessed the Department of Intercultural Studies Country Insights (

___ I have visited Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s travel warning website ( to check whether the country of my destination (or any countries I will visit on stopovers/excursions) have any warnings issued.

___ If I am going on an excursion to another country aside from my destination country, I have informed myself as to that country’s health system and how to access emergency health care there.

___I have registered my information with the Department of Foreign Affairs and signed up to receive their listserve messages while I am abroad (

___ I have updated my overseas contact information in the MUN Self-Service site in case staff from the University needs to contact me for any reason.

___ I have a communications plan in place should I become ill or am quarantined and unable to attend classes or work. This includes:
  • Ensuring smooth communication with home: long distance calling cards, looking into using a mobile phone or laptop in the host country.
  • Knowing who to communicate with on my home campus in case of an emergency.
  • Using MUN Self-Service to report illness in order to avoid academic consequences of losing class time or terminating work terms or externally funded internships.
  • Carrying phone numbers/emails of anyone else that needs to be contacted should I be unable to attend classes or work.

___ I have notified my next-of-kin that I will be travelling abroad and their contact information has been left with my faculty contact/exchange or coop coordinator at home and also with my contact abroad.

I hereby give consent to the university to contact

____________________________________ (parent/guardian/other) in the event of an emergency while travelling abroad.

Name (printed):_________________________________

Student Number: ________________________________

Signature: _____________________________________

Date: _________________________________________

Witness name (printed)____________________________

Witness signature ________________________________


All information requested on this form will be used solely for the administration and management of the Event/Program and is only collected for purposes related to your health and safety and in relation to the provision of your medical care. It will be used for no other purpose and will not be disclosed unless required by law. Personal information is collected under the general authority of the Memorial University Act (RSNL 1990 Chapter M-7).

Questions about this collection and use of personal information may be directed to the Director, Enterprise Risk Management at 709-737-4895.