Global Health

Before going abroad, take into consideration your own medical and mental health issues by getting a complete physical, dental, and eye check-up 4-6 weeks before you travel. Know the health risks, illnesses, diseases, food/water precautions and recommended immunizations for your destination. Using the GeoBlue website or app resources, research where the best hospitals and clinics are located.  Understand how and where to seek help. Below are some key resources that are available to you to help you prepare for a safe and healthy experience abroad.

CDC Traveler's Health Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health webpage can help you find specific health information for the country or region to which you will be traveling.  There are country-specific pages for every country in the world where you can find information about prevalent diseases, recommended immunizations, eating and drinking precautions, and more.

Need help finding a travel medicine clinic or the county health office?  Use the CDC website to help locate the best options to get vaccinations.  Be sure to plan ahead with plenty of time to receive all recommended vaccinations.  Some immunizations can require up to several weeks to complete the entire series.    

Zika Virus

The CDC has recently updated their list of countries that have a risk of Zika Virus.  To find out if your destination country has a risk of Zika, visit the CDC's Zika Travel Information page.  Also, visit BYU's Zika Virus Information webpage to learn more about this disease and the risks associated with traveling to a country with Zika.

All BYU students traveling to a country on the CDC list are required to sign a BYU Zika Waiver.  You can access the waiver from the link below.  Once you sign the waiver, please return it to the BYU International Security office (HRCB 280C).

BYU Zika Waiver

Prescriptions Abroad

Many international travelers have medications that they require during their travel. If you have medication that you will take with you on your trip abroad, please follow the suggestions below:


  • Take a sufficient amount of each medication with you to last the entire duration of the trip (unless otherwise directed because of legal restrictions).
  • Keep all medications in their original containers or packaging.
  • If it is a prescription medication, be sure to take a copy of the prescription.
  • Carry medications in your carry-on bag, not your checked luggage.
  • Have your doctor or healthcare provider write a note describing the medication and why you need it.


Look at the required documentation and restrictions of your destination country by going to  the International Narcotics Control Board website. Also, you should check with the foreign embassy of the country or countries you are planning to visit in order to make sure all your medications legal to take into the country. A list of foreign embassies and consulates and their contact info can be found here.

If you wear eyeglasses, take an extra pair with you.  If you have allergies, reactions to certain medications, food, insect bites, or other unique medical problems, consider wearing a "medical alert" bracelet.

If you have further questions about getting this information, please contact, (801) 422-5357. 

Emergency and Medical Assistance

Understanding your destination and its health risks is key to a healthy and safe trip abroad. Mitigating health risks (implementing food and water precautions, avoiding mosquito bites, proper immunizations, etc.) is equally important. In many developing locations, the quality and availability of health care is often limited and does not meet US standards. Before you go, research the health risks in your destination, and learn where the best medical facilities are located in your area and what services they offer. GeoBlue international insurance has resources to help you find local medical providers through the GeoBlue website and app. Contact GeoBlue as soon as possible when seeking medical care while traveling abroad. They can give you advice on local doctors and hospitals and will work to ensure direct payment for any medical services that fall under the BYU GeoBlue insurance contract.  You can also contact the US embassy in your destination for their recommendations on local health care providers. 

During a crisis event abroad, the Office of Overseas Citizens Services' Emergencies Abroad page is very helpful. Their overseas emergency contact number is +1 202-501-4444.


Medical Emergency Guidelines

  • Go to the nearest reliable medical facility. Take a valid debit/credit card or cash and your insurance care/information. Be prepared to pay upfront for your medical care and get reimbursed later. 
  • Contact GeoBlue as soon as possible. Be prepared to give them a reliable contact number, inform them of your current situation, your current location, your insurance number, and your affiliation with BYU (study abroad program, work department, etc.).
  • After receiving initial treatment, you should contact your BYU program director, department supervisor, and key family members. Inform BYU and family contacts of your current situation, location, and a contact number for you. Let them know of your concerns and questions.
  • Stay in regular contact with your BYU director, department supervisor, and family members with regular updates on your condition and progress. 
  • If you do pay for your own medical expenses, obtain itemized receipts from the medical facility you are being treated at. Keep all receipts so that you can file a reimbursement claim later with GeoBlue using the reimbursement form on the GeoBlue member hub website.

Review the following GeoBlue requirements for getting itemized receipts for out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Bills must be itemized: Canceled checks, cash register receipts and non-itemized "balance due" statements cannot be processed.
  • Each itemized bill must include: Name and address of provider (doctor, hospital, laboratory, amublance service, etc.), Name of patient, Date(s) of service, Amount charged for each service, Total Charge, Diagnosis or reason for treatment
  • Outpatient Prescription Drugs: Duplicate pharmacy generated receipts (not register tape) must include Rx Number, Date Filled, Medication Name, Form, Strength and Quantity. (NOTE: All Prescription Drug charges will be reimbursed to the insured person only).

Helpful Links and Resources