OHSU Global – Southeast Asia Checklist for Medical Student & Residents for Overseas Rotations

 Note to students and residents: If at the time of your request, or at the time of your travel, there is a US State Department travel advisory in place for your destination, OHSU may not approve your international elective request or decide to revoke a previously granted authorization.  


  • Discuss opportunities with faculty advisor and/or OHSU Global faculty
  • Select a destination
  • As applicable, apply for acceptance into the away program (pre-established programs)
  • If planning to participate in a new program, work with the SoM (medical students) or residency administrative leadership and staff and OHSU GME (residents) to establish an Away Site Supervisor, complete required elective forms, and a Program Letter of Agreement (PLA) (residents only)
  • Complete International Away Elective form after receiving approval from OHSU Global and SoM administrative staff (SoM students only)
  • Submit Off Campus Authorization (OCA) and Export Compliance applications
  • If available, apply for travel award funding (optional)
  • Check passport expiration date and visa requirements
  • Book travel clinic appointment and update immunizations via OHSU Student Health (medical students) or OHSU Occupational Health (residents and faculty)
  • Check for US State Department travel advisory and/or warnings
  • Confirm OCA approval
  • Confirm coverage of health insurance and travel insurance (medical students not insured through OHSU will likely need to purchase their own travel insurance with evacuation coverage)
  • Book airline flights and make other travel arrangements (two travel agent options are provided below, Key Travel and Julie’s Travel Desk
  • Review WHO and CDC travel safety information
  • Copy and save passport face page, visas, itinerary, and emergency contacts; submit copies to OHSU Global SE Asia

Recommended Timeline  

1 year

  • Initiate inquiries of potential countries and programs. Discuss with your OHSU faculty advisor. 

9 months 

  • Discuss SE Asia site opportunities with your faculty advisor and OHSU Global SE Asia faculty, who can let you know about approved sites. You may set up an appointment by contacting OHSU Global SE Asia via email at ohsuglobal@ohsu.edu.
  • Develop specific learning objectives and planned educational experiences while at the overseas site.
  • If doing research on human subjects, check with the OHSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) for IRB approval, https://o2.ohsu.edu/integrity-department/research/human-subjects.cfm. You may need to receive IRB approval from both host and home institutions. Please check these requirements as far in advance as possible, as IRB review can be an extended process.
  • If you want to apply for overseas travel funding, look at the OHSU Global SE Asia website for opportunities and details. Scholarships are available for two electives in Thailand, the cross border course in Chiang Rai and the student rotation at Siriraj in Bangkok.  Research scholarships in Thailand may be available if working with an OHSU faculty member on an existing or planned research project.

6 months

  • Check your passport expiration date. Note: passports must be valid for 6 months after the date you expect to return to the U.S.
  • Scan and save a copy of the face page of your passport before sending your passport off for visa requests in case the passport is lost in the mail.
  • Check on required vaccinations with information available by country at the CDC website, cdc.gov.
  • Visit a travel clinic to discuss immunizations, yellow fever requirements, anti-malarials, medications for traveler’s diarrhea and other health related issues pertinent to your destination country.
  • OHSU student health will see OHSU students for free yet coverage for immunizations and medications may cost depending on your health insurance coverage.
  • OHSU Occupational Health and the JBT Health & Wellness Center will see residents and address any travel medicine needs that you may have. Please contact Andrea Dayot at dayot@ohsu.edu for more information. Take your immunization records with you and have them updated. For SoM students: Please note that you must have completed this step before your supervisor can sign off on your International Away Elective form.


  • Consider setting up a meeting with GME staff member, Emily Gaudin to review the PLA content before submitting
  • Work with your Program Coordinator or other designated residency administrative staff to secure PLA approval and signatures from the director of your proposed overseas program (Away Site Supervisor) and Program Director. Once completed, the approved PLA should be submitted to the GME office for final approval.
  • Complete the International Waiver and submit this to your Program Coordinator, to be submitted together with the PLA to the GME office
  • Submit your ‘Off Campus Authorization’ (OCA) application
  • Register all equipment and supplies going with you overseas, including computers or other technology, with the OHSU Office of Export Compliance https://www4.visualcompliance.com/vtsp/vt_logon.cfm . For questions, contact Jen McCaw, Export Compliance Officer, mccaw@ohsu.edu . We recommend doing this at the time that your PLA is submitted, as this can hold up the final approval for your OCA and PLA


4 months

  • Check with your Away Site Supervisor or supporting OHSU Global SE Asia Faculty about the overseas program and confirm your role, responsibilities, and learning objectives. Review dates of travel, in-county transportation and housing with Away Site Supervisor.
  • For medical students, the SoM requires completion of an International Away Elective form, which can be found in the OHSU Student Portal under the Form section. If you have questions, contact Dr. Tomo Ito via email at itot@ohsu.edu . Obtain your faculty advisor’s signature and submit to Dr. Ito for further SoM approval. This form must also be uploaded during the OCA application process.
  • A letter of invitation from your Away Site Supervisor and/or the host university or hospital can be invaluable when you arrive at immigration. You should check with program faculty to see if it would be appropriate and/or helpful to request this document from your host institution. Students only: A copy of this letter should be turned in to the UME office of your school and uploaded during the OCA application process.
  • Complete Off Campus Authorization (OCA) application, which is found on the Risk Management website http://oca.ohsu.edu/. This is one of the most important steps in the process and must be completed at least six to eight weeks in advance of travel, but ideally further in advance. SoM students must complete this themselves.
  • Register all equipment and supplies going with you overseas, including computers or other technology, with the OHSU Office of Export Compliance https://www4.visualcompliance.com/vtsp/vt_logon.cfm. For questions, contact Jen McCaw, Export Compliance Officer, mccaw@ohsu.edu.
    • For students only: You will see a link to the export control application in the OCA interface. We recommend you complete both applications at the same time.
    • For residents only: Please ensure that you submit the export control application at least three months in advance of planned travel, ideally at the time that you submit the International Waiver and PLA to the GME office.
  • If you have applied for an OHSU Global SE Asia travel award, check the status of your award request. If additional funding is necessary, consider fundraising from relatives, friends, social and religious organizations.


3 months

  • OHSU recommends using Key Travel for booking flights and more information about them can be found here
  • Another option is Julie’s Travel Desk which is familiar with OHSU Global SE Asia travel preferences yet charges $75 per ticket. Please contact Kim Moore at 503.636.5684 or via email kim@juliestravel.com to discuss your travel needs if support is needed at this cost. 
  • Check to be sure you have received your updated passport and visas. If not, don’t delay.


2 months

  • OHSU medical students should verify whether their current insurance plan covers medical evacuation and repatriation. Some students that are on health plans of their partners and/or other family members may not have this as a benefit and would need to purchase this insurance separately.
  • OHSU students and residents have medical evacuation and repatriation insurance as part of their employee coverage if they have OHSU issued insurance. To access a copy of the medical emergency/evacuation coverage, register your travel through OHSU’s Off-Campus authorization system http://oca.ohsu.edu/. You will receive a copy of your medical evacuation and repatriation insurance policy once your OCA has been approved. If you have not received this by 2 months prior to travel, please email the OCA Risk Office (oca@ohsu.edu)
  • If you have OHSU health insurance, you also have overseas medical coverage included in your policy. If you do not have OHSU health insurance, you need to check with your insurance provider to be sure you have coverage for international travel. If necessary, purchase international medical insurance from an independent provider.


1 month

  • Research options for international cellphone service and Internet access. Best to check with in-country host. Often these plans are significantly cheaper than adding international data to your regular wireless plan. There are also “virtual sim cards” that you can purchase prior to travel with international coverage, that are also significantly discounted.

2 weeks

  • Scan and photocopy the face page of your passport and any required visas. Carry a copy separate from your passport, give a copy to someone at home, and if traveling in a group, give a copy to a fellow traveler. For safety also send a copy to OHSU Global SE Asia ohsuglobal@ohsu.edu.
  • Give a copy of planned itinerary and contact information to a family member or friend at home and to OHSU Global SE Asia.
  • Make copies of your prescription medication labels, medical allergies, credit cards, emergency contacts card, and U.S. health and dental insurance cards and store in a safe place with passport or luggage.
  • Start packing your bags. If packing medicines, supplies and instruments, have an inventory list of each bag’s contents readily available for Customs Clearance, noting which items you will be leaving in the country.
  • Medications cannot be labeled as expired or in some cases be within 6 months of their expiration dates.

Bon voyage!  Have a terrific trip!


Post Travel Debriefings

  • Debrief with your OHSU faculty advisor and OHSU Global SE Asia faculty, including a frank assessment of the overseas rotation and your own personal experience.
  • Take care of yourself! Consider scheduling follow-up counseling at OHSU Student Health or the OHSU Resident & Faculty Wellness Program.