Essential Medical Checklist for Students traveling to the US

July 16, 2021


Covid-19, Documents Checklist, Health Insurance, Indian Students, Medical Checklist, overseas education, study abroad, Study in USA, Travel Insurance

When it comes to health care, no other country can match the medical infrastructure and technological prowess of the United States. Years of investment in research have made it a world leader in the field of medicine. But, maintaining a high standard costs money. Unlike India, health care in the US is very costly. A simple OPD or dental check-up that hardly costs a few hundred rupees in India may cost thousands if not lakhs (in terms of Rupees) in the United States.

Moreover, we presently live in a scenario where medical necessity has become the topmost priority for any nation worldwide. The consistent struggle with COVID-19 seems unstoppable, and the requirement to protect each other has reached sky-high. Now, in this post-pandemic world, things seem a lot more different from what it was like before. Students are going back to resume their dream to study overseas while also leaving behind the comfort of their homes and carrying the fear of a deadly disease spread globally.

Therefore, some extra precaution and keeping oneself medically extra aware does better than harm in times like these. The team of Student Cover brings to you in this blog the essential items to include in your checklist before leaving for the USA. The blog would guide those students going to the US for higher studies to carry these items with them without fail.

Carry Doctor’s Prescription

Certain medicines are not permitted in the US, so carrying a doctor’s prescription and letter will help you clear immigration without any hassle. If you are using any medication, it is highly recommended that you bring only prescribed medicines.

You must also take a copy of your prescription and your doctor’s letter about your medical history. Likewise, if you are undergoing any treatment, carry documents and medicines you currently take but not available in the US.

Carry Prescribed Medicines

Some medicines and brands found in India may not be found in the US. Therefore, one must carry enough of those medicines that one is currently using to last during the entire duration of their stay. To be on the safer side, one should also check online if a generic variant of your medicine for conditions such as Diarrhoea, fever, food poisoning, headache, etc., is available in the US so that they can purchase some in case of urgency.

Also, Since COVID still prevails in many parts of the world, it is essential to check in with a doctor and carry some generic medication with the doctor’s advice along with you in case of any emergency.

Check Your Insurance Policy

Suppose you have purchased health insurance in your home country. In that case, you must check with your insurance provider whether your existing plan is accepted in hospitals and diagnostic labs in that country. You need to make sure that your insurance plan has comprehensive coverage for COVID care too.

If they don’t, you should buy those that do as medical check-ups and diagnoses are very expensive in the United States. Check out Student Cover’s insurance plans as they are accepted all over the US.

You must also check with your insurance provider whether your plan covers pre-existing conditions and whether or not you have to pay extra for such coverage if you decide to undergo treatment in the US.

Getting your Vaccination Done

When the word vaccine comes now, you know it is more essential than carrying your clothes and backpack while traveling overseas. COVID pandemic led to the imposing of travel restrictions by the overseas government, especially for the students from India. However, getting fully vaccinated is the top priority to travel anywhere in the world for whatsoever work. Having proper documents indicating the proof of your vaccine status is necessary to live securely as a student in an overseas destination, especially in the US.

Moreover, several countries don’t allow outsiders not vaccinated against certain diseases such as COVID inside their borders, including the US. It is mandatory for students going to the US on F1 and J1 visas to get themselves either vaccinated or get an immunity certificate from a recognized lab in their country before entering the US.

As these vaccination requirements vary according to age and visa type, you should check the websites of the US Department of Health and the US embassy or consulate office to find out more about vaccinations requirements. Additionally, schools and universities are now demanding immunization or COVID  certificates before giving admission.

It is recommended that you visit the official websites of those colleges to know more about immunization requirements. Some other common conditions against which immunization is demanded are Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Mumps, Measles, and Rubella.

Get a General Check-Up


It would be helpful if you undergo a general check-up a week before leaving for the US. This will help detect any disease or infection the student might have picked in the last few days.

In case any illness or ailment is detected, you can undergo treatment at the earliest. This saves the trouble of undergoing treatment in a foreign country; at a higher cost or, in the worst-case scenario, during travel.


Visit a Dentist and Eye Specialist

Visiting a Dentist is a costly affair in the US and is usually not covered by international health insurance plans. Even those who do offer limited coverage do not include those treatments which fall under preventive health care. Having dental scaling performed on your teeth before leaving for the US would be a good idea.

Besides a dental checkup, it would help get yourself thoroughly checked by an eye specialist. Like dental care, eye check-ups and surgeries are not included in the health insurance plans. Those that do cover have limited coverage, mostly confined to injury or trauma. If you have blurry vision and use glasses or contact lenses, carry an eyesight test record and doctor’s prescription for future reference.

Buy a Travel Cum Medical Insurance

Although not mandatory, travel insurance having decent medical coverage is a must for those traveling to the US. As mentioned earlier, medical treatment is costly in foreign countries, especially the US.

So, having travel cum medical insurance protects a person financially against any unforeseen health complication expenses that may develop during the journey or stay. In addition to a medical emergency, travel insurance also covers any loss of baggage or flight cancellation during transit.


Carrying a Negative RT-PCR Test

Most of the overseas destinations ask foreign travelers to carry an RT-PCR report and a COVID vaccine certificate. Although, according to the new updates from the US government, Indian students are no more required to show proof of their vaccine when they enter the country. But showing RT-PCR reports to the concerned authorities might be essential. So better be careful than sorry while sorting your documents.

Some destinations like Canada have made it mandatory for the students and travelers to carry a negative RT-PCR report which is not older than three days from the day of departure. It is an initiation to look out for the safety of the citizens and the travelers from another country because the danger still persists.


Let’s Wrap Up!

Remember that COVID has still not been wiped out from the face of the truth. Unfortunately, we are still stuck with crisis, and we need to battle with it very smartly. Hence, carry at least 4-5 pairs of clean masks while you travel overseas because even though you got both your shot, the danger persists.

Thus, above are a few essential medical things you must include in your checklist before traveling to the United States. Including these things will make your stay in the United States stress-free and convenient for you will not have to worry about paying for uncovered medical expenses.

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Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of this blog’s content.

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