Representatives from a U.S. Partner organization who travel to visit their International Partner often return with a stronger commitment to the relationship, and a better understanding of their Partner’s needs.
Here are some tips for preparing to visit your International Partner:
- Carefully plan the trip and activities in conjunction with your Partner organization. Agree on the timing and length of the trip and the number of U.S. staff involved so the Partner organization is not overwhelmed.
- Decide whether you will stay in a colleague’s homes or at a hotel. While staying in a Western-style hotel is likely to be more comfortable, staying in a colleague’s home will yield invaluable benefits in building relationships and learning about your Partner organization’s country and culture. If a home stay is not possible, ask for recommendations on lodging; your Partner organization’s staff will be able to recommend a convenient facility.
- Find out from your Partner what kind of social events and other group gatherings your travel team can expect, so you are prepared in advance.
- Discuss the conditions under which home visits will be made. Note that U.S. medical personnel are present to learn from, and consult with, their colleagues, and are not allowed to diagnose or prescribe in many international countries.
- Health precautions necessary for your trip will vary depending on the country in which your Partner organization is located. Find out more about necessary vaccinations and prophylaxis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and at your local travel clinic.
- While in your Partner organization’s country, visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and let them know you are in the country. You might wish to meet with the Public or Cultural Affairs Officers, who are often interested in stories about American visits and the resulting positive publicity they can generate.
- Take photos and share your experiences with your home community (as appropriate). Outlets such as your Facebook page, newsletter, and website provide avenues to share your experience and engage others in your work and that of your Partner organization.
Here are some external links to resources about travelling abroad:
- U.S. State Department
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s travel vaccination website lists the vaccinations needed for international travel