Preparing to Teach English Abroad: Vaccinations

Preparing to Go Checklist Vaccinations

Remember, prevention is better and more cost-effective than a cure. The vaccinations you need to get depend on:

  1. Your age
  2. Any medical or health problems you have
  3. The countries you plan to visit
  4. The kind of travel you will be doing

Before you travel outside of Canada, make sure these vaccinations are up-to-date:

  • Measles
  • Polio (still exists in Asia and Africa)
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria (every 10 years)

Refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada and/or the World Health Organization's latest edition of International Travel and Health (WHO) to receive current vaccination guidelines for your desired ESL teaching destination.

Depending where you are going you may also need vaccinations against:


Cholera exists in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. Be very careful about the water you drink and the food you eat. Do not rely on the vaccination alone. This infection can give you a very bad case of diarrhea. As a result, your body may get very dehydrated and you could go into shock.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is the most common disease among travellers that can be prevented by vaccine. It is spread through food and water and on people’s hands. It exists in hot, tropical climates. One shot of the vaccine will protect you for 6-12 months. If you get a booster after the first shot, you will probably be protected for the rest of your life.

Yellow Fever

This disease exists in Africa, South and Central American countries, and in several Caribbean islands. It is spread through mosquitoes. When you travel to or from a place where yellow fever exists, you may need to have a certificate saying you got the vaccine. The vaccine will protect you for 10 years and the certificate is valid for 10 years.