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Think about the environment you will be living in while abroad and find out if there are any health precautions you can take before you leave. See your doctor/personal practitioner before you leave, get a physical, complete foreseeable dental work, and consider your psychological stability.

  • Make sure you receive all required vaccinations before you leave. Note that some vaccinations are given in a series of shots administered weeks or months apart, so please do not leave this until the last minute.
  • Obtain enough of all prescription medications that you require for the duration of your program, and make sure to keep them in their original containers with the pharmacy label clearly stating your name and the prescribing doctor’s name. It is also advisable to take a note from your physician stating the medicine you are taking, its dosage, its generic name, and the condition being treated.
  • Make sure you inform your program contact of any medical conditions for which you might require care or special accommodations while you are abroad (for example diabetes, epilepsy, severe allergies, etc.).
  • Make sure you have supplemental travel insurance; leave a copy of your policy with your parents and another copy with the Coordinator of Study Abroad and Student Exchange.
  • Make sure you have completely filled out your Medical Information Form and file it with the Coordinator of Study Abroad and Student Exchange (as applicable).
  • Know the local conditions that you will encounter while abroad, and consider how this will affect you. Is the weather extreme? Are there common allergens you need to worry about? Does the local diet present any difficulties for you? Is the water safe to drink? Have there been any recent epidemics?
  • As a matter of both health and safety, avoid overindulging while abroad, and absolutely refrain from using any illegal substances.
  • Carry information about blood type and important medical conditions on your person.
  • Carry your medical insurance card with you at all times.

To find out about health issues in your host country, visit the Centers for Disease Control.  This site will also list the vaccinations needed prior to arrival.

Disclosure of medical conditions and/or disabilities

The social and cultural changes associated with studying abroad can put students under a great deal of physical and emotional stress, aggravating existing conditions. For this reason, we strongly encourage students to disclose any and all medical, physical, psychological, and/or dietary conditions that may require special accommodation while abroad. Such information will be kept strictly confidential, released only to the head of the program and any necessary health care professionals should such a need arise.

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