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Traveling Abroad? Have your Vaccinations?

One of the greatest things about living the college lifestyle is the ability to roam free and travel. Many take trips on summer vacation, and others go all out and study abroad. And as our world continues to become more and more interconnected, this type of travel and working abroad will only continue.

While it’s one thing to have the idea that you want to travel abroad, making that happen can be a whole other ballgame. Once you get the thought in your head, you’ll want to make sure you have things all planned out before you hop on the plane and go to a different country.

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Before you book your flight, make sure you have the proper paperwork and documents you’ll need to travel abroad!

If you’re trying to come up with a list of what you’ll need – here are a few things to think through:

  • Passport – you’ll need a U.S. passport if you want to leave the country (or should we say get back in.) It’s best to go ahead and get one now anyway, especially if you have plans to go to Mexico over Spring Break in the near future. You can go to the post office to get a passport application. They cost around $100-$125.
  • Visa – in order to visit another country, you might need a visa from that country. You don’t need a U.S. Visa to travel abroad, but depending on where you’re going – you might need a visa for the country you’re trying to get into. There are various types of visas – for traveling, business, students, etc. Look through each country’s visa requirements to determine which one you need. NOT ALL COUNTRIES ARE THE SAME!
  • Immunization records – Some countries are very strict about immunizations. They will not let you cross their border if you’ve not has proper immunizations (or in some cases you cannot enter if you have certain diseases, for example HIV.) Before you book your flight plans, it might be best to be tested for any diseases (or STDs.) Also, labs like ARCpoint Labs can test your blood if you don’t know if you’re up-to-date on vaccinations.

These are three of the “basics” you’ll need to look into when traveling abroad. And this doesn’t even mention the travel arrangements. Just remember that it’s a big (and very different) world out there, and one of the best things you can do is to pre-plan your trip in order to stay healthy and safe. Enjoy being a college student and experiencing the world – there’s a lot out there to see!

Planning to go abroad and have no idea about your vaccinations?

Call ARCpoint Labs in Lawrence today.


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College Students: Stay Safe this Summer

Summer is finally upon us! Many around the KU campus are packing up and heading home, resting up after a long semester and grueling week of finals. While some choose to stay around Lawrence and take summer classes, many of you are heading home for summer jobs and internships.

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College students, be careful this summer.

While you may take a break from school and classes over summer, you typically don’t take a break from one another. Guys and gals will be hanging out this summer. And the outcome? Let’s just say embarrassing Facebook posts and funny stories told to your future kids won’t be unlikely. While “living it up” during the last few college years seems like a blast, make sure you play it safe in a few important areas:

Practice Safe Sex or Abstinence

We’ve blogged about STDs before and how they’re not just a teenage problem. One in four on a college campus has an STD, so be careful if you’re in a relationship this summer that gets sexually active. Your birth control pills may prevent pregnancy but they won’t prevent you getting an STD. Usually condoms can prevent their exchange. If you’ve been with someone with an STD or suspect you might have one, get an STD test.

Don’t Drink Too Much

Actually, if you’re 21, avoid drinking all together. And if you’re over 21, watch your alcohol consumption. Not only because the people you hope to hire you in a few years will be checking your Facebook for those crazy pictures, but also your future job may require mandated alcohol testing. Don’t pick up bad habits now, stay focused on school, and if you’re of age to drink, drink in moderation.

Stay Away from Weed

A study was just released saying teenagers are starting to see marijuana usage as “normal,” and that more have “tried” marijuana over cigarettes. Statistically, 1 in 10 teens smokes weed. You’re a teenager when you enter college, and it’s likely that your teenage habits continue as you get into your 20s. And if you’re not the 1 out of 10, it’s likely that it relates to one of your friends. While you may think smoking weed is no big deal, it’s actually a really big deal. Accident and injury can come from this recreational habit. It can fog your memory and make you fail a drug test. And there is some truth to that whole “gateway drug” thing.

While there’s a whole slew of other risks to watch out for this summer, these are the ones we urge college students to consider this summer. We see a lot at our Lawrence, KS walk-in lab. And even if we don’t see you this summer while you’re on break, know that we’re still thinking about you and hope you’re playing it safe.