Summer has arrived! You’ve got three months of glorious sunshine and no classes ahead of you. Well, most of you don’t have to worry about studying. For the rest, summer classes are approaching fast. For the most lucky group, you’re packing your bags and preparing to set off to a foreign country.
Studying abroad is one of the greatest opportunities you’ll have in college. If you’re setting off on a study abroad adventure this summer, you’ll want to be completely ready.
Before you step into the unknown, make sure you are physically and mentally ready. Your health probably isn’t your first concern while you plan your trip, but it should be on your mind.
Think about these health related issues before you leave so you won’t have to panic if a medical issue arises while you’re abroad:
You may not have convenient access to doctors or pharmacies in your destination. Visit your physician for a general checkup before you leave. You never know how the traveling conditions will affect your physical and mental health, so it’s a good idea to discuss possible challenges with your doctor.
If you take prescription medicine, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about the chances of getting that medicine while you’re abroad or if you are even allowed to take that medicine with you. You may need to bring extra doses of over the counter medicine, since other countries don’t always have the same medicines available.
Your study abroad program will give you information about immunizations and health records that you need. The CDC traveler’s site has a complete and accurate list so you know you are fully prepared to travel. You’re responsible for having current immunizations. If you’re not sure, a blood test is a convenient way to check on your immunizations. Some countries require HIV tests before travel.
3. Health Insurance
We hope you don’t break a leg or come down with the flu while you’re studying abroad, but we know it happens occasionally! You need special overseas medical insurance to protect yourself from health issues. Your program or school should provide you information about affordable plans that you’ll get before you leave and discontinue when you’re back.
Get Ready for the Time of Your Life!
You have so many details to plan before you hop on the plane, but your health is important. Focusing on your health will help you have an awesome experience- when you don’t have to worry about health and safety issues, you can focus on learning and exploring your new environment!