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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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Safety Tips for KU Spring Break

Spring break starts next week for college students at the University of Kansas. From sandy beaches to the comfort of “home sweet home” students are packing their bags and getting a much-needed break from classes. Whatever you are doing for spring break, just remember that there are simple things you can do to keep yourself safe while still having fun.

This spring break remember that safety and fun can go together!

The Buddy System

It doesn’t matter how “grown up” you are now, as a good rule of thumb, anytime you go out and plan to drink, you should always take a friend, especially if you are a woman. Having a sidekick with you makes you less of a target for someone who may have ill intentions. If you are leaving the country, this piece of advice is vital.

Watch your Drink

Now more than ever drugs are being slipped into drinks even while they are being held. Just a quick distraction or even setting the drink down for a moment could be dangerous.

In contrast to popular belief, men are just as susceptible to drugs being slipped into their drink as women. Drugs that are slipped into a person’s drink come in a variety of forms, but most are used with the intent of making the person black out.

Synthetic Drugs

There now are mixtures of legal herbs on the market that mimic real drugs such as marijuana. These synthetic drugs, such as K2 Spice, can actually be very harmful and dangerous.

If you are on spring break and someone offers you a synthetic drug, be aware that while it may be legal, the side effects could be incredibly dangerous. Especially if you are out of the United States it would not be wise to try a synthetic drug.

Safety in Bed

Unfortunately young people, ages 15-24, have a higher risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease than any other age group. With a statistic so high, taking the right steps towards sexual safety is imperative.

Get Tested

Let’s face it, no one hopes or even expects to be one of the statistics. But, if you have been sexually active in the past you should get tested for having a sexually transmitted disease. You will never know if you are putting another person at risk until you get yourself tested.

Ask your Partner

Regardless of how long you have known a person, you should always ask them if they have gotten tested. Sure, they may give you their sexual history upfront, but if they haven’t gotten tested, you won’t fully know your potential risks.

During spring break, the chance of being promiscuous with someone you barely know is higher. Even in these circumstances asking the hard questions is key. The choice between a one night stand and having a disease for the rest of your life should be an easy one.

As you begin to pack your bags and say hello to sunny shores, remember that the choices you make now could affect your future down the road. Be safe and make wise choices this spring break!