Become Familiar With Your Local Doctor

You should receive a comprehensive on-site orientation once you arrive at your host institution. The on-site contact should direct to you the most appropriate place for you to seek medical treatment. If this information is not provided to you, ask. You will be in a much better situation if you know in advance where to go for help if you should fall ill. It can be the worst feeling to be ill and not know where to go to get help.



Students are encouraged to have a regular dental check-up prior to departure. Many oral complications can be treated and prevented by taking recommended precautions.


Common Health Complaints

The kinds of health problems most often experienced by travelers are diarrhea, sexually transmitted diseases, and injuries suffered while under the influence of alcohol and /or drugs. Luckily, these kinds of health problems can be avoided with a little forethought on your part. Bring Immodium AD or Pepto Bismol with you and take precautions against sexually transmitted diseases if you are going to be sexually active overseas.

As you know, alcohol and drugs impair the ability to function clearly. Impaired abilities combined with unfamiliar locations have caused numerous tragedies to student travelers in the last few years. In some countries, alcohol and tobacco may be stronger than in the United States. In addition, drugs may be available which are illegal in the U.S., or the drinking age may be lower or non-existent. Or, on the other hand, anti-drug laws may be much more strict than in the U.S., and the penalties more severe. Therefore, it is imperative that you exercise good judgment and behave responsibly.


General Health Tips

Below are some general tips to help you stay safe. For more information, visit the website for the Center for Disease Control at

  • Bring remedies for common illnesses such as headaches, colds, diarrhea, upset stomach, allergies, and sinus problems.

  • Communicate with your Faculty Director if you are feeling ill. If after a day or two your condition does not improve, make arrangements to see a doctor. Your on-site contact will be able to refer to you the nearest doctor.

  • In the event of an accident or injury, inform your Faculty Director immediately.

  • Staying active is important to maintaining your health. Exercise can provide a release from culture shock and the added stress of adjusting to a new environment. Consider planning some sort of exercise into your daily routine.


Page last modified November 7, 2012