Health Preparedness

To prepare for your health and well-being abroad, we recommend that you do the following before leaving:

1. Contact your health care provider(s) to obtain a copy of your medical records to carry abroad with you, including the following:

  • Personal health history
  • Updated problem list
  • Medication list
  • Recent physical
  • Immunization record
  • Hospitalizations—including the history and physical and the discharge summary

2. Health Information is collected from students prior to departure to help both students and staff prepare for their time abroad and a sample of the form is provided for reference.  The form will be completed in the student's study abroad portal.

3. If you currently receive treatment for an on-going medical concern, you should consider scheduling an appointment with a health care provider at your site (where available) before going in order to avoid a lapse in care as you wait for appointment availability.  You may contact the advisor of your School Abroad to begin this process.

4. If you are currently taking any prescription medication, you should talk to your health care provider and/or insurance company about the following:

  • Taking a copy of the prescription with you abroad that also indicates the generic name of the drug (not the U.S. brand name) and information concerning the use of the medication
  • Prescribing enough to last you for the duration of your stay abroad (not all will do this, especially for controlled substances)
  • Getting your insurance to cover the entire amount (some may only cover one month at a time, but you may be able to talk to them about reimbursements each month)
  • The feasibility of taking your prescription medication into your host country (different countries have different classifications for drugs and what may be perfectly legal with a prescription in the US may present problems if you try to take it into a foreign country)

In other countries, many drugs are available over the counter, without prescriptions, that are not generally available in the U.S. Make sure that you are aware of the ingredients of any medications you purchase and be aware of any complications or drug interactions that might occur if you take them.