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I. Disclosure
Be sure to let your program provider/program director know if you have any special medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, allergies, etc.), and how they can help you in an emergency.

If you have a documented learning, physical, or emotional disability, it is in your best interest to disclose this information to your program director well in advance so they can help you arrange for accommodations. Any information you share will be kept confidential.

II. Medication
If you take prescribed medication, take enough with you for the duration of your program and carry it in its original labeled container. It is not advised to have medicine shipped to you (it may be seized at customs), and you may not be able to acquire the same medicine abroad. Carry a letter from your doctor stating your prescription including the brand and generic names, your dosage, what it looks like, and its purpose.

Some medications which are legal in the U.S. are illegal in other countries – you should research this ahead of time.

Know the generic name of any medication you normally take. Brand names may differ overseas (e.g. Acetaminophen vs. Tylenol, which is a brand name in the U.S. only).

If your medication is time-sensitive, be sure to speak with your doctor about how best to adjust your dosage during your overseas flight and new time zone.

III. General advice
Research hospitals and specialists in your host city ahead of time. Some insurance companies can provide you with recommended doctors and hospitals. You can also ask the U.S. Embassy in your host country for a list. Finally, your program director should also have this information.

If you have a health condition such as Celiac’s disease, allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, etc., you can print and carry cards with a translation of your condition, dietary needs, etc. in your local language. You may be able to find these online, or you can contact EIIA (Davidson's international emergency travel assistance insurance under which you are covered during your term abroad).

The U.S. State Department has created a web site specifically for students going abroad including helpful information regarding your health.

Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for required and recommended vaccines for your host country (and any you plan to visit).

Take care of yourself. Drink enough water, get enough rest, and eat a balanced diet. This will go a long way in keeping you healthy!

Just as at home, you should stay away from risky behavior.
  • If you’re of legal drinking age, use alcohol in moderation.
  • NEVER abuse drugs.
  • If sexually active, do not engage in unprotected sex. It is advisable to bring contraception from home.
Assemble a small first aid kit to take with you.

For females, you may want to bring feminine hygiene products from home, as these items (as you are used to them) are not necessarily used in all countries.

IV. Insurance
You will be covered under Davidson’s insurance policy with EIIA for the duration of your term abroad. Detailed information regarding this policy will be sent to your Davidson email address before the term ends. You also may be covered under another insurance policy if you are studying with a partner provider program. Be sure to review all health insurance information with your parents or guardians.

If you need to seek medical treatment abroad, you should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for the services you receive and then submit a claim form to EIIA for reimbursement. Please see the EIIA Medical Reimbursement Claim Form or the EIIA Trip Cancelation or Interruption Claim Form for a step-by-step guide to submitting a claim.

You should contact your U.S. health insurance company to see if they also will provide coverage abroad. DO NOT cancel your U.S. insurance policy while you’re abroad. In case you need to return to the U.S. for medical reasons, this will become your primary insurance. Also, if you have any pre-existing conditions it is to your benefit not to cancel your insurance.

International Student Identity Cards (ISIC) come with basic insurance. These are available for purchase online and may be required by certain programs.

Last modified 11/17/2020

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