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PARTICIPANT: Health & Safety

Preparation Before You Go:

Through Study Abroad Advising you have prepared for your academic, personal, and professional goals, as well as program finances related to your program. It is also important to review health & safety considerations specific to you and your host country. To have a productive experience, be honest with yourself about all of these issues, putting your health & safety a priority.  
  • Attend the required Study Abroad Orientation 
    • Study Abroad Orientation is mandatory. The date, time and location are determined far in advance and posted for participants to take off from work, notify supervisors, and rearrange plans if necessary. This orientation is crucial to prepare participants for going abroad and is required for all participants.
    • Note: Family, friends, and significant others are encouraged to attend the orientation with you, but not for you. 
  • Sign up for international health insurance
  • Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  • Review the Health & Safety web resources
ASSESS AND ADDRESS YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS:
  1. On your application you disclosed and communicated to an IPS Education Abroad Advisor of your known physical or emotional/mental health conditions, including medical or environmental allergies and dietary requirements, and prescription medication. Update the office of any changes. 
  2. Reflect on any health requirements you may have to ensure that your specific needs can be prepared for and addressed. 
  3. Schedule health exams whether or not your program requires them to ensure any existing concerns can be address prior to participation. Consider making appointments for the following: 
    • Annual physical exam 
    • Prescription updates 
    • Vision check-up 
    • Dental check-up 
    • Gynecological exam 
  4. Do you have a disability that could require accommodations in order for you to be successful in the classroom, at your placement, or while traveling? Some countries may not have accommodations available for certain disabilities, so do your research well in advance.  
  5. Will you be comfortable with the daily physical challenges of some locations such as walking long distances, uneven terrain, or others? 
  6. Will you need to bring your prescription medication into your host country? Some medication is not allowed through certain countries’ customs and may place restrictions on certain medication or amounts. Make sure you have a backup plan in case medication is lost or stolen but do not assume that you can ship medication to your host country. 
  7. Do you have any dietary restrictions that will need to be considered? Some regions present more dietary challenges than others. Be sure to do research on your host city to be sure you can access the foods you need to maintain your diet and/or lifestyle.  
  8. Are you currently receiving any counseling or therapy services that you will need to continue abroad? If so, find out f you will have access to these services in your host country. Work with your counselor to create a plan for the length of your study abroad term.  
  9. Understand what is included on your international health insurance plan. What are you covered for?
FINDING RESOURCES AND RESEARCHING YOUR DESTINATION: 
  1. Seek out literature and other resources regarding your host location. 
  2. Access the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control web resources for up-to-date information on and health advisories.  
  3. Learn about all of the required or recommended immunization/vaccinations for your host destination.  
  4. Research the larger known risks including news of disease, food and water safety, and others.  
  5. Identify areas in the country, region, or host city where it may not be safe to visit.  
  6. Familiarize yourself with local laws. 
  7. Research cultural norms or socially accepted behavior.
  8. What is the current political and security climate in your host country? 
  9. Is your sexual orientation or identity a cause for concern in your host destination? Familiarize yourself with both the laws and attitudes in your host country.  

Preparation While Abroad:

  • Complete the following items on your Portal
    • Arrival Confirmation
    • Provide your Local Emergency Contact Information
    • Submit: Return Flight Itinerary (if you did not provide previously)
  • Check in with your friends and family

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