Health & Medical Concerns

Living and learning in a different environment can add additional stress on a person’s mind and body. The emotional effects of dealing with a new lifestyle can cause anxiousness, confusion, and discouragement. As a result, you could experience very severe mood swings that can be very stressful. If you take proper care of yourself, you will be more capable of adjusting to your surroundings.

It is important that you are honest about your health status when you are applying for a study aboard program. Let OIES know if you have any allergies, disabilities, dietary requirements, and medical needs so that the necessary arrangements can be made. You are advised to wear a medical alert bracelet overseas if you have a medical condition that is not easily recognized. If you have a medical condition (i.e. asthma) that could be aggravated by conditions abroad, discuss with your doctor ways to deal with the problem before you leave the United States.

You must complete a medical form to ensure that you are in good health before you depart. Take copies of your important health records, as well as, prescriptions (medication and eyewear) with you. It might be a good idea to take an extra pair of glasses.


You are advised to determine whether any immunizations are required for the country you will be visiting early on in the process. Make sure your tetanus shot is current, and consider a vaccination for Hepatitis A when traveling to areas where the risk is high. For information, contact the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website at The CDC also has an International Traveler’s Hotline (404) 332-4559 where you can obtain current information about the country you will be visiting.

It is important to bring a medical kit so that you have the supplies you may need at a moment’s notice. Here is a list of items you should include in your kit:

  • Band-Aids
  • Cold/cough/allergy symptom relief
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Pain/fever relief
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • Sunscreen

International Health Insurance

All students are required to purchase the SUNY International Health Insurance prior to leaving the United States. Most health insurances are not sufficient for overseas traveling. For more information, please contact