Staying Healthy While Studying Abroad | Top Universities

Staying Healthy While Studying Abroad

By Piotr Łuczak

Updated January 29, 2019 Updated January 29, 2019

When preparing to study abroad, it is important to think about your health and wellbeing. You’re probably already busy enough thinking about reading lists, orientation events, and how on earth you’re going to squeeze your entire life into just a few suitcases.

But before you say your goodbyes, it’s worth spending some time finding out about the health and support services available in your chosen destination.

After all – whether you’re on the other side of the world, or just a train journey away – there’s nothing worse than feeling rotten when you’re away from home, especially if you don’t know where to turn for help.

If this all sounds a bit ‘doom and gloom’, then rest assured – your student experience is likely to be a happy and healthy one! However, you (and your family) need to know you’re prepared in case anything does go wrong, and that support is available to make sure you have the best time possible.

If you’re studying in your home country, this is less of an issue, but you’ll still need to find out about any on-campus services, which local doctor you can register with, and where you should go in case of an emergency.

If you’re studying abroad, a bit more student healthcare research may be needed.

What local health services are available, and how can you access them? In many cases, international students are required to purchase health insurance, so you’ll need to check out different plans, and make sure you’ll be able to access treatment quickly if you need it.

More generally, it’s worth finding out what health care support services are available at the university. You may feel ready for anything, but starting university is a huge change, and (no matter what anyone tells you) all students have their ‘wobbly’ moments.

It may be that you feel homesick, or just overwhelmed by all the new information, experiences and people you’re encountering. Later on in your degree, you could find yourself struggling to keep on top of your workload, or having difficulty coping with exams stress.

All of these are completely normal, and the university will have both staff and students who are able, willing and available to help you deal with any of these issues.

It’s also pretty much guaranteed that at some point you’ll face more practical kinds of problems. Maybe you need to renew your visa, or could use some help finding accommodation. Or perhaps your financial situation isn’t as strong as you’d expected. Again, there are people who can help, and the solution may be just an email or phone call away.

This article was originally published in October 2012 . It was last updated in January 2019

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