As you begin creating your checklist of things to do before you begin your study abroad adventure, one of the things that should be top of mind is your health. From vaccinations to specialist care to just a general checkup, be ready to spend some time in the doctor’s office before you go. It’s important to get things checked out and taken care of before departing, especially if you are going to a country or region that has less advanced medical care than yours.
1. Physical And General Checkup
Getting a physical before you leave is a good first step to ensure your body is physically healthy. You should also go into your general practitioner for a general checkup to evaluate the state of your health and ask any questions. If there’s something wrong, the doctor will hopefully catch it and make you aware of the problem. This helps ensure you won’t have any nasty health surprises while away from home.
Getting a dental cleaning and checkup before you go is also something you need to do. While there’s always a chance you’ll have a dental emergency while abroad, such as a broken crown or a cracked tooth, you can certainly take action to prevent other conditions. Visit a dental professional, like those at Family 1st Dental, to have your teeth checked and any problems fixed before you leave.
3. Any Necessary Vaccines
Depending on where you will be studying abroad, it might be recommended or required you receive vaccines that are not standard in your country. You will need to make an appointment at a location that administers these vaccines in order to get them. For the sake of your health and that of others, you should always take all required and recommended vaccinations before going abroad.
4. Specialist Exams
If you have a chronic condition that needs to be managed, it’s best to check in with any specialists you regularly see to get medications refilled, any relevant advice for managing your condition in a foreign environment or even to have a procedure done. For example, if you have foot problems, seeing your podiatrist for an exam and some last minute advice regarding your activities in the country you will be staying might be worth it.
A final important thing you must do before going abroad is get health insurance figured out. Generally your program will help get this sorted out for you or at least point you in the right direction. While you will have a lot on your mind when preparing to go abroad, it’s really important to get your health taken care of so you can enjoy your time abroad with peace of mind.
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2