Health & Safety
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Health Abroad

Before departure, be sure to get the appropriate immunizations and preventative prescriptions as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and/or your physician. Some countries require or recommend vaccinations or other special inoculations/medications prior to your arrival or during your time abroad. These may need to be spread out over a series of months, so look into this as early as possible. If you have any questions regarding medical matters, you should check with your doctor.

If you are taking any prescription medication, check with the embassy of the country to which you are going to see what the laws are for importing your prescription medication. There may be restrictions on the amount you can bring into the country when you enter and/or your medication may or may not be legal abroad. USAC is not able to give you specific answers as to which medications will or will not be allowed into other countries. We encourage you to start this research as soon as possible. Generally, you should bring a sufficient supply to carry you through the duration of your stay. If you have any questions regarding medical matters, you should check with your doctor. Medicine that is mailed may be stopped at customs. Always carry prescription drugs in the original container with a label showing your name, the instructions for use, as well as the name and dosage of the medication.

Ask for copies of your prescription(s) in case you need refills abroad. Ask your doctor to write the generic name, list the active and inactive ingredients, and the purpose of any essential drug you may be taking. The name of the drug may be different in a foreign country, but having the generic name for the active and inactive ingredients will help you to find the equivalent medicine, if needed. The FDA also maintains a database of drug names searchable by brand name, generic name, and active ingredient. Some prescriptions may need to be translated if you wish to fill them while abroad.

If you wear disposable contact lenses, bring enough to last the entire stay. If you wear glasses, consider bringing an extra pair or carrying your vision prescription.

Information on contraception may be more difficult to get overseas than in the US. If you anticipate needing birth control while abroad, you should consider taking it with you.

Please refer to the health information you receive prior to departure via your Student Gateway account.