In this section, we provide you with some helpful information about:
If you need to seek medical treatment, please be sure to seek care appropriately for the condition and situation. Here are a few common ways to seek treatment:
To learn more about seeking care appropriately, please visit the Seeking Treatment section of your Student Zone.
As with anything, we ask you to use your judgment when needing to seek treatment. If your condition is not severe, you can use Telemedicine, or visit a local doctor or urgent care center. If you feel you need immediate attention, please do not delay and go straight to the Emergency Room.
Conditions related to change in surroundings or situation affects the health of many international travelers. Changes in the level of stress related to the new surroundings, pressures to learn a new language, changes in diet or environmental factors such as heat/cold/pollen often lead to fatigue, headaches and stomach-aches. This certainly applies to international exchange participants.
Diet A change in diet can affect your health & feeling of wellness. Recognize that in addition to making certain that you receive the proper nutrition, it may be wise to maintain a diet similar to what you are accustomed. This is particularly true if you have adopted a faster pace, and rely more on fast-food restaurants and vending machines. If your diet at home has been primarily vegetables, rice, beans or fish, a switch to the red meats and fatty foods that are common at fast food restaurants can cause stomach problems. Finally, a healthy diet is highly recommended to assist the body’s immune system fight illnesses.
Stress The beginning of any new exchange program can be an extremely stressful experience. There are pressures of adapting to the new environment and uncertain expectations. Your exchange organization offices often serve as transitional support for students dealing with personal issues such as stress and adjusting to new circumstances. International exchange has been aptly presented as both an opportunity and a challenge. You need to be aware of how the resources are made available to meet these challenges.
Safety Personal safety is a concern anywhere and at anytime but it does become more of a concern when living abroad. Without being fully aware of one's new surroundings, you may not be aware of new risks associated with your new home and the precautions needed to protect yourself and your property. These concerns vary by location, but in general, the main worries are associated with personal safety, sexual assault, protection of personal property, racial / religious hate crimes or bigotry and safety issues associated with driving (whether autos or bicycles).
One of your first tasks of adjusting to your new home is to become acquainted with new surroundings and the challenges it may present. You should be certain to check with your Advisor or Public Safety office to help in your safety assessment of your new home and to get safety tips.
Substance Abuse The problem of substance abuse affects many involved in exchange activities. The causes vary. Sometimes it is associated with the stress of a new environment or the pressures associated with a new language. Sometimes it develops from the independence or choice presented by their new living situation.