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Preparation and Planning

Pre-departure recommendations to prepare for a healthy and safe overseas journey.

Make appointments to visit your primary care doctor, eye doctor and dentist. You should obtain copies of all prescriptions for any medications and eyeglasses or contacts. If necessary, you should carry a letter from your physician, which includes a description of any medical conditions, the dosage of prescribed medications, and the generic name of the medicine. This information can assist medical authorities during an emergency. Also know that some common medicines that are prescribed in the U.S. to treat depression and anxiety may be considered controlled substances in other countries.  If you are taking any medications you should consult the embassy or Consulate of the country that you will be visiting about any special arrangements that must be made in order to bring the medication into the country. You must plan ahead to take care of your own pharmaceutical needs and consult with a physician on these matters. If you have any special allergies, you should plan to wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace and carry an identification card to inform overseas health care personnel in the event of an accident or injury.

Share any health related concerns with the OEA, your program provider, host university or faculty program coordinator. It is recommended that you describe any allergies, disabilities, psychological treatments, dietary requirements and medical needs so that adequate arrangements can be made. Resources and services for people with disabilities vary widely by country and region, so if you have a disability or special need you should disclose this information so that reasonable accommodations can be made.Any information shared with the OEA will be used by Program Providers and/or Resident Director to help make preparations, but will otherwise remain confidential.

Check your Health Insurance policy. All Villanova students are required to be covered by international health insurance while they are studying abroad.

Remember, going abroad is not a magic "geographic cure" for any concerns and problems you may be facing at home. Both physical and emotional health issues will follow you wherever you go. In particular, if you are concerned about the use of alcohol and other controlled drugs, or if you have had any physical or emotional health concerns, please address these concerns honestly before planning to travel abroad. Contrary to many people's expectations, travel does not minimize these problems; in fact, being away from home can often bring these types of issues to a crisis stage.

Make a Copy of the Picture Page of your Passport and Visa (if applicable). Leave a copy with your family and email a copy to the OEA.  Also, carry a copy or two along with you when you travel. File these copies away from your passport in case it is lost or stolen.

Register your trip details with the US State Department (US Citizens).

Research your host country's culture and understand the differences in laws. Also become familiar with the local emergency number (911 equivalent) and the procedures for obtaining emergency health and law enforcement services in the host country.

Call International SOS with any pre-trip health or safety related questions.

Follow the local news to understand issues that may affect your time abroad.

Develop a plan for regular communication with your family in the US so that in times of heightened political tensions or local incidents, you will be able to communicate directly with your family about your safety and well-being.

Purchase an Insurance Plan to cover your personal property. Items such as laptops and cellphones should be placed under a homeowners policy or a special personal property insurance. If lost or stolen, University laptops may be subject to replacement fees of up to $1000.

Contact Us!

Office of Education Abroad

Villanova University
Top Floor, Garey Hall
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610-519-6412
Fax: 610-519-7649

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Take the first step: Register for an Information Session

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