While it is common for college students to experience stress while on campus, it is important to know that studying abroad may compound this stress due to the natural challenges of living and studying in a foreign country/culture. This page offers students advice on how to prepare for their study abroad experience as well as how to access counseling services while abroad.
Preparing to Study Abroad
Students who participate in regular counseling to help manage stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions should plan ahead for their semester abroad:
- Meet with your counselor before your departure and discuss strategies to help you navigate your condition while you are abroad. What tips does your counselor recommend should you experience stressors while abroad? View Counseling services.
- Syracuse Abroad can also assist students in connecting with an English-speaking counselor prior to and after a student’s departure. While abroad, students can contact a staff member at their center location.
- Speak to your health insurance company about coverage for mental health services overseas. You will likely need to pay for services upfront and submit your receipt for reimbursement if your insurance company covers these services.
- If you take medication, plan ahead to bring enough for your entire semester abroad. Your specific medication may not be available or not available in the same dosage abroad. You should not plan to receive medication via mail. It may take time to work with your doctor and your health insurance company, so start this process early.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call the local emergency number (equivalent to 911) provided to you at your on-site orientation. If you have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, or are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, 24-hour emergency support services are available to all students. Please call the local 24-hour emergency number, which will be provided to you at your on-site orientation upon your arrival. Syracuse Abroad center staff are ready to provide immediate assistance during times of crisis. You can always call the Syracuse Abroad home office if during regular business hours (315) 443-3471 or if outside business hours, Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (315) 443-2224.
While Syracuse Abroad center locations do not have counseling centers on-site, staff at the centers can refer students to English-speaking counselors in the local community. It is common for students studying abroad to experience stress, home sickness, and other forms of culture shock. Syracuse Abroad center staff will be happy to speak with you and provide you with a counseling referral.
An emergency can occur anytime. In some instances of severe emotional disturbance, an immediate response is necessary for the well-being of the student or others. In an emergency, students currently abroad should call the respective Syracuse Abroad emergency phone number. Family members in the states should contact the Syracuse Abroad home office, (315) 443-3471 if during regular business hours. If outside business hours, call Syracuse University Department of Safety (315) 443-2224.
Helping a Friend or Student
Students or faculty may worry that their friend/student is experiencing difficulty coping with stress and/or other mental health conditions while abroad. We encourage students and faculty to speak to a Syracuse Abroad staff member and/or refer the student to seek assistance.