Medical Care Abroad

Medical History Questionnaire

Each semester Syracuse Abroad has students in our programs with medical and health requirements. You have the opportunity to notify  Syracuse Abroad Student Services of such disclosures by completing your post-acceptance Medical History online questionnaire.

The  Student Services team will work with you directly on ensuring you are adequately prepared prior to departure, and can assist with answering questions about identifying local available resources for your planned time abroad. This may include medication preparations or facilitating ongoing support abroad via International SOS Assistance, a medical advisory service of which all students receive a membership as part of their program fee.  While the Syracuse Abroad Medical History questionnaire is voluntary, we invite you to disclose your needs so that we can work together to come up with a plan for addressing your health and any continued needs while abroad.

Prescription Medications

If you are on regular medications, please contact your prescribing physician to ensure you have enough to get you through the duration of your time overseas. Do not mail medication overseas. You should contact International SOS for information and rules governing the transportation of medication in the country(ies) where you will be traveling.

As with all prescribed medicines you should:

  • Bring your medication in the original containers
  • Bring a prescription from your physician which provides the generic breakdown and dosages
  • Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
  • Do not mail prescription medication

A special note for Florence students with ADD/ADHD: Medications used to treat ADHD (Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta) cannot be purchased or prescribed in Italy. If you use one of these medications, you must bring enough with you for the whole semester.

Diets and Allergies

Syracuse Abroad needs to know about any special dietary requirements or allergies that may impact your living arrangements, and program-sponsored travel. For example, allergies to pets or cigarette smoke, or special diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, or kosher diets) are important disclosures to share. Though not all dietary needs can be fully met, the staff will make an effort to accommodate them when possible. Disclose this information when completing your Medical History questionnaire. As a reminder, you will also want to indicate this on your housing questionnaire, both located on your OrangeAbroad portal.

It is not always possible to provide households that are fully vegetarian or totally smoke-free. Whenever you can, be prepared to be flexible.

Allergy Shots

If you regularly receive allergy shots and must continue treatment while you are overseas, please contact our local staff upon arrival. The center staff will help you select a local doctor and will arrange to refrigerate your serum, if necessary. If possible, bring enough serum for your entire semester abroad.

Allergy Shots (England)

Most general practitioners within the British National Health System will not administer allergy shots. You may be able to receive allergy shots from a private practitioner, provided you bring your serum and the necessary medical documentation from your personal physician, such as your prescription and case notes.

Private care in Britain can be quite expensive. In the past, students on our London program have had to pay as much as 70 pounds per injection plus the cost of a private consultation, easily as much as 100 pounds. If you must take allergy shots while in London, please follow these guidelines:

  • Bring your medication in its original containers and a copy of your physician’s prescription
  • Bring a reference letter from your physician and a copy of your medical file, or at least the case notes pertaining to your allergy medication
  • Budget for the extra cost of private medical care
  • Contact our staff at the London Center for the names and addresses of private practitioners who will administer allergy shots
  • Check with your medical insurance provider regarding coverage and reimbursement for allergy shots and private care

Dental Care

It’s a good idea to have a dental check-up before you leave for abroad. In an emergency, Syracuse Abroad center staff abroad can provide a list of dentists that students have used in the past.

Finding a Doctor Abroad

During orientation, you will receive information about medical services in your host city. If you get sick or injure yourself, you should contact our local staff immediately; they will help you obtain the medical care you need. Syracuse Abroad centers have a list of English-speaking doctors who have provided services to our students in the past. In Florence, an English-speaking doctor visits the center regularly for student consultations.

Overseas Center Staff Support

If you are studying at one of Syracuse Abroad’s seven overseas centers, you should consult Syracuse Abroad staff about medical referrals to local clinics, hospitals, and specialists. In the case of an emergency, you should contact Syracuse Abroad staff as soon as possible (calling the center’s emergency phone number, if after hours). Once you receive medical attention, you should be able to call your parents/guardians. If you can’t get to a phone, staff can contact your guardians on your behalf. For more information on filing a claim abroad, please refer to our insurance page.

Glasses and Contact Lenses

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, take along an extra pair and bring a copy of your prescription. Contact lenses can be expensive to replace overseas. You might consider bringing a supply of wetting and cleaning solutions, just in case your favorite brand may not be available overseas. It may be possible to use another brand of solution instead; check with your ophthalmologist. If you use an electrical disinfecting unit for soft contacts, you may want to switch to chemicals, since even with a converter the unit may not function well on electrical current in other countries.

Never pack your lenses in checked luggage! If a suitcase goes astray, you don’t want your lenses to be lost as well.

Mental Health While Abroad

Adjusting to a new culture may cause some stress, but the Syracuse Abroad Student Services team is eager to work with you along with staff abroad to provide assistance with planning resources while you are abroad.

We encourage you to include this information when completing the Syracuse Abroad Medical History questionnaire. Please consult with your practitioner before you travel abroad if you have any concerns. Together we can come up with a plan for your success, and we look forward to hearing from you.