It is a good idea to have a checkup to know your current medical condition. OSU's Student Health Center has an excellent Travel Clinic. As an OSU student, your student fees help make the clinic very affordable. Before you travel abroad, it is advisable to have an appointment with the travel nurse. You will receive information about immunization requirements, disease prevention, recommended medications, dealing with emergencies and obtaining medical assistance outside the U.S. Call 541-737-Well (9355) to schedule an appointment. Early scheduling is important, since it takes time to attain immunity and some immunizations may require a series. Schedule your appointment with the travel nurse consultant two to six months before your departure if possible.
If you have special needs, check with the study abroad contact to determine how he or she can best help you. Regulations for accessibility may not be as updated in other countries as they are in the U.S. Check to determine if accommodations like wheelchair ramps are provided in all modes of transportation, and to determine if the housing facilities are equipped to serve people with special needs.
The type of medical care available will vary from country to country. In some countries it will seem similar to the type of care you find in the U.S. In others, finding an English-speaking doctor or appropriate medical facility might be difficult. You should ask your program sponsor whether they can provide advice on available medical care and support abroad. It is also important to find out about medical care during group or independent travel.
Ask your program staff about their capability to provide you with medical care assistance. Does this staff speak both the local language and English? Do they have a list of the best available local medical facilities? Find out if someone in the staff or administration is trained to handle emergency situations.
Keep personal medical records with you at all times in case of accident or illness. Guard them with as much security as you do your passport and credit cards. Make several photocopies of your medical records in case of loss. Keep a copy with a parent or friend in the U.S. Medical records should mention all drugs that you are taking as well as identify any chronic ailments, allergies, or hypersensitivities. Additionally, medical records should list your immunization history, blood type, eyeglass prescription, personal physician, health insurance and religion (if pertinent).