First you must prepare.  Find out what health care concerns may exist in the areas where you are traveling.  Go to a travel clinic or visit websites that provide this information such as:

UK  Government website


World Health Organization Site

MASTA Online

Travel Doctor site


World Travel Health Risk


RX Med

If immunizations are required, be certain to receive them far enough in advance to be effective. Purchase those supplies which are recommended such as insect protection, water purifier, or any recommended drugs for treatment of travelers' diarrhea, jet lag, etc. If you can not get these products at home, check out websites such as

Health Care System

It is very likely that the health care system of your new host country is different than home. While a physician’s office may be the primary source of care in the U.S., other countries use a Hospital Outpatient clinic. Look to your advisors for guidance on accessing care properly, or call the medical assistance number that may be associated with your health insurance plan.

If you are a student and have access to a University health care facility, this is usually your best source of health care. It is generally more accustomed to working with internationals

Quality of Care

This is a more sensitive issue as your standards may very well be different from those of your hosts. Try to identify a local health care provider either in advance or upon arrival, before you have a problem. Again, the best resources are likely your advisors or the medical assistance number that may be associated with your health insurance plan. A local embassy can also provide helpful information

Most importantly, remember that you and your health are significant and that it is imperative that you ask questions if you do not understand a situation or think you have not received appropriate care. Be prepared to speak up!