Health and Safety Abroad
InsuranceAll Oberlin students are required to have sufficient health and accident insurance during their study abroad program. In order to ensure proper coverage, all students going abroad must have either enroll in a Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) for the semester (or year) during which they are abroad or enroll in their programs specified insurance policy. Some foreign countries, foreign universities, or third-party study abroad program providers will require that students purchase insurance that they provide. In this case, you will not need to enroll in CISI insurance. Enrollment information can be found inside of your Oberlin Study Away application.
Dietary NeedsIf you have dietary restrictions, please research and consider the food options available in your host country. Before leaving for the semester, please contact your program to inform them of any dietary restrictions that you may have.
If you choose to be vegetarian or vegan, consider whether you will continue to eat this way when you are away. Some countries have many vegetarian/vegan options, but other cultures rely on meat, dairy, eggs, etc. as essential parts of their diets. If you decide not to be vegetarian/vegan during your time away, please consider that it will take some time for your body to adjust to eating foods that it has not consumed for some time.
Mental HealthAll individuals traveling to new countries and unfamiliar cultures experience some level of stress related to this transition. During the first few weeks of your program, you will likely experience the additional stress related to moving to a new environment. However, if you find yourself struggling with mental health issues, especially outside of this transition period, you should consider different support systems. Experienced travelers with mental health-related issues suggest setting up a support system in advance, even if you think you won’t need it. If you are currently on medication/seeing a therapist for mental health-related concerns, do not stop these forms of treatment. If you are taking medication, talk with a health professional about bringing enough of your prescription abroad to last you through the semester. If you are employing personal strategies to improve your mental health, consider how you would continue to employ those strategies while away. Additionally, if you are currently seeing a therapist or mental health specialist, inquire about virtual counseling sessions. Many students are able to use services like Skype, Zoom, or Facetime to have virtual sessions while they are away.
If you receive accommodations at Oberlin due to mental health concerns, such as extended time for test taking, please communicate this with your host institution, as they may be able to make similar accommodations.
SAFETYIt is beneficial to research safety suggestions about travel within your destination country. Use the links below to do additional research.
- U.S. State Department Tips for Students Abroad: http://studentsabroad.state.gov/
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: https://step.state.gov/
- U.S. State Department Country Specific Information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html
- U.S. Embassies: http://www.usembassy.gov/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
- 911 Emergency Contacts Abroad: http://studentsabroad.state.gov/content/pdfs/911_ABROAD.pdf