Planning for Your Health Abroad

Libraries in Stockholm, DIS Stockholm

Health Information Form

As a part of Student Registration, you complete a Health Information form. The main purpose of this form is to help you prepare for managing your mental and physical health abroad and this information is also helpful if you experience a medical emergency while abroad.

Part 1: Self-Assessment page
DIS requires students to be active participants in their own well-being while attending the program. Mild physical or psychological issues can become serious under the stresses of life while studying abroad. Review resources based on your specific health needs and discuss details with your medical professional(s).

Part 2: Dietary Restrictions, Allergies, and Disability Accommodations page
This information is private and shared only as relevant to your well-being.

Travel Health Preparation

In addition to filling out the Health Information form, DIS recommends that you:

  1. Review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information for Sweden, each of your study tour locations, and any countries you plan to visit in your free time. Be sure you are up to date on immunizations. Note: For Fall students, flu shots are available in Sweden, but are not covered by DIS insurance and cost approximately 320 SEK out of pocket
  2. Schedule an appointment with a travel clinic if the CDC recommends immunizations/treatments for travel. It is important to discuss your medical history and medical needs while abroad with your doctor and a travel clinic. The International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) provides a listing of its member clinics by state.
    1. Note: Tick-born illnesses, including TBE, are a risk in Sweden and should be discussed with your doctor and/or travel clinic. DIS recommends mitigation strategies (e.g. wearing long pants, sleeves, and hats; using insect repellents; checking and removing ticks promptly and appropriately, etc.) when in forested/tall grass areas.
  3. Review the Planning for Your Health Abroad module in your DIS Compass Course and recognize that DIS does not have a health clinic. As such, all health matters are taken care of through local medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.
  4. Visit your medical care provider(s) to discuss your time abroad. Discuss how you will manage your health in Sweden, each of your study tour locations, and any country that you plan to visit. Take along the print-out of your Self-Assessment page and the Provider Discussion worksheet below to assist with the conversation. See specific information below to assist with conversations with your doctor(s) related to both your mental and physical health.

Print out the Healthcare Provider Discussion worksheet here (PDF)

5. Contact DIS at health.accommodation@dis.dk with any questions or to discuss a continuation of care plan.

Mental & Emotional Health

The Self-Assessment page asks about any past and current mental health condition, mental health concerns, current prescription medicines, and plans to manage your health while abroad. The Dietary Restrictions, Allergies, and Disability Accommodations page provides an opportunity to request reasonable accommodations. Read more about DIS Disability Resources and Health Accommodations here.

Past or current treatment for psychiatric, emotional, and/or mental health conditions does not preclude a student from studying at DIS.

Steps for Managing Mental Health

  • Prior to departure, meet with your mental health professional to discuss:
  • Understand ups and downs are normal during study abroad and be aware that students who report their mental health conditions are under control at home often experience a resurgence as a result of the stress of living in an unfamiliar culture and environment. Make a plan to check in with yourself often and seek support if you are feeling ups and downs that are more intense than expected. Review more information on Maintaining Strong Mental & Emotional Health abroad at this suggested resource
  • Recognize that doctors advise that it is unwise to discontinue mental health treatments, start new medications, or change medications prior to or during study abroad. Any change in treatment can require an adjustment period and close monitoring by a medical professional. Even if it seems your conditions are based in your situation at home, do not make any changes to your medical plan without carefully discussing with your doctor and mental health professional(s)
  • Discuss a realistic communication plan for your time abroad with your support networks (i.e. family and friends)
  • Review information about DIS support contacts and services and your insurance coverage. Counseling/therapy/psychiatrist sessions cost approximately 1,200-2,500 SEK per session, which will be covered to the limits of the DIS insurance. If you identify additional insurance needs, check with your U.S. insurance and any study abroad insurance through your institution as they may reimburse these costs
  • Contact our North American Office at health.accommodation@dis.dk with any questions or to discuss your specific needs

Physical Health

The Self-Assessment form asks about any over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, illnesses, or medical conditions in the last five years. The Dietary Restrictions, Allergies, and Disability Accommodations page asks about allergies, dietary restrictions, and requested accommodations.

Read more about DIS Disability Resources and Health Accommodations here.

Past or current treatment for health conditions does not preclude a student from studying at DIS.

Steps for Managing Physical Health

  • Prior to departure, meet with your mental health professional to discuss:
    • Medications you currently take and if you are able to continue the same medication while abroad
    • Your plan to manage your health while abroad
  • Some drugs, available by prescription in the U.S., are illegal in other countries, and some over the counter medications are not available. Review the Taking Medication to Sweden page for info on bringing over-the-counter and prescription medication including allergy shots, refrigerated medication, and homeopathic remedies
  • If you have a medical condition that is not easily identified (diabetes, epilepsy, severe allergies), wear a medic alert bracelet/necklace while you are abroad and consider translation
  • If you have mobility limitations (including obesity) or disabilities: The European lifestyle and DIS requires more walking and stairs than you may be used to in the U.S. Read more about DIS Disability Resources and Health Accommodations here. Review your insurance coverage. If you identify additional insurance needs, check with your U.S. insurance and any study abroad insurance through your institution
  • Regarding physical therapy:
    • Talk with your doctor about your specific needs while abroad; ask for copies of relevant medical records and previous physical therapy sessions to provide your doctor in Stockholm
    • Understand that each physical therapy session costs approximately 250-750 SEK which will be covered to the limits of the DIS insurance. Check with your U.S. insurance and any study abroad insurance through your institution if you identify additional insurance needs
  • Contact the North American Office at health.accommodation@dis.dk to discuss your specific needs