Planning for Your Health Abroad

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 can also be helpful if you experience a medical emergency while abroad.

DIS requires you to be an active participant in your own well-being while abroad, which is why it is vital you be as forthcoming as possible on the form. Mild physical or psychological issues can become serious under the stresses of life while studying abroad.  As such, it is important DIS is aware of any information regarding your health that may affect you in a foreign study context.

Remember to update the Health Information form on Student Registration if your health situation changes at any point prior to departure. The information is private and shared only as relevant to your well-being.

Additional Travel Health Preparation

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

  • Review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information for Sweden and/or Denmark, 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. Find the CDC website here
  • 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. Find the ISTM website here
    • Note: Tickborn 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
  • Review the Pre-departure Handbook 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
  • Visit your medical care provider(s) to discuss your time abroad. Discuss how you will manage your health in your host city, each of your study tour locations, and any country you plan to visit

Your Mental & Emotional Health

The Health Information form requires disclosure of any past and current mental health condition, mental health concerns, current prescription medicines, and plans to manage your health while abroad. It is imperative for DIS to have this information to best support you and provide reasonable accommodations, as requested. Read about DIS Disability Resources and 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:
    • Medications you currently take and if you are able to continue the same medication while abroad
    • Your plan to manage your health while abroad including access to alternative support networks
  • 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 on 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. Note that DIS insurance coverage is limited for preexisting and mental health conditions. Counseling/therapy/psychiatrist sessions cost approximately 1,200-2,500 DKK or SEK per session. Check with your U.S. insurance and any study abroad insurance through your institution as they may reimburse these costs
  • If you have questions or want to discuss your specific needs, contact health.accommodation@dis.dk

Physical Health

The Health Information Form requires disclosure of any over the counter medications, prescription medications, allergies, dietary restrictions, illnesses, or medical conditions in the last five years and anything else that would be helpful for DIS to know as related to your study abroad experience. It is imperative for DIS to have this information to best support you and provide reasonable accommodations, as requested.

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

Steps for Managing Physical Health

  • Some drugs available by prescription in the U.S. are illegal in other countries, and some over the counter medications are not available. Review information about taking medication abroad, specifically, bringing over the counter and prescription medications including allergy shots, refrigerated medications, 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 require more walking and stairs than you may be used to in the U.S. Read more about DIS Disability Resources and Accommodations here
  • Regarding physical therapy:
    • Talk with your doctor about your specific needs while abroad; ask for copies of relevant medical records and previous physical therapy (PT) sessions to provide your doctor in Copenhagen
    • Understand that PT is not fully covered by ERV (the private insurance through DIS); each session costs approximately 150 – 500 DKK or 250 – 750 SEK. Check with your U.S. insurance and any study abroad insurance through your institution as they might reimburse these costs
  • If you have questions or want to discuss your specific needs, contact health.accommodation@dis.dk