• Jetlag is real and mostly unavoidable. To acclimate quickly, avoid alcohol while traveling to your destination and attempt to get on to the local schedule as soon as possible. That said, expect to be tired, have disrupted sleep, and feel a little out of sorts for the first few days.
  • Moderation is the key.  Don't run yourself into the ground by trying to do too much all at once.  Sickness occurs more frequently when you are tired and worn down. 
  • Heed the advise your local program managers/RDs give you about what to eat and where. They are speaking directly from experience!
  • Avoid “street food” for at least the first 72 hours you are in a developing country.
  • Eat well-balanced meals.
  • Watch what you eat.  If you are wary of the quality of the food and drink, make sure everything you eat is thoroughly cooked, peeled, or boiled to kill any bacteria. 
  • Take measures to reduce the risk of STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
  • If you drink, consume alcohol in moderation. Intoxication can lead to unsafe and potentially deadly situations. Over 90% of the safety and security incidents the Study Abroad Office deals with each year are directly related to alcohol.
  • Be informed! Know where to get treatment.  When you settle in, find out where health care facilities are located.  Check with your on-site program director for the name of a doctor and hospital.
  • Depending on the region/location, you may not be able to drink tap water at all. In others, you may need water purification tablets. Ice may not be safe for consumption if made with tap water. Ask how the ice is made or avoid it.
  • Insect repellant can be quite useful in many climates.
  • Women may want to pack feminine hygiene products if they are not sure of the type available where they are traveling, though familiar products are available in most foreign countries.
  • All Panther Programs and most Pitt-recognized programs include travel insurance in the program fee. This not only covers clinic visits and hospitalization, but the insurance carrier’s website can also provide recommendations for where to find English speaking doctors. Consult with your program manager in Pittsburgh or with your faculty/resident director abroad.