Before You Go
Visit Your Health Professionals
You’ll want to make sure that you visit any healthcare providers (such as doctors, dentists, and mental health professionals) before going overseas. Some things to make sure you talk about:
Prescription medications and getting an adequate supply for your program prior to departure
Any health concerns or conditions for which you currently receive treatment and a plan for treatment overseas
Preexisting conditions and how they may manifest overseas. Often, minor issues in the US can be exacerbated overseas (for example, asthma in Beijing)
Some vaccinations may be required to enter certain countries. Other vaccinations may not be required but recommended. Here are some resources:
Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov | 1-800-CDC-INFO)
Allegheny Country Health Department (www.achd.net/infectd/ clinic.html | 412-687-ACHD)
Complete Medical Report
As a part of your Panther Program post-acceptance materials, we ask that you fill out a medical report. This information is crucial for our staff and partners to provide any necessary support overseas. Please report anything that might be a problem to help us better prepare overseas. You can find it by logging in to abroad.pitt. edu.
Overseas travel can be rough on your body, especially with time changes. You can’t avoid jet leg, but to help minimize it you should:
Drink plenty of water on the plane
Avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane
Try to get some sleep
Set your watch to destination time as soon as you board the plane
Stay awake until at least 8 PM on your arrival day. That’s right – no napping!
Jet lag will likely make you tired, groggy, irritable, and unable to concentrate well. Keep this is mind for your first few days and give yourself the time you need to adjust.
Moderation is Key
Your time abroad will fly by, but you don’t need to cram everything into the first few days! Give your body time to adjust to the time changes, new food, and new situations.
Follow Local Advice and Talk to Someone
Your in-country faculty and provider staff are there if you need to talk to someone or need to make an appointment to see a healthcare professional. Don't hesitate to contact them. They are always ready and willing to help. The staff is also crucial to knowing whether or not you can drink the tap water, it is okay to eat street food, which neighborhoods are unsafe, and more. Follow their advice!