Aaah! The semester(s) abroad. The Spring semester has just started in Europe and we thought it a good idea to scope out some tips for our student friends who planning their own adventure.
Make sure your finances are in order before you jump on that plane. Ask your local bank to to check the international fees for you. It is also a good idea to look into special travel (or student) debit and credit cards to help you on your way. Most banks have international affiliates so aks them who to call when you get there should the need arise.
Passport in order? Boarding passes? Visas? Place to stay? Bureaucracy is the same everywhere. Have your paperwork filled out to a T. Do some research on the place you will be staying and how to get from there to your school. Acquaint yourself with the public transport and make sure you know where to go when you need a doctor, a hospital or any other type of healthcare. You can use www.medihoo.com for that. We’re still a free service! 🙂
English has become a Lingua Franca when travelling abroad but there are still places (like France) where English is not really that well known. Invest in a simple translation booklet to help you get around. Getting around is the most important part. Getting around gets you friends and friends gets you fun. And isn’t fun the most important part of experiencing new places and cultures?
Tell us what you think!
- Wherever you go, your med records should follow
One of the biggest challenges expats face is finding and maintaining high quality medical care. While Medihoo can help you find the right care it’s always a good idea to maintain an up-to-date copy of your medical records so new care providers have easy access to your medical history. Your medical records should contain basic info like name, date of birth, insurance numbers and the names and locations of your general practitioners. Ask your doctor for your full medical history. It is possible he will charge you to produce these records and it will take time. So ask well in advance, preferably in writing.
- Check Medihoo.com before the emergency
The problem with finding good health care is that it always needs to happen when there’s a problem or emergency. To avoid stressful situations, it is best to know beforehand where the best medical professionals in the city you are relocating to can be found. The local embassy can help, but in a pinch medihoo.com can help you find good healthcare.
- Research local illnesses, diseases and health warnings.
Leishmaniasis? What? There are many obscure diseases in the world and while you shouldn’t visit webmd too much for fear of becoming a total hypochondriac, it is a good idea to do some research on the most prevalent health issues in the country you are relocating to. The US Center for Disease Control and Australia’s Smarttraveler site are good jumping off points for destination-specific information for people working and living overseas.
- Where are the band-aids?
Every home should have a well stocked First Aid kit. You can buy these anywhere, but we consider the family deluxe kit from Red Cross America to be the gold standard. Find the contents here. Make sure your first aid kit is up-to-date and that everyone in your household knows where it is and preferably how to use it.
- Take care of yourself
It’s cliché. But eating healthy and getting lots of exercise goes a long way. Combine that with an annual check-up and you should be good to go. When living abroad you should keep track of your health: make note of changes, schedule annual check-ups for you and your family well in advance and make sure you know where to go when problems arise. Medihoo.com is a totally free service to connect you with good health-care providers. Visit us and help us share good care!