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Pre-Departure Health Requirements

To have a successful study abroad experience, you must make arrangements for taking care of your health just as you do here in the US. This includes including taking your medication, continuing medical or psychological treatment abroad, and letting program leaders know of relevant health concerns.

Studying abroad is also a time when unexpected health concerns can arise, and you should know what recourse you have, including being open and forthcoming with on-site staff, taking advantage of your international health insurance, and contacting CGIS. CGIS maintains confidentiality of all medical information. You are strongly encouraged to disclose any health-related condition (including mental health) to faculty leaders and on-site staff.

In addition to scheduling all vaccinations, students should:

  • Obtain up-to-date health records and immunization histories to take abroad in case of emergency.
  • Have a dental check-up and have any necessary dental work done before leaving the US, since these services are not covered by GeoBlue health insurance. If you do not have a regular dentist, contact the UM School of Dentistry.
  • Make an appointment for a vision check-up if you wear glasses or contact lenses. Obtain a copy of the vision prescription and bring back-up eyewear abroad.

Note: There have been instances on CGIS programs where students have suffered eye damage because of misuse of contact lenses, including sustained use of contact lenses in high humidity. Students should be aware that wearing contact lenses comes with several risks, including eye infections and corneal ulcers. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides several tips to reduce chances of contact related infections on their Consumer Products page for contact lenses.

  • CGIS encourages students to seek medical care abroad that is most similar to the medical care that they receive in their home country. Students should utilize their GeoBlue insurance to schedule health appointments abroad before departure, seek mental health support, identify support for overcoming substance abuse, obtain prescription medications, and so on. To schedule appointments, call an GeoBlue advisor toll free at 800.257.4823.
  • GeoBlue's Student Portal contains useful resources, including lists of approved local hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, and translation services.
  • Students with questions about using GeoBlue before departure are encouraged to contact CGIS’s Health and Safety Advisor by calling 734.764.4311.