Before You Go
Country-Specific Health Info
As you choose a host country, submit your application, and prepare to depart, pay special attention to whether the host country's food, climate, access to medical care, etc. are compatible with your health needs. Be sure to read about the health advisories and immunization requirements and recommendations specific to your host country:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT)
- World Health Organization
Medical Checkups & Clearances
Visit your health care providers prior to your departure to ask for advice about how to manage your personal health concerns while abroad. The organization or institution arranging your program may also request that you have your doctor (and mental health professional, if applicable) complete a special health evaluation form. In most cases, your health should not disqualify you from studying abroad. Your doctors, advisors, and coordinators will either find ways to accommodate your needs on your preferred program, or they will suggest alternative programs or countries, or a later departure date.
Obtaining a UNL Health Clearance is a requirement to participate in any education abroad program for which you will receive UNL sponsorship or credit. If you do not comply with this requirement, then you will not be approved to participate in, or may be dismissed at your own expense from, the education abroad program. (Note: If your education abroad program is administered by another organization or institution, and the administering organization or institution will collect health information from you using its own processes, then you are exempt from obtaining a UNL Health Clearance).
The process consists of two forms:
1) Confidential Health History Form
- Completed by participant.
- NOT submitted to Education Abroad.
- Completed by health care provider.
- Submitted to Education Abroad.
The deadline to submit the Health Clearance Form depends on the departure date of your selected program, and whether you need accommodations:
- No later than one calendar month before departure if you do not need accommodations.
- No later than two calendar months before departure if you do need accommodations. (You must apply for accommodations with the Services for Students with Disabilities Office).
Health Statement for Visa Application
If you need a visa to enter your host country, you may need to obtain a health statement from your doctor. Also note that some countries require a health screening by a host country physician after you arrive in order to allow you to get a temporary residence permit.
Personal Health Inventory
Take inventory of your concerns and potential issues that may affect you while abroad. Which ones concern you? What steps do you need to take, and what resources do you need to access, in order to avoid problems?
- ability/disability issues
- alcohol or drug use/abuse
- dental care
- dietary concerns
- emergency resources
- eyeglass/contact prescription
- gender-specific health care
- health advisories
- mental health and culture shock
- sleep patterns
Shots and Inoculations
Some countries require immunizations of all visitors. Your program provider should inform you of any recommended and/or required shots and inoculations prior to departing. To find out about specific inoculations required to enter your host country or countries in which you may wish to travel, consult the Travel Clinic at the UNL Health Center.
The Travel Clinic will provide you with a World Health Organization (WHO) "International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis." Any inoculation should be recorded in this yellow booklet with an officially approved stamp.
Many immunizations require at least 14 days prior to travel to be effective. Since many inoculations require more than one visit to the clinic or cannot be taken in combination with others, please start the process well in advance of your departure.
Students with Disabilities
For information and resources specific to students with disabilities, please visit Mobility International USA (MIUSA).
If you have a disability or health-related need and believe you need accommodation to meet the requirements of program participation: Make an appointment and be prepared to submit documentation of a disability or health-related need, along with a request for reasonable accommodation to the Services for Students with Disabilities Office.
Know where to get medical treatment
Find out where health care facilities are and how to access them, in your primary destination as well as on side trips. Find out the names of hospitals that provide quality care. Learn the emergency numbers for your destination(s) and know that in some places you should not rely on these emergency numbers. Similarly, in some countries, you're better off taking a taxi to a hospital rather than waiting for an ambulance. HTH Worldwide offers students and travelers access to a community of pre-selected doctors outside the U.S. HTH's city profiles can help you learn what you need to know about hospitals and emergency numbers around the world.