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Your Health Abroad

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TOC: Managing Your Health Abroad

Health Insurance

Safeguarding your health abroad begins with ensuring you have adequate health insurance coverage for the duration of the time you will be outside the United States. Health insurance enrollment and coverage varies by the type of study abroad program you will attend. 

Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad / Global Summer Program / Balliol College Program / Università Bocconi Program: 

You will be automatically enrolled in the UnitedHealthcare Global health insurance plan.

Year or Term Abroad Programs / Non-Yale Summer Abroad Programs:

You must contact your program for information on health insurance coverage abroad. Some programs will enroll you in a comprehensive health insurance plan. Others do not include insurance coverage and will require you to purchase a health insurance plan individually. If you need to purchase a health insurance plan, you have the option of enrolling yourself in the UnitedHealthcare Global health insurance plan mentioned above.

UnitedHealthcare Global Health Insurance Plan

Yale's Center for International and Professional Experience has partnered with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Global to offer an international health insurance plan for Yale College students going abroad on the following programs: Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad, Global Summer Programs, Balliol College, and Università Bocconi. If you are participating in a Year or Term Abroad program or a Non-Yale Summer Abroad program and you are in need of health insurance, you may opt to enroll yourself in the UHC Global Health Insurance plan. Please contact studyabroad@yale.edu for policy information and the enrollment form, if needed.

Link: UnitedHealthcare Global Health Insurance Information

Note: The UHC Global health insurance plan is separate from the UHC Global travel assistance plan.

The Yale Health Plan

The Yale Health plan does not provide coverage abroad. If you are studying abroad during the fall, spring, or full year, you will not have coverage through the Yale Health plan during the term(s) you will be abroad. Your coverage will not be effective again until the first day you are required to be on campus during the academic year. If you study abroad in the spring and will be returning to New Haven for the summer, you will have a gap in your insurance coverage. Please contact Yale Health Member Services for more information.

Physical and Mental Health

When studying abroad, it is important to recognize that your health may be affected in unexpected ways. Due to changes in your environment—including time zone, climate, food, and water—even well-managed conditions can be more challenging abroad. Studying abroad, like any transition, can bring about an onset, return, or increase in symptoms. 

We strongly recommend that you have a medical examination before you embark on your study abroad experience, especially if you receive treatment for a pre-existing condition. Talk with your primary care physician about specific steps to maintain your healthcare plan and to assess if any special accommodations might be needed abroad. 

We also encourage you to speak with your study abroad program in advance. Disclosing a physical and/or mental health condition to your program staff will allow them to have a plan to assist you in managing your health. It is especially useful to let your program know if you:

  • Need specific accommodations abroad (physical or academic)
  • Are currently taking prescription medication
  • Are being treated for a current mental health or physical condition
  • Have severe allergies

Bear in mind that approaches to, and systems of, health care may be different than what you are accustomed to at home. Bring with you abroad any pertinent health documentation such as immunization records, prescriptions, or eye glass or contact prescriptions.

Prescription Medication

Make yourself aware of customs regulations regarding medicines brought into your host country. Some medications that are routinely prescribed in the U.S. may be much more heavily regulated in other countries. Any medication you bring into your host country should be kept in its original, well-marked container and be accompanied by a physician's note describing your condition and the necessity of the medication. Your physician should also include the generic name of the drug, as specific brand names may not be available elsewhere in the world. In the event that you cannot bring a supply of medication that will last the entire duration of your program, plan in advance how you can obtain the medication in your host country. Bear in mind that medications cannot be sent by mail.

For more information, talk to your physician, Yale Travel Health, and your study abroad program. You may also check information about medication on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Immunizations

Yale Travel Health or your primary care physician can advise you about any immunizations, inoculations, or other medical support that you might need before and while you are abroad. Whether you use Yale Travel Health or your home physician, please be aware that some inoculations need to be spaced out in order to be effective, so early planning is essential. Be sure to schedule appointments as soon as possible once you have chosen your study abroad destination. During this appointment, consider not only your study abroad location, but any other countries where you might travel.

Yale Travel Health provides comprehensive pre-travel care including consultation, education, vaccination, travel medications, and, if necessary, referral for medical evaluation. There is a fee for the consultation and for select travel vaccines that are not covered by the Yale Health Plan. Yale Travel Health also offers regional travel information sessions at no charge.

Link: Yale Travel Health & Regional Information Sessions