The University of San Francisco: Center for Global Education

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Medical Care Abroad

Special Needs

If you have a learning disability, a particular health issue or need, it’s in your best interest (before you leave) to advise or confide in the Director or another person in charge of the overseas program site, so they are aware of your circumstances should an emergency occur. This will also enable the host program to assess, arrange for, and meet any special needs you may have.

Regulations for accessibility may not be as updated in other countries as they are in the U.S. Check to determine if accommodations like wheelchair ramps are provided in all modes of transportation, and to determine if the housing facilities are equipped to serve people with special needs.

Availability of Medical Care

The type of medical care available will vary from country to country. In some countries it will seem similar to the type of care you find in the U.S. In others, finding an English-speaking doctor or appropriate medical facility might be difficult. You should ask your host program whether they can provide advice on available medical care and support abroad. It is also important to find out about medical care during group or independent travel.

Support Services for Medical Care

Ask your program staff about their capability to provide you with medical care assistance. Does this staff speak both the local language and English? Do they have a list of the best available local medical facilities? Find out if someone in the staff or administration is trained to handle emergency situations.