For Families: Share the Experience
Health Abroad
Medical Exams and Conditions
We recommend that students undergo complete physical and dental exams prior to departure and receive an update of any vaccination(s) that a physician thinks suitable. Although no vaccinations are required for entry into the countries where we have programs, we recommend following the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for each country where a student plans to study or visit. The CDC may recommend tetanus, hepatitis, typhoid, yellow fever, or other vaccinations for certain countries.

We send a medical form to every student upon acceptance. We keep our students’ medical issues confidential and do not consider them in our admissions process. Our awareness of any health problems can help make your son or daughter's study abroad experience more comfortable and ensures that he or she will receive appropriate assistance as quickly as possible.

Health Insurance Abroad
As of June 2006, IFSA-Butler will provide comprehensive accident and illness insurance to all program participants. We strongly recommend that students consider whether they will need supplemental insurance. In particular, students who have pre-existing or mental health conditions or who may require counseling while overseas should investigate their insurance needs and options. For more information, see our student insurance section.

Mental Health
If your son or daughter has been treated for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or anything else that can be classified as a mental health condition, please obtain additional insurance coverage for treatment abroad.

Prescriptions Drugs
Before leaving the U.S., your student should prepare a list of any medications taken regularly, and he or she should ask the family physician to prepare a summary of ongoing treatment. We recommend bringing an adequate supply of medications and leaving them in their labeled containers. Students also should obtain a prescription with the generic name of the medication(s), particularly if refills are required overseas.

Some FDA-approved medications (Ritalin, for example) are considered controlled substances in certain countries. If your son or daughter takes such medication, he or she may need a letter from a doctor, as well as a letter from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The letters should state that the drug is for medical purposes and that he or she has brought just enough for a summer, semester, or year abroad.

Students with Disabilities
We encourage students with disabilities to explore study abroad through our programs. For more information, see our students with disabilities page.
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