The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Education Abroad office wants you to be healthy and safe on your education abroad trip.

To avoid having your trip interrupted by health concerns, plan ahead. Here are some health and safety requirements, facts you should know, and support resources.


Physical Exams and Vaccinations

UW-Platteville Education Abroad policy requires you to have a physical exam before going abroad, and it also may be required for entry into certain countries and/or visas. You can make an appointment with your primary physician or an on-campus physician to complete the necessary steps, and you should discuss any concerns prior to departure including physical and mental health.

You should also consult with your physician about any vaccinations that are necessary before leaving for the specific countries you will be visiting. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to have all the necessary shots prior to departure.


If you take prescription medicine regularly, or expect to take any while abroad, you need to bring a sufficient supply, or consult with your physician about the availability of your prescription abroad. Even if the prescription is available abroad, it may be easier to take an adequate supply from the U.S.

Be sure to keep all prescription medications in their original bottles to facilitate clearance through customs. You are also advised to carry a letter from your physician stating why the prescription medication is needed, and you should pack a copy of all current prescriptions, including your eyeglass prescription. In addition, all prescription medicine should be packed in carry-on luggage in case checked baggage is lost or delayed.

Food and Dietary Needs

Though food is safe in many countries, there are some basic tips to help keep you healthy:

  • Avoid uncooked food purchased from street vendors.
  • Be careful with dairy products that are not refrigerated or pasteurized.
  • Do not drink water unless you are sure that it is safe to drink; bottled water is recommended.
  • Avoid ice cubes in soft drinks unless you know that the water is safe to drink.

Once you are more comfortable with the country's culture and food, you may decide to be more liberal in your approach to food. Vegetarians or students on a special diet need to be aware that their dietary needs might not be easily met in some countries.

Cultural Insurance Services International

All students studying abroad through UW-Platteville Education Abroad are enrolled in the mandatory Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) health and medical evacuation insurance. CISI's comprehensive plan provides you with all the coverage and security needed while traveling abroad, including the following:

  • 24-hour emergency crisis support with multilingual representative
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation of remains
  • Payments in foreign currencies
  • Foreign hospital guarantees
  • Consulate letters for help in obtaining visas
  • Coverage for independent travel
  • Benefits payable at 100% of costs without co-payments

This insurance is mandatory, and you are advised to remain on the insurance plan you use in the U.S., as the CISI insurance will not cover any medical assistance that students may need upon any unexpected return to the U.S. for health reasons.

Safety and Security

The UW-Platteville Education Abroad Office is dedicated to maintaining the personal safety and security of each education abroad participant. The staff stays in close contact with the on-site staff abroad and works with them in case of an emergency.

Mental Health

We are committed to supporting study abroad for all students including students managing mental health concerns.

Just as cultures differ, so does the degree of access to counseling and mental health services in places you are considering for your study abroad experience.

Many students have successfully studied abroad with existing mental health conditions, but not every study abroad experience is a good fit for certain types of care.

Planning Ahead

  • Talk to members of the support system you have at home. Plan how you'll be able to get in touch with friends and family while abroad
  • Research cultural practices and mental health in your host country. You may wish to do this before you select your program. It is important to look into how mental health is generally viewed in the host country, and what types of care are available there.
  • Disclose concerns with your study abroad advisor if you feel comfortable doing so. They can tell you more information about opportunities for meeting others (host family, buddy program, other U.S. students, etc.) and also what kind of support or care options are available on your program.
  • Review information about medication and international travel if applicable. Remember some medications that are legal in the U.S. are not legal in other countries, and you may not be able to take them in the country or have them sent to you.
  • Contact your insurance company to get enough of your medication for your entire time abroad. You should not plan on getting prescriptions filled while abroad or having the medication mailed to you.
  • Work with CISI, the UW-System sponsored health insurance, to find names of English-speaking psychiatrists, psychologists, or counselors in your host country.
  • Preparations for Traveling with a Mental Health Condition

Contact Information

Education Abroad

0328 Warner Hall

Walk-in Hours via Zoom

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
2–3:30 p.m.

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