A strong and effective study abroad or internship experience begins here and now while you are still at Gordon. The time you take to educate yourself and prepare for your time abroad is critically important. Go to the U.S. State Department's Student's Abroad Smart Travel page for links to educate yourself.
On the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Traveler's Health site and read over all the information for your destination country, so that you know what vaccinations and immunizations you require.
If your destination requires any particular vaccinations or immunizations, go to the Gordon Health Center and request a print-out of your current vaccinations to take to your travel clinic appointment. Identify yourselves as a Gordon student when making the appointment. Below are travel clinics in the North Shore area:
Passport Health, Woburn Office
600 West Cummings Park
Woburn MA 01801
Burlington Lahey Clinic: Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic
Appointments are available weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.
41 Mall Road
Burlington, MA 01805
PLAN AHEAD! If you take any prescriptions medications, plan now with your physician how you will obtain those medications while abroad. Since it is difficult to get prescriptions filled abroad and since many customs agencies confiscate medications in the mail, ask your physician to prescribe a supply of medication for the entirety of your time abroad. Take a letter from your physician with you that describes your medication (with its generic name), dosage and condition being treated. Be prepared to show this letter in customs or in the case of an emergency. Keep prescriptions in their original bottles. For more information go to the U.S. State Department's page on Prescriptions.
If you have a chronic condition (like allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc.), learn how to describe your condition in the language of your destination country. Have a written explanation in that language in your wallet in case of an emergency.
Even though versions of common over-the-counter medications may be available in different countries, you may want to travel with common versions that you know to mitigate confusion over dosage and contents. Consider the following as they apply to you/your destination:
Studying or interning abroad is not only a wonderful and rich experience, but also a stressful one. It is normal and natural to feel some discomfort when pushed out of your comfort zone. The important thing is to be self-aware of how you're reacting to that stress. As you plan and prepare, think about the things you do to deal with stress here (exercise, hobbies, etc.) and how you can do or adapt that while abroad.
Remember that whatever you deal with in your home environment—in terms of emotional or psychological or chronic health conditions—you take with you abroad. Be proactive and schedule an appointment with Gordon's Counseling Services to discuss how to be well and healthy while abroad. Lower emotional health is linked to poorer judgment and risky behavior. If you know or think you’re at risk—talk to your physician/counselor before you go.
If you have no history of anything like this, but something develops for you on the field, seek help. Don’t ignore it and always feel free to contact the GEO or Gordon's Counseling Services.