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People, Environment, and Climate Change in Patagonia and Antarctica

Health, Access & Identity

This webpage is under construction and does not currently include information specific to your program. Below, you will find general information related to health management and preparation, along with some important considerations regarding access and identity abroad. Please reach out to [email protected] for program specific questions related to these items.

If you are participating in a Custom Program, please note that some of the information below is specific to SIT Study Abroad program itineraries and may not apply to you.

Getting ready for your study abroad experience requires a lot of pre-departure research and planning. The information provided below is intended to help you start thinking about what to expect during your program and what preparations are needed.

This information should be considered in conjunction with your own research and informed discussions with your medical/mental health care provider and a travel health specialist. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the following resources:

On the CDC web page for your country of travel, please also refer to the Healthy Travel Packing List and any Travel Notices posted.

Another resource available is our international assistance provider. They can assist you in understanding health risks associated with specific areas of travel and can also support students in connecting with medical and mental health services abroad.

Learn more about our international insurance coverage on our Participant Insurance webpage.

SIT works closely with the U.S. Department of State, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), our international assistance provider, and many counterparts around the world to make strategic decisions regarding program locations and itineraries.

Please note any concerns or questions about any of the following issues and contact us as soon as possible so we can best support your study abroad experience.

  • [email protected]: mobility limitations, homestay accessibility, neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations.
  • [email protected]: food allergy or another type of dietary restriction, significant conditions that might require you to receive medical care/assessment/procedures abroad during your program.

Maintaining Health & Wellbeing

Maintaining good health is essential to having a successful study abroad experience. Consider your normal routines for maintaining your physical and mental health and wellbeing. How might your program impact your ability to continue these routines?

SIT recommends researching your location(s) of travel and staying up to date on CDC guidelines. It’s critical that you educate yourself about the potential health and safety hazards that may exist in your areas of travel and make informed decisions about what preventative measures to take prior to departure. SIT encourages you to have an informed discussion with your doctor and/or a travel clinician about what vaccines and other prophylactic medication you should receive, as well as what environmental precautions should be taken. Please review the CDC guidelines for your location(s) of travel.

Onsite program staff will be able to assist you with finding local medical care and can support with translation if needed. Our international assistance provider can also help connect you with local medical and mental health care.

Medical Conditions

If you are currently managing any medical conditions, we encourage you to disclose the details of your condition and treatment plan in your personal health history form (accessed in your online portal). For significant conditions including but not limited to cardiac conditions, seizure disorders, severe allergies, recent injuries, chronic mobility challenges, diabetes, or anything that might require you to receive medical care/assessment/procedures abroad during your program, please connect with [email protected] as soon as possible so we can begin safety planning, share resources, and establish a mutual understanding of your needs.

Mental Health

Studying abroad can be an extremely enriching experience, but it also comes with many challenges that can impact students’ mental health. Please consider how you currently manage your mental health and wellbeing and how that might change in the context of a study abroad program where you will encounter new cultural, physical, academic, social, and dietary experiences. During your program, there will be times when access to reliable Wi-Fi or cell service is limited or unavailable. This can exacerbate feelings of isolation as it’s more difficult to stay in touch with your support systems.

We encourage students to prepare ahead of time by working with their mental health providers and support system and to communicate with SIT staff about how we can best support you, as we are all partners in your success. Please find more information about mental health resources available to you on our Mental Health & Wellbeing page.

Neurological Diversity

If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or concerns, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services ahead of time to discuss any accommodations you require and to connect you with program staff if needed.


Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in their country of travel and should bring a full supply of all required medications with them for the full duration of their program. Students are also advised to bring several extra inhalers and/or Epi-pens if prescribed. If you have questions about whether your medication is available and permitted in your location(s) of travel, you can contact our international insurance provider for information. You will not be able to ship medications to your program site. If your regular prescription medications are not permitted, you should talk with your doctor about what alternatives might be available to you. If you are having difficulty obtaining a full semester’s supply of your medications and require a letter of support for your medical provider and/or insurance company, contact [email protected]. Please contact us ahead of time if your medications have special storage requirements.

In general, we recommend the following guidelines for bringing medications abroad:

  • Make sure the label on the medication bottle identifies the person who has been prescribed the medication.
  • Always carry medications in their original containers, listing both brand and generic names.
  • Keep medications with you in a carry-on bag or purse.
  • Carry a copy of your doctor’s prescription and the reason for your medication.

For questions about medication availability or getting prescriptions filled in country, call our international insurance provider prior to departure.

Allergies & Dietary Needs

SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, and others to accommodate student dietary needs whenever possible. However, there may be limitations depending on local cuisine, homestay availability, and other variables. Please note that wherever possible, students are encouraged to participate in the local food culture as a central aspect of daily life. By trying to replicate your diet from home, you may miss out on an important part of your host culture. Due to the unique living and learning community central to all SIT programs, we cannot separate food and eating communally (including with your host family) from the program experience. Please consider the local diet seriously when selecting your program of choice. The Student Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Team and your admissions counselor are great resources for better understanding the local diet.

Please note that if you have a severe food allergy, you should get in touch with [email protected] as soon as possible to determine if there are any aspects of the program that may present safety concerns. For example, some itineraries include travel to remote rural destinations where it may be both difficult to avoid an allergen AND difficult to access medical care if a reaction was to occur.

Gender Identity

Expectations based on gender can differ greatly based on your country of travel. You should research to become familiar with local laws and customs so that you can make informed and safe choices about the destinations and programs that will be the best fit for your needs. If you have questions about cultural norms relative to a specific country/program or are interested in connecting with students from prior semesters, you are encouraged to connect with the Student Health, Safety, & Wellbeing office.

Important Contacts

Student Health, Safety, & Wellbeing Office
Phone: 802.258.3366
Email: [email protected]
Health, Safety & Well-Being – SIT Study Abroad

For questions about health forms please contact:
Marissa Hehir
Student Health & Wellbeing Manager
Phone: 802.258.3579
Email: [email protected]

Office of Accessibility Services
Phone: 802.258.3523
Accessibility Services – SIT Study Abroad