Health is wealth. But, when you are studying abroad money, grades and job comes first. Importance of staying healthy will come into picture only if you get sick.
I have been sick few times while attending UTA. When I purchased some 30 tablets of antibiotics, I realized why Medical costs are expensive in USA. It was like $75.
While taking care of your health, you need stay safe as well. Lets look at ways to stay safe and healthy while in USA.
Things to Do : Before You leave
Here are list of things you can get it done before you leave your home country to study abroad.
- Complete Physical : Before you depart to study abroad, visit your family physician and get a complete physical check-up – Blood work with fasting, etc.
- Eye Exam: If you are wearing eye glasses, get it checked for change in your eye power. Also, get 2 additional pair of glasses.
- Dental Care : Dental care is also expensive and student health insurance typically doesn’t include dental insurance.
Prescriptions and Medicines
- It’s a good idea to carry all the medication you are used to taking in India.
- But remember to get a doctor’s signed prescription for any medication you take abroad.
Universities might require you to bring vaccinations record with you.
From UT Austin Vaccination Requirements
International students cannot register for classes, even during new student orientation, until UHS has received documentation that they have met the following medical clearance requirements.
Please print the TB and Vaccination History for International Students form.
Have your healthcare provider complete and sign it. If you are currently outside the United States, your healthcare provider should NOT complete the TB Screening section of this form. The TB test must be administered while you are in the United States.
Check with your university for vaccination requirements for International students.
Climate and weather
Climate plays a major role with your health. I have seen students get sever allergy reactions to pollens. Typically in India, you don’t see pollen allergies, but when get exposd to pollens, you can see allergic reactions.
Read up about the climate you can expect in the destination country, and buy the protective gear you need to stay warm.
In the above list of things to carry list, I have listed where to buy warm clothes for handling winter months in USA.
It’s a good idea to carry a simple first aid kit; items can include: bandages, flashlight, sterile pads, insect repellent, adhesive tape, aspirin, antacid, anti-diarrhoea tablets, anti-malarial medication, etc.
No worries, if you don’t buy this First Aid Kit, Its chep and you can get this form any retail stores or drug stores.
Shoes for Exercises
Get a good pair of comfortable walking or running shoes.
If you already have a good sneakers from Nike, Rebook or Adidas or other brands, take them with you. If not, you can get a good paid here for cheap.
Also, its easier to walk with good pair of walking or running shoes around the campus. Without access to a car or public transportation abroad, you may have to do quite a bit of walking.
Keep your people at home well informed of your whereabouts and activities and provide them with copies of your important travel documents (i.e. passport, visa, plane tickets, traveller’s checks, and prescriptions).
Also, provide them with contact number of folks who is going to pick you from the airport.
After Landing in USA
Food and water safety
Pay close attention to what you eat in first couple of months, till you body gets used to new environment and food habits.
If you get diarrhoea or food poisoning, and feel you need help, please go to medical center in your university or nearby doctor’s office.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Give your body time to adjust to new types of foods- make the effort to have one home-cooked meal a day.
Here in USA, we drink tap water directly from the pipes without filtering it. You may find it odd at first, but you will get used to it.
While on the flight
While you travel by air, drink a lot of non-alcoholic fluids, stay away from caffeine, eat light, and stretch often to avoid jetlag and blood clots which can be caused by cabin pressure.
Let me know if you have any questions about sating safe and healthy while studying in USA.