Pre-Departure Health Information

General Advice​

It is important to take every precaution to maintain your health while you are abroad. If you don't feel well, you are much more likely to become homesick or struggle academically, which will have a negative impact on your study abroad experience.


If you are currently under the care of one or more health care professional, it is important to discuss your study abroad plans with them and seek any advice or recommendations that they may have to offer. Something that you may have under control here may not be as easily controlled in a new, different environment. Elevation, extreme heat and smog are a few examples of the factors that may have an impact on your health. Meeting with your health care professional(s) in advance will help prepare you for any challenges that you may encounter. As early as possible, notify OGE-Study Abroad of any health issues for which you need to set up assistance in-country prior to arrival to be sure it can be provided.


If you take any medications on a regular basis,  it will be important to make arrangements with your health care provider and health insurance company to take an adequate supply with you. Your host country may not have the same medications available or the medication they do have  may not meet U.S. standards. 

Be sure to take a note from your health care provider stating that the medication is prescribed for you.  Customs officials in the host country (or countries through which you are making flight connections) may check your medication and could ask for proof that it is prescribed for you so you will show them the note.  Certain  medications may not be legal in certain countries, particularly controlled substances, so it will be important to ensure that your medication may be brought into your host country.

You will be enrolled in GeoBlue, CMU's study abroad group health insurance provider, and you may inquire with them about bringing your medication(s) into the country.  Should you need to find a health care provider in-country prior to arrival, GeoBlue may also be able to give you a referral. 

Travel Health Clinic/Immunizations​

We strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a Travel Health Clinic prior to departure.  Not only will they look at your immunization record and provide needed or recommended immunizations for travel to the country of destination, but they will also provide you with information about health issues to be aware of and prophylactic medications to take prior to or upon arrival for prevention.  Be sure to list all countries you intend to visit too.  CMU Health Services offers a full-service Travel Health Clinic or you may select a clinic of your choice.

Certain countries require that you show proof of immunization to be able to enter (for example, Ghana requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate). Immunizations may need to be begin 3-6 months prior to departure so don't delay making your appointment! 

CMU Study Abroad Health Insurance​

To participate in a CMU study abroad program, every student is required to have insurance outside of the United States that provides health, medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. CMU will automatically enroll you in the study abroad group insurance policy through GeoBlue Insurance (​). This policy cannot be waived.

The policy will cover you during your term of study. Your health, medical evacuation, and repatriation coverage will terminate on the last day of your program. If you intend to travel after your program ends, you may be able to extend the insurance by contacting GeoBlue.

DO NOT cancel your existing insurance policy because the study abroad insurance coverage expires upon your return to the United States. In the event of illness, keep your current health insurance so that you can continue with treatment upon your return home.

All accepted students will be enrolled in GeoBlue about 2 months prior to departure.  Once enrolled, you will have access to your personal website and can search information that includes:

  • Doctor and hospital profiles
  • Brand name drug translation guides
  • City Health Profiles
  • Medical Phrase Translations Guides
  • Security profiles