Pre-Departure Health Information

General Advice​

It is important to take every precaution to maintain your health while you are abroad. If you fall ill, 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 a health care professional, it is important to discuss your study abroad plans with him/her and seek any advice or recommendations that he/she may have to offer. Something that you may have under control here may not be as easily controlled in another environment. Elevation, extreme heat and smog are a few of the factors that may have a drastic impact on your health. Discussing this with your health care professional in advance will help prepare you for any difficulties that you may encounter. You should also notify the Office of Study Abroad and your on-site coordinator of any special needs or health concerns that you may have.


If you take medications regularly, you should take an adequate supply with you. Your host country may not have the same medications available or they may not meet U.S. standards. It is important to take a copy of your prescription(s) with you as you are traveling to ensure that you are able to take the medications with you through customs. Some medications may not be legal in certain countries, particularly controlled substances, so it will be important to ensure that may bring your medications to your host country.

If you are taking any medications and have questions about taking these medications abroad, please contact GeoBlue (CMU's study abroad health insurance provider - see below for additional information).  Additionally, should you need to find a health care provider for the time you will be studying abroad, GeoBlue may also be able to help you find one prior to your arrival.

Travel Health Clinic​

Similar to the United States, there are a variety of contractible diseases abroad, some of which are preventable through vaccinations. We strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment at a Travel Health Clinic, either through CMU's Health Services or in your home town. CMU Health Services offers a full-service Immunization/Travel Health Clinic.


It is recommended that you schedule an appointment with the CMU Immunizations/Travel Health Clinic (or a travel health clinic of your choice) to learn about required or recommended immunizations, as well as the health issues for your host country. Immunizations can be administered at this clinic.  If you are planning to travel to additional countries, be sure to share this information with the travel health nurse. Certain countries require that you show proof of immunizations to be able to enter.  It is important that you begin this process early because some vaccinations may need to be administered up to six months prior to departure.


To participate in a CMU study abroad program, every student and faculty member is required to have health insurance that provides sufficient coverage outside of the United States. CMU will automatically enroll you in a study abroad group health insurance policy through GeoBlue Insurance (​). No exceptions will be allowed.

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 extend the insurance through 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, you must keep your current health insurance so that you can continue treatment upon your return home.

Visit the GeoBlue website ( to find information on:

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