Tag Archives: study abroad blog


5 Signs Your Medical Condition is Too Serious to Study Abroad

 (photo by: eogroup.biz)

Deciding that studying abroad is right for you is a big decision, especially when it comes to your health. Most students don’t think their health or medication regimen has anything to do with their study abroad choice but it does. There are articles online telling students to go abroad at any cost but I think it’s important to acknowledge when studying abroad isn’t worth risking your health. Let’s take a look at 5 signs your medical condition should keep you at home.

1)      You have to get blood work monthly: Some medical conditions require constant monitoring with you going to a lab every month for blood work. Trying to squeeze lab work abroad between classes and figuring out the host culture/language would be a nightmare on your schedule. It would also be extremely difficult to try to coordinate with your health insurance to pay a foreign lab on a monthly basis, not to mention could be pricey too if you have to pay out of pocket each time before your insurance could reimburse you or the lab. Remember, you are not eligible for universal healthcare in the host country as a foreign student, especially if you are not working there.

2)      You have to visit your doctor monthly: Do you visit your doctor every month for a check up on your condition? If so, this is a good indication that studying abroad is probably not right for you. Your program may be able to recommend a physician abroad or there may even be one on campus but remember this doctor is not familiar with you and your history. You would have to start from the very beginning with this new doctor and bring your entire medical file with you (it may even need to be translated). If your medical condition needs to be monitored closely, it’s a good idea to stay close to the doctor who knows you best.

3)      You take medication intravenously: Bringing your Rx with you abroad can be tricky but it can be even trickier if it’s an intravenous medication. If the thought of you being interrogated by TSA and foreign customs on the syringe in your bag isn’t bad enough, think about how you will maintain your medication abroad. Some intravenous medication needs to be kept refrigerated which is not ideal when you’re sharing a super tiny fridge with strangers who speak a different language. If this is how you take your medication, please talk with your program coordinator, your doctor as well as visit travel.state.gov for more information to determine if your medication is allowed in the country and if there are any pill alternatives.

syringe(photo by:www.onclive.com)

4)      Your condition just got out of remission: Anyone who has ever gone through remission of their medical condition can tell you that you’re not quite out of the woods. Remission means that you still have to be monitored closely by your doctor as well as have follow-up tests to ensure that you stay on the path to permanent recovery. If you’re overseas, it will be hard for your doctor to help you stay healthy.

5)      Stress can trigger an attack: The experience of transitioning into a new culture, language, college experience, a city environment or living with a host family can be stressful. If your condition can be affected by stress to cause an attack, a relapse, or any medical problems/ complications, you may need to rethink studying abroad.

The best way to find out if studying abroad is right for your health is to ask your doctor. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity but so is your life! It’s important to not risk your health. If your doctor deems your medical condition ok for going overseas, you should wear a bracelet at all times that briefly details your medical condition, your medication name and dose (generic and brand), your doctor’s name and contact info, and allergies. Please list this information in English and the host language. It’s also a good idea to give your program director abroad this information so that someone abroad has it in the event of an emergency.


How Andrea Got Her Groove Back and What This Means for Twenty in Paris

(photo by: sheownsit.com)

I’m a very private person. I’m not sure if it stems from me being an introvert and not needing to spend time with others for energy or if it stems from growing up in an isolated house not near any children. Anyhoo, because I strongly believe in a personal life, social media never appealed to me. What got me into it? Writing Twenty in Paris! Social media is a great way to connect with people and students and even programs passionate about study abroad and Paris, however, I’m not keen on letting everyone know what I had for dinner. Recently, I wrote about having a difficult time with motivation.I’m happy to tell you that issue has resolved itself. It meant taking some time doing other interests like photography, sight seeing local towns outside of Dallas, riding my bike in the beautiful Texas summer nights, and reading. Getting my motivation back meant also taking a look at what I’ve been doing with Twenty in Paris for the past few months, especially in regards to social media. I wanted to let you know that I am downsizing the Twenty in Paris social media presence with the goal of increasing my interaction on it as well as bettering it- don’t worry, you won’t be seeing tweets on my every action. So what does this mean exactly? It means that the only places you’ll find Twenty in Paris on the internet are twitter, tumblr, Google Plus and YouTube as well as twentyinparis.net of course! I was never a big FB fan (I don’t even have a personal account there!) so it was an easy choice to get rid of it. Twitter will be my main area where I plan to share updates on Paris, France, study abroad and articles in 140 characters or less. Google + will be more article focused whereas tumblr will be more image focused. I’m also going to be redesigning the Twenty in Paris website and need your feedback to make sure that it meets all of your needs and expectations for the ultimate Paris study abroad resource.  More info to come in a separate post.


Happy Birthday Twenty in Paris!

(photo by: www.clipartbest.com)

It’s hard to believe that 1 year ago, Twenty in Paris: A Young American Perspective of Studying Abroad in Paris, was published! It has been a whirlwind 12 months (in a good way) where I have had the privilege of meeting great students (and even featuring their study abroad stories) and companies. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of Twenty in Paris and The Paris Diaries as well to you! I don’t have much more to say other than I look forward to another year together to better prepare students for the experience of studying abroad in Paris. Vive Twenty in Paris !


3 Ways You Never Considered Going Abroad (But should!)

(Photo by: www.searchjobsabroad.com)

Andrea’s note: On July 9th, Meaghan put her study abroad advisor hat on and shared with us the Ins and Outs of Choosing a Study Abroad Program. What you might not have known is that studying isn’t the only way you can go abroad during college. Check out these 3 ways you never considered going abroad but totally should- by Meaghan Murphy.

Internships Abroad – Working overseas for a short period of time with the goal being hands on work experience, training, and networking rather than making a salary. By interning abroad, you can test out a new interest or determine whether a certain profession is the best career choice for you

Teach Abroad – You spend a chunk of time overseas working with the local population and teaching them about your own culture and language. The countries vary as does the age of the population you work with, what’s included within your program and what type of salary you would get from teaching overseas

Volunteer Abroad – Basically what it says – you’re spending some time abroad volunteering with local projects. Often you pay a provider to connect you with a local group and you fly over and work with that particular group on a project. Countries, projects, prices, and time commitment vary by provider or organization

Miss America Building

(Volunteering abroad is a great opportunity. Photo by: www.examiner.com)

Now for my suggestions:

There are a ton of resources available to you. My first suggestion is to sit down and ask yourself exactly what you want out of a program; here are a few ideas of which questions to consider:

  • How long do you want to be away? (A few weeks, few months, as long as possible?)
  • Which part of the world do you want to be in? (Close to the USA? Somewhere that doesn’t speak English? A traditional hot spot like the UK or Spain or Italy?)
  • Do you want to take classes with other Americans or with local students?
  • What do you want included in the program – housing, field trips, meals?


Next, speak with someone who can help you narrow down your options.

Academic Advising

(Talking to your advisor is a great start! Photo by: www.collegemagazine.com)

  • The majority of colleges and universities in the US will have someone who can advise on study abroad options.
  • Visit your study abroad or stop by the study abroad fair and speak with any of the numerous representatives.
  • If that doesn’t work, there are a couple of websites that can help narrow down the options. Those sites are goabroad.com, ratemystudyabroad.com, Abroad101.com.
  • Speak with your friends and classmates – odds are at least one of them has studied abroad and they can help point you in the right direction
  • Ask your faculty advisors if they have any recommendations on programs to fit your major or your interests

It’s never too early to start planning, so start thinking about it now and start looking at the options available to you!


Meaghan Murphy

Meaghan found her passion for travel after a high school trip to Italy and Greece; since then she’s studied abroad in New Zealand for a semester, has worked abroad in Scotland for 3 months, and has visited Australia, England, and Canada. After graduating from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, Meaghan completed her Master’s Degree in International education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT. She currently works at University of Hartford in the International Programs Office and really enjoys speaking with students interested in traveling abroad.