Medical Conditions and Special Needs
Students with chronic medical conditions (either physical or mental), physical disabilities, or learning disabilities, should fully disclose their medical condition and/or disability to the study abroad program as early as possible, to make the program aware of their needs.
Students who have on-going support from a medical provider and believe they may need medical support while studying away should consult with Off-Campus Studies and/or their program to ensure that those resources are available in the study destination. Students should ask their doctor for a written diagnosis of any medical conditions they have to carry with them, in case they need to share it with a doctor abroad.
Students with medical conditions or problems that may not be immediately apparent to a physician abroad (like diabetes, allergies, epilepsy, heart condition, etc.) are advised to consider obtaining Medic Alert identification. This internationally recognized emblem provides all vital information to medical personnel in case of an emergency. Further information may be obtained from: http://www.medicalert.org/ or Medic Alert Foundation International, 2323 Colorado Ave., Turlock, CA 95382 (tel. 888-633-4298).
Students with documented disabilities should consult with the Academic Resource Center (ARC) to request that a letter be sent from the ARC to their program, documenting their needs, as well as the support they receive at Whitman (if any), as soon as possible. Without official documentation, students may not be able to receive disabilities support while abroad. Moreover, disability accommodations may take time to arrange, or be more difficult to obtain, depending on local conditions.
Students with a history of mental health difficulties, alcohol and/or drug problems, or an eating disorder may find that the stress of adjusting to a new culture exacerbates their condition. It is therefore important for students to disclose their condition(s) to their study abroad program, and to Whitman Off-Campus Studies, so that Whitman and the program can provide adequate and informed support if any issues arise.
Students who are under the care of a mental health counselor should discuss plans to study abroad with their medical provider, to determine if study abroad is advisable and, if so, what support may be needed while away. The Student should also inform Off-Campus Studies (as well as their program) about what services they may need while off campus, so that Whitman can confirm what types of student resources will be available abroad.