Prescription Medications

  • Taking a full supply of prescription medications.  It is very important for students to carry a full supply of their medication(s) with them. Students who take prescription medicines should ask their physician to write a prescription allowing them to take an adequate supply of medication to last their entire time abroad. U.S. prescriptions cannot be filled outside the United States, and mailing medication(s) is not recommended because the medication may not pass through customs.

  • Consulting with your insurance company.  To obtain a full supply of medication, students and/or their physicians may need to consult with their insurance company regarding the length of their time abroad.  Many insurers limit refills to 30 or 90-day amounts without the existence of extenuating circumstances.  

  • Documenting Prescriptions.  When traveling, students should keep their medication in its original packaging and take a copy of the prescription with them to present to customs officials.

  • Prohibited Medications.  Some drugs now commonly prescribed in the U.S. (such as Ritalin) are banned in some countries. Check with your program to make sure that you can bring your prescription medications legally into your host country. 

  • Non-prescription Medications. Over-the-counter medications that are readily available in the U.S. may not be available abroad.  We recommend taking a supply of any essential non-prescription medications with you.

  • Allergies.  If you suffer from allergies, be especially sure to take an adequate supply of medication. Big cities may have more airborne pollutants than you are used to, which can trigger severe reactions.