Health Insurance and Immunizations | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Health Insurance and Immunizations

Although traveling abroad is an experience of a lifetime, your new adventure can present unplanned health complications. It's a good idea to plan for the unexpected. 

Health Insurance for NWACC Administered Programs 

Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses are a part of life, and can occur while visiting another country. For this reason, NWACC requires anyone participating in a study abroad program administered by NWACC to be covered under a health insurance plan, which includes medical evacuation and repatriation.

If you are a student participating in an NWACC program, you will not need to shop for a health insurance plan. The insurance plan is included in the cost of the study abroad trip. The Study Abroad Office has already vetted an accident and sickness plan that covers you while you are abroad. The current insurance plan is administered by International Student Insurance.

This international student insurance policy will cover students only during the official dates of the study abroad program. It can't be extended for travel before or after your program. If you are traveling on your own outside of the program dates (either before or after), we strongly encourage you to purchase additional insurance so you will have international health insurance for your entire trip abroad. You must pay for this additional coverage yourself; you cannot purchase it through the Study Abroad Office.

Immunizations and Medication

Health issues differ around the world. It's important to be aware of the health issues at the destination(s) you’re traveling to and prepare accordingly. Likewise, laws surrounding medications vary from country to country, so you should also research the legality and availability of the medicines you take in your destination.

Vaccine Basics for Your Trip

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a thorough list of vaccines and medicines you should consider getting before traveling. Please visit the CDC website for health information on your travel destination(s).
  • You should get all of your vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks before departure to allow the vaccines to take full effect and provide time for vaccines that require more than one dose.
  • Be aware that in order to enter certain countries you must provide proof that you’ve received certain vaccinations.
  • If you are planning to travel to other countries before, during, or after your program, you should be aware of these countries’ immunization requirements as well.
  • You can receive most vaccinations and travel medicine at Arkansas Department of Health.

Taking Medications Abroad

  • Consult the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Information for your destination(s) to learn about any known restrictions on medications (over-the-counter or prescribed).
  • Keep medications in their original, labeled containers so that it is clear to customs what the contents and intended use.
  • Take enough medication to last the duration of your time abroad. Some medications are not accessible in certain countries.
  • Carry your medication in carry-on luggage only; your checked luggage could be delayed or lost.
  • Take a copy of your prescription in case you have to purchase medication at your destination. Have your doctor write it in the generic name, as drug brand names can differ in other countries.
  • Take a signed doctor's note describing the medical necessity of any prescription drugs you take; this is especially important for controlled substances or injectable medicines (such as insulin).
  • If you plan to travel with a prescribed controlled substance (e.g. ADHD medication or prescription pain pills), check the legality and availability of these medicines in your destination. Review the International Narcotics Control Board and the country's official government websites for this information, and consult with the Embassy or Consulate of your destination country.
  • If your medication is not legal or available in your destination, make a back-up plan for treatment with your U.S. doctor in advance of departure.