In spite of the tremendous benefits of a well-planned off-campus study program, we recognize that our world, though "smaller" through the advancement of travel, is no safer. Through discussions and pre-departure orientation programs, we encourage students to play an important role in their own safety through the day-to-day decisions that they make.
Be aware that many students participating in OCS programs, particularly in developing countries, may require vaccinations and/or medications. Students are encouraged to consult the Health and Counseling Center at Kenyon or other medical professionals as soon as possible, as some vaccines are given over an extended period of time and/or must be special ordered. More information on travel health is also available online through the Centers for Disease Control Travel website. The US State Department maintains extensive country-specific guides, as well as helpful information for specific types of travelers (LGBTQI+ travelers, students abroad, travelers with disabilities, etc.)
Off-campus study can often cause challenges to students in maintaining their mental and physical health. Changes in diet, schedule, climate, or physical environment, as well as stressors such as a new educational system, language, and/or cultural barriers may all impact health and require adjusting your routine. We encourage students to be proactive in planning for their health while off campus. Meeting with a healthcare provider in advance to discuss medical history and the demands of the study abroad program is a great way to think through possible challenges and develop the tools to address them successfully. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers can be a good resource in managing specific medical or mental health concerns, including taking medications and meeting mental health needs. The University of Michigan's Resilient Travel site offers practical suggestions for coping with adversity and developing resiliency no matter where you are.