Mental Health

Along with physical health, it is equally important to note that the range of counseling services available to students at Brandeis University may not be available overseas. Many insurance policies, if they reimburse for counseling services at all, may not do so for services provided overseas.

For your safety and well-being, it is vital that you inform your program provider of any physical, emotional or psychological difficulties or special needs you have or may have experienced in the past. It is important for each student to know what mental health services are available in their host country and how they plan to access those services should the need arise.  Never assume that just because you are in a foreign culture that there are no services offered in your native language, this is often a misconception.

Even under the most optimal conditions, adjusting to life in a different culture can be a stressful transition. On occasion, this stress may trigger or exacerbate more serious emotional conditions. Adjusting to another culture is a higher risk for a student who is currently under treatment for depression, an eating disorder, or any other serious condition. In these cases, study abroad should be postponed or planned very carefully in conjunction with the study abroad staff and health care professionals.

Remember that typical reactions to cultural transitions may include homesickness, boredom or fatigue, physical complaints, feelings of depression or helplessness, and/or hostility toward the host culture. However, these reactions are usually short-lived and completely normal.  If you are experiencing more than typical reactions or if you would benefit from assistance with these feelings please seek assistance with either local professionals or home support networks.