Mental Health

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

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, long-lasting feelings of the above, or if you would benefit from assistance with these feelings, please seek assistance with either local professionals, home support networks, your study abroad program, or the Office of Study Abroad. Planning as early as possible is always advised and your program can help with this process. In some cases, purchasing additional insurance may be recommended.

Below are some commonly asked questions by students and responses from the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC).