Health and Support Services
If you need help, just ask
Moving to a new country can have its challenges. If you find yourself struggling to adjust, feeling isolated, or you feel someone has treated you unfairly, there are support services are available to help you.
Nearly all schools, colleges, universities and education institutions offer some support services which are especially designed for international students. As your first point of contact, you may like to contact your IDP representative who will be able to offer you advice and guidance on what you can do next.
If you are unsure about your consumer rights in the U.S., you can visit the USA.gov website for information and guidance.
Staying healthy while you study
You may find yourself in need of some medical support while in the United States. If you are in a life-threatening emergency, call 911. This is a free call, and connects you to the police, fire and ambulance services. The U.S. healthcare system offers some of the best medical care in the world, however it is complex, often difficult to navigate and can be very expensive.
There are many different types of medical providers, including both large and small hospitals, emergency rooms, private doctors’ offices, urgent care centers, walk-in clinics, specialists’ offices, surgery centers, pharmacies and on-campus clinics. In the U.S. emergency rooms are very expensive and are especially designed for life threatening cases and very severe illnesses / injuries.
If you’re not feeling well while you’re in the U.S., the best place to start is at your on-campus health center or clinic. At these clinics the services provided are typically available at a reduced cost or sometimes even free. Alternatively, visiting a local doctor is also another affordable option to start your medical care. However, you may need to book an appointment first. A convenient option is a walk-in clinic or urgent care center as these usually have extended opening hours, and you won’t need an appointment plus they have the ability to deal with a wide variety of medical issues.
Upon your arrival in the U.S., you’ll need to organise some form of private health insurance. Be sure to check what your insurance policy covers, specifically concerning dental treatment. If you need a prescription for any medication, it’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your receipt and then submit a claim to your insurance company to receive any possible reimbursements.