Health and support services
If you need help, just ask
Moving to a new country isn’t an easy task. If you find yourself struggling to adjust, feeling isolated, or feel someone has treated you unfairly, support services are available.
Nearly all universities, colleges, schools and education institutions offer a number of support services which are specifically designed for international students.
As a first point of contact, you may like to contact your IDP representative who will be able to offer you advice and guidance on what to do next.
If you are unsure about your consumer rights, you can visit the USA.gov website for more information.
Staying healthy while you study
You might find yourself in need of medical support while in the United States.
If you are in a life-threatening emergency, call 911. It’s a free call, and connects you to police, fire and ambulance services.
The U.S. healthcare system offers some of the best medical care in the world, but it is complex, difficult to navigate and often very expensive.
There are many types of medical providers, including large and small hospitals, emergency rooms, private doctors’ offices, urgent care centres, walk-in clinics, specialists’ offices, surgery centres, pharmacies and on-campus clinics.
Emergency rooms in the U.S. are very expensive and are specifically designed for lifethreatening cases, very severe illnesses or injuries.
If you’re not feeling well while you are in the U.S., the best place to start is the on-campus health centre or clinic. Services at these clinics are typically available at a reduced cost or even free. Visiting a local doctor is also another affordable place to start medical care but you may need to book an appointment first.
A convenient option is a walk-in clinic or urgent care centre as they are open for extended hours, you don’t need an appointment and they have the ability to deal with a wide variety of medical issues.
When arriving in the U.S., you will need to organise private health insurance. Be sure to check what your insurance policy covers, specifically around dental treatment.
If you require a prescription for medication, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your receipt and submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement.