Studying Abroad:
Health Insurance and Medical Care
in Puerto Rico

Overview

Spanish Studies Abroad has staff on hand who have experience with students needing medical attention abroad. If you get sick or injured and need to go to the doctor, speak to the Spanish Studies Abroad office staff. They will help you make an appointment and go with you to the doctor’s office, if you want them to.

If you are under medical or psychological treatment at home, you should speak with your doctor about the possible effects of study abroad and cultural change on your condition. If you have any pre-existing medical or psychological conditions, you should bring a copy of your medical records with you, in case you need treatment while in Puerto Rico.

Important: Eating disorders are considered medical conditions and must be reported on your health statement. Withholding medical information could result in your dismissal from the program.

Insurance Coverage

Most students coming from universities in the United States will already be enrolled in a health insurance policy that covers the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico and are able to opt out of our health insurance. 

All students attending Spanish Studies Abroad programs have the option of enrolling in health insurance provided by CISI for the duration of the program, which you can find the summary of benefits here.

Regardless of which options students choose for health insurance, everyone will be enrolled in Emergency Evacuation Insurance provided by CISI, which you can see here.

Dental

If you have dental insurance in the U.S., you should also bring some dental insurance claims forms with you, in case you need dental treatment while you are abroad.

Prescriptions

If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring enough for your entire stay. Keep prescriptions in their original bottles so as to avoid trouble at customs and airport security.

You should also bring a written prescription with you, in case you run out or lose your medication. Make sure the prescription has the generic name of the drug and not the brand name, so the pharmacist will be able to translate it more easily.

Injections

If you require allergy or other injections, you should bring syringes with you from the U.S.; needles in Spain are usually a bigger gauge. The cost of receiving these injections is not covered by your Spanish Studies Abroad insurance, so be prepared for that expense. In order to get your injections at a clinic abroad, your doctor in the U.S. must write you a letter with the following information:

Directions on how to administer the injection
How often the medication is administered
Generic name of the medication
Components of the medication
Exact dosage of medication needed
Any possible side effects
Any other relevant information for administering the injection

Send one copy of this letter to the Spanish Studies Abroad office in Amherst, MA, and take the other copy with you to Spain. Again, you must have a written prescription and/or a letter from your doctor if you want to get through airport security with your injection materials.

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