Studying Abroad:
Health Insurance and Medical Care
in Puerto Rico


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

We contract a health insurance policy for all students who participate in our programs; this cost is included in the program fees. All Spanish Studies students are required to participate in the medical insurance program, whether you have insurance at home or not. Should you need medical attention, contact our San Juan Office and a staff member will help to make an appointment with a physician. For further details regarding health insurance, refer to the copy of the insurance policy (Panamerican Life Insurance) included in your acceptance packet. You can also find it here.

Although we provide medical insurance while in Puerto Rico, if you also have medical insurance at home, it is a good idea to take along one or two claims forms. These would be used if you need treatment for a pre-existing medical or psychological condition or medical attention while traveling outside of Puerto Rico; or encountered health issues while traveling outside of the program dates.

Please note that you are only covered through Spanish Studies for the dates of the program, so you should also plan to bring claims forms if you are traveling before or after the program.


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.


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.


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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