Health and wellbeing - Section contents

Familiarise yourself with these tips and resources to keep safe and healthy during your time overseas.

Mental health

We recognise that all travellers may experience some difficulties adjusting to a new culture or environment. Sometimes it can be hard to adapt to a different language, climate, or the customs of your host destination, and this can take a toll on your mental health.

Check out the University's Counselling and Psychological Services Information and Self Help Resources to understand how to stay well or find support if required. If you are experiencing any mental health issues while overseas, seek advice from your exchange or international office, or wellbeing services through your host institution.

beyondblue, an Australian support service for people experiencing anxiety and depression, is also a great online resource for information about how to manage your mental health.

If you have existing anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions, it's important to let us know. Disclosing any mental health conditions does not preclude you from an overseas study program, and does not form part of the assessment process.

On the application form you are asked if "you have any chronic illnesses or disabilities, or do you suffer from anxiety or depression?". Our aim is to accommodate and prepare you better. If you select 'yes', your Education Abroad Adviser will get in touch to discuss what, if any, assistance you might need. Please be frank about your situation, as advisers will treat all provided information with sensitivity, and will only share details when necessary in arranging support and in accordance to your wishes.


Health matters

When you are setting off on your own for an extended period of time, it is important to take a few basic precautions to ensure a safe and healthy experience.

It's important that you obtain travel insurance for the duration of your overseas study program.

The University offers free, full coverage travel insurance to students travelling on approved University programs. For more information, visit the Get ready section of our step-by-step guide.

Before you go, ensure you have a general medical checkup to ask about immunisation requirements for your host destination. You can book an appointment with a GP through the University Health Service.

If you experience any health issues while overseas, find a doctor through your host institution. For additional travel tips, visit the Australian Government travel advisory and consular assistance service, Smartraveller.

Australia has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with 11 countries. If you are travelling to one of these countries, you will be provided with general medical services if the need arises, and it would be unreasonable to delay treatment until you return to Australia. Visit the Department of Human Services for more information.

If you have an existing chronic health condition or disability, it is important to let us know so that we can prearrange any support you may need at your host institution.

Disclosing any chronic health conditions or disability does not preclude you from an overseas study program, and does not form part of the assessment process.

On the application form you are asked whether "you have any chronic illnesses or disabilities, or do you suffer from anxiety or depression?".

Our aim is to accommodate and prepare you better. If you select 'yes', your Education Abroad Adviser will get in touch to discuss what, if any, assistance you might need. Please be frank about your situation, as advisers will treat all provided information with sensitivity, and will only share details when necessary in arranging support and in accordance to your wishes.

The University of Melbourne recognises disability in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).


Safety

If you intend to go abroad to a country that is considered unstable or unsafe, you will be contacted by us during the nomination and approval process. The University of Melbourne relies on advice from the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on such matters and students are required to apply for an exemption to travel to high risk destinations. Visit the Travel to high risk countries for studies FAQ for more information.

If the Australian Government recommends that all travel to the host destination be deferred or that all non-essential travel be deferred, your overseas study will be suspended until such time as the recommendation is improved.

If you are in the country at the time that a DFAT warning is issued, you will need to leave as soon as possible. University of Melbourne staff will liaise with you and your host institution. Alternative arrangements will be made for your assessment. Up-to-date information and guidelines on foreign travel to designated 'risk areas' are available from the Department's website Smartraveller.

If you are already in a country where a crisis is developing, refer to Smartraveller regularly. If you experience an emergency situation while overseas, please make contact with the University as soon as possible.

Counselling and Psychological Services

The University of Melbourne's Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) have a collection of Online Interactive Programs, reviewed and chosen as useful for common student issues. You may find this web-based, self-help material useful while travelling and studying overseas.