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Volunteer Experience

I taught an English class with a campus program called Belén UC (Bethlehem Universidad Católica) that has volunteer college students teaching classes once a week to adults who were unable to finish high school and obtain a secondary education degree. I taught basic English classes each Friday night and had an amazing experience. I grew in friendship with the students I had because most of them were around my age and it was a good experience simply being a little bit of positive energy in their daily lives once a week.

Kelsey Kaufman

International Studies
IAP Santiago, Chile



Mental Health Abroad

We are committed to supporting study abroad for all students. This support includes students who are managing various mental health concerns. Just as cultures differ, so does the degree of access to counseling and mental health services in the many countries and communities a student might consider for their study abroad experience. Certain medications that are legal in the United States may also be considered illegal in other countries. Many students have successfully studied abroad with existing mental health conditions, but not every study abroad experience is a good fit for certain types of care.

Pre-Departure Planning

Before you go abroad, there are several steps you can take to make sure your experience is as successful as possible.

Disclosing mental health history to your Study Abroad Advisor

We encourage you to disclose your mental health history to your Study Abroad Advisor (SAA), if you feel comfortable. It can be helpful to identify indications of when things are getting difficult for you and what you find most helpful and supportive. All of our advisors want to support you in order for you to have a productive and rewarding experience abroad. Disclosing your history will NOT keep you from participating on a program.

There are many benefits to disclosing to SAA they can:

You can also ask about these accommodations or procedures without disclosing your specific situation by asking questions like

Possible questions to ask SAA before you go:

Your SAA is available to you upon return as well to discuss your program and how you are adjusting to life back in the U.S.

Possible questions for Mental Health Care Providers

Adjusting to New Culture (While Abroad)

Resources

Preparations for Traveling with a Mental Health Condition
Handling Mental Illness While Abroad Blog Post
University Health Services