Health Issues


Many countries in South America, Asia, and Africa require proof of immunizations in order to enter the country. Some of these immunizations can be done in one day, while others are done as a series over several weeks. The Longest Student Health Center provides vaccinations as well as health care information for the international traveler. If you do not know the requirements of your destination, visit the Center for Disease Control’s travel site for more information.

Health Insurance

Mississippi State University requires that ALL students studying abroad purchase sufficient health insurance for their stay abroad. This inexpensive insurance is designed to assist with specific needs that can develop while in another country. Even if you already have health insurance, additional coverage is important to cover situations that may not be covered by a domestic carrier.

In order to study abroad with Mississippi State University, students' policies must cover (at a minimum) the following three services:

  1. Medical Evacuation
  2. Bedside Visit (by parent or family member)
  3. Repatriation of Remains

Mississippi State University has negotiated a customized study abroad insurance plan and rate for all MSU students, faculty and staff. The plan is through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), a leader in study abroad insurance. The cost is $46.25/month and provides comprehensive coverage for accidents, sicknesses, emergency medical/security evacuation and 24/7 phone and e-mail assistance while you are abroad. All faculty-led programs include this cost in the program fee. Insurance is purchased by the Office of Study Abroad on behalf of faculty-led program participants through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).

Other affiliated programs, including exchange and direct-enroll programs, do not include sufficient health insurance in their program fee. Therefore, students studying abroad with these programs MUST purchase additional coverage.

To enroll in the MSU coverage through CISI please contact for the CISI Self-Enrollment insurance link. Enrollment with your credit card is quick and easy and your personalized insurance materials are e-mailed directly to you for printing, sharing with parents/advisors/authorities and saving for your future reference! Please contact OSA today for the CISI Self-Enrollment insurance link (Please note: you must enroll at least 7 days before you depart the U.S.).

Remember that your insurance will not help you if you do not have the information with you. While abroad, students should keep names, phone numbers, and policy numbers in a secure place. The U.S. Department of State has more information on health issues while abroad.

T.W. Lord & Associates
T: 770.427.2461
F: 770.429.0638
T.W. Lord offers both individual brochure products ("The Plan," "The Plan for Study Abroad" and the "Seven Stones" series) and custom-designed health insurance plans for international students, scholars, exchanges, ESL, travelers, and study abroad programs.

Worldwide Medical
T 800.647.4589 US/Canada
T 480.821.9052 Worldwide
F 480.821.9297

HCC Medical Insurance Services
T 800.605.2282


If you are traveling with prescription drugs, keep them in their original pharmacy containers and carry copies of prescriptions. Ask your doctor for the generic name of any drug you are taking in case you need to replace a prescription. Do not forget the prescription for your eyeglasses and contacts. Consider taking the entire amount of prescription drugs that you will need while abroad. Pack a one-month supply in your carry-on, and place the remainder in your stowed luggage.

If you are diabetic or need disposable syringes for any other medical condition, you may consider taking a supply that will last you until you return. This may not be necessary or allowed in all countries. Try to review the regulations and norms of your host country before departure.

Many students will experience some form of mild traveler’s diarrhea while abroad. You may want to ask your doctor to recommend an anti-diarrhea medication to take with you until you adjust to your host country’s food and water.

Before you leave, get physical, dental, and vision checkups and make sure your prescriptions are up-to-date.