Stay Healthy and Safe

Cornell Resources

For a general overview of common health and well-being information and resources while traveling, refer to Global Cornell's general recommendations for travelers. Information about requirements for health insurance while studying abroad can be found on the Student Health Benefits webpage. Cornell in Rome automatically enrolls participating students in a university-wide supplemental health insurance group plan. This supplemental insurance does not take the place of comprehensive insurance coverage, but it ensures that students are covered internationally within the policy guidelines established by Student Health Benefits.

Personal Security

Be aware of your surroundings. Small, zippered packs worn around the waist and purses that hang low are favorite targets of pickpockets. As a general precaution, keep a hand on your bag while on the bus, stay alert, and use common sense. Always travel with a buddy, especially if you go out at night.


Going abroad will not fix problems at home. New circumstances, although they can be exciting, can even exacerbate existing issues into crises while you're away. If you are concerned about your physical or emotional health, including the use of alcohol or other controlled drugs, address your situation honestly before going abroad. AAP Academic Services can help talk through your concerns. If you are currently working with a service provider, please talk about your travel plans with them before going abroad.

Preparations for Well-being

The Travel Clinic at Cornell Health offers information and resources related to the prevention and treatment of common health problems seen in countries around the world. They will check that your immunizations comply with the recommendations for Italy, and offer other wellness advice. Be sure to schedule a consultation at least six weeks in advance of travel to allow adequate time for vaccines requiring multiple doses.

For more information, visit the Cornell Health website.

Prescription Medication and Other Medicine

If you take prescription medications, take a large enough supply — in your checked luggage to avoid problems with customs — to last two weeks beyond your expected return. Take a doctor's note or the original prescription.

Please be sure to check with your doctor about the availability of your prescription medications in Italy. It may be necessary that you receive an additional prescription to obtain enough medication for your entire stay.

Also, pack non-prescription medicine and a modest first aid kit. If you wear corrective lenses, pack an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses.

Identity Abroad

You will find that there are different perceptions in Italy of a number of areas of identity. These include age, race, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, social class, ethnicity, first language, religion, ability, political party affiliation, occupation, hobbies, interests, family roles, taste in music, organizations you belong to, and physical characteristics, among others.

Some questions to consider:

  1. Which aspects of your identity do you think about most often at Cornell?
  2. Which aspects of your identity do you expect to be most and least aware of in Rome?
  3. What do you need to know about Italian perceptions of identity in order to have a safe and positive experience in Rome?

General Recommendations for Well-being

  • Create a support system for your time abroad. Consider making proactive arrangements to check in with your care provider at home on a regular basis. In addition, there are recommended English speaking care providers in Rome. If you would like any assistance in connecting with a provider before your departure for Rome, please contact AAP Academic Services.
  • Maintain good self-care. Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are especially important.
  • Limit stress-inducing chemicals, including caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol.
  • Participate in recreational/relaxing activities. Schedule recreational time with friends so that it is certain to happen, despite tight academic schedules and deadlines. Set aside time for quiet and relaxation. Deep-breathing exercises, yoga, and listening to relaxing music can slow down physical symptoms of anxiety.
  • Take breaks from studying. Arrange for time away from academic pressures and deadlines.
  • Engage in meaningful activities. Having a positive outlook and recognizing what we cannot control are keys to managing stress. Seek out activities and connections with other individuals and communities that can help bolster a sense of inner strength and satisfaction with life.

"Culture Shock"

Remember that you are a guest in a foreign country, and, although many aspects of Italy may feel familiar right away or you may quickly adjust to minor differences, it is important to be sensitive in situations of cultural difference that may arise. You may experience minor frustrations, especially while away from Rome, with tasks that are easy in Ithaca. Always try to maintain a good attitude in these situations!

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