What mental health resources are available while abroad?

There are many factors involved in ensuring a safe and successful program abroad. Key among these are the mental and emotional well-being of our participants. The stress of adjusting to an unfamiliar culture, different time zones, a change of academic environment, being far from friends and family, and/or adjusting to a new system of support services (and perhaps one that is not as robust as you might find at home) can bring about a variety of unexpected and potentially overwhelming reactions.

Thus, prior to applying for a program abroad, we encourage students to use the support services they have at their home institution – an academic advisor, a health clinic, a counseling center, etc. – to determine if they have the mental and emotional health to participate in a study or internship abroad program. 

Once a participant is on site and if they are struggling emotionally, we can deploy the following resources to assist them:

  • Talking with our trained, local Site Director about the issues they are experiencing. Culture shock affects everyone at some point in time and an overwhelming majority of emotional issues can be worked through with our staff.
  • Referral to a trained professionals either at the host institution or through a private contracted service.
Any assessment made after a trained professional is consulted will be discussed with the participant and, if the matter is considered a threat to the well-being of the participant (or others), our emergency communication procedures will be follow


Included in every program is CIS Abroad's a Let's Talk program that provides easy access to informal confidential consultations with a virtual counselor. Learn more here.