Prolonged stay in a foreign country (expats)

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Extra precautions may be necessary if you are living abroad for a long period, for example for work or study. This is certainly the case if you will be living in a country with a lower standard of hygiene.

Discuss with your general practitioner or a specialised travel clinic whether you are eligible for:

Take into consideration that you may wish to visit other countries in the region during weekends or vacations and that different advice may apply to these countries.

Visit your general practitioner and dentist before departure so that they can detect and treat any problems.

Discuss how you can supplement any chronic medication that you may have. Be aware of potentially fake medicines in the country where you will be staying. Also refer to the information about travelling with medication.

Ensure that you have good cover for travel insurance and adjust your health insurance if necessary.

Check before departure where you can go if you become ill.

People who spend a long period of time in a foreign country are more likely to have unsafe sex. Take condoms with you just in case, particularly if you are travelling without a partner.

If you will be spending a long period in a country where tuberculosis is common, then it is sensible to have yourself tested after your return or on a yearly basis, particularly if you have been in close contact with the local population.

Living in another culture with another language, sometimes far away from family and friends, can be very stressful. Ensure that you have enough time for relaxation and keep in touch with the people back home.

Take good care of yourself, try to eat a healthy, get plenty of exercise and drink alcohol in moderation. Some countries impose severe penalties for the use of other recreational drugs. 

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