CSA encourages all travelers to contact their primary medical provider or visit a travel health clinic for up-to-date immunizations and travel health advice. The International Society for Travel Medicine (ISTM) - istm.org is a useful resource to find a travel health clinic near you. There is no substitute for advice from a medical health professional. It is advised that you schedule your doctors appointment at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip start date to allow time for the vaccines or medications to take effect. Please see our Pre-Departure Checklist and FAQ section of our website for more information on planning your trip. Our first step in supporting students is empowering them with information about health in China. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a jīn (市斤) of cure. Preparation may sometimes seem tedious, but it can save you both time and a headache. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy when in China:
- Expect some jet lag. While many people may not be affected much by jet lag, it can compromise your immune system making you more vulnerable to illness, so allow yourself time to adjust. Sunshine will reset your biological clock and physical activity will help keep you awake and alert during the day time. If you must take a nap when you arrive, try to keep it short!
- Drink a lot of water, but be cautious of water you drink. Make sure that it is either boiled, bottled, or purified water. One useful way to get safe fluids is through clean fruits or the many places that serve complimentary hot tea.
- Wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- If traveling to rural areas bring your own sanitary necessities, medications, first aid kit, etc. Bring spare medication for any chronic problem you may have in case of loss or theft. Treat any important medication like money and store it in two different places.
- Make sure to get plenty of exercise. Whether it’s walking the streets and seeing the sights or joining one of the many fitness centers available in major cities exercising regularly will decrease your chance of illness.
- Be cautious of heat exhaustion. You might not be used to the heat and humidity in some areas of China. Make sure to limit your exposure to the sun, drink plenty of water, and find a way to keep cool in hot weather.
While preparation and knowledge is the best resources one has to stay healthy, you cannot always prevent illness. Should you need to access medical or dental services while in China CSA can provide you with resources in your area and help you get to where you need to go. While China has comprehensive western-style medical care and dentistry the majority of these services are in metropolitan areas. Medical facilities with international staff are mainly located in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and a few other large cites. In rural areas there is access to some medical facilities, but they often do not have comprehensive services and lack multilingual staff. CSA strives to increase access to health care for our students and rural Chinese communities. We are available to students 24 hours a day if any issues should arise. Whether it’s accessing our interactive map of the best health facilities in China or helping you get to where you need to go, we are behind our students one hundred percent. Here are a few useful sites to help you be more prepared:
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