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Health and Wellbeing

Welcome to the Health and Wellbeing area of the site! Here you'll find articles on how to maintain your physical and mental health whilst on your international placement.



If you have any questions or queries, ask them now on TYA Answers.

  • Advice about studying abroad with an illness

    Written by  Rosemary Cowhig Thursday, 31 January 2013
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism just before my year abroad began in early September. I had spent most of the summer lying inactive at home between blood tests, exhausted even by vacuuming and making endless packing lists on my laptop until my doctor was finally able to give me a prescription. Hypothyroidism means your body clock is running too slowly so you are always tired and cold and all your organs are not functioning as they should. It gets worse in times of change and stress, after drinking alcohol and in cold areas, so my doctor was not amused to find out I was going to live in St Petersburg, Russia, for four months.
  • We all know the statistics: mental health problems affect between 1-in-3 and 1-in-4 Britons at some point in their life. So, with that in mind, there’s a good chance that a few of us who suffer from mental health problems are jetting off to study or work abroad each semester. These conditions, while they should never affect anyone’s chances of doing something potentially so life changing, can complicate matters somewhat. So here’s a handy guide to what to think about before you set off.
  • It's so important to stay fit and healthy on your year abroad, but it's a lot easier if you have a goal in mind. Everyone secretly wants to run a half or full marathon, so why not take advantage of the fact that you're abroad and can run in the sun?! Now's your chance! Here's a list of the top marathons and half marathons in the world, with some first time marathon stories and training programmes to make the whole process less scary...
  • When it comes to staying healthy on your year abroad (and before and after!), it helps to have a fitness goal with a huge element fun! Here is our definitive list of the best fancy dress runs, walks and bike rides for when you're back in the UK (in no particular order)...

  • What to take with you on your flight

    Written by  Arthur Reagan Monday, 03 October 2011
    You’ve booked your travel, going with X airline to your chosen destination and you’re pretty excited. Now you’re all packed, suitcase-wise, having picked your best gear to go explore the world of the year abroad, you just need to sort out your hand luggage. Just what do you bring on a long-haul flight? How do you fill out 8+ hours of chair, window, noisy brat in front and skyline for company? Here our top must-have items to help you through it:
  • I am one of those people who live to eat, not eat to live. Seriously, I love everything about food – cooking, buying, trying new things... but mostly eating! So, when I arrived in Nice last September for my year abroad, a huge part of my excitement of being in France was the different food on offer. The differences between what we can buy in a supermarket here, compared to Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the UK is amazing, and we are only a few miles across the channel! With some imagination, you can easily embrace the change to eat healthy, exciting, new, regional food without breaking the bank (or the scales!) while on your year abroad.
  • Studying Abroad with Mental Health Issues

    Written by  Katie Davies Thursday, 25 October 2012
    When I told everyone that I was going to be studying Journalism and Russian, a lot of people didn’t think I was going to get very far. It wasn’t because they didn’t think I was clever enough or dedicated enough: they just knew that I’d had poor mental health for most of my life. They worried that this much stress could just prove too much. Sometimes even I wondered if I was doing the right thing. But, if you’re reading this article, then probably, like me, you decided that a few health problems weren’t going to stop you from doing those things that you always wanted – including your Year Abroad.
  • From slightly altering your lifestyle, to running a gruelling 26.2 miles, here is our guide (with thanks to a few of our members) to getting a health and fitness boost before, during and after your year abroad.
  • Moving abroad, for any amount of given time, can be quite scary, especially for first-timers. You’ll have lots to think about, from where to stay to how to commute, with plenty of ups and downs in between. Travel, for the most part, will be done on weekends and/or during the holiday season. Regardless of how far you get to go, here are a few pointers so as to keep your belongings safe (as well as your person), avoid accidents abroad and most important of all, try not to get ripped off...Although most countries are safe, it’s still advisable to keep these tips in mind, just in case. After all, better safe than sorry (Ok, enough with the idioms...).

  • Feeling nostalgic for the motherland is normal on your year abroad. Aside from the fact you’ll miss your friends and student-living, food, and the memories it conjures up for you, will irrefutably play an important role in making you feel at home in your new abode and calm a spat of the year abroad blues. Whether you choose to share these corkers with newfound friends or savour them alone, it’s up to you. But one thing is for sure, no one can leave the UK without a recipe for:
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