Study Abroad with Epilepsy

Around 80 different forms of epilepsy are known to date. Epilepsy comes in different forms and degrees of severity, not all of which are necessarily familiar in the target country. Therefore, an agreement with the respective responsible disability officer at the university of your choice makes sense in any case. In addition, a certificate about the required medication should be available, on the one hand to explain the previous course of treatment to the doctors abroad.

On the other hand, students with epilepsy should pay particular attention to whether the drug they need is available in the destination country. Often the same drug is hidden behind a different name of a commercial preparation abroad. In order to start studying abroad with good advice right from the start, students with epilepsy should therefore urgently inquire in advance with the national association International League Against Epilepsy whether the respective drug is available locally.

In the case of a longer journey to and from the airport by plane, the time difference should be considered. In order to prepare accordingly for a shift in the intake time, the medication intake should be adjusted beforehand to a changed sleep rhythm. Affected students can obtain further information and answers to general questions about epilepsy from the German Epilepsy Association.

Homepage of the German Epilepsy Association:


Study abroad with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

There is nothing wrong with studying abroad with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis as long as it is well prepared. A booster of vaccinations is particularly recommended for students with DCCV who are currently undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. The doctor’s certificate stating that you are taking medication with you should also list syringes and needles in several languages ​​in order to avoid problems during the trip.

Some universities abroad offer campus catering specially tailored to the needs of students with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Students with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis should contact the disability officer at the respective university if they have any questions about intolerance. If you want to be accommodated in your own apartment or in your own apartment, this should be discussed with the disability officer at the respective university at an early stage.

In addition, many airlines offer a specially prepared menu that is lactose-free, for example. In the last resort, however, students should always check for themselves whether the food corresponds to their own diet plan. In the case of known intolerances, students ideally translate the food into the respective national language in advance.

The DCCV eV offers further advice and information on this and other topics related to this topic in the DCCV Journal Ventriloquist and on the following homepage:
On the DCCV eV platform, affected students also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with one another.

Study abroad with multiple sclerosis

In general, students with multiple sclerosis can complete a semester abroad in many countries with the right preparation. However, when deciding for or against the respective destination country, your own clinical picture, the risk of flu-like infections, which occur frequently in tropical countries, and medical care must be taken into account.

For this reason, a decision as to whether the respective desired country is suitable for studying abroad can only be considered individually. For example, students with the Uhthoff phenomenon should generally avoid countries with extremely high temperatures.

It is possible to carry medication on the plane under the safety precautions already mentioned as well as the respective entry and exit regulations, but should only be done in consultation with the attending doctor. Since the import of medication is always problematic, it is always recommended to establish contacts on site at an early stage for study stays abroad: competent contact persons will help you find hospitals and medical centers on site.

The respective regional associations of the German Multiple Sclerosis Society (DMSG) can offer comprehensive advice on studying abroad, depending on the structure and size. Contacting the international multiple sclerosis society ensures networking with other students, access to many offers of help in the target country and possibly also provides information on funding abroad.

Homepage of the German Multiple Sclerosis Society:

Study abroad with rheumatism

As the first and most important question, students with rheumatism should consider the following when studying abroad: Is the required medication available in the destination country? This is not the case in all countries, especially with the relatively new biologics.

In general, when choosing the university of your choice, you should consider whether it is located in a country where infectious diseases such as TBC are still widespread. Studying abroad in these countries is generally not advisable. Because against the increased risk of infection, either no vaccine may be available or there may be interactions with certain travel vaccinations with live vaccines. For example when taking high doses of biologics, MTX or cortisone and a live vaccine at the same time.

On the other hand, according to the latest findings, students with rheumatism do not have to pay special attention to the climate when choosing a country. However, many find a warm climate more pleasant. Even for short stays abroad, for example during a trimester, it is not recommended to transport liquid medication (components of MTX) if a closed cold chain is not guaranteed. A medical ID card should also not be missing in your luggage.

Students with rheumatism can find further information and advice on the Rheuma-Liga homepage:

Cost of studying abroad

Of course, studying abroad is also associated with a certain amount of expense. The total cost of studying abroad depends heavily on:

  • the respective target country (cost of living)
  • the chosen university and
  • the chosen subject and course of study (tuition fees)
  • Type and quality of accommodation

However, there are some costs that, regardless of the destination country, are often incurred in advance and, at best, should already be taken into account:

  • private foreign health insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • if applicable, costs for visas
  • if applicable, international driving license for non-European countries
  • if applicable, costs for participating in academic admission tests or language tests for the application

Study Abroad with Epilepsy