Health and Safety
LdM is committed to ensuring students’ well-being, safety, and security while they are abroad and studying in Italy. LdM also emphasizes to students the importance of maintaining a positive image and being considerate ambassadors of their home countries. To this end, beyond any individual research that students are encouraged to do, LdM familiarizes students with local customs, traditions, norms, and laws in Italy to ensure respectful, responsible, and safe behavior. While the experience of being in a different cultural and academic environment can be stressful or overwhelming at times, adherence to the guidelines will not only better prepare students for life abroad, but also enhance their overall experience of intercultural awareness and exchange while studying in Italy.
- Prior to departure, students are advised to consult with their healthcare providers to arrange general and dental check-ups, and to make sure that they are up-to-date with any required vaccinations and immunizations both in their home country and abroad. Students currently seeing a mental health counselor should also arrange a visit prior to departure and work to create a plan of action in case any mental health issues arise while abroad.
- Students must arrive in Italy with prescription medications filled. Students currently on daily prescription medication should meet with their doctor to discuss the amount of medication that will be needed for their entire stay abroad, along with a small extra supply (including, but not limited to, contact lenses and preferred over-the-counter medications). All medications should be packed in their original containers and clearly labeled with the student’s name. Should a prescription need to be refilled while students are abroad, an appointment with an Italian doctor will need to be made. Therefore, students must arrive in Italy with a list of the generic names of the medications that they are taking. Payments for medications in Italy are required up-front. Reimbursement depends on students’ respective insurance providers and policies (for more on insurance, please see below).
- Not all medicines available in students’ home countries are available in Italy, including, but not limited to, some types of contraception, some over-the-counter-medications, and some medications used to treat ADD and ADHD, such as Adderall (which is considered an illegal narcotic in Italy). Students who are prescribed such medications may bring them provided that their doctor writes a signed and stamped note on proper letterhead in English that indicates: the name of the medicine, its generic name, the patient’s name, the condition being treated, the prescribed amount of medicine, and an explanation outlining that the medication is necessary for the patient’s health while abroad. If students have any such prescriptions, they should contact the consulate or embassy of their home country for further details about bringing the medication abroad.
- Students are required to be covered by a health insurance policy that is valid in Italy for the duration of their studies and stay at LdM. This insurance must be obtained in their home country prior to departure. Generally, health plans that students may already be enrolled in at home do not provide comprehensive coverage applicable to situations that could arise during international travel. Students must have access to a copy of their insurance information while abroad in order to get assistance and to fulfill immigration requirements (if applicable). Most medical expenses will likely need to be paid up-front. Depending on respective health insurance plans and policies, however, some payments could be co-paid or fully covered. In the case that students are required to pay for medical expenses in full or in part, claims must be submitted to the health insurance company to initiate the reimbursement process outlined in students’ policies.
- Students not enrolled in international health insurance, individually or through their home institution, may coordinate with LdM to obtain comprehensive coverage for duration of their program. Please note that this type of international health insurance does not substitute for domestic insurance valid in a student’s home country. Rather, it acts as a supplement which provides specific coverage for students while they are abroad. Students should not cancel existing domestic coverage which is valid in their home country.
- Students should contact LdM well in advance of their departure to communicate any needs or accommodations they may require. Because many support services that students have at home may be different or not available in Italy, students must anticipate and make necessary inquiries and/or arrangements with LdM if they require accommodations for any disability. Students should be prepared to provide official documentation to LdM (from their physician and/or their home institution) related to their accommodation requirements and requested services, and are encouraged to carry a copy with them abroad.
- Students will receive a list of relevant local healthcare facilities, clinics, service providers, and pharmacies at their orientation session on-site.
- While in Italy, students are encouraged to incorporate precautionary measures as part of their normal health routines, including but not limited to: monitoring symptoms, following medical advice, and practicing preventive measures to sustain public health.
- In addition to coordination regarding student life at LdM, the LdM Advising Team (for more on LdM Advisors, please see below) is also able to assist with the navigation of international health insurance and can refer students to English-speaking healthcare practitioners and specialists from private clinics and labs.
- LdM offers access to on-campus mental health professionals who provide free psychological support services to LdM students. Contact information and office hours can be obtained on-site from LdM Advisors, and appointments can be made easily online. Please note that students requiring assistance outside the scope of LdM counseling services may be referred to a third-party healthcare provider.
- Hospitals in Italy are either public or private. Individuals requiring urgent care must visit a public hospital, as private hospitals typically do not have emergency rooms. The public hospital emergency room is called “pronto soccorso.” Patients are assigned a color code based on the severity of their condition and will be attended to accordingly: red (very critical), yellow (moderately critical), green (not very critical), white (not critical). If students must visit the emergency room, they should be sure to have their original passport with them and be prepared to pay fees up-front.
- Pharmacies are easily accessible and identified by a big green cross sign outside. Some medications are available over-the-counter while others require a prescription from an Italian doctor. Typically, pharmacies are open between 9:00am and 7:30-8:00pm and are closed on Sundays.
Safety, especially in a foreign environment, is both a personal and community effort. It is important to make thoughtful decisions and to behave in a manner that minimizes risk for oneself and others. The same personal safety measures, based on common sense and general precaution, apply in Italy and throughout Europe. During their time at LdM, students are subject to the laws of Italy, whose legal system may differ from those in students’ home countries. Adherence to these guidelines will help avoid unnecessary safety or legal issues during students’ time abroad.
- A team of dedicated and skilled advisors is ready to support students throughout their time at LdM, and to help students adjust to their new life in Italy. Each student is assigned an LdM Advisor whom they will meet at orientation and be able to form a connection with from day one. LdM Advisors work with students on academic matters, personal concerns, and emergencies.
- At orientation, LdM students are provided with a student ID card that they should carry at all times and that is necessary to have anytime they access the school premises.
- Students are required to have a functioning cellphone that can receive text messages and phones calls, and can be reached at all times for the duration of their trip. To this end, LdM invites a local phone carrier to orientation sessions to conveniently assist students with the purchase and set-up of an Italian SIM card and mobile plan. At orientation, students will provide their phone numbers to LdM so that they can be contacted for emergencies or other reasons during their time abroad.
- A LdM 24/7 emergency phone number is shared with students during orientation in case they need to speak with an advisor for any urgent reason outside of business hours. Students should be sure to save the LdM 24/7 emergency number in their contacts, as well as the information for their home country’s consulate and embassy. Additionally, the general emergency number in Italy is 112 (no country code is needed) and can be dialed from any telephone.
- LdM ensures that all housing accommodations meet safety standards. Furthermore, LdM Housing Services provides participants with guidelines to follow for their safety in their accommodations (such as, but not limited to, locking doors and windows, and not allowing strangers into their living spaces). Students should promptly report any safety concerns or housing issues to LdM staff.
- Students are advised to store important documents in safe places in their respective accommodations: passport, visa and permesso di soggiorno (for academic year and semester programs), insurance documents, and health records. It is advised that students make digital copies of these documents and store them in a secure and accessible location.
- Students should always remain aware of their surroundings, particularly to avoid pick-pockets in crowded areas and while using public transportation.
- Students should be especially vigilant and avoid walking alone at night. It is recommended that students use “the buddy system” for nightlife.
- Students should exercise discretion and caution when handling their personal belongings and effects (money, credit cards, electronics, etc.) in public places.
- Students are reminded to follow traffic rules and be careful while walking (always on sidewalks, when present) or cycling on busy streets.
- Just as in their home countries, students should monitor local media to understand and be aware of any current events that may be relevant to their daily life in Italy and other countries to which they may travel during their time abroad.
- Students are encouraged to use licensed and reputable transportation and travel services, both within and outside of Italy, and to not conduct distant travel alone. If students travel outside of Italy, they should learn about the customs and local laws of the countries that they plan to visit. All travel plans should be shared with trusted family and friends, as well as any appropriate program officials. Students can register with their home country’s embassy and consulate to be updated on travel alerts. When travelling, students should be sure to have proper chargers, power banks, and access to stored contact numbers.
- Students are to drink responsibly when consuming alcohol, always remaining conscious of their behavior, health, surroundings, and personal safety. In addition, students are advised that engaging in illegal activities (such as, but not limited to, the consumption and possession of drugs) is subject to serious ramifications. Students should refer to the LdM Rules of Conduct for further guidance on these critical aspects of health and safety.
- If the need arises, LdM Advisors can assist students in filing a local police report.
- If students witness any activity that could jeopardize the health and safety of those in the LdM community, they should report it to their LdM Advisor and any other appropriate LdM staff member/s