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Managing your dietary restrictions is an important consideration while studying abroad. Before leaving, make sure you understand what foods are popular and how your diet, restrictions, or allergies may be impacted in your host country and culture.

When you first arrive in your host country, give yourself time to adjust to new food and drink. It doesn’t always take unsafe or bad food to make us sick while abroad. Our bodies are used to our local food and water, so you may find that you react to simple changes such as different additives or ingredients.

  • Pay special attention to food from street markets and vendors, uncooked vegetables, fresh pre-cut fruits, tap water, and ice cubes if the local water is unsafe.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicine for normal traveler's diarrhea, but if the condition lasts more than 24 hours, seek medical attention.
Listen to the recommendations of your on-site staff and check your host country's travel guide and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for food and drink precautions in areas you will be traveling.

Dietary Restrictions/ Allergies

Learn how to communicate your dietary restriction

  • If you have a dietary restriction be sure to look up how to explain your diet clearly and correctly in the local language. You can write out the appropriate phrase and show it to each waiter before ordering a meal.

  • Select Wisely creates cards for food allergies that can be translated into most languages

Do research beforehand

The following websites can provide resources, suggestions, and advice that may be helpful in making your preparations: