How to Deal with Being Sick While Studying Abroad

Feb 9, 2017 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2017_From Danya Carithers - Square.jpgDanya Carithers is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Danya talks about how to deal with being sick while you're studying abroad.  


So I was planning on writing an exciting blog post about the most underrated city in Italy - Bologna - because my three roommates and I booked train tickets to go there this past weekend. I was truly looking forward to reviewing top notch food from the town’s famous market and showing pictures of an old church turned modern museum…

However, I got sick. €19 down the drain along with my enthusiasm and positivity. So instead, I’m going to write about a less exciting (but necessary!) topic: How to deal with being sick while studying abroad. 

First thing to note: being sick while studying abroad is normal, will probably happen, and does not mean your study abroad experience has instantly become a waste. You will find a doctor and get better with some common sense and a good night’s rest or two.

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First thing, I had to find a doctor. Luckily, CAPA provided me a list of places with English-speaking doctors. I finally got my miserable self out of bed and went to “The Tourist Medical Center”. I had to go in a few embarrassing circles until I realized it was inside a tiny door wedged between two clothing stores near the Duomo. I climbed up a narrow staircase and walked into the only unlocked door hoping it was the right room. I entered and a woman told me to wait in the side room until she was finished with her other patient. I only waited for about 10 minutes before she sat me down at a desk –no doctor’s office and uncomfortable paper you have to lay on! My doctor spoke English very well and laughed at my bad jokes, so I liked her a lot! She gave me a prescription of antibiotics that I was able to easily pick up from a pharmacy across the street.

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After I got back to my apartment, I began researching food delivery service in Italy. For some reason,  I was convinced that food delivery was a non-existent lazy, American thing that I couldn’t possibly find in Italy. But to my surprise, food delivery is alive and well here in Florence! is a website that allows you to pick from a large variety of restaurants that will deliver food right to your doorstep. Other places that do the same thing are “The Food” and “Sgnam”; they are kind of like the Italian version of Grubhub or Postmates. (Warning: some of these places serve gelato and chocolate…be careful.) I decided on some spicy Indian food and ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture!

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It’s now Monday night and I thankfully feel much better! I’m glad that the whole process of going to the doctor and getting medication was a lot easier than I expected (especially with the help of CAPA’s student handbook). Although it was difficult to find my way to the doctor and stay positive about missing out on Bologna, I knew that my situation was only temporary and that I still have three more months to explore! To be honest, I’m lucky to have opportunities to miss out on in the first place. And anyways, if I’m going to be sick, it might as well be in Italy!

Thanks Danya!

Danya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned!

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Topics: Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Florence, Italy