Take care of yourself before and during your stay in the United States! Maintain your health so you can take full advantage of your experience. Get plenty of sleep and develop eat regular meals for nourishment. Studies are challenging and friends want you to do fun things which can distract you from healthy habits. It is important that you take time to take care of yourself.

Health history and immunizations

Before coming to Willamette, you will be required to submit an Immunization Health History Information form (PDF). As an international student, you also need to get some required vaccinations. These requirements are available on Willamette's website (PDF). If you cannot show you have the required immunizations, you will not be allowed to register for classes, so it is critical that you get this information before coming to the U.S.

Eat healthy meals on campus

Trying new foods during your first weeks at WU can be hard when you miss foods you are used to having. The food service site offers menus to help you plan what you want  before you go to a meal. Try new, healthy dishes to build up your strength and stay healthy. There are a lot of tempting foods that are fried or full of sugar. Even drinks can be sugar-filled and unhealthy. It can be hard to resist some of these easy to grab choices. Allow yourself to indulge once in a while but make sure you are filling up on healthy foods so you avoid gaining extra weight. Many students gain weight in their first few months eating on campus.

Relieve stress and get energy!

There are lots of active things to do! It is especially good to work out when you are feeling homesick or think life in the U.S. is hard. Working out has been shown to release good enzymes into your body that elevate your mood and make you feel better. Sometimes it can be just the right thing for handling culture shock.

  • The Sparks Athletic Center offers a great fitness center, swimming pool, and other facilities for doing physical activity.
  • For credit, you can take Exercise and Health Science courses (typically for 1.0 credit) to add balance to your life and academic schedule.
  • Try a Fitness Class through Campus Recreation. These are low-cost exercise classes that might fit in your schedule better and you don't have to worry about going to every one. The cost is extra and not covered in your fees or tuition paid to Willamette.
  • Check out the Wellness Program offered by Campus Rec: They rent out camping and sporting equipment. Other programs include the Outdoor Program (trips off-campus for hikes and more!) and intramural sports.
  • Try a bike!  The Bike Shop in Montag Center has short-term rentals. There is some limit to their bike supply so be sure to check out how it works.

Health and counseling services

If you do feel ill or want to talk to someone about how you're feeling, you can visit the Bishop Wellness Center for help. Check their site for days and hours and a list of services they provide. This center provides counseling and health services which are available to all students. They may direct you to a close-by health clinic. Care is typically free to students with small charges for special tests or medications. It is always a good idea to start here when you are not feeling well since medical care in the U.S. is very expensive.

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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