The program is committed to helping you stay happy and healthy during your time in Madrid. In order to facilitate your well-being, we focus on self-care in many of the student resources we provide, and we offer comprehensive medical and mental health referrals. Please read the information below to get a full picture of how you will be supported while on the program.
The Tufts-Skidmore Program Staff is always available and willing to help you in every way with can, with whatever you need. We will assist you in making medical or mental health appointments, and with insurance providers. If you just want someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, please come and see us!
General Health Information
There are no particular health risks in Spain that do not exist in the US. People with environmental allergies may find them exacerbated in Madrid. Bring over the counter allergy medicine if you take it (you can also get it here).
As always, if you plan to be sexually active in Spain, sexual hygiene is very important in order to avoid contracting or transmitting sexual diseases.
In case of minor ailments, pharmacists can often recommend medication. Some pharmacies remain open 24 hours a day (Farmacias de Guardia), even on weekends and holidays. You can find these on the web (or ask your host family or the staff). Most major pharmaceutical drugs can be obtained in Spain with a prescription written by a Spanish doctor.
Mental Health Services in Madrid
Studying abroad can be a transformative and exciting experience, but these rewards are not automatic and many students will experience difficulties at the beginning of their time abroad. Other students will find that the challenges come in the middle or even at the end of their time away. Whatever the case, please consider that it does take time and support to adjust to your new living conditions, and to studying and living in Spanish.
It is very common for students to feel homesick, insecure, overwhelmed, fearful or anxious. Some students, especially those who have previously experienced depression, may feel depressed. Even students who do not struggle with intense discomfort may feel uneasy at various times during their semester or year abroad.
You should try not to see this as a problem to solve, or a sign that there’s something “wrong with you,” but rather as a natural part of your overall experience and growth, and one that is shared by all of your fellow students (even if people don’t talk about it). It is something to pay attention to, however, and to work with mindfully and with the support of Program Staff. Reach out to us!
Students who currently see a mental health professional should consider continuing therapy in Madrid
Many students arrange to continue therapy with their US based providers over Skype or Zoom, which is recommendable, but it is also a good idea to set up an appointment with a local provider once you are in Madrid. Program staff can assist you in choosing a Madrid-based provider who will best suit your needs. Many students use Sinews Multilingual Therapy Institute to find a counselor. Please contact the Director and our Student Care Coordinator prior to departure, or once on site.
Acquiring psychiatric medication in Madrid
Many students work with their US based provider to acquire enough medication to cover their stay abroad. If this is not possible, we can refer you to a psychiatrist in Madrid who can prescribe for you, as long as your medication is available in Spain (most are). Please get a letter from your current psychiatrist that describes your diagnosis and prescriptions. *Please note that prescriptions from American doctors cannot be filled abroad.*
Insurance coverage in Madrid
EVERYONE ON THE PROGRAM, REGARDLESS OF FINANCIAL MEANS, HAS EQUAL ACCESS TO MEDICAL & MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN MADRID.
In addition to your US based health insurance required by Tufts and Skidmore, you are covered by a Spanish insurance provider, ADESLAS. This insurance policy covers routine, emergency and chronic illness services, including hospitalization (no exclusions for pre-existing conditions).
Additionally, Tufts students and non-Tufts students who are admitted through Tufts are covered by the international insurance provider, ISOS, through which you can arrange direct payment for mental health services in Spain. Skidmore students and non-Skidmore students who are admitted through Skidmore are covered by the international insurance provider, AXA, through which you can arrange direct payment for mental health services in Spain.