As you should always be prepared when travelling, study abroad is no exception. Especially being so far away from home, you may find it increasingly difficult to seek medical attention. After watching my friends get sick, followed by myself getting sick, here’s an all you need to know guide about getting sick in Seoul.
First of all, bring every kind of medicine you could possibly need. Cold medicine, pain medicine, allergy medicine (even if you don’t have allergies! The climate is very different from home so you never know), Cortisone (again, even if you don’t normally need it), fever medication, cough medication, think you MIGHT need it? Bring it. I stress this so much as trying to find medicine in Korea, while you’re already sick is extremely frustrating. If you go to a pharmacy, sometimes they have an English- speaking pharmacist, and lots of times will give you one medication for very different issues.
Hanyang University has a hospital, with emergency and non-emergency hours. Non-emergency hours end at 6pm, so chances are you might have class during those times. The hospital is on the very end of campus and is quite tricky to get to. I would recommend going with a friend if possible as going to a hospital by yourself in a country where you don’t speak the language can get quite overwhelming.
The Hanyang University Emergency Room fee is 300,000 won, which is about the equivalent of $300USD. You have to pay the fee up front, and then submit a claim to your insurance. In the event that it’s not an emergency some insurances (including mine- I used GeoBlue) have a list of places that the insurance pays directly the doctor/ health care provider so you don’t have to.
As far as “home remedies” go, many things you use at home may not be available here in Korea. You may not be able to get your Emergen-C or chicken noodle soup as easily as you could at home, and you sure won’t want to run around looking frantically when you’re feeling unwell.
There’s also a student union center on campus that you can go to for smaller-scale issues, and the health care there is free, and they usually send you home with some medication as well.
While I try to write about how amazing Korea is, (and it is!) it’s important to be prepared for all situations to make sure you have the best time that you can.