What to Expect/ Physical Health
Because travel in the University of Dallas Summer Programs can often involve heightened
medical stresses due, for instance, to differences in language and culture, full schedules,
extensive walking, variable weather, uneven terrain, climbing stairs at monuments
and other locations not handicapped accessible, difficulty in accommodating special
dietary needs, and lack of access to medical assistance/facilities, the University
therefore asks each traveler to provide complete and accurate health information in
order to determine our group's specific needs in connection with participation in
the program. To help ensure a traveler's safe participation, the University may ask
that a traveler have a physician's examination or provide additional documentation
to verify the traveler's physical and/or emotional ability to participate in the Summer
All participants must be in good health and fully able to participate in all tour
activities. Any medical conditions must have been stable for four months prior to
the program and must be stable such that no need for medical intervention is anticipated.
This program includes long touring days with extensive walking over uneven surfaces
and climbing stairs at monuments and other locations not handicapped accessible. There
is no elevator at several of the museums and sites, and there are no grab bars in
the bathrooms of the University dormitory.
There are no medical facilities on campus. In emergencies we use the nearest emergency
facility in the Italian public health system. When available and time permitting we
may access private physicians and facilities for which students must pay all costs
upfront in cash and then apply for reimbursement from their insurer when they return
home. For extended concerns students would have to return home at their own expense.
We recommend medical evacuation insurance.
Any condition that may require assistance or special medical attention must be reported
at the time of your registration. Disabilities must be disclosed no later than March
1. If you think you may need ADA accommodations, please visit our ADA page, and submit
a request for accommodations as soon as possible.
Here is the link to our ADA webpage:
Here is the link to request ADA accommodations (To the question, “Which school are
you affiliated with here at the University of Dallas?” select “Summer Programs”.)
In addition to our own policies, the following information is quoted directly from
the US Department of State Country –Specific Information on Italy and the Holy See.
While in Italy, travelers with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation
different from what is found in the United States. Many find Italy's narrow cobbled
streets and storied monuments charming; they can, however, be a challenge for physically
impaired travelers. Many Italian sidewalks lack ramps, some Italian streets lack sidewalks
altogether, or for instance in the case of Venice, may feature staircases and narrow
pedestrian bridges. While some major sights and hotels have put time and planning
into ensuring accessibility, there are others that lack ramps, elevators, or handicap-accessible
bathrooms. Advance planning can go a long way in making a difference in accommodation
for disabled travelers. Inform airlines and hotels of your disabilities when making
reservations as some time may be needed to prepare accommodations. Call ahead to restaurants,
museums, and other facilities to find out if they are wheelchair-accessible. Most,
but not all train stations in Italy have accommodations for those traveling in wheelchairs. With
advance notice, personal assistance can be provided to a disabled person traveling
through a particular station. More information is available at Trenitalia's website addressing disabled travelers. Remember that Italy functions on 220 volt current. To recharge an electric wheelchair
motor you may require a transformer to change the 220 current to 110 volts, as well
as an adaptor to adjust the plug to fit Italian electric sockets.
Medical Facilities and Health Information:
Medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban areas. Public hospitals,
though generally free of charge for emergency services, sometimes do not maintain
the same standards as hospitals in the United States, so you are encouraged to obtain
insurance that would cover a stay in a private Italian hospital or clinic. It is almost
impossible to obtain an itemized hospital bill from public hospitals, as required
by many U.S. insurance companies, because the Italian National Health Service charges
one inclusive rate (care services, room and board).
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the
CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including
detailed country-specific health information.
You can't assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It's very important
to find out BEFORE you leave. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
- Does my policy apply when I'm out of the U.S.?
- Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of
service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors' and hospital visits
in other countries. If your policy doesn't go with you when you travel, it's a very
good idea to take out another one for your trip.