Essential Services Abroad

You’ve taken the first vital step towards being in a different country– this may be as a traveler, a scholar, or even a student.

Congratulations! However, now that you are outside of your home and your health insurance is taken care of, there are still many resources that perhaps you have not thought about but will need to navigate through once you arrive at your destination.

We want to make the transition as easy as possible for you by providing some tips and resources you can use to be as safe, happy, and successful as possible during your time abroad!

Find your nearest firefighter station

Firefighters are one of the most important services in any city since they protect people, spaces, and structures from fires. They serve as the frontline emergency medical responders, help with rescues, and assist in traffic accidents. Knowing where and how close a station is to you could help you build an emergency plan if you ever need it.

Make a list of the medical services in your area

Knowing where your nearest medical providers are could help you or those around you in emergencies and new medical situations. If you have already purchased a plan with us, you can utilize our online search tools for in-network providers in your area by simply typing in your ZIP code.

Locate schools near you (elementary through university level)

Even if you are not a student or have dependents studying, knowing where the schools in your area are can give you additional services. Many universities especially offer access to food pantries, free events, libraries, and potentially healthcare if they have a student health center on campus. In recent years, they have also been hosts to voting centers, vaccinations/blood donation drives, and even emergency shelters.

Find lawyers and/or immigration assistance

With ever-changing situations that can happen abroad, knowing your rights and responsibilities is important when you are outside your home country. Knowing how and where to find legal services could make a big difference.

Make note of your closest embassy/consulate

Nobody wants to think about emergencies, but with the past two years’ of experience, knowing the location of your closest embassy/consulate could help you in the case of disaster/emergency. These centers can assist you if there are any immigration updates, war, evacuation needs to your home country, or even passport/visa loss, so having their address and phone number on hand is a good idea.

Find banks and ATMs close by

This may seem an obvious suggestion, especially if you will be abroad for a while. However, banks have many benefits that could help you with your finances. They can help you obtain foreign currency, learn about loans, assist in withdrawing deposits or transfers from your family, and even give you special discounts for your purchases so you make the most of your expenses.


No two cities are the same, so don’t forget to research how you can move around in your new temporary home. Will you need to buy/rent a car? Can you use public transportation? Is it a city where you can mostly rely on walking or biking? Knowing this will let you explore your new town and see how you can run errands, how far away you can live from essential centers, and even impact your budget. Many cities even offer apps to help you find routes and pay for tickets.

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