Study Abroad

If your type one diabetes is the only thing keeping you from hopping on a plane to go see the world, please let me be the one to tell you that you CAN do this. The world is such a big, diverse, beautiful place and getting an opportunity to see more of it is something I recommend everyone take. I remember wanting to go to different countries and see the corners of the earth from the time I was a small girl. When I was starting my senior year of high school, I started looking for service trips to… Read more
Thirty-five glucagon. Thirty-five. I’d heard the hesitation in my endocrinologist’s voice as she prescribed them, wondering what sort of mess I was getting myself into this time around. I’d seen the skepticism on the face of the pharmacist who handed over the bag full of the red containers and the unasked questions. I didn’t care. If carrying around an extra backpack stuffed with syringes, Omnipods, CGM kits, and test strips was the cost for my impending adventure, I would gladly pay it. After… Read more
  I was barely awake, but enough to reach over and grab my phone from my nightstand. “I just spent like 30 minutes panicking and setting up international calling on this phone to get ahold of you—you’re below 40.” My spouse follows my data via Dexcom Share, and I was less than 10 days into my summer abroad in Moscow, Russia via American Councils. For me it was around2-3am. I woke up just a bit more and checked-in with my body. I definitely wasn’t that low, but I was low. I took some sugar… Read more
Deanelle Thompson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I had just received my acceptance letter to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain for the spring semester. I was excited (literally shedding tears of joy), especially since this would be my first time going to Europe. Although I was really excited to travel across Europe and study in Spain, I was also extremely anxious. There were a couple of reasons why I had anxiety: I was leaving home to live across the Atlantic Ocean for six months, I… Read more
I decided to study abroad the summer after my freshman year. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have made in college. Freshman year is an adjusting year—a year to figure out who you are and who you want to be. In my mind, I saw this as a perfect time to explore before I got too bogged down by my studies, but I was also scared. I was scared to leave behind my family and friends for a month, scared to not know anyone else going on the trip, and scared of being in a foreign… Read more
In life there are always firsts. Sometimes those firsts can be scary. Your first steps, your first day of school, and your first time driving come to mind. As a person with type 1 diabetes (T1D), my life is defined by a few other “firsts.” My first time giving myself a shot, my first sleepover after diagnosis, my first site change, and what this story is about, my first time travelling abroad with T1D. All my “firsts” had been scary, yet so rewarding, so I knew this experience wouldn’t be any… Read more
The world is full of bustling cities, unique cultures, and delicious food. For many, deciding where to go might be the most difficult part of the trip. For those of us with type 1 diabetes (T1D), there are a few more things we have to consider when making the decision to study abroad. I chose to spend this past spring in Milan, Italy, and it was one of the best choices I’ve made in college. Not only that, but I learned quite a bit about the ins and outs of traveling with T1D. For starters, in… Read more
American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad (AYUDA) is a nonprofit, volunteer based organization that works to empower youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities around the world. Each summer, AYUDA sends a group of volunteers and staff to Latin American countries to work closely with a partner organization in order to reach out to the local community. AYUDA currently is focusing its programs in the Dominican Republic, where it works with a diabetes foundation called… Read more
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was four. At first, I was scared and confused. When I was eight years old, however, I attended Camp Kudzu, a camp for children with type 1 diabetes in Georgia. After that experience, I gained a sense of independence that turned into wanderlust to travel and see the world. To date, I have traveled extensively and have lived abroad twice: in Tours, France during the spring of 2013 and in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg during the 2015-2016 academic year on… Read more
Alexandra Hay has type 1 and is studying science and public health at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. “You could have a thyroid condition”, the doctor suggested as she felt my neck with both hands.  “Or, it could be diabetes”. I looked the other way as she pricked my finger; my blood sugar read 28 mmol/l (504 mg/dl). The doctor looked worried. I didn’t yet know what diabetes meant. I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 23, while I was in the middle of applying to graduate school to… Read more
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