Staying healthy while studying abroad isn’t easy. You’ve probably settled into a routine in Florence now that includes late nights (or early mornings), lots of wine consumption, and an obscene amount of caffeine. Add that to traveling around Europe on the weekends, and you’ve got the perfect combination of exhaustion and germs that lead to everyone’s favorite Study Abroad virus that spreads like wildfire throughout your program.
So what do you do when you’re producing enough snot to start your own Kleenex factory?
Step 1: Go to the Pharmacy
Pharmacies in Europe are awesome. They can give you almost anything that a doctor can, and for half the price. Need a decongestant for that stuffy nose? Go see the pharmacist. Need a pain reliever for your headache? Go see the pharmacist. Got some nasty bug bites that are the size of watermelons, or a weird rash that won’t go away? Go see the pharmacist.
Both the pharmacy in Piazza Signoria and the one in the Duomo’s main square have English-speaking staff, and the pharmacy at the Santa Maria Novella train station is open 24 hours a day (if its late at night, ring the little buzzer outside the window and someone will answer).
Step 2: Go to the Doctor
While most of us will gladly suffer a common cold for a week or so, there’s only so much sickness a person can take before they need some help. That’s where the doctor comes in. You can drop in to these doctor’s office hours without an appointment, or call and make one. And yes, they all speak English.
Dr. Stephen Kerr
Studio Medico del Cinghiale
Piazza Mercato Nuovo 1 [4th floor]
Office phone: 055 288 055 (dialing from an Italian phone)
Emergency Cell phone: 335 8361682
Tourist Medical Center
(services in English, French, Spanish and German)
Via Lorenzo il Magnifico, 59
Phone: +39 055 475 411
Step 3: Go to the supermarket
You know what your mom always told you when you were sick–load up on lots and lots of fluids. So head to your nearest supermarket and stock up on juice, gatorade or water–and get some rest!!
As I (sadly) finish up my final days in Florence, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and the memories I’ve