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Case Studies

Work Study Program Cut Short

Sonja* had left her home in the Caribbean to complete a work study program in the United States during summer session.  Not long into the program, however, she suffered back-to-back bowel obstructions, requiring surgeries each time.  
Sonja’s school and doctor were in agreement that the type of work the program required would be too physically demanding to allow her to recuperate properly.  Disappointed and overwhelmed by the thought of having to prematurely arrange her trip back home, Sonja called her health insurance company who contacted Scholastic Emergency Services (SES) on her behalf.
SES’ coordinators reached out to Sonja’s doctor and learned that while she was able to walk, she should avoiding lifting her luggage while traveling.  SES arranged and paid for her flight home via first class, where she would be more comfortable and even arranged for wheelchair service and porters to assist her throughout the airports.  
Sonja was very relieved to arrive home safely and be able to continue her recovery before school started up again in the fall.

Eye Issues in Eastern Asia

Bella* was studying abroad in Eastern Asia when she began to experience blurred and sometimes double vision.  Thinking it was a problem with her prescription, she visited a local eyeglass shop to have her prescription checked.  
Bella was examined and was told that her symptoms could be indicative of a more serious problem and that the best course of action would be to follow up with an Ophthalmologist.  Being so far away from home, Bella had no idea where to turn.
She called Scholastic Emergency Services (SES), and they were able to identify a number of providers nearby who would be able to provide Bella with a more clear diagnosis.  They even determined how much it would cost Bella to be seen and helped her with directions.   
Bella visited a specialist who determined that she was suffering from retinal degeneration.  Luckily, she had acted quickly and the disease was in its early stages.  The doctor was able to provide Bella with medication that would help slow the progress of the disease and helped her obtain a new prescription that would help her see more clearly.  
Bella felt prepared to take on the remainder of the semester abroad and was grateful that SES was only a phone call away, should she need any further help.

Urgent Replacement of Allergy Medicine Abroad

Thomas* had just left home for a semester abroad in Eastern Europe.  Upon arrival, however, he realized that he had left his EpiPen—something it wasn’t safe for him to travel without—at home. He needed to carry it with him at all times for his severe food allergies. He called his parents in a panic and asked if they could mail it to him.  Unsure about the legality of this medication in a foreign country, his parents called Scholastic Emergency Services (SES).
It was a good thing they called—SES’ coordinator explained to Thomas’s parents that shipping medications to individuals in that country was illegal.  Had they tried to ship him the EpiPen, it would’ve likely gotten held up in customs.  Fortunately, SES was able to identify a pharmacy within walking distance to Thomas’s location. He was able to purchase a replacement for much less than what he would have paid in the US.
Thomas felt much more secure knowing he could get the new EpiPen right away and his parents were thankful to Assist America for informing them of the laws before they inadvertently caused a customs issue. 

Sudden Suicide Back Home

Angela* was studying abroad in Central America when she learned that one of her closest friends back home had committed suicide.  Angela was devastated by the news and unsure of how to deal with her grief, so far away from home where no one else was mourning her friend.
She called Scholastic Emergency Services (SES) who offered her counseling over the phone
but Angela preferred to speak with someone locally, face-to-face.  SES’ coordinators did some research on her behalf and found a few English speaking counselors near where Angela was staying.  They even determined how much each session would cost Angela and when each providers’ first available appointment would be.  Angela was greatly relieved to be able to follow up with a local therapist and be able to discuss her feelings with someone in her native language at this difficult time. 


*Names changed for privacy