If you have special eating habits, are committed to a particular way of eating (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, kosher, macrobiotic) or have health issues or food allergies that result in a special diet, you will need to research your study abroad destination carefully before assuming that the food you need will be available.
In many areas of the world certain special diets, such as vegetarian, are not common and in some cases, not eating food that has been prepared for you, even if for dietary reasons, is considered rude.
If, for cultural, religious or personal reasons you do not eat certain types of food you should contact your study abroad program administrator to see whether or not your dietary needs can be accommodated.
Making friends with those who have grown up in a different culture is one of the most rewarding aspects of studying abroad. You can alleviate potential misunderstandings by learning in advance as much as you can about the culture where you'll be living. Please feel at ease to discuss your questions and concerns about this or any other issue with any of the Office for International Study staff members.
How to Prepare
Learn what is and isn't available that so you can experience the food of the culture you're living in while at the same time having your dietary needs met. Being flexible, whenever possible, about what you eat will make your study abroad experience easier and more enriching.
CIEE Knowledge Series: "Food, the Edible Part of Culture"
Select Wisely: links to helpful Web sites for people with food restrictions who are traveling or planning to travel.
Celiac.com: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Tips for Gluten-Free Travel"
Celiactravel.com: "Get Gluten-Free Food Safely at Home or Away"
American Diabetes Association: "When You Travel"
WebMD: "Traveling with Diabetes"
International Vegetarian Union: searchable database
Koshurt.com: Kosher Travel