The Doc Is In...Amsterdam!

Headshot of Kim Blanco.
Kimberly Blanco
June 16, 2023
A picture of a canal in Amsterdam taken by me.

Getting sick is never a good experience, but it seems even more inconvenient than ever when you are in a different country with unfamiliar surroundings. I was able to avoid having to make any doctor's visits for months, until the beginning of May rolled around and I knew that this was about to change. Read along to hear about my experience!

When I first realized that I would have to go to the doctor I started to panic. I didn't know how to find the right one, and I was super worried that there might be language barriers as well. This was until I remembered the list of resources that I had been gifted from IES Abroad at the start of my program. I carefully read through the list of doctors that they had provided, and chose the one that I felt would be right for me. I ended up choosing a tourist doctor which I actually highly recommend because their main clients are people that are not actually from Amsterdam, and it made me feel a lot more comfortable about going. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the medicine that I needed, as I have heard that doctors in Amsterdam may not be as quick to give out prescriptions as some of the doctors in the US are. This was definitely not the case for me and I was able to get the medicine that I needed within 10 minutes after my appointment ended. There was a pharmacy very close by and I didn't have to wait for the medicine to be “ready” like you usually would in the US. 

Because I don’t have any sort of Dutch/European insurance, I did have to pay for the doctor's visit as well as the medication out of pocket,  however you are able to file a claim and get refunded for all of this which is great! Since I myself am obviously not a permanent resident of Amsterdam, I sometimes have trouble remembering that people do actually live there full time, which means that obviously there are going to be plenty of resources to help people when they are not feeling well. I have never had to go to see a doctor in a different country before, but I can confidently say that my visit was stress free and super easy. I also was impressed by the fact that there was no wait time at all. I walked in at the time of my appointment and they were able to take me right away which was great.

I think that talking about having to go to the doctor while abroad is something not as exciting but definitely important to talk about. I definitely was freaking out a little bit before coming abroad that I wouldn’t have access to the resources that I needed, so if you are feeling the same way about your own future trip abroad, I hope that you were able to calm your nerves by reading this blog.

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Headshot of Kim Blanco.

Kimberly Blanco

Hi, I'm Kim! I truly feel that traveling is important in order to gain new experiences that can be used to ensure a successful professional life and personal life. Amsterdam is somewhere that I have never traveled before, so I was really excited when I saw that it was an option for me! Being able to travel around Europe while I am there seems super fun to me and this experience will definitely be one that I cherish forever! In my future, I hope to eventually work as a criminal psychologist. A fun fact about me is that I have been dancing since I was 2 years old and I am currently a part of a club dance team at Penn State University!

2023 Spring
Home University:
Penn State University
Criminal Studies
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