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Integrative Wellbeing Services (IWS)

Below are some FAQs on IWS resources available to study away students. If you have any additional questions, please contact IWS directly at 

1. What should students be thinking about in regards to their health prior to studying away? 

Students should consider how they will maintain their wellbeing while traveling abroad and preparing for their needs beforehand. A few wellbeing considerations include, but are not limited to nutrition, sleep, movement, and community. Students may anticipate loneliness as they are immersed into a new culture and environment, so it’s worthwhile to consider their expectations about the abroad experience. Students will want to consider how they will cope with unexpected adjustments, such as sleep disruptions due to travel and novelty experiences of living in a new space, dietary needs, and navigating unfamiliar social dynamics. It might be helpful to identify who the student’s immediate support(s) and community will be, and to consider setting up a scheduled time to communicate i.e. planning a daily or weekly check-in while living abroad.

Students will want to become familiar with the mental health laws in the country they are visiting, especially if they have a history of acute mental health concerns. Research study abroad programs mental health resources. If appropriate, consult with your therapist and psychiatrist about studying abroad.

If a student has been working with a therapist or psychiatrist they should think about continuity of care before traveling abroad and consider utilizing Talkspace therapy. It will be important for a student to know if they will have access to the same type of medications and plan ahead for any potential refills. Also, students should find out what they can travel with and can bring into the country where they will be studying abroad. Therapy may not be accessible via the program or country and while studying abroad is a great time for self-reflection, it will be helpful to think about other coping strategies such as developing a journal practice, utilizing breathwork and mindfulness, developing a routine, etc.

Students should be aware about what to do in case of an emergency.  Students should be sure to have an emergency contact on file with their program. It is also important for students to know how to contact their program provider as well as the Office of Global Education and Study Away at Williams College.

2. What is IWS' role when students study away and are therefore on an academic leave? 

IWS does not directly work with students who are traveling abroad or on any type of leave. The IWS on-call service (Protocall), however, is available to students who study abroad and need immediate support, and students have access to Talkspace Therapy for 12-months a year.

3. What IWS resources are available to students when they are studying away? 

Protocall (On-call):

If you are experiencing what feels like a psychological emergency or are struggling in some way while abroad, students can connect with the on-call service, Protocall, after business hours, weekends and over breaks by calling 413.597.2353 and selecting option 2 or by calling Campus Safety and Security (413.597.4444) and asking to speak to the on-call therapist. Students will be assisted by a trained clinician with expertise in student crisis counseling and assessment.


Williams has partnered with TalkSpace to offer free therapeutic and psychiatric services to enrolled students. TalkSpace is a HIPAA compliant, mobile app/web-based unlimited messaging therapy option, which also includes four, 30-minute live video sessions a month. It may be used year-round, on or off campus. TalkSpace communication is confidential and secure. Register using your Williams email address.

TalkSpace also provides free psychiatric medication management and treatment services, although Talkspace psychiatry is not available abroad due to licensing requirements, students can work with Talkspace psychiatry prior to and after their abroad semester. All enrolled students can now schedule live telehealth appointments with a psychiatric prescriber for medication consultations, ongoing medication management and psychiatric treatment. These appointments are at no cost to students and the wait time to first appointment is generally one (1) week or less.  Students can access TalkSpace Psychiatry by registering using their Williams email address and the key word: TSPlus.

Online Resources:

Our Choose Well Resource Hub, which Integrative Wellbeing Services has created to assist students, is also a good resource for students off campus.

For inquiries regarding any of the above or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at iws​@williams​.edu.