So, you’ve decided to study abroad. Where are you going? Morocco? Austria? Ghana? Japan? Wherever you’ve decided to go and whatever you’ve decided to do, making the initial decision to study abroad is exciting. Now you have a lot of other decisions and plans to make, and purchasing student travel insurance should be among them. Many people who decide to study abroad often overlook or forget about obtaining this coverage. But you need protection from high medical expenses, especially because there’s a good chance your domestic insurance plan will not cover you abroad.
For some students, purchasing a student travel health plan is not only a good idea, but a requirement. Depending upon the requirements of your visa or the program you plan to attend, you may have to purchase a student travel insurance plan before entering the country or enrolling in classes. Your study abroad experience will likely consist of great classroom learning, but that is not its only purpose. You are also going to be traveling, participating in new activities, and exploring cities and countryside. You can’t plan every moment of your study abroad experience, so you don’t know what kinds of activities you’ll participate in or the risk factors to which you may be exposed. This is why having study abroad insurance is so important.
By purchasing health insurance for study abroad, you are protecting yourself from the high medical bills that can add up when you have to visit a doctor or go to the hospital in a foreign country.
When you travel abroad, part of the fun is spontaneity. When you study overseas, however, you may become ill or injure yourself while engaging in a new activity. By purchasing health insurance for study abroad, you are protecting yourself from the high medical bills that can add up when you have to visit a doctor or go to the hospital in a foreign country. Student health insurance plans also usually come with some great benefits that can help ease the burden of traveling to a new country and living there for a temporary period. So put your mind at ease, relieve some stress, and make things easy on yourself by purchasing student travel health insurance before you leave home.
Finding the right student travel insurance plan for you and your upcoming trip abroad is critical. When selecting coverage, keep your budget in mind, how frequently you get sick, whether or not you’ll be traveling with others, and what kinds of activities you need to be covered. Obviously, you can’t predict everything you’ll do while abroad, but you do know your interests. Let those interests and any plans you have inform your research as you shop around. Luckily, HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS) provides three different coverage options for those traveling abroad to study:
StudentSecure Elite: StudentSecure Elite offers our most comprehensive benefits for students or scholars traveling abroad. In addition to a $500,000 maximum medical benefit and $500,000 emergency medical evacuation, it also provides 100% coverage within the PPO network and for claims incurred outside the U.S., as well as 80% prescription drug coverage, and personal liability coverage up to $250,000.
StudentSecure Select: StudentSecure Select provides exceptional benefits at a lower price than StudentSecure Elite. It features $300,000 medical maximum and emergency medical evacuation benefits. StudentSecure Select also provides non-professional team sports coverage up to $5,000 per injury/illness, as well as many other useful benefits.
StudentSecure Budget: If you are traveling and studying abroad but need to be a little more budget conscious, StudentSecure Budget is the right choice for you. With this plan, you still get great benefits like hospital room and board and emergency medical evacuation. The fact that it is a plan for those on a smaller budget does not mean you need to sacrifice valuable and necessary coverage. StudentSecure Budget provides you with a safety net at an affordable price.
StudentSecure Smart: For students looking for the most economical coveage, StudentSecure Smart may be the best option. You still receive great coverage at a reasonable price. The whole point of the StudentSecure Smart plan is to provide you the basics at the most affordable price.
After you secure your student travel insurance plan, you still have to take care of a host of other things. Of course, you may just want to get on the plane and go, but you need to arrange the somewhat mundane details in order to move ahead. Don’t be overwhelmed. It’s easy to forget a few things while preparing to make the big move. Here is a checklist of criteria to consider while you prepare yourself to study abroad:
Don’t bring too many valuables or items you wouldn’t want to lose. Traveling always comes with the risk of lost luggage.
Passport: In order to travel abroad, you have to secure a passport. The process for applying for and obtaining a passport differs from country to country. For those in the U.S., here are the qualifications for obtaining a passport and where you can apply.
Visa: A lot of countries also require a student visa for study abroad. Make sure to find out whether you need one or not before leaving home. If the country in which you are studying requires you to have a visa and you do not have it upon attempting to enter the country, you will likely be sent home. Check out the U.S. Department of State website to learn whether or not you need a visa for study abroad. While there, you can also learn more about the country you are visiting.
Packing: You will likely have a ton of things you want to take with you. Don’t pack your entire life into three suitcases for your semester or year abroad. Choose items of clothing that mix and match well, and remember that you’ll likely want to purchase some new clothing once you reach your destination. You can usually wait until you arrive to buy toiletries, so don’t worry about bringing your shampoo or toothpaste. Don’t bring too many valuables or items you wouldn’t want to lose. Traveling always comes with the risk of lost luggage.
See Your Doctor: Visit your doctor for a physical before you leave. It is important for you to be in shape when you leave your home and go into unfamiliar territory. Also take copies of your latest medical records with you when you leave.
Shots: Most countries require that all visitors, or at least extended-stay visitors, receive a number of shots. This is to protect both the visitor and the country’s citizens. Find out if there are any shots necessary before you leave.
Itinerary and Overseas Information: Before you leave, make copies of all your travel itineraries and contact information for your new home. Give copies of these documents to your family and friends so they know how to contact you to get in touch or in case of an emergency.
Have Fun: Remember, this time is all about discovering new places, cultures, and people. It is about you and your education inside and outside the classroom, so enjoy it.
Traveling abroad can be slightly unnerving, and maybe even more so when you are traveling in order to study. When you study abroad you are embarking on an adventure, and with all adventures come risks. You cannot and will not be prepared for every possibility on your trip. As you explore and meet people, you will learn about new things and you will want to participate and discover. Having insurance while you engage in the new world around you will be important. And when you have student travel insurance you can put your mind at ease about the potential for unexpected medical bills.
Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by Tokio Marine HCC – International Group.