Studying abroad as a graduate student is a great way to gain practical experience and learn from some of the best minds in your field of study. The process for studying abroad is unique for every student, and details can be overlooked. You will likely feel excited and slightly overwhelmed as you prepare to study abroad. This may lead to overlooking a few small but integral parts of the process.
One not-so-small element of the process is graduate student health insurance. Insurance plans may be the last thing on your mind as you gather documents to apply for a visa, create packing lists, and research your destination. Purchasing an insurance plan for you trip, however, is a smart idea. Health insurance for graduate study abroad keeps you protected as you travel.
At HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS), we understand how important your medical and financial well-being are. This is why we offer StudentSecure® Insurance to protect your assets as you study and travel abroad. You never know when an accident or injury may occur, and having graduate student health insurance can help keep you protected.
When you decide to study abroad, you need to have the correct insurance plan. StudentSecure plans are designed to keep the policyholder safe in the event of illness or injury. Medical bills from foreign countries can really stack up and leave you with a lot of unwanted expenses. Knowing that student budgets are tight, HCCMIS offers four different StudentSecure plans:
StudentSecure Elite: StudentSecure Elite is the most expensive and most comprehensive of the StudentSecure benefit plans. It features a $500,000 medical policy maximum, 100% coverage both within the PPO network and outside the U.S., and a $500,000 emergency medical evacuation benefit.
StudentSecure Select: StudentSecure Select provides a $300,000 certificate period maximum. This plan provides well-rounded study-abroad benefits featuring 100% coverage of eligible expenses after the deductible for claims incurred outside the U.S., and 80% of the next $5,000 following the deductible (100% thereafter) for claims incurred within the U.S. It also includes a $300,000 emergency medical evacuation benefit.
StudentSecure Budget: Designed for the student on a slightly tighter budget, StudentSecure Budget still provides great coverage but at a more budget-friendly price. With a $250,000 certificate period maximum, it also features 100% coverage of eligible expenses after the deductible for claims incurred outside the U.S., and a $250,000 emergency medical evacuation benefit. So, if you know you are going to have a tight budget while studying abroad, StudentSecure Budget may be the best option for you.
StudentSecure Smart: StudentSecure Smart is intended for the student looking for the most affordable benefits. It provides a $200,000 certificate period maximum, 100% coverage of eligible expenses after the deductible for claims incurred outside the U.S., and a $25,000 emergency medical evacuation benefit.
Depending on your budget and how many people are in your family, HCCMIS can provide you the correct StudentSecure plan. With four different options, all of which provide great coverage, you can adhere to your budget and specify the coverage level of your graduate student health insurance.
There are plenty of study abroad programs out there, but which is the right one for you and your goals? Finding a program that’s the right fit is key. As a graduate student, you obviously have a lot of passion for what you are studying. You’ll want to put that passion to good use in your study abroad program and further your education in order to advance in your career field. As you research different programs, there are several factors to consider.
Location: Where do you want to study? Is there a country in which you have always dreamed of living or visiting? Where is a well-known program or professor located? These are all questions you need to ask yourself while deciding where you want to study abroad as a graduate student. If you know you want to study abroad, but don’t have a specific place in mind, do some research and find a great program or university where you can work with a great professor. As a graduate student, your study abroad experience is extremely important. For you, this opportunity is less about traveling and living in a new culture and more about expanding your knowledge by working with new people and experts in the field.
Contact Your School: Are you already enrolled in a graduate study program in your home country? If so, contact your school’s study abroad or international office and find out if they have any sister schools or recommendations for you. There is a good chance your current school has relationships with foreign schools. If this is the case, your study-abroad office will be able to advise you on programs with credits that will transfer back to the home campus. Meet with some of your current professors to learn about any connections they might have to professors or programs abroad. Talk to friends and peers, as well, and see where they’ve studied and with whom. You may find the perfect match.
Contact Your Future School: If you have not already enrolled in a graduate program in your home country, you have the opportunity to begin your graduate work abroad. Many schools will accept international students into their graduate programs, and it may work to your advantage if you start and complete a program at one school rather than begin at one school and study abroad at a different school. After you figure out where you would like to study, do research on schools and professors in that area to see if they accept international students. Be sure that you apply to more than one program. By doing this, you increase your chances.
Know What You Want: It helps if you know going into the process what you want to get out of your study abroad program. Are you looking for hands-on work experience? Are you looking to volunteer? Perhaps you are more interested in traveling and learning about as many cultures as possible. Keep in mind that studying abroad is not always about learning inside the classroom. Classroom learning plays a major role in your education, of course, but you will also learn from the culture around you, from the people you meet, and from any additional traveling you do. So make sure you get out there and explore your new world.
Know the Costs: Studying abroad is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a student, but it can also be expensive. However, the costs of traveling, attending school, and living in a foreign country should not deter you from the opportunity. Look for scholarships, grants, and study-abroad loans that can be used to help support you as you study, travel, and learn in a new place.
Studying abroad as a graduate student is the chance of a lifetime, and when you return home you may be a changed person. You will learn from professors to whom many do not have access, explore new parts of the world, have amazing adventures, and make new friends. Keep yourself protected from unexpected medical expenses by purchasing graduate student health insurance.
There are plenty of little things that you will need to take care of in order to study abroad, such as filing for a visa, updating your passport, and making travel arrangements. It is easy to get caught up in these things and forget all about purchasing health insurance. Make sure you take the time and find the best-fitting coverage for you. This will enable you to travel and study abroad with peace of mind.
HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS 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 HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.