How to Select Study Abroad & Travel Insurance

So Many Types of Coverage! What to Get?

A guide to study abroad and travel insurance to help students select and purchase a plan.

Do I Need Insurance for Study Abroad?

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, but along with the journey come many speed bumps and headaches. You can never anticipate the issues that may arise while studying abroad and traveling, which is why travel insurance is a great thing to consider because there’s always that chance…

… you get sick and require treatment
… you break a leg skiing in the Alps
… your flight is cancelled and your entire weekend trip gets derailed due to a transportation strike
… your phone or laptop gets stolen from your hostel
… you break your camera
… a family member dies and you need to fly home immediately

These can set you back thousands upon thousands of dollars and without the proper coverage you might be paying for them out of pocket. Try explaining that one to mom and dad back home!

Even the most experienced travelers have the occasional setback and it’s smart to be prepared for the worst. Having insurance that provides you with medical, logistical, and financial support is important.

School-Sponsored Group Policies

Some colleges and universities in the United States suggest students enroll in their program’s group policy before they even set foot on the plane to Europe. These policies can usually be purchased in supplement to your upfront pre-departure expenses and coverage is often limited to international health insurance.

While some United States domestic health plans offer overseas coverage, a good number do not, so before you opt-in for a group policy, first double check your existing coverage to see if it offers you any benefit. If you don’t have domestic health insurance, a sponsored group policy might serve as your only insurance while studying abroad.

If your domestic provider doesn’t offer overseas coverage and your school doesn’t have a group policy, you’re on your own for insurance.

Mallory Dirks, Simpson College

Happy Backpackers

I chose to do this rather than book my own trip in Rome - I wanted to experience one organized/sight-seeing trip rather than a relaxing vacation like many of my others had been. Two friends and I signed up for WSA Rome and don't regret a thing. We met wonderful people, were led by an awesome tour guide Rhianne, and got to see everything I wanted to see in Rome. Plus eat all the best food. There is an optional dinner on the last night that we didn't do right away, but we ended up going to it, and it was SO worth the 20 euro. I made memories and friends, and got to see a beautiful, historic city thanks to WSA!!

Mallory Dirks, Simpson College ~ University of Roehampton, London, Fall 2015

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