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.

Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine

Happy Backpackers

This past weekend a group of my friends and I decided to go to Budapest, but wanted to go with a group because we were unsure of what we wanted to do and how to plan our trip. Booking the trip through WSA was the best idea we ever had. It was basically all planned out for us (excluding flights). It was great because there were plenty of things planned for us that were included in the package, but there was also a bit of free time for us to explore the city and do the things we were most interested in. I really enjoyed the caving and thermal baths we visited during our trip! Also the hostel that was booked for us through WSA was great and our tour guide, Bogi, was amazing! I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone and am happy to say that I will be booking more trips with WSA in the future!

Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015

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