The basics
STUDY ABROAD : Before you leave - Must read

An introduction to travel insurance: Q&A w/ USI Affinity Insurance

We sat down with USI Affinity Insurance to talk about the importance of travel insurance for international students, including some of the most popular claims which are made, the pitfalls students usually stumble at, and more…

insurance for international students

Every year, thousands of college students embark on the adventure of studying abroad. With so many things to keep in mind such as where and what you will study, how much it costs, and how you will get there, a question that is frequently overlooked revolves around student health insurance (also known as study abroad insurance).


If you are a student or scholar planning on traveling outside your home country to pursue your education, health insurance is a necessity. Most student visas and learning institutions require visiting foreign students be covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy. Did you know that most insurance plans will not follow you while studying abroad?


To help students understand the other types of important questions, common claims, and what different types of terms within your coverage mean, we posed some of the most popular insurance-related queries to USI Affinity Insurance...



What are the most common types of claims which international students make?

‘General illnesses are the most common types of claims that international students makes. These general illnesses include for example, the flu and stomach illness. Other common claims include sports related injuries and injuries sustained from accidents.’



What are the claims which arise more often than international students would expect?

‘Similar to the above question, the claims that arise more often than international students expect are sports related injuries and common sicknesses such as the flu.’



What terms or conditions usually trip up international students or those who may not have taken out a policy before?

‘The most common term/condition that typically trips students who have never taken out a policy before is the understanding of what a pre-existing condition is and what is specifically covered when it comes to pre-existing.’



What’s the scariest insurance-related term?

‘The scariest insurance-related term for students is ‘Repatriation of Remains’. In the unfortunate circumstance when death occurs during your trip, the costs and logistics of preparing and returning your remains to your home country can be covered.’ [Editor’s note: Don’t be too scared; this is highly unlikely to occur]



A student needs to claim on their insurance. Step-by-step, what do they need to do?

‘Call the insurance company. Present their ID card to the medical provider. Complete a claims form and submit to the company (Claim forms can be submitted electronically too).’



What do the following protection plans cover....?

Illness and accident protection

‘This is coverage for general and common unexpected illnesses and injuries.’



Medical evacuation

‘Medical evacuation is ground or air transportation to the nearest medical facility suitable to treat a life threatening illness.’



Prescription coverage

‘Prescription coverage is coverage for prescription drugs prescribed to treat a covered illness or injury.’



Intercollegiate sports and physical therapy

‘Intercollegiate sports and physical therapy is coverage provided for injuries sustained during participation in sports.’




‘If a terrorist attack occurs and you are injured, coverage for injuries sustained is available.’



One final question: are you prepared? There is no doubt studying abroad is a life-changing experience, but along with the journey, unexpected speed bumps can occur. You can never anticipate the issues that may arise, which is why study abroad insurance is a great thing to consider.


It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health and wellness. Be prepared and safe travels!



Find out more about USI Affinity Insurance

About Author

insurance for international students

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.