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While studying abroad is a unique opportunity, one of the things many people overlook is travel insurance for students. Spending a semester or longer overseas can be exciting, it’s important to be covered if something goes wrong.

Here’s everything you need to know about travel insurance for students studying abroad.

best student travel insurance

What Is Travel Insurance?

While the terms “travel insurance” and “student travel insurance” might seem like one and the same, they cater to distinct needs and scenarios. Let’s break down the differences between these two.

Travel insurance is a broad term that encompasses various types of insurance plans designed to protect travelers during their journeys. It’s a safety net that can apply to a range of travel scenarios, including vacations, business trips, family visits, and more.

Here are some common features of travel insurance:

Trip Cancellation/Interruption

This coverage helps reimburse non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to covered reasons, such as illness, severe weather, or unforeseen events.

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance includes coverage for medical emergencies that occur while you’re traveling, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and even emergency medical evacuation.

Baggage Protection

This feature provides compensation for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal belongings during your trip.

Travel Delays

If your trip is delayed due to circumstances beyond your control, travel insurance can provide coverage for additional expenses like accommodation and meals.

Emergency Assistance

Travel insurance often offers 24/7 emergency assistance services, providing help with medical referrals, translation services, and more.

Student Travel Insurance

Student travel insurance is specifically tailored to the needs of students who are traveling abroad for educational purposes. It takes into account the unique challenges that students might face during their international studies. Here’s how student travel insurance differs:

Academic Interruption

Student travel insurance may include coverage for academic interruptions due to covered reasons, ensuring that you’re financially protected if your studies are unexpectedly disrupted.

Flexible Durations

Student travel insurance policies often offer more flexible policy durations, accommodating the varying lengths of academic terms and breaks.

Coverage for Adventure Activities

Recognizing that students might engage in adventurous activities during their time abroad, travel insurance for students can cover a wider range of recreational and educational activities.

Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions

Insurance for students traveling abroad should offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, which might not be as common in standard travel insurance.

Extended Coverage Periods

Student policies might allow for extending coverage beyond the original policy period, accommodating post-study travel plans.

In a nutshell, while travel insurance provides general coverage for a variety of travel scenarios, student travel insurance goes the extra mile to address the specific needs and uncertainties when pursuing education abroad. It’s tailored to meet the unique needs that come with being a student explorer. As you prepare for your academic adventure, carefully considering the type of insurance that aligns with your journey is a key step towards a worry-free and enriching experience.

travel insurance for students

What To Look For When Buying International Student Travel Insurance

Before you jump in to buying student travel insurance, there are a few things you should look for.

Coverage Types

Look at the coverage provided, including medical expenses, trip cancellation/interruption, and baggage loss/delay.

Policy Duration

Ensure the policy covers the entire duration of your trip, including any pre-trip or post-trip days.

Medical Coverage

Check the coverage limit for medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation.

Pre-existing Conditions

Inquire if pre-existing medical conditions are covered and what the terms are.

Destination Coverage

Confirm that the policy covers all the destinations you plan to visit.

Activities Coverage

Check if adventure sports and other activities you plan to participate in are covered.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption

Review the circumstances under which trip cancellation or interruption is covered.

Baggage and Personal Items

Understand the coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal items.

Travel Delays

Check if the policy covers expenses incurred due to travel delays.

Emergency Assistance

Verify if the student travel insurance policy provides 24/7 emergency assistance services.

Deductibles and Exclusions

Understand any deductibles you need to pay before coverage starts and any exclusions.

Price and Value

Consider the cost of the policy relative to the coverage and benefits provided. Travel insurance for students is often more affordable than regular travel insurance.

Claims Process

Understand how to file a claim and what documents are required.

Customer Reviews

Research the insurance provider’s reputation and read reviews from other travelers.

Visa Requirements

Ensure the policy meets any travel insurance requirements for your destination country’s visa.

Currency of Coverage

Check if the coverage is in the currency of your home country or the destination.

Customer Support

Check the availability and responsiveness of customer support.

Additional Benefits

See if the policy offers any extra perks like legal assistance or trip extensions.


If you’re studying abroad, there’s a chance your trip could get extended. So always check if the policy can be renewed.

Understanding Policy Language

Read through the policy document carefully and understand the terms and conditions.

Time Limit

Understand any time limits for purchasing the insurance in relation to your travel dates.

Refund Policy

Know the policy’s refund policy if you decide to cancel before the trip.

Group Coverage

If traveling with others, check if group coverage is available.

Legal Requirements

Ensure the policy meets any legal requirements of your home country and destination.

Comparison Shopping

Compare policies from multiple insurance providers to find the best fit for your needs.

Taking the time to thoroughly review and compare insurance policies will help you make an informed decision and ensure you have the necessary coverage for your travel plans.

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What Do You Need To Get Student Travel Insurance?

Once you’ve decided on a student travel insurance provider, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got some specific documentation before you get approved.

Personal Information

You’ll need to provide your full name, date of birth, gender, nationality, and contact details.

Travel Details

You’ll need to share information about your trip, including travel dates, destinations, and the purpose of your travel (i.e., studying abroad).

Student Status

Student travel insurance is only offered to students, so you’ll have to provide proof of your enrollment or acceptance in an educational institution, such as a letter of acceptance or enrollment certificate.

Trip Itinerary

Outlining your travel itinerary, including any pre-trip or post-trip days, as well as any countries you plan to visit during your journey will be required by some insurance providers.

Medical History

You might need to answer questions about your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions. Some insurers might require a medical examination for specific conditions.

Visa Requirements

Check if your destination country requires specific insurance coverage for student visas. If so, you’ll need to ensure your chosen policy meets those requirements.


You’ll need to pay the insurance premium to activate your coverage. Payment can usually be made online through the insurer’s website or through an agent.


You’ll have to have a valid passport or identification document as proof of identity.

Additional Documentation

Depending on the insurer and your specific circumstances, you might need to provide additional documentation, such as proof of residence, proof of funds, or proof of enrollment in a specific academic program.

Emergency Contact Information

Provide contact information for an emergency contact person who can be reached in case of any unforeseen situations.

Travel Purpose

Clarify that you are purchasing insurance for student travel purposes to ensure you receive the appropriate coverage.

Policy Selection

Choose the policy that aligns with your needs and preferences, considering coverage options and any additional benefits.

It’s always good to be prepared, so make sure you bring everything on this list, as well as anything you might find on the insurance provider’s website.

student travel health insurance

How Long Before My Trip Should I Get Student Travel Insurance?

It’s recommended to purchase student travel insurance as soon as you have a confirmed travel itinerary and trip dates. Ideally, you should aim to get insurance coverage well before your departure date. Here are a few things to consider:

Early planning

Start researching and comparing student travel insurance options as soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the educational institution abroad or finalize your travel plans. This will give you enough time to review policies, understand coverage, and make an informed decision.

Waiting Periods

Some insurance policies may have waiting periods before certain coverage becomes effective. For example, coverage for trip cancellations might have a waiting period before you can make a claim. Getting insurance early helps ensure that these waiting periods are completed before your trip.

Visa Requirements

If your destination country requires specific insurance coverage for your student visa, make sure you purchase the required policy well in advance to comply with visa application deadlines.

Trip Cancellation Coverage

Purchasing insurance early allows you to benefit from trip cancellation coverage. If unforeseen events lead to trip cancellation, you can potentially recover non-refundable expenses if your insurance is already in place.

Pre-Departure Benefits

Some insurance policies offer pre-departure benefits, such as coverage for trip interruption before departure due to certain covered reasons. Having insurance in place early can help in such scenarios.

Peace of Mind

Having student travel insurance in place well before your departure date provides you with peace of mind, knowing that you’re covered in case of unexpected events or emergencies.

Coverage for Pre-Travel Expenses

Some insurance policies offer coverage for certain pre-trip expenses, such as non-refundable flight tickets, in case you need to cancel or delay your trip for covered reasons.

While it’s good to get your insurance as early as possible, it’s important to know that there’s no set timeframe for every situation. Some providers allow you to book your insurance as little as 24 hours in advance. Always contact your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered before it’s too late!

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What’s The Best Travel Insurance For Students Studying Abroad?

The short answer is that the best student travel insurance is whichever one fits you the best. A lot of policies can be edited and altered to fit your specific needs, so don’t be afraid to look around and see how your policy can work for you.

Is Travel Insurance For Students Mandatory?

More often than not, travel insurance for students abroad isn’t mandatory. However, it’s important to check the local laws for travelers, and it’s always better to be covered in the event that something does happen.

What Do I Do If I’m Sick While Studying Abroad?

If you fall ill while you’re abroad, it’s important to visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your insurance provider should have a list of medical centers you can visit. If you’re in a country with good public healthcare, you can make use of that as well.

Some insurance providers offer telemedicine consultations through apps like the Air Doctor service. And, even if you’re not covered, you can still enjoy world-class healthcare from the comfort of your own home for non-emergency situations.

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Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.