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Study Abroad


Medical Visits & Health Insurance Abroad

Medical practices vary around the world. Don't be surprised if your experience is different than a typical doctor visit at home. The physician may spend more time with you than you're used to to discuss your condition. Perhaps you will not receive a prescription when you believe you need one. In some countries, cultural beliefs could play a major role in your diagnosis. In any case, a doctor visit is an opportunity for an interesting cultural experience.

What to do if you feel ill

For colds, sore throats, and other minor ailments, visit your local pharmacy. Brand names and drug packaging may be unfamiliar, or the medication you need may be kept behind the counter. Don't be afraid to ask the pharmacist for assistance.

Notify your faculty leader or program director immediately if you have an illness or injury that requires a doctor's care. They may be able to refer you to a local physician or will escort you to the hospital. Your insurance provider may also be able to help you locate a local English-speaking physician or seek medical care while abroad.

If you have a medical emergency while abroad, a US consular official may be able to help.

Using your health insurance

Plan to pay for all medical costs up front and be reimbursed by the insurance company later. Save your receipts for all medical visits and prescriptions. Submit relevant paperwork to the insurance company along with a claim form. 

SAU study abroad program participants

Supplemental study abroad health/travel insurance from Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)will be provided for all SAU faculty-led Winterim, Spring Break, May Term and Summer program participants, and semester students in:

  • Carlow, Ireland
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Hirakata, Japan
  • St. Mary's University College London, England
  • Vichy, France

This insurance coverage is included in your program fee. Prior to departure, you will receive an insurance card, policy information, a claim form, and instructions on how to file a claim.  Keep your insurance card with you at all times.

Non-SAU study abroad program participants

Students traveling abroad with non-SAU programs should pay close attention to their acceptance packet and pre-departure materials for additional information regarding insurance requirements as each program provider has its own insurance guidelines.