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Health Preparation

Health issues are the most common type of incident on education abroad programs. For this reason, you should be familiar with best practices for preparing students to manage their health abroad.

International Health Insurance

Like students, program directors and program assistants are automatically covered by international health insurance and International SOS membership. Coverage highlights:

  • $500,000 USD total maximum per Covered Accident or Sickness, per Covered Person
  • 100% of Covered Expenses for Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • 100% of Covered Expenses for Repatriation of Remains
  • $0 USD deductible per Covered Accident or Sickness
  • Personal deviation benefit (coverage can extend for a maximum of 14 days outside of official program dates)

MSU has a blanket insurance policy so you and your students do not need to be individually enrolled in insurance coverage or assigned an individual policy number. 

The full policy is available online. Accompanying family members are not covered by international health insurance or International SOS membership. You are encouraged to purchase separate insurance for any accompanying family members.

International SOS

International SOS can offer pre-departure assistance to program directors and students including:

  • identifying recommended local medical facilities
  • offering travel health consultations relating to immunizations, public health risks, managing chronic health conditions abroad, and traveling with medication

You are encouraged to contact International SOS at +1-215-942-8478 to consult with their medical team.

International SOS membership cards will be given to you before your program departure. Please distribute to your students. A PDF version of the card is also available. If you or a student needs medical care during your program, call International SOS for assistance. You can find more information on International SOS here.

Student Health Information

Students submit a Health/Emergency Treatment Authorization Form to Education Abroad. This form is sent directly to the MSU Travel Clinic review. Based on the information disclosed on the form, Travel Clinic staff may reach out to individual students to consult with them about managing their health abroad.

For privacy reasons, this information on this form is not shared with program directors, Education Abroad, or the Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security. You may, however, invite your students to disclose this information to you on a strictly voluntary basis. Consider asking students if there is anything they would like you to know about their health abroad. If a student chooses to disclose health-related information to you, be mindful of their privacy and treat that information sensitively. 

Immunizations, Medication, and Travel Health Recommendations

You should be familiar with any public health risks present in the country or countries you will be visiting. This could include water drinkability, pollution levels, climate, the standard of medical care, etc. The Centers for Disease Control and International SOS are great sources of information. 

You and your students are encouraged to visit the MSU Travel Clinic well in advance of your departure. This is especially important if you:

  • are visiting a country with significant health risks (e.g. malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, yellow fever)
  • are not up-to-date on routine vaccinations (e.g. measles)
  • are taking medication abroad (some medications routinely prescribed in the U.S. cannot be legally brought into other countries)
  • have a physical and/or mental health condition that must be managed abroad

International SOS can give pre-travel advice to you and your students. There is no additional cost for these consultations. International SOS cannot, however, give immunizations or prescribe medications.

As a program director, you must refrain from providing advice about medications or immunizations. Travel health recommendations change frequently and should be tailored to a person's individual health history and offered by qualified medical personnel. Please direct students to the MSU Travel Clinic, International SOS, and/or their primary care physician.

Travel Health and COVID-19

You and your students are strongly encouraged to review our webpages on traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Note that the waiver process described does not apply to Education Abroad programs which follow a different process.