International Student Health Insurance

Health Insurance Plans for International Students & Students Studying Abroad

Health insurance plans for international students provide the right mix of plan benefits, value, and coverage to keep you safe and healthy. IMG student health plans can help keep your budget healthy, too.

Coverage for international students studying in the U.S. is available to students on an F1 visa and meets J1 visa requirements. Students from the U.S. studying abroad can also stay protected in Schengen visa countries and beyond with an IMG plan.

Long- and short-term student health plans from IMG are great for: 

  • Individuals and groups participating in international student programs
  • Cultural exchange participants
  • International graduate students
  • Scholars and educators 
  • Dependents of those participating in international study programs 

With health insurance plans designed specifically for international and study abroad students and scholars, IMG has done the homework so you don't have to. 


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Why Do I Need International Student Health Insurance?
Simple. It's Generally Required.

Most universities and colleges require that international and study abroad students obtain a minimum level of medical coverage for their enrollment period.

While some schools provide their own coverage options for students, others do not require students to buy the university-sponsored insurance as long as they buy comparable coverage that meets or exceeds the school's requirements.

Your host country may also require insurance for international students, so it's important to verify your visa requirements before purchasing coverage. 

International students who hold F1 visas are not required by the U.S. government to meet certain health insurance requirements, but they may still be required by their school to purchase certain coverage.

Factors that Determine Cost
The cost of an individual international student health insurance plan varies based on the following factors.

Age of the Student

Age is the primary determining factor for price. Insurance companies often charge different amounts for different age groups, with the price increasing for older age groups.

Length of Coverage

There are monthly rates associated with international student health insurance, so price increases proportionally to the number of months of coverage purchased.

Level of Coverage

Plans can range from basic and budget-friendly, to robust and complete with maternity coverage and enhanced pre-existing condition coverage. Students can choose the level of coverage they desire and balance that with the cost they are willing to incur.

International Student Health Insurance Benefits
Key Considerations for Purchasing Student Health Plans

Student Medical Coverage for Accidents or Illnesses

Your school and host country will often require students to purchase a plan that includes a minimum amount of medical coverage for accidents or illnesses. 

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Coverage for an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest qualified medical facility, expenses for transportation resulting from the evacuation, and the cost of returning the student to either their home country or the country where the evacuation occurred.

Repatriation and Return of Mortal Remains

In the unfortunate event that a student dies as a result of a covered illness or injury while outside of their home country, this benefit can cover expenses for transporting the remains back home.

How to Get International Student Health Insurance
Follow these simple steps and purchase your coverage worry free.

1. Research

Research your school's and host country's coverage requirements.

2. Confirm

Confirm that your school allows you to waive the university-sponsored plan and purchase your own insurance.

3. Search

Search for the right plan for you, paying close attention to coverage and cost.

4. Purchase

Purchase a plan and submit a waiver to your university, providing proof of coverage and any other necessary documentation.

Planning on studying in the US?

Check Out Our Study Abroad Checklist

Recent Blog Articles

Studying Internationally? Here's How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

Aug 22, 2017, 14:53 PM by User Not Found

Whether you're coming or going, international flights can be daunting for even the most seasoned travelers. For students leaving to study abroad, the experience can be magnified by the nervousness you feel about what life will be like once you touch down. How well you abate your anxiety lies in how well you plan ahead.

I took my first international flight from Los Angeles to Amsterdam in my 20s, and it was truly an eye-opening experience. By the end of it, I was practically clawing at the window as if doing so would allow me to get off the plane faster. Before you even get on a plane, you should mentally prepare for what it means to be stuck in a seat for that long.

Expecting the time to fly isn't going to set you up for success — no matter how many books, movies, puzzles, or sleeping pills you pack. That being said, there are ways to make the flight a lot easier.

Here are a few tips for the soon-to-be jet setter.

Distract Yourself with Guilty Pleasures

Every person will deal with a long-haul flight differently, but most people will fare better in the air if they opt for distracting entertainment options.

This means that if you're feeling anxious about living in a foreign country, the flight might not be the time to watch a horror movie. Instead, pick out movies and songs that make you feel happy or calm. Music should have a soothing quality (think: Sade, Sting or Santana). When it comes to movies and books, choose titles that make you laugh or those that make you feel hopeful. Don't worry about the artistic merit.

My personal intellectual threshold for movies plummets the moment I step on a plane, calling me to such classic cinema as “Sweet Home Alabama” where Reese Witherspoon’s character meets an infant in a bar of her hometown. You can also use this opportunity to read guilty pleasures like “Twilight” or finally listen to the “Serial” podcast.

The entertainment you choose is all about what takes your mind off the fact that it's already been five hours, and you still have another seven to go. 

Focus on Breathing

Being seated in a quiet plane for hours provides the perfect setting for meditation. Meditating can be especially useful if you’re feeling nervous about the upcoming months.

Close your eyes and take deep breaths, concentrating on calming your mind. Take some time to reflect on all you have to be grateful for, including the opportunity to study abroad, and the unique experiences you’re sure to have during your trip.

Meditating puts you in the moment, and it can have long-term effects far after you exhale your last concentrated breath. 

Build Your Bucket List

Not sure where you want to travel during university holidays? Use this time on the plane to build your study abroad bucket list, noting the food you want to try, places you want to visit, and experiences you want to have.

Create a list of challenges for yourself too. Here are a few examples:

  • Spend one full day speaking the local language.
  • Go on an adventure with a new friend.
  • Send a postcard back home from every country you visit.
  • Learn how to cook your favorite local dish.

Writing down your goals will get you even more excited for the adventures to come.

Journal to Freedom 

Similarly, journaling can be a great way to pass the time, allowing you to get lost in your thoughts. Just like meditation and list-building, it can help you work through the hopes and fears you have about who you'll meet and what you'll do when you land. 

Keep this journal throughout your study abroad trip, and make a point to write in it whenever you experience something particularly meaningful. Whether you saw a beautiful sunrise, learned something new, went on the trip of a lifetime or made a new friend, try to write down all the details – both big and small – about your trip so you can reminisce for years to come.

Stay Healthy

You may feel cramped, have trouble sleeping and experience jet lag when you land, but a few tips can help you stay healthy on your flight.

  1. Hydrate. Drink plenty of water well before your flight, and continue doing so once you’re on the plane. Air travel can cause some serious dehydration as a result of the lack of humidity in the cabin.
  2. Wear layers and pack some vitamin C tablets so you can stay warm in the cold cabin and boost your immune system mid-flight.
  3. Adjust your internal clock to that of your destination by timing your meals and sleeping patterns with the local time zone. If you wear an analog watch, change the time on it before you board, so it’s easier to identify the time.
  4. Finally, relax and enjoy some time to yourself before the hustle and bustle of your new adventure!


Meredith worked for a travel corporation and survived multiple trips overseas to various countries. She brings you her tips, so students of all kinds can keep their spirits up when they're in the air. 

Frequently Asked Questions


This is not an offer to enter into an insurance contract. This is only a summary and shall not bind the company or require the company to offer or write any insurance at any particular rate or to any particular group or individual. The information on this page does and will not affect, modify or supersede in any way the policy, certificate of insurance and governing policy documents (together the "Insurance Contract"). The actual rates and benefits are governed by the Insurance Contract and nothing else. Benefits are subject to exclusions and limitations.

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