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

Top 10 Study Abroad Tips

Aug 29, 2017, 16:24 PM by User Not Found

You're preparing to study in a completely new culture, new country, new world. You're excited, nervous, hopeful, eager and perhaps feeling a bit overwhelmed. You're so ready to get to your destination and you want everything to be perfect.

A successful study abroad experience begins with excellent preparation, superb communication and a little bit of bravery. Let's explore the top 10 study abroad tips that can help you get the most out of your experience.

1. Know the Details and Plan Ahead

As soon as you make the decision to study abroad, get the facts on which documents you'll need to have ready and what you'll need to do beforehand. If possible, speak to someone who has already studied abroad. A prepping checklist may look something like this:

  • Pack valid driver's license and passport
  • Get immunizations specific for the destination, if required
  • Take bed sheets, bath towels or other necessities not provided by the host family or university
  • Get medications refilled and purchase extra contact lenses
  • Convert currency to have cash on hand

Also, be sure to let your credit or debit card company know in advance that you'll be leaving the country. Give them the exact date range, if possible, for when your cards might be used outside of the U.S. If you're only able to give them the approximate dates, be sure to:

  • Factor in a few days of buffer before and after your trip to keep you covered
  • Alert them as soon as you know the exact dates of your travel

Few things are more frustrating than trying to buy something and having your credit card declined.

2. Know the Conversion Rates

In some countries, your $5 U.S. dollars may be worth $10 in the local currency, while it may be worth $1 in others. In other words, when you convert your U.S. dollars to another currency, you may be spending less or more on an identical item purchased in the U.S.

Once you know the conversion rate for your destination’s currency, you'll be able to budget more appropriately. Research the cost of food, drinks and transportation in the country where you'll be staying, and compile a tentative budget plan.

3. Pack Smart

You may be tempted to over-pack to make sure that you don't forget anything. While this is a common tendency, packing too much can really bog you down, and it's often more trouble than it's worth.

Imagine you arrive at the airport, only to realize that you'll need to climb and descend three flights of stairs, ride two metros and walk half a mile to get to your pick-up location, all while toting your luggage. If the conversion rate is in your favor, you may even want to purchase toiletry items, some clothing and other necessities once you arrive at your destination.

4. Ask Questions

Ask your host family or university about the local customs and anything else that would be helpful for you to know beforehand.

If you’re staying with a host family, be sure to ask if there are any traditions or rules they'd like you to follow in their home. For instance, in some cultures, it's a sign of respect to slightly bow to your elders or take off your shoes before entering a home.

5. Immerse Yourself

Immerse yourself in the culture to get the full study abroad experience.

Even if you don't feel 100% confident in your ability to speak the native language, challenge yourself. Surround yourself with native speakers and practice with them. You'd be surprised at just how patient and supportive they can be.

When they see that you're putting forth effort to speak their language, learn their customs and understand their way of life, it can open a whole new world of possibilities for you. Who knows, you might just make a new lifelong friend!

6. Stretch Your Taste Buds

Indulge in the local cuisine. Whether you love it or hate it, you won't regret trying it. Each culture brings a unique contribution to the international table. Take advantage of this special opportunity to stretch your taste buds and literally "sink your teeth in."

A word of caution: Many cultures don't understand some U.S. dietary restrictions, such as:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Pescatarian
  • Gluten-free
  • Specific food allergies

You can minimize confusion or mishaps by familiarizing yourself with the local ingredients and typical dishes of your host country beforehand, and plan accordingly.

7. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

"Touristy" things can be fun, but there are some things that you can't find on the average tourist agenda. Make new local friends, and spend time exploring the area with them as your guides. You'll likely get to share in hidden gems that tourists don't even know exist.

Don't shy away from opportunities because they are different or seem strange. This can be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go on new and exciting adventures in your host country. Be safe and responsible, but also be willing to leave your comfort zone.

8. Document Everything

Journal and take pictures — of everything. Your family and friends can share in your joy and experiences through photos of your wanderings.

Journaling often can make for wonderful stories when you return to the U.S. In addition, this provides you with a more accurate record of how you felt at any particular moment while you were abroad.

9. Go to Class

This may go without saying, but don't skip class just because you're in a new, exciting environment. When you're studying abroad, you'll likely have a less structured schedule, but don’t let this trick you into thinking you don’t have responsibilities during the semester.

Remember: When you graduate, your grade point average will reflect your semester abroad, so don’t make mistakes that will negatively impact your future career.

10. Travel Abroad as Often as You Can

After your first study abroad adventure, you'll probably be hooked on international travel. If your course of study allows, plan another semester abroad or look for international volunteer opportunities. You may even find a summer job while you’re studying abroad – take advantage of these opportunities while you can.

With these tips, we hope you’ll feel more prepared and less overwhelmed for your upcoming adventures. For information on staying safe while studying abroad, visit our Student Plans page.

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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