Health and Insurance
Planning for your health and safety while abroad is particularly important. You want to be prepared to make the most of this opportunity and the time to ask questions is not when you are in immediate need of health care services. Take a few minutes to read over these frequently asked questions and feel free to contact the Center for Global Study and Engagement if you have additional concerns.
Do I need health insurance abroad?
Yes. Check your current policy to see if your policy covers you outside your home country. Even if your current policy covers you abroad, you may have to pay for medical treatment upfront and submit receipts for reimbursement within a certain time-frame. For questions to ask your health insurance provider click here.
What if my insurance doesn’t cover me abroad?
Dickinson also covers all students studying abroad through a policy with ACE American Insurance Company. This policy is a secondary policy to your primary insurance policy; however, if your standard policy doesn’t cover you abroad, ACE becomes your primary policy. Students are automatically signed up for coverage and the cost is included in the program fee. For detailed information about the ACE policy click here. For the ACE insurance card click here.
What happens if I get sick abroad?
During on-site orientation you will be given information about local doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Be sure you talk with your program director and let them know about any health issues you are experiencing; they are there to help.
Is insurance included in the cost of the program?
Yes, basic insurance is included in the cost of the program. However, you must maintain your primary policy, whether that is purchased through Dickinson or independently.
Can I take prescription medication with me?
It depends; you need to make sure it is legal. Check the consulate website of the country you are visiting—they may be able to direct you to resources advising on what drugs are accepted. If it is legal, carry the doctor’s prescription and a letter stating the reason you are taking the medication and, of course, keep the medication in the original container!
What if my prescription medication is illegal?
You should talk to your doctor about changing your medication, if possible. In extreme cases, you may have to consider choosing another country to study abroad. Please investigate this early on in your process; the more time you and your doctor have to explore options the less stressful this aspect of your preparation will be!
What if I need to refill a prescription abroad?
It is illegal to mail prescription medication. Arrange with your doctor and insurance company to take enough medication with you for the duration of your studies. It can take many months to arrange this so start the process early.
How do I pay for medical care abroad?
See your program page for specifics.
Am I covered if I travel outside the host country?
You are covered by the ACE policy as long as you are outside the United States, for the duration of the program. If you travel before or after the program you should make sure your personal insurance provides adequate coverage.
If my laptop is stolen when I’m on the program, am I covered by Dickinson insurance?
Students are not covered by Dickinson for personal liability, including the loss or theft of personal property. It is the responsibility of each program participant to purchase liability insurance, if needed. Students who bring laptops are advised to purchase adequate coverage. Check first to see whether the homeowner's insurance of your parents/guardian will cover personal liability while overseas. Normally, a copy of the police report filed at the time of loss or theft will be required by the insurer before any claim will be considered.
I am studying in a developing country, does the Dickinson ACE insurance policy cover emergency medical evacuation?
Yes, the policy does have a provision for emergency medical evacuation. However, students and their families should be aware that ACE will be responsible for when an emergency medical evacuation is necessary. If the procedure can be performed in-country (or in a neighboring country) this coverage will not pay for the student to return to their home country for the procedure.
What if I need accommodations?
Accommodations available to students with disabilities in the United States may not be available to students studying abroad. It is unlikely that you will find the same medications, medical and/or psychological care, or support services at your study abroad site that you would at home. It is also possible that some host sites abroad may not be adequately equipped for students with physical disabilities.
For you to fully assess whether you will be able to successfully complete a study abroad program, we encourage any student with special needs to review the program descriptions and to visit websites about the community in which you will be living and learning. If you wish to have assistance from Dickinson College in helping you to assess your ability to succeed in studying in a particular program or in identifying programs where more support may be available, you are encouraged to come talk to the Center for Global Study and Engagement. It is important to ask questions and do your research before you apply.
Once you determine the right program for you and, if accepted, you will be invited to self-disclose your personal needs on a medical questionnaire open to you through the on-line application system. Disclosure is completely voluntary. However, on-site staff will have a better chance to advise you of accommodations that may be possible if they are aware of your needs before you arrive on site. If you choose to study on a program and travel to an abroad site, you will be expected to fully participate in the program. Therefore, you need to inform yourself about the demands of the program in order to plan ahead and to prepare to cope with your health needs in a new environment.
I suffer from depression and/or anxiety, am I still able to study abroad?
It is strongly recommended that you consult your counselor or psychiatrist when considering study abroad. When abroad, most students experience various states of excitement and frustration as a result of the opportunities and differences presented by the new culture. These alternating emotions are usually related to the natural phenomenon of culture shock, which occurs when people adapt to a new culture and surroundings. As you become accustomed to your new surroundings and establish a routine, these feelings will begin to subside. If homesickness, depression, or eating disorders persist, seek professional assistance and inform your program director. If you are currently seeking treatment from a mental health care provider, remember that English-speaking counseling services abroad may be limited and the terms of care will likely be different from here in the U.S.