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Health Preparations

Many programs and universities will require a health form as part of your confirmation materials. Macalester’s Health and Wellness Center will do study away physicals or can refer you to other physicians in the area.

Research immunization and vaccination requirements

Check with the Centers for Disease Control or your program for more information. Think about other health considerations such as visiting a travel clinic before you go, accessing health care while away, health insurance coverage, etc.

Health Insurance Coverage

Study away offers many opportunities for growth and exploration. However, travel and study in other countries always involves some elements of risk. The Center for Study Away urges students and families to discuss their potential health and safety concerns, then learn about the insurance coverage available through their families and their study away programs.

Insurance Requirements

International Travel Insurance

All Macalester College students who participate on an approved study away program must ensure they obtain coverage from a comprehensive international insurance plan. Coverage must include the following:

  • Medical care for illness and injury
  • Emergency evacuation for medical or security reasons
  • Repatriation of remains

This insurance coverage may be provided for you in one of two ways.

Insurance Provided by Program

Some programs provide the required insurance as part of their program fees and will enroll you in a comprehensive insurance plan. Programs that offer this coverage include those run by American Councils, AMIDEAST, CET, CIEE, DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia, Duke University, HECUA, ISEP, IES Abroad, IFSA, Middlebury College, Pitzer College, and SIT Study Abroad, and the University of Minnesota. If you are doing a non-approved program and are unsure about whether your program includes insurance, please contact [email protected] and we can let you know for sure.

We strongly encourage you to review the coverage provided by your program with your family to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations.

Insurance Provided by Macalester

If your program or host institution does not offer the required insurance, Macalester College will provide this coverage for you during your study away program dates. The policy is underwritten by  Zurich Insurance Group and brokered by Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk. The documents below outline the Zurich policy information and travel assistance services that are available through Zurich Travel Assist, your dedicated 24/7 travel assistance company. Should you require proof of insurance coverage, please contact your study away advisor or email [email protected] for a letter of verification.

All of the following documents will also be uploaded to your Macalester study away portal should you need to reference them easily in the future.

Maintaining Coverage at Home

While studying away, you are enrolled in a health insurance plan, either through a program provider or Macalester College, which is included as part of your regular tuition fees. This coverage is valid only outside of your home-country and only for the duration of your program. Therefore, it is essential for you to maintain your home-country health insurance, even while abroad. This would ensure coverage for any incidents that occur before your departure and/or for any long-term care upon your (planned or unplanned) return.

If you are currently insured under Macalester’s domestic policy and wish to waive coverage for your term abroad, you will need to make arrangements with the Hamre Center for Health & Wellness, with the understanding that you are doing so at your own risk.

Coverage Beyond Program Dates

The international insurance policy provided by your program will typically only cover you during the official program dates.  If you plan to travel before or after your program, we encourage you to secure additional international insurance coverage for any leisure travel outside the official program dates. You can select a policy of your choice. You are welcome to contact Gallagher Global Assistance at [email protected] to inquire about the possibility of extending your already provided coverage. You are also welcome to find a plan of your choosing. You may find this article on How to Find the Best Travel Insurance to be helpful. It includes a number of search engines available to help you compare coverage and costs between different policies.

Taking medications while away

Taking medications during study away demands some forethought. Below is a link to a website with information about safely transporting and using prescription medication while studying away.