International students studying

One of the greatest aspects of post-secondary education is the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad exposes students to new ideas and cultures, offers an international experience that enhances their future job prospects, and provides an opportunity to travel-not to mention the potential to gain some serious independence. It's a time for learning a lot of life lessons. Don't make not having travel insurance one of them.

Getting sick or injured abroad is expensive and can cost thousands of dollars a day-money most students simply do not have. The proper travel insurance will protect international students in the event of a medical emergency, with more comprehensive packages offering trip cancellation insurance and additional specialty services as well.

Whether you're a Canadian student looking to study abroad, or an international student looking to study in Canada, we round up what you need to know to make sure you're protected no matter where your studies take you.

For International Students Looking To Study In Canada

International travel health insurance will provide students studying in Canada with peace of mind while they are working through this important stage of their lives. It will protect against accidents and emergencies, including the cost of returning you home. Any student from anywhere in the world can apply for international travel health insurance. In order to be eligible, students must:

  • Currently be in good health
  • Be enrolled at a Canadian college, university, or accredited educational institution
  • Be enrolled in at least 60 per cent of the required courses for a specific program
  • Not be insured or eligible for benefits under Canada's national health insurance program

Basic international travel health insurance typically covers:

  • Emergency hospital accommodation
  • Emergency medical services
  • Emergency transportation including ambulances
  • Emergency dental work
  • Prescriptions needed as a result of a covered emergency
  • Diagnostic services including x-rays

Hospital rates in Canada for non residents range from $1,500 to $3,500 per day. International Travel Health Insurance on the other hand starts as low as $2 a day depending on the plan and coverage. Your best option is to use to compare International Students Insurance quotes to find the rate that works for your budget.

For Canadian Students Looking To Study Abroad

When you're moving to a new country to study full-time, it is possible you will retain some of your provincial insurance benefits as long as you meet the minimum requirements set out by your home province or territory. However, these provincial benefits are severely limited. Ontario residents, for example, who wind up in a U.S. emergency room may face expenses in the thousands of dollars over the duration of the care, but "OHIP will only reimburse up to a total of $50.00 CDN per day for this service regardless of the severity of the situation," The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care says on its website.

As such, the Ministry has issued an important call to action.

"If you plan to travel outside of Ontario, it is strongly recommended that you obtain additional private medical insurance and full understand what your policy covers."

Travel insurance can be purchased in increments of up to one year (365 days) and offers the same benefits as international travel health insurance for students studying in Canada. Some insurance providers offer extended coverage to students studying abroad full-time that include dental and eye check ups. You'll want to talk to your insurance provider if these are features that are important to you.

What to look for in a policy

  • Always read the fine print to make sure you know what is and isn't covered under your policy
  • Pay attention to exclusions-this is what you won't be covered for
  • Ask your provider for clarification on blanket or unclear terms
  • Look to see if your policy contains a deductible or not. The deductible is the amount you agree to pay in the event of a claim. Generally, the higher the deductible the less expensive the premiums. Make sure whatever you decide is in your budget
  • Don't take the first policy you're offered-shop around for better rates Comparing rates

Whether you're coming or going, you'll want to compare travel insurance rates and policies to make sure you're getting the coverage that is sufficient and affordable while you're studying abroad. A few quick clicks can save you hundreds of dollars on travel insurance, giving you more money and freedom to hit the books-or the road.

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