Health Insurance & Immunizations
Whether you're abroad or at home, it's a good idea to plan for unexpected health issues or accidents.
Although traveling abroad is an experience of a lifetime, your new lifestyle can present an opportunity for unplanned health complications.
Buying Insurance for an IU Administered Program
Unfortunately, accidents and illness are a part of life, but these unpredictable moments strike when you least expect it. For this reason, Indiana University requires any person participating on a study abroad program administered by an IU campus to be covered under a health insurance plan which includes medical evacuation and repatriation.
If you are a student participating on an IU program you don’t need to worry about shopping for an insurance plan. Indiana University’s Office of Overseas Study has already vetted an accident and sickness plan that covers you while you are abroad. The current insurance plan is administered by GeoBlue; it costs about $32 per month. Make sure to download the GeoBlue app before you leave for your program.
An important thing to know about this plan is that you must pay the physician or hospital at the time of treatment. After you have paid your medical bill you may submit a claim for reimbursement from GeoBlue. It is therefore extremely important that you have emergency funds to temporarily cover these medical bills until you are reimbursed by GeoBlue. Download the claim form
This insurance will cover you only during the official dates of your study abroad program - you cannot extend this coverage for travel before or after your program. If you are traveling on your own outside of the program dates (either before or after the program), we strongly encourage you to purchase additional insurance so you will have international health insurance for your entire stay abroad. You must pay for this additional coverage yourself; you cannot purchase it through the Study Abroad Office. The US Department of State has compiled this list of insurance providers.
Insurance For Your Non-IU Administered Program
If you are participating on a study abroad program that’s not administered by an IU campus, you need to be sure you have sufficient health insurance coverage before you depart. You will not be able to purchase the accident and sickness insurance plan through the IUPUI Study Abroad Office. However, you may want to refer to this plan as a guide when shopping for insurance.
There are many websites available to assist you in your search for an insurance plan, including the U.S. Department of State’s listing of travel insurance companies. The IUPUI Study Abroad Office does not endorse any of these insurance companies.
Immunizations & Medication
Health issues differ around the world. The health concerns of one nation may not be the same for the next; therefore, it’s important to be aware of the health issues at the destination(s) you’re traveling to and prepare accordingly. Likewise, laws surrounding medications vary from country to country, so you should also research the legality and availability of the medicines you take in your destination.
Vaccine Basics for Your Trip
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a thorough list of vaccines and medicines you should consider getting before traveling. Please visit the CDC website for health information on your travel destination(s).
- You should get all of your vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks before departure to allow the vaccines to take full effect and provide time for vaccines that require more than one dose.
- Be aware that in order to enter certain countries you must provide proof that you’ve received certain vaccinations.
- If you are planning to travel to other countries before, during, or after your program, you should be aware of these countries’ immunization requirements as well.
- You can receive most vaccinations and travel medicine at IUPUI’s Campus Health. You can get more information or schedule an appointment.
- There are travel clinics in Indiana if you would like to visit a clinician who specializes in travel medicine.
Taking Medications Abroad
- Consult the US Department of State Country Specific Information for your destination(s) to learn about any known restrictions on medications (over-the-counter or prescribed). Some medications may be illegal in your host country(ies).
- Keep medications in their original, labeled containers so that it is clear to customs what the contents and intended use are.
- Take enough medication to last the duration of your time abroad. Some medications are not accessible in certain countries and cannot be sent through the mail.
- Carry your medication in carry-on luggage only; your checked luggage could be delayed or lost.
- Take a copy of your prescription in case you have to purchase medication at your destination. Have your doctor write it in the generic name, as drug brand names can differ in other countries.
- Take a signed doctor's note describing the medical necessity of any prescription drugs you take; this is especially important for controlled substances or injectable medicines (such as insulin).
- Know the generic names for your medication and the names and amounts of the active ingredients in them.
- If you plan to travel with a prescribed controlled substance (e.g. ADHD medication or prescription pain pills), check the legality and availability of these medicines in your destination. Review the International Narcotics Control Board and the country's official government websites for this information, and consult with the Embassy or Consulate of your destination country.
- If your medication is not legal or available in your destination, make a back-up plan for treatment with your US doctor well in advance of departure.
For more on this topic and other important travel information, please review the Pre-Departure Handbook.