Studying Abroad: What You Need to Know About Insurance

Studying abroad: what you need to know about insurance

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) reports that about 3% of first-year full-time Canadian university students study abroad every year.1 Will you be among them this year?

If so, you’ll be one of the few students who have the opportunity to study while broadening their horizons in a different culture.

As your departure date approaches, you likely have many things to do, and taking out travel insurance probably isn’t on the list. However, whether you’re at home or thousands of kilometres away, accidents can happen. In fact, the risks could be higher away from home. Experiencing an emergency situation in a foreign country can cause anxiety and ruin your stay. Travel insurance for students could help you deal with unexpected medical expenses.

Why do students studying abroad need travel insurance?

First, it’s important to know that most educational institutions require that you take out medical insurance before the semester starts.

Governmental bodies also recommend that you take out extended health insurance over and above your provincial health insurance when you leave the province. Your provincial health insurance plan may not cover any costs at all or, at best, only reimburse a tiny portion of the expenses if you are ill or injured abroad.

Plus, for Quebec residents, if you want to maintain your coverage under the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), your stay outside the province must be less than 183 days during a calendar year.

However, the Quebec government has signed reciprocity agreements with certain European countries covering social security, including a healthcare component. These agreements allow Quebec students to benefit from the Quebec health insurance plan when staying in the following countries:

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Sweden

What travel insurance should cover 

Travel insurance options for students vary according to your destination, the length of your stay and your needs. Health insurance is simple and affordable coverage for emergency medical expenses such as:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Dental expenses following an accident
  • Repatriation in the event of death
  • Transportation expenses for a loved one to visit you in hospital
  • 24-hour assistance: call anytime from anywhere in the world

If you are a student who will be leaving soon to go abroad, it is essential that you are covered against unexpected costs that could compromise your future.

You must be a full-time student to qualify for travel insurance.

Have peace of mind while you study and discover the world!


Sources : Securiglobe,, RAMQ

 1. Canadian Bureau for International Education


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