Participants in Summer Abroad, Summer Abroad Internships, Quarter Abroad, and Seminars Abroad programs will be covered by two types of health/accident insurance: 1) blanket medical insurance, in most cases provided by GeoBlue, and 2) UC accident/incident benefit plan, commonly known as UC Traveler Insurance (Chubb), which is provided to all students and staff participating in UC programs. For some programs, medical insurance is provided through onsite partners, rather than GeoBlue, and the partners will provide you with information on the coverage. USA Study Programs will not be covered by GeoBlue Insurance. Students going on USA Study programs can use UC Davis SHIP or their personal insurance.
Students participating in UCEAP and those granted study abroad leave status for Independent Programs also have access to Chubb coverage. In regard to medical insurance, information for UCEAP participants is available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, while students participating in Independent Programs are responsible for securing medical insurance on their own. If you are relying on a private medical insurance plan, check the coverage for foreign travel – you may want to consider purchasing insurance that is specifically designed for travel, whether by GeoBlue or other reputable providers. Students participating in Independent Programs should also consider whether or not insurance is included through their program provider.
Please note that certain high risk activities—such as moped/motorcycle driving, horseback riding, skin/scuba diving, skiing, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, hang gliding, amateur racing, and piloting of aircraft or riding in any aircraft (except as a passenger on a regularly scheduled airline or charter flight)—are NOT covered by GeoBlue or UC Traveler Please review and consider the exclusions of any insurance you may obtain privately.
For any program, if you are engaging in personal travel beyond the program dates, you may want to consider options for Extended Travel Insurance, and if you are returning to the US without a domestic medical insurance in place, you may want to consider Gap Insurance. Also, while Chubb includes limited Trip Cancellation Insurance, you may be interested in obtaining more extensive coverage from other sources.
- GeoBlue Travel Health Insurance
GeoBlue Global Health Insurance is provided to Summer Abroad, Summer Abroad Internships, Seminars Abroad, and Quarter Abroad participants by UC Davis Study Abroad to ensure quality overseas health coverage for participants (some Quarter Abroad students are covered by insurance plans provided by on-site partners). The GeoBlue plan will help you to manage existing and unanticipated health conditions while you are abroad. It includes coverage for office visits, hospital care, surgery, and prescription drugs. Coverage highlights are outlined here.
You will be provided with an insurance card for GeoBlue that you should carry with you at all times while you are abroad.
Please note that UC Davis policy dictates that GeoBlue coverage cannot be used as a basis for cancelling your Davis SHIP coverage while you are abroad. If you are considering cancelling your private, non- Davis SHIP insurance coverage while you are abroad, you should plan carefully to insure that you have coverage in place when you return, since GeoBlue coverage applies only when you are abroad (not through the beginning of the next quarter, as Davis SHIP does).
While many US medical insurance plans include coverage for overseas travel, UC Davis Study Abroad provides coverage from GeoBlue because it has been designed specifically with travelers in mind. GeoBlue has established a network of English-speaking, Western-trained physicians in over 180 countries. You are also covered for care from physicians outside of their network, and GeoBlue may be able to pay directly for your expenses so that you do not have to pay out-of-pocket. In addition, GeoBlue provides a smartphone app that can help you search for physicians, schedule appointments on short notice and translate medical terms.
Remember, if you are in an emergency situation, always seek the nearest available help! You are not required to contact GeoBlue before receiving treatment, but if the situation allows it, it can be helpful. For example, if you are planning to see a physician or seek services from a facility not within the GeoBlue network and you communicate with GeoBlue prior to your appointment, GeoBlue may be able to pay for the services directly. Otherwise you may have to pay up front and then get reimbursed by submitting a claim form. Full details.
One of the advantages of GeoBlue’s extensive physician network is that you can plan ahead for existing conditions. Before leaving the US, you can use GeoBlue’s online database to identify specialists in the location you are visiting, so that you know who to contact if complications arise while you are abroad. This applies to physical and mental conditions. GeoBlue does not cover preventative health care, so get your annual check-up before you leave the US.
- UC Traveler Insurance Coverage
UC Traveler insurance (Chubb) coverage is a catastrophic accident/incident travel benefit plan provided to students and staff participating in UC programs. The plan includes travel help provided by United Healthcare Global Assistance, which provides services world-wide for emergency medical transportation, medical referrals, case monitoring, claims management, identity theft resolution, and facilitation of direct payment to medical providers. It is important to note that this coverage is intended as a supplement to medical insurance, not as a replacement, since it does not cover non-emergency medical costs. This coverage also includes benefits (with limits) for trip cancellation or interruption and loss of personal property, including luggage.
UC Davis Study Abroad will directly register Summer Abroad, Summer Abroad Internship, Seminar and Quarter Abroad students for insurance coverage. The policy number and contact numbers for services will be provided to you on your emergency contact card.
Independent Program participants should register themselves on the website for UC Traveler Insurance Coverage. For a Benefits Summary, FAQs, and claim forms, scroll down the page to the heading for “Student resources & claims.”
UCEAP will directly enroll UCEAP participants in a travel insurance policy that is different than the UC Traveler Insurance Coverage for other off-campus programs. The policy number, contact information, benefits and exclusions, and claims process can be found in the Insurance chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
- Extended Overseas Travel Coverage
There are a variety of options to consider for travel insurance if you will be engaging in personal travel beyond the dates of your program, that is, if you plan to arrive at the site before the program begins or to travel after the program ends. Please note first that:
- UC Traveler insurance includes coverage before and after program dates for 7 days (total) of personal deviation for foreign travel or 3 days for domestic travel.
- GeoBlue coverage typically begins a day before and ends a day after program dates. If you wish to extend your GeoBlue coverage you must do this directly with GeoBlue at the GeoBlue website. You cannot technically "extend" the coverage of your student plan, but you can purchase a separate plan through GeoBlue to cover your non-program travel dates.
- The Mandatory UCEAP Insurance Plan coverage begins several days before the official start of the program and ends several days after the official end of the program begin coverage. Consult the UCEAP Guide for details.
- Most private US insurance plans include coverage for foreign travel, although it will not necessarily include the benefits of plans designed specifically for travel.
If you wish to extend coverage beyond the allowances for personal deviation, go to the Risk Services website, scroll down to Personal Travel, and click on “UC Personal Travel Program” to read a full description of the coverage, access the brochure and/or enroll.
To obtain extended medical coverage from GeoBlue or other providers, you must do so yourself directly (usually it can be done online). UCEAP participants can apply for up to three months of extended medical insurance coverage, as explained in the UCEAP Guide.
- Gap Coverage for Domestic Insurance
Short-term health insurance or “gap” coverage is typically relevant in situations in which your Davis SHIP or private domestic insurance is not active for a period when you are in the US prior to or after your study abroad program. UC Davis does not recommend any specific providers for gap coverage, which is available from a number of private companies. UC Davis students are eligible to purchase gap coverage through a plan offered by a private company to UC Berkeley students, as described here.
- Trip Cancellation Coverage
The trip cancellation benefit provided by UC Traveler insurance has a limit of $2000 in total (not per incident or item). It covers airfare and prepaid housing, but not course fees. It only applies if the cancellation is due to great injury or death, not in the case of emergencies such as financial distress.
Staying healthy while abroad requires following many of the same good habits needed for staying healthy at home—with additional precautions depending on your location.
Some countries have specific vaccination/immunization requirements that need to be fulfilled before departure. There may also be vaccinations that are recommended rather than required—sometimes based on the areas in the country you will be visiting.
If you are sexually active while abroad, please be aware that laws, cultural norms and risks related to sexual activity may vary widely, and it is important, to consider the context of your individual situation and assume a greater degree of caution.
Alcohol abuse and intoxication are a leading cause of injury and disruption on study abroad programs. The abuse of alcohol is often tied to becoming a victim of a violent crime or accident.
Before you travel, research safety issues in the specific locations you will be visiting by consulting U.S. State Department reports on those locations, and register your trip with the State Department so that they can better assist you in the case of emergencies.
Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be disorienting, frustrating and depressing. Such distress or “culture shock” is due to the twofold challenge of being in a new environment with unfamiliar customs, language, etc., and being away from home.
Travel to any part of the world, including within the United States, includes risk of natural disaster, terrorism, severe weather, criminal activity, disease, accident and injury.