It is likely the one thought that makes you uncomfortable about your student studying abroad: safety.
The Office of Study Abroad takes our students’ safety abroad very seriously, monitoring political and environmental situations multiple times each day. Before departing for their host country, your student receives an emergency contact information card for their host country, which contains HPU emergency numbers, the 911-equivalent for their host country and the location of the nearest US embassy or consulate. We also discuss safety and emergency preparedness at length during the mandatory pre-departure orientation session.
In addition, we encourage all students to register their travel itinerary with the Department of State’s Smart Travelers Enrollment Program. Students in Global Experience Programs are enrolled by our office.
In the rare event of an emergency abroad, please note that students are encouraged to act locally first. Especially students and faculty on Global Experience programs will work with local authorities, hospitals and the HPU Office of Study Abroad before family members are contacted about the situation. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the safety and well-being of the individual students and the group as a whole are of primary importance. HPU students on semester programs are encouraged to work with their local advisors, police, and on-site administrators who are best able to assist them in an emergency. If your student reaches out to you first, gently remind them to get help locally, as there is little you can effectively do from thousands of miles away.
In case of a serious accident or illness, students should contact Heidi Fischer, Director of Study Abroad, at the number provided on the emergency card after they have reached a safe location and appropriate treatment.
Insurance Coverage for Your Student
The medical insurance that covers your family is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs also do not cover medical services outside this country. Furthermore, doctors and hospitals abroad often expect immediate cash payments for medical services.
For these reasons, HPU has mandated that all students on study abroad and exchange programs have comprehensive insurance coverage which covers the students while outside the U.S. and is comparable to the coverage required for study at HPU.
For some HPU programs, insurance coverage is provided by the provider or host institution. Students on programs which do not offer insurance are able to search out their own coverage, provided it meets the minimum coverage needs. Because most standard insurance plans may not cover travelers abroad, we encourage you to contact your provider for options. Alternatively, international coverage can be purchased through GeoBlue Travel Insurance.
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The Office of Study Abroad provides all students studying abroad with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which provides limited insurance coverage. The ISIC serves as a student ID card and is accepted many places around the world. It offers discounts on travel, activities, events, museums, etc. It also operates as a pre-paid MasterCard.
Please note: The ISIC coverage does not eliminate the need for comprehensive coverage as outlined above.