Health, Safety, and Insurance
How do you plan ahead for your health while you're away from campus? Many CC services relating to mental and sexual health are still available to CC students abroad. For more information, view this guide.
As part of off-campus study, it is important that students be proactive in taking care of their health and safety prior, during, and after their journey. Planning for health and safety is just as important as choosing the program best fit for your needs and interests. Students will receive pre-departure information from their program, and can obtain additional information about their destination from the U.S. Department of State's Students Abroad website. Please read this information carefully, and take time to learn about political situations, living conditions, medication restrictions and disability accommodations, and any other health and safety issues relevant to your host country.
As you prepare to leave campus, we hope that you will also consider the potential emotional stress of off-campus study. This experience can be a very powerful and positive developmental time that may ultimately lead to increased levels of self-awareness. However, the life changes associated with off-campus study can also be stressful and confusing, and may potentially exacerbate existing physical and emotional conditions. If you have any concerns, it is very important that you meet with the staff at Boettcher Health Center or other health care providers to discuss how off-campus study could affect your situation. Addressing your health issues prior to studying off campus will help you identify those resources that will and will not be available at your program site.
As a reminder, if you currently receive accommodations through the CC Accessibility Resource Center, please make sure to meet with that office well in advance of departing the U.S., as well as consulting closely with your study abroad provider to learn more about what medical or accessibility accommodations are available, and to develop a plan.
International SOS & University Health Partners (SOS+UHP)
Colorado College covers all students traveling abroad on a CC-faculty led block or semester (except the Latin American Semester on which students are covered by IFSA-Butler’s CISI insurance) under our International SOS/University Health Partners (SOS+UHP) policy, as well as students participating in one of the Colorado College bilateral exchange programs.
International SOS provides worldwide assistance and emergency evacuation services for study abroad participants. The services provided by SOS range from telephone advice and doctor referrals to evacuation by private air ambulance. Colorado College students have access to country-specific information on the SOS website, including recommended vaccinations, safety and security information, and more. The CC membership number for SOS is 11BSGC000027. Enter that number in the membership field at the top of the SOS website to access country-specific information. Note that SOS+UHP only provides coverage outside the United States and, therefore, does not provide coverage for any block or semester taught within the United States.
University Health Partners (UHP) provides $500,000 of health insurance abroad with no deductible. UHP covers prescription medicine that is prescribed in the foreign country at 100% and does not exclude pre-existing conditions. This will be your primary health insurance while you are on a CC course overseas.
- Students are covered by the SOS+UHP insurance one day before the official course begin date to one day after the official course end date. If you plan to travel independently before or after your course(s), you will need to purchase insurance to cover you during your independent travel. We recommend the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) at the Premium or Explorer levels (not the Basic level which does not cover pre-existing conditions).
- You should maintain health insurance coverage in the United States while you study abroad as study abroad insurance only covers you outside the United States. This will cover you before departure, during any unexpected trips back to the United States, and again when you re-enter the United States.
- You must contact International SOS at the number on the card in advance of receiving any care, so they can authorize and coordinate any medically necessary treatment or evacuation while you are outside the U.S. Make sure that you also leave a copy of the card, front and back, or a scan of it with your parents or other responsible party back home, so they can assist with your coordination of care with SOS, should you be unable to call them yourself.
Other Insurances Provided through your Approved Third-Party Program
Any student participating in a third-party approved program will not be covered under the Colorado College International SOS/UHP plan listed above. Students participating in a third-party program should check with your program about coverage, as many of our partners automatically cover participants in an equivalent health insurance and emergency evacuation and assistance coverage. All students should make sure to carefully read any information provided by your study abroad program on health insurance and medical access in the country/school where you will be studying. Sometimes students are automatically covered by the National Health Service of the country they are studying in, or there may be a health center or similar preferred option on campus.
Be aware that any insurance that covers you during your study abroad experience (through CC's SOS+UHP coverage plan or through your program provider abroad) is typically only valid during the dates your program is in session. Plan to maintain coverage over summer or holiday breaks before and after your program takes place.
If you feel that additional coverage for health insurance or emergency coverage would be helpful for your situation, and your program does not fully cover an area or a time period that you might need, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing the International Student ID Card Explorer insurance card. For less than $200, students are covered for a full year. This is also helpful if you plan to travel independently either before or after your study abroad program.
Make a plan before you need it as to how you will navigate the health system where you will be studying, because it may be very different from home, and when you are sick is not the time to try to navigate it.
CC Student Health Insurance Plan (CCSHIP)
If you are covered under the CCSHIP UnitedHealthcare plan, this does cover you abroad for emergency services. See important details on this document of coverage. The key factor on this is that the student (or someone assisting the student) must call Global in the event of an emergency abroad or they will not cover the claim. Global has to arrange all medical evacuations and assistance from the beginning.
As of January 2018, the U.S. Department of State changed how it rates the safety and security of each country. Travel warnings are gone and have been replaced with travel advisories. See the new policy. If the country you wish to travel to falls under the new Higher Risk Rating according to the policy, please contact the International Programs Office.
Access to CC Services
Students who are studying off-campus can still access the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), as well as the new after-hours counseling and support line through the CC Counseling Center. Licensed counselors are available to talk with CC students anytime for emergencies, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Just call the Counseling Center: (719) 389-6093, and press 2 to be put through directly to a counselor.
The SARC can be reached by calling (719) 227-8101, or after hours by calling (719) 602-0960. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that if you need help identifying a care provider in-country (mental health provider, medical specialty), your program / in-country director or faculty member will have suggestions and information. You can also access the CC International SOS advice line for assistance. See the section above on International SOS and member number. If you have trouble navigating this and need assistance, the Office of International Programs can help you identify the right steps to take, to help you stay healthy and safe while off-campus.
Preparing for Safety
All students going abroad should investigate the local resources available to inform you about any risks and hazards, and steps you can take to make it less likely that you will encounter an unsafe situation (and develop an action plan for what to do, in the event of an emergency).
- The U.S. Department of State puts together country information sheets for every country in the world. Starting with reading the one for the country where you will be studying (and any that you may be visiting) is a good place to get the broad overview of what to expect. There are sections covering Safety & Security, Entry and Exit Requirements, Travel & Transportation, Health, Local Laws, and more. You may also find it helpful to read the consular information sheets from other English-speaking nations such as Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom, as their take on a country's security situation may vary from the one presented by the U.S. State Department, and it can be helpful to consider multiple sources.
- We recommend that all students, staff, and faculty travelling abroad register their trip with the U.S. Embassy via their STEP Program (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). When you do, this also automatically signs you up for warnings or alerts that may be triggered by a security or safety situation, whether political, environmental, weather-related or other.
- It is important to have emergency phone numbers close at hand in physical form (not just accessible on your cell phone, in case that is stolen or the battery dies. Print out this wallet card and fill in your important, must-have information.
- Consider the personal safety tips that the Peace Corps gives their worldwide volunteers.