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Health and Safety

The safety of Tulane students is an integral part of the mission of the Office of Study Abroad. Tulane takes great care to select and continuously monitor the programs in our portfolio, using such resources as the U.S. State Department, Global Rescue, various news outlets and the Tulane Office of Insurance and Risk Management. During your mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation, OSA staff will advise students on how to take responsibility for their safety while abroad by using these same resources to stay informed of the general security status of the host country and be aware of their specific surroundings and attuned to situations that have the potential to be unsafe. All students register for Global Rescue, which provides up-to-date information about travel security conditions in locations around the world.

Students are advised to pay close attention to unfamiliar surroundings, keep others informed of their plans and schedules, and to avoid risky behavior that may impair their awareness and ability to protect themselves. Just as students have access to a support system while in New Orleans, they will have access to no-site support staff in their host country who can assist them if necessary.

In the Event of a Potential Unstable or an Extreme Weather Event in a Study Abroad Location

The Office of Study Abroad works closely with other offices on campus and with host program staff abroad to monitor on-site conditions and act quickly in the event of an emergency abroad. Every student is required to register with Global Rescue, an emergency response service which provides medical, personal, travel and security advice and assistance. In the case of an emergency, Global Rescue may be contracted to provide emergency medical care or evacuation and security assistance, which includes evacuation in the event that it is determined that a student's security is threatened by any political instability or civil unrest.

Health Insurance

Tulane students must demonstrate adequate health coverage both in the U.S. and in their host country while studying abroad. To demonstrate health coverage in the U.S. students must complete the same annual on-campus waiver process they complete every year they are enrolled at Tulane. For overseas insurance, students and families are urged to explore their options and understand fully how they are insured during the period they are abroad. Students must complete a declaration form indicating to the Office of Study Abroad indicating how they will be covered abroad. It is possible that the student’s domestic health insurance may cover them while abroad; the student can contact the provider to make that determination. In the case that students are not covered while abroad under their domestic provider, Tulane works with GeoBlue insurance to provide international coverage. Additionally, some program providers and host universities require a particular kind of insurance as a condition of enrollment. Because the method a student may secure health insurance while abroad varies based on the program provider, the host institution, or host country, students should research their options so that they can make an informed decision.

Tulane University requires all full-time students, whether they study on or off campus, to certify adequate health insurance coverage in the United States.  This requirement applies to all students on a Tulane-sponsored Study Abroad Program, no matter their permanent citizenship (US or international). Study abroad students are NOT exempt from this requirement.  The details of the domestic requirement can be found on Tulane University's Health Services Insurance Webpage. Unforeseen events may cause you to return to the U.S. earlier than originally intended—perhaps even with a medical condition requiring treatment—in which case it is imperative to maintain adequate medical coverage in the U.S. even while studying abroad.  In addition to certifying adequate U.S. coverage through Tulane’s annual waiver process, study abroad students must indicate how they will maintain adequate health insurance coverage while abroad.  

Students should consider the following options to obtain health insurance while abroad: 

Option 1: Study Abroad Program-Provided Insurance

Many, but not all foreign programs, universities, and/or host countries’ governments automatically cover students with an international health insurance policy or coverage through a national healthcare plan.  Please research what, if any, insurance is provided to you through your foreign program, university, or host government.  Familiarize yourself with the benefits and exclusions.  In some cases a fee might be charged by the host government or program for enrollment into their healthcare plan. 

Option 2: GeoBlue

Tulane offers students participating in Study Abroad programs the option to purchase GeoBlue supplemental health insurance for their time abroad. GeoBlue covers you abroad while abroad, even while traveling in other countries outside of your host country (other policies may not).  Purchasing GeoBlue insurance is mandatory for students who study on the EDUCO and Sciences Po programs, the Bologna Consortial Studies program, and the REUNIDAS Madrid program. For these programs only, the Office of Study Abroad will purchase the insurance on your behalf and bill your Tulane account accordingly.

Purchasing GeoBlue insurance is optional for all other study abroad students.  Cost is approximately $300 per term and $500 per year although this is subject to change--refer to the GeoBlue website directly for up-to-date pricing. If you would like to enroll in GeoBlue, you must register yourself in the insurance program by visiting this link. Enter Tulane's group code, CME-484. You must include the "-" for the code to function. You should then be directed to Tulane's policy page and be able to register by entering your personal information.

Option 3: Tulane’s United HealthCare Student Health Insurance Plan (T-SHIP)

Students may enroll or choose to stay enrolled in Tulane’s University’s Student Health Insurance Plan. T-SHIP offers international coverage with in-network providers and no out-of-pocket expenses after applicable deductibles are met.  Complete information about United Health Care Global, including current rates, may be found on the Campus Health website.

Option 4: Other

If, for example, you waive the T-SHIP every year and instead use your family’s health insurance when you’re at Tulane, you might explore whether that policy provides global coverage that you are comfortable with.

Please note that you will be required to demonstrate proof of international insurance prior to the start of your study abroad semester/year.

Preparing to Study Abroad with a Medical Condition

Most medical conditions are completely manageable while abroad and simply require a bit of preparation and planning so that they do not interfere with the student’s experience. If a student has a pre-existing medical condition, they should speak with their physician in order to develop a plan for their time abroad. Here is a list of questions to discuss with a health care provider prior to studying abroad:

  • How do you import prescription medication into the host country or identify the most suitable alternative that is available in the host country?
  • Can the physician consult with you over the phone or email if necessary?
  • Should you find a local physician to help monitor the condition regularly while abroad?
  • Are there local issues that may exacerbate the condition? Excessive sun? Allergens? Air pollution?
  • Does the potential host city have the resources and infrastructure so that you may find the necessary care while there?

Students who will need to see a physician abroad in order to obtain medication or treat an ongoing condition should consult with their program provider or host university prior to departure to identify a suitable local healthcare provider. 

Students with Goldman Center accommodations should send a copy of their official accommodations letter to the NTC Office of Study Abroad and their program provider or host university immediately upon acceptance or during the initial application process. Usually, accommodations are able to be implemented on site as long as they are reported to the program or host university prior to departure. Even if you do not plan to use your accommodations abroad, it is a good idea to send in your letter to your program provider early in the application process just in case. If you wait until after you are already on-site to ask for approved accommodations to be implemented, it may no longer be possible depending on the program or host country. If you have concerns related to accommodations abroad, you can always make an appointment with an OSA advisor. 

Our approved programs have procedures in place to ensure that students have access to adequate healthcare, whether their medical condition is new or old. Furthermore, while it does not provide health insurance, Global Rescue can assist in finding local medical professionals (English-speaking, if necessary). The NTC Office of Study Abroad recommends that students stay informed about health conditions and risks in their host country while taking necessary preventative measures to stay healthy.

Mental Health Abroad

We realize that this semester or year may be a particularly challenging one as you navigate cultural shock, differences in academic expectations, or the stress of an internship or research position abroad. Your provider or host university may provide mental health resources to you as part of your program fee. Program staff can also assist you in locating mental healthcare providers within your host country if needed. While students do typically have access to such resources on site through their provider or host university, keep in mind these resources may differ from what you may encounter in the U.S. depending on your program as well as the host country’s culture respective to mental health. Before you depart, reach out to your program contact directly to ask about counseling and other services which may be available to you on-site.  

All students studying on Tulane-approved programs are required to maintain both a domestic and international health insurance policy while abroad. If you have opted to remain enrolled in T-SHIP as your domestic policy, UnitedHealthcare StudentResources and HealthiestYou have partnered together to provide access to doctors and mental healthcare from anywhere you are, even while traveling internationally. All services are free for students covered under the UHCSR insurance plan; services are available for all other students for a fee, as noted here. Students who are not enrolled in T-SHIP should research remote mental health resources available through their domestic provider.