Education by Travel
By Jason Jourdan
According to the 2020 Open Doors Report on the International Education Exchange, over 1 million international students attended universities and colleges in the United States during the 2019-20 academic year. Students worldwide are making their way to the U.S. for opportunities to study at some of the most prestigious universities in the world and experience a cultural education.
Many international students are enlisting tour companies like Adventure Student Travel to provide genuine cultural experiences through travel in the United States. College and high school students from nations abroad are discovering travel in the U.S. as a means of living authentic cultural exchanges and real-world experiences. Whether it’s a visit to New York City, an adventure in the Colorado Rockies, or a trip along the Californian coast, student travelers are expanding their horizons and tasting the best America has to offer!
Organizations such as WorldStrides and its travel divisions are schools with accredited specialty travel programs. These tours offer academic credit hours to students and professional development for educators.
The Optional Practical Training program, OPT, enables recent grads or current international students to gain U.S. work experience in their fields of study. U.S.News and World Report find participation in the OPT program grew by 0.2% in the 2019-2020 academic year. This ties into the increasing trend of international students seeking to make the most of their American educational experience.
Before embarking on an educational trip to the United States, or any other country, international students are encouraged to remember accidents and illness can occur anywhere. Many universities in the U.S. require students and international students to have health insurance. Before applying to a U.S. university, prospective international students should consider purchasing medical insurance. Even if their college does not require medical insurance, a feature in U.S.News and World Report states all students should have insurance due to the high costs of medical care.
In the United States, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, also known as ‘Obamacare’ does not require other nations' citizens to have health insurance and exempts them from the mandatory fines issued to non-insured U.S. residents. However, insurance requirements can vary by visa category.
The U.S. Department of State requires exchange visitors and their dependents on a J-2 visa to carry medical insurance. At the same time, there are currently no requirements for international students on an F visa.
Many visiting students will look to their universities for coverage. Health insurance policies and costs vary by institution. Some schools offer their own mandated plans as medical costs can escalate for students without comprehensive plans. The cost of treating illness and injury in the U.S. can easily exceed amounts in the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for medical insurance, and no student should be without it. Prospective international students seeking school enrollment or educational travel in the U.S. should look to a trusted medical insurance provider. Point Comfort® offers global students expertise and benefits plans for a range of contingencies:
- COVID-19 Medical Expense Coverage up to $100,000
- Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
- Emergency Medical Reunion
- Return of Minor Child
- Local Burial or Cremation
International students seeking cultural enrichment in the U.S. or elsewhere can count on the expertise and protection of Point Comfort® Travel Medical Insurance!
CLICK HERE to learn more and get a FREE quote.