At the Office of International Education, the health and safety of UVM students is our number one priority. The following provides information on what you can do before, during, and after your time abroad to ensure you remain healthy and safe for your overseas experience. For additional information, please see the health, safety, and emergencies sections in the Pre-Departure Guidebook.

International Health Insurance

You are required to have a valid medical insurance policy in order to participate in a study abroad program. As long as you complete the UVM study abroad approval process through GoAbroad and are approved to study abroad, UVM's International SOS membership includes a rider with Starr Insurance medical travel insurance for sicknesses or injuries which occur while you are studying abroad. It does not provide coverage for routine or preventative services, and it has a number of exclusions for certain activities.  You should take care of any/all preventative care you can think of (dental, vision, general medical) in advance of your study abroad experience. You should also verify your own health insurance policy to see what coverage it provides for medical services abroad. Some programs and/or countries may require that you purchase a specific type of health insurance, on top of what you receive with International SOS/Starr Insurance or your own US-based health insurance. Check with your university or program provider for requirements.

See the below links for details (including specific exclusions) of Starr sickness and accident coverage:

Summary for Travelers (PDF)

Student Travelers FAQs (PDF)

Many insurance companies have non-student options for international health insurance if you have friends or family visiting you. Anyone visiting you while you are abroad should have adequate health insurance for the duration of their visit. 

International SOS

UVM has contracted with International SOS to provide worldwide assistance and evacuation services in emergencies for UVM students who have been approved through the Office of International Education to engage in international activities. International SOS also offers travel, medical, and security advice and services, basic international health insurance, as well as online access to information which many insurance companies do not offer. Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year, International SOS provides a wide range of information and services to students who are approved by UVM to be abroad, including (but not limited to) the following:


  • Advice on the location of doctors or other medical assistance which meet international quality standards;
  • Advanced payment of medical bills (to be reimbursed later by your student’s health insurance provider) to ensure timely medical attention;
  • Pre-trip health information to minimize and mitigate risk, including in-country phone numbers to call for emergencies;
  • Medical monitoring;
  • Emergency evacuation.


  • Pre-trip security and travel information to minimize and mitigate risk, by phone and through the website;
  • Urgent and non-urgent security advice by phone while traveling;
  • Daily online and email updates on the latest travel security developments
  • Special Advisory emails with advice in response to significant travel security incidents
  • Access to security evacuation

Accident/Sickness Insurance

  • UVM’s membership with International SOS includes a rider with Starr medical travel insurance for sicknesses or injuries which occur while studying abroad. It does not provide coverage for routine or preventative services, and has a number of exclusions for certain activities.

International SOS is only valid in territories of the U.S. and countries outside of the U.S., provided that the location is not considered your home. It is available for up to five days before and after your program start and end dates due to the possibility of travel delays/complications. It does not cover you for any additional time before or after your program you might choose to engage in personal travel. For personal travel, purchase separate international insurance coverage, which many different companies provide.

For more information, visit the International SOS website and enter UVM's membership number, which will be made available to you in GoAbroad. For information on the basic international health insurance provided by International SOS, please see the below flyer, as well as the documents listed in the International Health Insurance section above: 

International SOS Insurance Flyer (PDF)

In Case of Emergency

  • Contact UVM's emergency services provider abroad, International SOS, by calling 1-215-942-8226 (say you are a UVM student/are calling for a UVM student).
  • Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via UVM Police Services at 1-802-656-3473.
  • Make sure you have filled out an Emergency Action Plan and have shared it with your emergency contacts. Always contact your host university/program provider in an emergency.