No one argues that travel is a wonderful part of our lives, including educational tourism. But not all travelers are responsible for travel insurance: someone travel by car, but does not think about its capabilities and coverage, someone completely turns a blind eye to it. However, alas, not every trip becomes a series of pleasant memories and an Instagram feed with beautiful photographs: you can just walk along the street, slip - and hello, hospital, tire or plaster.
SMAPSE experts will review today:
- Types of insurance and the reasons for their registration
- Student’s personal experience: insurance in the UK
- An action plan if you are sick or injured in another country.
Forewarned is forearmed!
Types of insurance
There are not so many basic types of insurance:
For a tourist trip
Any traveler is obliged to take out insurance for any chosen type of vacation: standard without adventures, extreme sports, against accident, from canceled / delayed flights, etc. You can choose the amount of coverage yourself, however, different options usually differ in price - fans of skiing will pay more than fans of beach holidays. The price may vary depending on the country, the number of days of stay.
Every student who is going to study abroad is required to take out insurance. There is the most popular option - this is the IHS for the Tier 4 visa subtype (UK): it is issued immediately in the online visa department when filling out the application form, immediately after paying the visa fees. UHS is calculated automatically and covers the entire stay (training), but may vary depending on the city of residence and other details. For example, one-year insurance starts at 500 £.
Personal experience: “I ended up in a UK hospital”
One of SMAPSE managers studied at a British university in 2014-2015: IHS standard insurance was issued and paid for - by the end it was exactly one page confirming payment, and that’s all.
On a rainy day in January 2015, at the Wood Green metro station, the Manager slipped and fell, twisting her leg twice and, alas, breaking it as a result. According to her, the indifference and responsiveness of Londoners was pleasantly surprised: people gathered around her right away and began to offer help, asking what happened. It was not possible to get up without assistance, but a chair was found, and the heroine was picked up and put on her before the emergency doctors arrived (one of the eyewitnesses also called her). The ambulance quickly called back already to the girl’s number: “You won’t be able to get to the hospital by taxi, wait for us for 40 minutes.”
Yes, the ambulance in London was not so fast - you should wait a little over an hour. In order to record the fact of an accident on the spot, they immediately test for alcohol / drug intoxication.
Already in the hospital, they tried to straighten the leg first manually, but without success - I had to go to a single room and wait for surgery until tomorrow. After the operation (it passed quickly and successfully), completely comfortable crutches are given out for free and asked to come back in a month to remove the cast - in the meantime, wait for a letter from the doctor.
The wait lasted instead of 1 month for 2. During this time, SMAPSE employee registered at a local clinic, provided a certificate of injury to the university - if you do not confirm the reason for your “absenteeism”, you can be expelled, your visa canceled and deported from the country. At the end of the second month, she was received by a doctor and removed the cast, equipped with a special support boot (for another month) and advised to find a masseur for faster rehabilitation.
Where to go if you are injured or sick abroad? Step-by-Step Action Plan
- Call an ambulance.
Yes, most people in Britain go to the hospital by taxi themselves - more often it’s faster - but try not to aggravate the injury.
- Have at least a copy of your passport / photo on your phone, a student ID card.
- Keep your insurance up to date! Find out thoroughly what and how much it covers: this will help not to go broke paying huge bills.
- If you are on a student visa in the country, be sure to contact the local clinic (often your school / university / college can help here) and get a certificate that you are not skipping, but really on treatment (outpatient / inpatient). Otherwise, passes will be counted towards you - and this will lead to expulsion, cancellation of the visa and deportation from the country.
- Carry a charger for your phone: this will help you to always be in touch, call friends / hospital / guardian / manager, clarify the necessary information on the Internet, etc.
Be healthy and do not be afraid to ask for help!