Health Insurance and Travel Assistance
It is very important that all students participating in a BU Study Abroad program have comprehensive health insurance coverage, as well as emergency travel assistance to cover medical and security evacuation.
Such coverage is provided automatically for students participating in most programs. Coverage details are below.
Important: Students Must Retain their Existing Health Insurance Coverage
Students may not use coverage included in their study abroad program to replace comprehensive, U.S.-based health insurance as required by Massachusetts law. Such US-based coverage is crucial—if, for example a student becomes injured or seriously ill overseas, he or she mostly likely would not be able to find coverage upon their return with a pre-existing condition.
Students may not participate in BU Study Abroad programs without certifying that they have U.S.-based coverage, or purchasing the BU Student Health Plan.
1. Domestic Programs
Students participating in the Los Angeles and Washington, DC programs are covered by their personal health insurance plan, as in Boston or the student’s home university. Students are provided through Boston University with an emergency travel assistance program provided by CISI that takes effect whenever they are 100 miles or more from their permanent residence.
Please download an overview of the coverage and procedures to contact CISI for emergency travel assistance.
2. New Zealand and Switzerland
Students participating in programs in Auckland, New Zealand and Geneva, Switzerland are covered by host country insurance plans in those two countries, as required by law. These plans are included in the program fee and have been determined to provide coverage comparable to plans sponsored by BU Study Abroad. Students are also provided with an emergency travel assistance program provided by CISI that takes effect whenever they are 100 miles or more from their permanent residence.
Please download an overview of the coverage and procedures to contact CISI for emergency travel assistance and click on the following links for details on in-country coverage.
3. All Other Countries
Students are provided with comprehensive health and emergency travel assistance coverage through CISI International, as part of their program fee. The policy provides primary coverage to a limit of $250,000 for most medical costs, with no deductible. In many locations, CISI has set up direct billing arrangements with local health and mental health care providers, so that students do not need to make out-of-pocket payments for routine or emergency care. Coverage normally begins one day before the program’s official start date and ends one day after the program’s end date. Students may also purchase a 30-day extension of the coverage.
Please pay particular attention to clauses relating to pre-existing conditions to determine whether this coverage meets your needs.
If you require assistance, your ID number is your CISI policy number: GLM N0498321A. You will need to reference that policy number, along with the name of the group (Boston University), your name, and birth date when contacting them.
Team Assist Contact:
(312) 935-1703 (calling from outside of the U.S.; collect calls accepted)
(855) 327-1411 (calling toll-free from within the U.S.; NOTE – This number can’t be dialed from outside the U.S.)
Register with the U.S. State Department
We strongly recommend that all students register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) of the U.S. State Department. When registered, students will automatically receive information and updates from the State Department. In addition, enrollment will make it easier for U.S. officials to contact students or their loved ones in event of an emergency.
An app for the STEP program, which provides immediate access to your STEP account and itineraries, as well as State Department country information and travel alerts, can be found at: