Congratulations! You finally got the scholarship you applied for at the University of London. In two months' time, you will be jetting off to another continent, to study fashion under the wing of one of the largest names in the industry.
Naturally, in the excuse that followed, you never thought of student health insurance. International students rarely do – before they get sick, anyway. Once they're face to face with the terrible reality of illness, they regret that they've been so careless about health coverage.
Why wait for this to happen to you? If you do not have a student health insurance with international coverage yet, here are two very good reasons to start shopping around for one.
1. You want to protect yourself from uncertainty. You may be stronger than an ox now or even just borderline healthy. Still, no one knows what would happen in the future. You could fall ill weeks after your arrival. There are no guarantees that you will not meet an accident or catch the flue while abroad.
You may protest, "But my parents have insurance and it covers me!" How are you? Moreover, even if you already have some form of coverage, this is most likely minimal at best. Furthermore, policies are generally not specifically intended for traveling students. Unlike student health insurance, international holidays and extended positions are likely to be items of exclusion in whatever policy your parents have.
2. You want to plan your life ahead. Planning your finances should begin even before you get your first real job. You do not want to start your adult life swamped with a huge medical bill to pay off, on top of your student loans.
Do not get caught unawares. As you go about planning your trip, request for quotes from various providers of student health insurance. International students should consider getting them combined medical and travel insurance coverage. Then, and only then, can you consider yourself a responsible adult with an eye out for his or her own well-being.