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Frequently Asked Questions - Health and Safety

Does the Office of International Education provide international health insurance for my student?

Yes. We automatically enroll all students in the ACE Travel Assistance (AXA) insurance plan. The cost of the ACE Travel Assistance (AXA) health and travel insurance is paid by the University. Your student is covered for the duration of the program term abroad.

Non-immigrant international students are only excluded from enrollment in the ACE Travel Assistance (AXA) plan if they are studying abroad in their home country. Non-immigrant international students' health insurance coverage through Trawick International will also continue while they're abroad.

If your student plans to travel before or after the dates on his/her ACE Travel Assistance (AXA) letter, your student will need to arrange and purchase additional insurance at his/her own expense. (Note: This additional insurance coverage is not eligible for reimbursement from the International Education office.)

One option includes Gateway Plans - Leisure Traveler (not student)*. We recommend that you thoroughly research your options and carefully read policies regarding coverage and exclusions, and strongly advise you to purchase coverage that includes medical evacuation and repatriation.

*The Office of International Education provides website links solely for informational purposes. International Education is not necessarily endorsing any organizations, products or services, nor guaranteeing the validity or value of the information contained therein. Please consult the websites for the most up-to-date information.

Should I continue my student's home (including U.S.) health insurance coverage while he/she is abroad?

Yes, you should continue home country health insurance coverage for your student. It might be difficult to re-enroll in that plan upon return from study abroad. Also, it is possible that a major illness/injury requiring continuing treatment after the study abroad program has ended could not only exceed the home country benefit through ACE (the UR abroad insurance), but your student could potentially be left without any health coverage.

What if my student needs to take prescription medication while abroad?

Plan early and be aware that many drugs available in the U.S. may not be available abroad. Read more about the legality and availability of prescription medication while abroad.

Does the health and travel insurance policy that the University provides to students studying on UR semester abroad programs meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

This plan is not comprehensive medical insurance and is not subject to ACA requirements. The plan offered by Richmond is designed to meet specific and different health and safety insurance and service needs of our students when traveling outside of the US for study abroad programs. This should not be construed as or substituted for comprehensive health insurance coverage.

Is it safe to travel abroad?

Discuss health and safety issues with your student, including matters related to insurance, emergency preparedness, and living in the host country. Your student will be provided with extensive information about these topics after acceptance to study abroad. Encourage your student to share this information with you.

Obtain a passport or renew yours if it will expire within the next year in case you should need to go overseas to visit your student in the event of emergency. Keep in mind that passport-processing time is currently six to eight weeks for new passports, so apply early.

Keep in touch with your student while abroad, but understand that he or she may not be able to communicate with you as often as when on campus. Encourage your student to stay “in the moment” while abroad so they do not miss out on important opportunities abroad in lieu of spending all their time communicating with family and friends back home.

Arrange in advance for how your student will contact you at the earliest possible moment in the event that a crisis should occur abroad in a location where your student is likely to be. This may be in your student’s host country, or in a nearby country or region, since many students do travel recreationally on short notice while studying abroad.

Richmond has a crisis management plan as well as insurance that can provide assistance in unusual circumstances––for example, evacuation to a safe location––should this become necessary. However, this has never been necessary in the 20+ years that Richmond has been providing international education.

Will my student require tuberculosis (TB) testing after being abroad?

If your student spends more than four weeks in a country with a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB), we strongly recommend s/he get tested for TB approximately 8-12 weeks after returning from abroad. All countries except the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and those in Western Europe are considered high risk. For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/general/tbtravelinfo.htm.

Testing may be done at the Student Health Center (during the regular academic year), a local Health Department or your physician's office. 

Your student should contact the Student Health Center at DANmail@richmond.edu or 804-289-8700 (UR Dial-A-Nurse) to schedule an appointment for testing, to report that s/he has been tested, or for any questions.

What is the Agreement & Release form?

The Agreement and Release form is an electronic signature document that establishes legal rights and responsibilities associated with Richmond-affiliated international experiences. All students who are 18 years old or older are required to read and electronically sign the Agreement and Release form prior to going abroad. A sample copy of this form can be obtained by clicking here.

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