Pre-Departure Orientation Health & Insurance
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Your health and well-being are extremely important to ensure a successful time abroad. Meeting with your doctor and understanding how to access medicine abroad are two of the important steps you should be taking to prepare yourself for your abroad experience.
Read the following sections of the Penn Abroad Health & Safety page to make sure you are completing all steps of the health & safety checklist:
Prior to going abroad but after being accepted to your abroad program, Penn Abroad will require you to complete a self-disclosed Health Information Form within your PASSPORT application. You will be asked to consider any physical or mental health conditions, accommodations, allergies, medications, dietary restrictions, and other information that may impact your abroad experience.
All students are encouraged to schedule a consultation with their medical service provider or Student Health Services (SHS) prior to their international travel to learn about country-specific risks and precautions and how to stay healthy while traveling. Be sure to schedule this at least six weeks prior to your departure to ensure time for any necessary follow-up. Take the opportunity during your health consultation to bring up any health-related concerns that you disclosed in your Health Information Form. Also, take the time to make sure that all of your immunizations are up to date and obtain any required or recommended immunizations for your destination country.
You can find detailed information about travel support services, food and water precautions, common illnesses, medications and more on the Student Health and Counseling Travel Medicine page. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also a helpful resource for health information as well as required and recommended vaccines and immunizations by country.
Penn Abroad requires that all Penn students maintain medical insurance coverage that is valid in their home country, even when traveling abroad. If your home country health insurance is the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP), make sure you have taken the necessary steps to remain enrolled even while abroad. Some semester abroad programs also require additional country-specific medical insurance. If you are participating in a semester abroad program, your Global Programs Manager can let you know if you will be required to purchase additional host country health insurance.
In addition to maintaining medical insurance coverage valid in your home country for the duration of your travel, all Penn students traveling on a Penn-approved program and who have registered their travel in MyTrips are also covered by Penn’s International SOS (ISOS) membership while abroad. Penn’s International SOS (ISOS) membership includes:
Travel medical insurance
24/7 medical and security consultation
Emergency evacuation assistance
The complete summary of ISOS member benefits is available on the International SOS Penn portal. Print a copy of the Penn ISOS Card and keep it with your important travel documents while abroad, take note of Penn’s membership I.D (11BSGC000012) and the Penn dedicated phone number (+1 215 942 8478). You are encouraged to download the ISOS app to contact them using WIFI (if available). You will also find international contact information within the ISOS Penn Portal. If you are injured, feel sick, or need to see a doctor while abroad, contact ISOS to find out what medical facility you should go to for medical assistance in your host location. In order to be pre-authorized to use International SOS medical insurance, you must register your round-trip flight itinerary in MyTrips.
Please note that Penn’s ISOS plan does not cover the use of motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, e-scooters, or e-bikes. In addition, ISOS coverage does not extend to participation in extreme sports, including bungee jumping, skydiving, parasailing, scuba diving, jet/snow/water skiing, mountain climbing (where ropes or guides are used), amateur racing, piloting an aircraft, spelunking, whitewater rafting, or surfing. If you are planning to participate in extreme sports while abroad, you are encouraged to explore supplemental travel insurance that covers these activities. Penn Abroad highly discourages driving a car in a country where you are not licensed to do so, and you should never drive others while on an abroad program.