Learn about what travel and medical insurance is available.

Travel and medical insurance

Students studying abroad must have fully comprehensive travel insurance cover. This can be purchased through Sussex.

If you choose to purchase your own insurance, you must provide evidence that the policy has adequate cover. Contact us for more information

Other essential insurance considerations include:

  • emergency medical expenses, including the cost of medical treatment abroad and repatriation costs
  • personal injury
  • personal belongings (such as credit/debit card or passport replacement)
  • dental injury
  • legal expenses.

The cover must begin on the date you leave home and end on the date you arrive back.

Your policy needs to cover all medical costs, including air ambulance. For any extreme sports, you must check if they are covered by your policy first. If you have an accident whilst intoxicated by alcohol, you are unlikely to be covered by your travel insurance.

You may have annual insurance cover on credit card and bank accounts, although this usually only lasts 30 days of every year and so is unsuitable for studying abroad. 

If you do not take out proper insurance, you will have to pay the costs of any emergency yourself, including expensive medical bills. 

US, Canada and Australia

In addition to a travel cover, you will be legally obliged to take out health insurance cover in the United States, Canada and Australia. You will be able to obtain this via the partner university.

Find our more on our destination pages for North America and Australasia


NHS rules mean that if you are going on a study abroad placement in an EU country which will last more than six weeks, you must apply for a free special Student Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

This provides state-funded healthcare in EU countries in a lot of scenarios, but you will still need additional travel insurance to ensure you are fully covered. GHIC card holders will receive the same level of everyday healthcare as a national
of that country. So if locals pay for prescriptions, then so will you with the GHIC. However, it doesn’t cover repatriation costs or if you need emergency medical costs, so you still need to purchase travel cover.


Students will now need to purchase National Insurance for Korea and Japan.

See more from Preparing to go abroad – the essentials