The Office of International Studies and Programs encourages our students, faculty, and staff engaged in study abroad to read the information provided on this page and to stay aware of current events in the countries in which they will be studying. 

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Health Insurance and Emergency Security/Evacuation Coverage

The University of Missouri system requires that each student participating on an UMSL study abroad or university-sponsored program enroll in both health insurance and emergency security/evacuation insurance:

Health Insurance: Most students have a perfectly safe study abroad experience and return to the US without ever having a major incident.  However, accidents and situations can and do occur, and you must be prepared for it.  Not having proper insurance can cause you and your family a financial burden that will last for years to come.

All University of Missouri students and people participating in any UM program are required to purchase GeoBlue (formerly GEOBLUE Worldwide) sickness and accident insurance.  It is affordable and provides many benefits above and beyond your current insurance provider, including emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains.  The UM system has negotiated an affordable plan for all study abroad students through GeoBlue Student Travel Insurance. 

From the GeoBlue website,, you have 24/7 access to English-speaking physicians, prescription information, and 24 hour phone assistance.  It is the best service available for study abroad students.  
Click here for the University of Missouri System GeoBlue (formerly HTH Worldwide) Brochure 2016-2017.

GeoBlue Enrollment Instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. Red the paragraph and then click on “I Agree”
  3. Make sure “New” is checked (unless you have registered with GeoBlue before, in which case you would check “Renewal”), then click on “Continue”
  4. Complete all required fields, including student ID.


GeoBlue insurance covers you only while outside of your home country. The entire payment for the whole duration of your coverage (program) is charged when you enroll. The cost of $35 is for every 30-day period (i.e. January 8-June 8 = this equals 5 months coverage charged). Additional days over a 30-day period will be charged as the next/additional month/30-day period. Select your coverage to start one day before your departure date and extend a few days beyond your return date in the event that your return is delayed. (For example, if your semester abroad dates are Sept. 7-Dec. 16, you can set your coverage for Sept. 1-Dec. 31 and be charged for the same rate- 4 months). If you stay abroad longer, login to the GeoBlue website to extend your insurance coverage.

  1. Continue following the instructions on the website.
  2. Your insurance card will be emailed to you.  You can also print a card from the website approximately two days after enrollment. Any time after that, you can log-on under "Already enrolled users" to print your card and access your account and other helpful information.


Pre-Existing Conditions You must maintain continuous insurance coverage to ensure that any pre-existing conditions you have (or develop abroad) will be covered by current and future insurance.  If possible, we recommend keeping your current coverage in addition to purchasing study abroad health insurance.  Conditions that develop while you are abroad would be considered pre-existing if you had a break in coverage with your current insurer.  The GeoBlue insurance covers you outside the US (or your home country) only, so you will not be covered upon return.  

Emergency Security/Evacuation Coverage: United Healthcare Global (formerly FrontierMEDEX) provides 24-hour travel, medical and security-related assistance services to you while traveling.  Print your student UnitedHealthcare Global ID card and always carry it with you when traveling. There is no cost to register in United Healthcare Global. Follow the below registration instructions and then click here to print your card.

Policy information:

UHC Global 2015-2016 ID Card
UHC Global Policy Description
UHC Global Medical & Security
UHC Global Security Service
UHC Global Natural Disaster Service

UHC Global Services Available:

How to use your UHC Global SECURE benefit:
Always carry the UHC Global ID card with you while traveling. If you have a security travel problem, call UHC Global by using the phone numbers listed on the back of your ID card. Call the toll-free number for the country where you are traveling. If you are in a country not listed, call the Baltimore, Maryland, Emergency Response Center collect (1-410-453-6330). A coordinator will ask your name, your University name, UHC Global ID number (330321) and a description of the situation. A multilingual coordinator will immediately render whatever assistance is necessary and will monitor your case until the situation is resolved.

U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

All UMSL students are encouraged enroll in the Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling in STEP, you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans; help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency; and help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, please contact your home country embassy or consulate for information on their travel registration processes.

Health and Safety

In addition to taking advantage of the resources available through HTH Worldwide and United Healthcare Global, we encourage students to research their host country in order to be fully informed and make preparations for any potential challenges ahead and to ease the transition and reduce culture shock. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the laws, legal system, and political landscape of your host country.Safety and health are our primary concern. However, considering the global situation it is unfortunately true that the United States is regarded by those outside our borders as a very dangerous place to live and travel. Statistically the rate of violent crime in the US exceeds most other countries. Of course there is crime in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. However, the crime overseas is usually of the non-violent type: pick pocketing, theft, etc. No one plans to be a victim and a few common sense measures alleviate much concern about safety: travel in groups, do not call attention to yourself by clothing or mannerisms, be especially wary in tourist locations and do not participate in political or social demonstrations.

Universities throughout the world are certainly cognizant of dangers and have implemented their own policies and procedures to ensure a safe and healthy experience for all their international students. Check with the international office are the host institution or your faculty director and ask for assistance if necessary. Also, know what the emergency number is for the country (remember not everywhere has 911). We will cover many of these issues during the orientation.

While abroad, students must live according to the laws and regulations of the host country. In case of a dispute, ignorance of local law is no defense. Countries' laws are very different especially regarding drug use and drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol. Most countries' laws on these topics are much more stringent than in the US. Also legal procedures vary from nation to nation and rights assumed in the US are not always granted in other countries. The US embassy may assist in finding legal representation but cannot get a student out of jail once he/she has been accused or arrested for a crime.

Helpful links:

U.S. Department of State Study Abroad Resource 
U.S. Department of State Travel Homepage 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (for immunization and vaccine information)
CDC Advice for Health and Safety for Students
UMSL Policy on study abroad in countries with U.S. Department of State travel warnings
UMSL Pre-departure orientation information