The opportunity to study abroad for a semester or more is one that is simply too good to turn down for many students. There are lots of benefits to studying abroad, ones that should not be quickly dismissed, including:
And, in today’s world, studying abroad can offer students the opportunity to truly unplug and experience the world – something that might be difficult to accomplish when they are surrounded by things that are familiar.
The benefits don’t simply exist in the theoretical realm, however. They transition well into real world benefits. For instance, studying abroad looks great on a resume. Companies want to hire people who can think outside the box and exposure to new cultures and ideas during a study abroad experience teaches students to do just that.
According to University of California, Merced, 97 percent of students who studied abroad found employment within 12 months of graduating. Compare this to only 49 percent of college grads who studied in their home country exclusively being able to find employment in the first year after graduating. Studying abroad almost doubled the likelihood of students finding a job. Studying overseas is also known to help improve student GPAs after their study abroad semester and increases the likelihood of students getting into first or second choices for graduate schools.
As a parent, you want to give your child the best possible foundation for life and the opportunity to study abroad in another country is one way you can do exactly that. However, you want to make sure your child is as safe as possible while doing so. That means making sure your child has the right kind of health insurance to provide proper protection for his or her semester abroad.
Insurance for Studying Abroad
Most programs that facilitate students studying abroad require students to participate in some sort of health insurance program. The problem is that some of these insurance plans offer full coverage and protection while others only cover basic medical services. You need to make sure your student has full coverage while studying out of the country because you never know what will happen.
Options to Consider for Health Insurance Abroad
You have a few options available to you when purchasing health insurance for your student to study abroad.
1) One of those options is to contact your current insurance provider and secure coverage for overseas travel.
You will need to discuss the fact that your child will be spending a semester abroad and ask what options or add-ons they offer to protect your child while out of the country. Also, make sure that there is some sort of medical evacuation coverage in case your child needs special medical equipment or has specialized transportation needs for the return trip home.
2) Another option is to purchase health insurance for your child through the study abroad program he or she is participating in. These typically offer basic coverage at affordable rates, but you will need to review the plan carefully to make sure it provides enough coverage to make you feel comfortable.
3) You can also look for providers that specialize in insurance plans for students who study out of the country. These providers have a deeper understanding of international insurance needs than companies that work exclusively within the United States and may be a better choice in many cases. One of the top provider can be accessed through this link – Student Medical Plans
It is important to know what your deductibles are and have a plan in place for covering them. Some require deductibles to be paid up front and the deductibles may be different for medical service providers inside or outside of certain provider organizations or networks. Other critical information to pay attention to includes prescription drug coverage and coverage limits (maximum coverage). Some plans also pay only 80 percent of medical expenses while others will pay 100 percent for providers who are in their network.
Studying abroad gives your student the opportunity to see a whole new world around them. Making sure your student has the proper health insurance coverage while learning about other people, cultures, and experiences gives you the peace of mind to let them take advantage of this unique opportunity to increase their life experiences.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Planes, trains and automobiles – odds are, you’ll be spending time in one of these vessels during the holiday season. Long-distance travel jumps 54% this time of year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation.
This means an overall increase in fares, but fret not, whether you’re traveling within the state or across country, there are a few things you can do to minimize your holiday travel expenses. Here are a few tips to help avoid breaking the bank when you travel over the Holidays.
1. Cheap Flights
Have you ever watched the cost of flights fluctuate? One day the lowest round-trip fare is $400 and the next day the ticket prices have jumped. This is where doing your research can really pay off. Early booking has its advantages. According to CheapAir, the prime time to book your flight is 47 days in advance.
A good rule of thumb is to book early, as ticket prices generally rise with demand. If you’ve been monitoring ticket prices on multiple sites, remember to clear your browser data and cookies periodically so you won’t get served up dynamic pricing.
It’s also a good idea to make ride arrangements instead of driving yourself, because space is at a premium and prices are often inflated at long term parking lots around airports and train stations.
If your holiday travel means "less expensive" like a trip to Europe or another foreign destination, we highly recommend you buy travel insurance
2. Save Money with Tuesday and Wednesday Flights
Typically, the cheapest flights days to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It might be inconvenient, but flying during off-peak hours is one way to save money. If you’re trying to cut down on cost, Independent Traveler says the best airline fares can be found between Monday afternoon and Thursday morning – Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days overall.
If you’re worried about delays, fly in the morning. Afternoon and evening flights are delayed more often, while morning flights are 15% more likely to be on time. Remember to give yourself some wiggle room – flexibility is important when flying home for the holidays on a tight budget. While not everyone wants to travel with a tight schedule, flights departing two days prior to Christmas, as well as those departing on Christmas day had the best fares in 2014.
3. Shop Around
Keep an eye out for promotional sales, coupons and deals. Sites like Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak allow you to search for the lowest possible fares. Be mindful of cancellation policies in case you have to make any last minute changes to your itinerary.
Booking a flight during an airfare sale or using a coupon code could save you a considerable chunk of change. Keep your eyes open for airline frequent flyer program deals. Some airlines will offer double miles if you purchase during a special promotional period, and using your airline miles could reduce your ticket price significantly.
If you’re going to reserve a hotel room, consider booking your airfare and hotel together. Many of the top search sites will allow you to bundle flights and hotels together for a discount.
4. Driving Home for the Holidays
Choosing to drive your personal vehicle could save you the hassle of layovers and transfers that often accompany longer trips by plane or train. All things considered, there are a few trade-offs involved in driving during the holidays.
While you save yourself the trip to the airport, you might find yourself in gridlock with others who had the same idea. Depending on where you live, braving traffic during the holidays is not for the faint of heart. Cities like Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are notorious for congestion and, according to Forbes, domestic travel increases by 23% during the holiday season, so getting out of town is that much harder.
Make sure that your vehicle is road-ready, especially if you own an older vehicle. Unexpected car trouble can be costly and towing your vehicle to a mechanic who you don’t know is never ideal. Take the time to perform some basic car maintenance first, because a little preventative car care could save you a lot money and headaches down the road.
Taking a train might be a practical alternative to driving depending on the convenience of station locations. Amtrak offers discounts for military personnel and family, children and seniors. There are also multi-ticket ride discounts and saver fares available.
5. Carry On Only
Most airlines charge for checked baggage so try to pack only a carry-on. Use priority shipping and mail your gifts home ahead of time – the United States Post Office recommends getting your packages out no later than December 15 to ensure gifts arrive before the holiday. This way you won’t have to lug them around the airport or pay any additional fees to transport extra baggage.
Southwest Airlines is one exception; they allow two checked bags under 50 pounds per customer. Research airline baggage policies beforehand and also make sure that your carry-on is within stated size regulations.
6. Snack Time
In addition to charging for luggage, many airlines have done away with free in-flight meals. Food is available in most airports and costs a lot, too. Plan accordingly: eat beforehand and pack snacks – sandwiches, trail mix, granola – to tide yourself over until you land. Food costs can add up quickly when you’re on the go, but remember, airport regulations won’t allow you to bring beverages through security checks. The good news is that most airlines still provide free in-flight beverage service, so you won’t be gasping for water after you finish your granola bar!
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, take a load off and relax. Holiday travel may be stressful, but you don’t have to break the bank to get home to see family and friends. Spending time with your loved ones is priceless. Have a safe and happy holiday season.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Cecil Williams -