For countless young minds, the idea of studying abroad is nothing short of a dream come true. The aspiration of international education, exposure to foreign cultures, and the opportunity to spread their academic wings on a global stage fascinate students from all corners of India. In fact, data by the Ministry of Education indicate that the number of Indian students studying abroad surged by almost 70% in 2022. With COVID now becoming a thing of the past, this number is expected to rise further in 2023, and beyond.
Yet, as exciting as this adventure may be, it doesn’t come without its share of risks and challenges, especially when you are miles away from the comforting embrace of family and familiar surroundings. Picture this: You have just stepped out of your comfort zone and arrived in a foreign country brimming with anticipation and ambition, only to discover that your baggage, along with essentials for your academic journey, has gone missing.
Or worse, your trusted laptop, your digital companion for countless research papers and presentations, has vanished into thin air. These mishaps can not only disrupt your studies, but also put a huge dent on your finances.
Then there’s the ever-looming possibility of medical issues. Falling ill in an unfamiliar land, navigating foreign healthcare systems, and shouldering hefty medical bills can be overwhelming, to say the least.
However, there’s a silver lining to these challenges – student travel insurance. With the constantly rising influx of students into international campuses, it becomes increasingly imperative to highlight the significance of student travel insurance.
One of the foremost reasons why securing student travel insurance is of paramount importance is the often exorbitant cost of healthcare in developed nations.
A seemingly routine visit to a doctor or an unexpected medical emergency can quickly escalate into a financial nightmare. In countries like the United States or the United Kingdom, medical expenses can leave a gaping hole in your pocket.
However, this hole can be seamlessly mended by student travel insurance. Not to forget, if you happen to lose your expensive gadgets or worse, your passport, the situation can go awry in no time.
A comprehensive student travel insurance plan can provide coverage for such losses, ensuring that you are not left stranded in the midst of your studies.
Why from India?
It’s not uncommon for universities to offer insurance as a bundled deal to students. Now, you might wonder why it’s beneficial to procure travel insurance from India when you’re headed to foreign shores. Well, the devil lies in the details. Student travel insurance plans purchased in India come with a unique advantage – they are far cheaper than the one offered at the university, considering the currency conversion rate, especially when compared with developed countries. Suppose you are going for a two-year masters course in the USA where the total tuition fees comes to ₹25-30 lakh, student travel insurance will cost you just 1-1.5% of the amount, but will provide a robust safety shield in an unknown land.
Popular holidays around the world like Thanksgiving see a lot of students making travel plans in the nearby regions. When you secure a student travel insurance policy from India, it remains in effect not only in your university region but is also applicable to places nearby, making it more comprehensive than the university plans.
Moreover, unlike regular travel policies, which are typically issued for durations of up to 180 days, student travel insurance plans offer extended terms of one or two years, with the option for renewal. This aligns perfectly with the extended timelines of academic programs and offers a continuous safety net throughout your course.
Beyond these tangible benefits, student travel insurance can come to your rescue in more intricate ways. It’s not just about safeguarding your health and possessions; it’s about securing your education. Some policies even provide the option for a refund of tuition fees, covering interruptions in your studies due to unforeseen events. This means that you can recover the financial investment you’ve made in your education if unforeseen circumstances force you to pause or change your academic journey.
Furthermore, sponsor protection is an invaluable feature, particularly for those who rely on financial support from sponsors back in India. In the event of an unforeseen crisis, these policies can ensure that your sponsors’ financial contributions to your education are safeguarded, reducing the stress on both you and your sponsors.
So, if you plan to embark on an international academic expedition, securing student travel insurance from India might just be the smartest decision you make on your journey to success. It will ensure your academic journey is not interrupted, your health remains protected, and your finances are insulated from unexpected shocks.
(The writer is Business Head, Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com)