Health & Safety Abroad
UCI prioritizes the health and safety of UCI students while participating in international activities abroad. Whether you are traveling abroad for the first time or a seasoned traveler, the most rewarding and transformative travel experiences abroad can also be the most challenging.
To ensure UCI students are informed and supported while engaging in scholarship, research, internships, or co-curricular activities abroad, UCI has assembled the following resources for you. You may also visit the UCI Study Abroad Video Library for video resources: https://studyabroad.uci.edu/study-abroad-video-resource-library/#Health-and-Safety
Updates 2023-24: COVID-19 | Israel & Gaza | Russia & Ukraine
COVID-19: With the ending of U.S. federal and State of California emergency declarations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Study Abroad Center has resumed international programming close to pre-pandemic levels with a renewed commitment to support the diverse health and safety needs of UCI students. We are in direct and regular communications with the UC Office of the President, the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) and colleagues throughout the UC system, and consider U.S. State Department and CDC advisories and guidelines. For UCI updates, visit the UCI Study Abroad Center FAQ, Office of Global Engagement COVID-19 Updates, and UCI Student Health Center https://shc.uci.edu/covid-information-and-updates pages.
Israel & Gaza: UCI, along with our study abroad partners, is following the situation in Gaza, West Bank, and Israel closely. We are also monitoring the ripple effects throughout the region and around the world.
Programs in 2023-2024:
Some programs abroad are currently running as planned while others have made changes with safety as the #1 priority. For example, the fall 2023 UCEAP program with the Rothberg School at Hebrew University in Jerusalem has gone to a hybrid remote format. It is too early to know what the state of courses will be for the spring ’24 semester, but that application window is now closed and participants will be notified directly by UCI and our program providers of changes.
Programs in 2024-2025:
For summer ’24 and beyond, it is too early to know what the conditions will be like and how this will impact current programming. UCI students thinking about study abroad in the region, for example Israel or Jordan, are advised to have an alternative program in mind in their first-choice program is cancelled or suspended.
Please connect with the UCI Study Abroad Center if you have any follow up questions or concerns.
Russia & Ukraine: Travel to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and surrounding regions remains restricted for UCI students. UCI continues to actively monitor the evolving situation in Ukraine and eastern Europe. We remain in close communications with the UC Office of the President, UCEAP and colleagues throughout the UC system, as well as government and local contacts. At this time, no UCI programs have been canceled or suspended as a result of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine or worldwide responses to the ongoing military action in Ukraine.
While participating in a UCI-approved or sponsored activity abroad, UCI students will generally have access to up to three categories of insurance: UC Travel Insurance, the student’s domestic health insurance policy, and any in-country or program-specific insurance policies required or provided by the program or host country. UCI students may want to work with insurance providers in advance of travel to identify healthcare providers in their overseas destinations. Because healthcare systems and resources vary widely around the world, it is important for students to work with their healthcare providers on and off campus, their program administrators, as well as their insurance companies to build a network of support while abroad.
UC TRAVEL INSURANCE
UCI students participating in a UCI-sponsored or approved international activity abroad have access to Basic Accident and Sickness insurance coverage and access to tele-health services, as well as travel intelligence, emergency support, and trip interruption benefits provided by the UC Travel Insurance provides AXA Global and Crisis 24. UCI students are advised to maintain their existing domestic health insurance coverage while abroad, as this will be primary coverage after returning to the United States. Additionally, the U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that individuals have “Minimum Essential Coverage” provided by qualified health insurance at all times.
How to enroll?
UCI Faculty-led, Bi-lateral exchanges, and Independent Travel – UCI students traveling independently or with a UCI faculty-led program or bilateral exchange will have the opportunity to enroll in UC Travel Insurance which includes the following benefits. Details on how to register for the UC Travel Insurance will be provided in the post-acceptance section of your UCI Abroad portal application. You will be sent your insurance card via email. Print this card and carry it with you at all times when you travel. The policy number and contact numbers for services will be provided to you on your emergency contact card.
Other UC Campus Programs – UCI students participating in study abroad programs offered by other UC campuses will have access to the UC Travel Insurance. Registration will be facilitated by the respective UC campus.
UCEAP – UCI students participating in study abroad programs through UCEAP will be enrolled by UCEAP program in a travel insurance policy that differs slightly from the UC Travel Insurance Coverage for other off-campus programs. The policy number, contact information, benefits and exclusions, and claims process can be found in the Insurance section of the UCEAP Health and Safety page.
Non-UCI Programs – Only UCI students participating on Independent Programs whose travel has been reviewed and approved for risk by UCI will be prompted to register themselves for UC Travel Insurance following the successful completion of their risk assessment.
*Please Note: As of June 1, 2022, UC Travel Insurance is no longer affiliated with United Healthcare Global (UHCG); the new affiliated provider is AXA Global Travel Assistance. If you have a UC Travel Insurance Card with UHCG contact details, please discard that card and register your travel with UC Away to receive an updated card with “Chubb-AXA Global Travel Assistance” contact information listed below in the Emergency Contacts Abroad section.
LOCAL IN-COUNTRY HEALTH INSURANCE
Depending on where you are studying and for how long, your host country may require you to purchase a local health insurance policy. In general, these insurance policies meet national requirements. Please refer to the information provided by your program provider or program administrator for more details.
MAINTAINING YOUR DOMESTIC HEALTH INSURANCE WHILE ABROAD
UCI students should maintain their existing domestic health insurance coverage (either through UCSHIP or your private insurance provider) throughout their time abroad, as this will be their primary coverage when returning to the United States. Additionally, the U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that individuals have “Minimum Essential Coverage” provided by qualified health insurance at all times.
UCI INTERNATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT
One important way UCI promotes the health and safety of its students is to ensure they are informed about the risks inherent to their proposed activity abroad and some of the resources available to support them. As such, all UCI students build their own risk assessments using a variety of resources available in the UC Abroad portal. Here they will be asked to provide key information relevant to travel abroad including COVID-19 entry requirements and protocols. To ensure all UCI students have an opportunity to identify and discuss the variety of risks inherent to study, research, work, or volunteering abroad – from minor accidents and illness to identity-based violence and climatic disasters – UCI requires that UCI students complete a risk assessment as part of their pre-departure preparations.
UCEAP and Independent Program Participants complete the risk assessment that is embedded within the UCI Abroad portal in the post-approval section of the application. It will become foundational for pre-departure orientation programming hosted by the UCI Study Abroad Center.
UCI students engaged in independent international activities should begin the risk assessment and travel registration process here: https://studyabroad.uci.edu/about/independent-international-activities/
EMERGENCY CONTACTS ABROAD
In the event of an emergency abroad, please take the following steps:
- Contact local on-site emergency services where the student is.
- Contact the local, on-site program staff.
- If you do not have the local, on-site contact information:
- For a UCEAP participant, call the UCEAP 24-hour emergency line: +1 (805) 893-4762
- For any other UCI student abroad, contact UCI Police 24/7 Dispatch: +1 (949) 824-5223
- If you need local assistance abroad, contact the UC Travel Insurance 24/7 emergency assistance provider, AXA, +1 (630) 694-9804 or email email@example.com
UCI EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION