Office of International Programs

Health & Insurance

Pre-Existing Conditions & Going Abroad

If you have a physical or psychological condition which requires treatment or monitoring by a health care provider, you should consult with your physician or therapist about the prospect of studying abroad. For example, if you are on medication, discuss with your physician the type of care you may need while abroad and the best way to continue your regimen. Psychiatric care and certain medications are not widely available in many parts of the world. Seriously evaluate the potential impact of stress from cultural and language adjustment. In addition, be aware of the availability and possible limitations of medical care in the new environment. If you do decide to study abroad, please inform the OIP and your site personnel of ongoing medical needs, so that you can be supported in the best way while abroad.

Medical Insurance

Students should research their current medical insurance policy to ensure that they are covered while traveling internationally, and verify the process for reimbursement should they seek medical care while abroad.  Typically, insurance companies require that the student pay out of pocket for treatment and submit for reimbursement at a later date. If students need additional coverage, they can learn more about supplemental insurance offered through Brown's Insurance & Risk Office.


Brown students who are planning to travel or study abroad should call Brown Health Services well in advance to schedule a pre-travel visit. A provider will discuss and order appropriate vaccines and medicines for your destination, based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Plan ahead!  It may take a month or more to complete the immunizations and/or medications you need before leaving the United States. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet with a healthcare provider and receive recommended vaccinations. 

Students can also refer to the Center for Disease Control website for recommended vaccines and other health information specific to their destinations. 

International SOS

The University has contracted with International SOS to provide Brown University travelers with 24 hour worldwide medical and travel assistance, including emergency evacuation. International SOS is not medical insurance, and should be viewed only as a resource to help refer students to medical care or provide aid in emergency situations.  To consult its services, visit the International SOS website.  For reference purposes, Brown’s group membership number is 11BSGC000031.  Additionally, we strongly advise that you register your trip information on the Personal Travel Record through the Insurance and Risk Office.

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