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Study Abroad Health Insurance

Northwestern University requires all undergraduate study abroad students to have GeoBlue Global Health Insurance coverage (or a Northwestern-approved equivalent) for the entire period of time they are studying abroad.

Northwestern Programs and Exchanges

If you are participating in a Northwestern study abroad or exchange program, you will be automatically enrolled in Northwestern’s GeoBlue plan; therefore, you should not self-enroll.

Affiliated and Unaffiliated Programs

Providers or Programs exempt from Northwestern’s GeoBlue requirement:

Affiliated and unaffiliated programs are exempt from the GeoBlue requirement if they provide GeoBlue or an approved equivalent.

The following programs' international medical assistance and insurance plans are reasonably comparable to Northwestern’s GeoBlue for Students. Therefore, you are not required to purchase Northwestern's GeoBlue plan in addition to your program’s plan. So that you are prepared for any health needs you may encounter, it is recommended that you review your program provider's policy benefits and exclusions and discuss them with your family. A summary of most policies can be found on the program’s website.

If you are receiving regular treatment for a health condition such as anxiety, arthritis, depression, diabetes, or an eating disorder, etc.  you might consider purchasing Northwestern’s GeoBlue plan if your provider health plan doesn’t meet your specific needs. GeoBlue has adequate coverage for pre-existing conditions, mental health therapies, contraceptive medications, and accidents/injuries related to excessive alcohol or drug use that might not be covered in your provider’s plan.

Please email or call 847-467-3899 if you have questions.

American Councils (RLASP)
Arcadia University
Boston University
Carleton College
Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA)
Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS)
IES Abroad*
Indiana University, Bologna Consortial Studies Program (BCSP)
Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools in China, Latin America & the Middle East
Sarah Lawrence College, The British American Drama Academy (BADA)
School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad
Syracuse University (SU) Abroad
University of Minnesota

*IES Abroad charges a $100 deductible each time the insurance is used. Consider purchasing GeoBlue for a plan with no deductible.

Providers or Programs with Northwestern GeoBlue requirement

Your program is not exempt from the GeoBlue requirement if 1) Northwestern's Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) has reviewed your program's international medical assistance and insurance policy and determined it does not provide sufficient coverage, or 2) your program does not provide an international medical assistance and insurance policy.

If you are enrolled in a program offered by one of the following program providers, you must purchase the Northwestern-GeoBlue plan:

Budapest Semester in Mathematics
Columbia University, Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies
Council on International Education and Exchange (CIEE)
Duke University
Earlham College
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (MATS)
Ewha University
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Institute for Field Education (IFE)
Lewis & Clark College, Year of Study in Munich
London School of Economics & Political Science
National Taiwan University
Prague Film School
Royal Academy of Music
University of Deusto
University of Otago
Yonsei University


If you will be abroad for eight weeks or more and believe that your program provider’s plan has comparable coverage to GeoBlue, you may request a review of your plan by the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS). Before you request a review, download the GeoBlue Student Member Guide and compare it to your plan.  To be approved, your plan must also include coverage for medical, political, and natural disaster evacuation services. If you determine that your policy is comparable to the GeoBlue student policy, send a copy of the insurance plan in English (which you will have to obtain from your provider) to  OGSS requires a minimum of two weeks to review the plan once received.

GeoBlue Requirement if You Are Studying in Your Country of Citizenship

Students who study abroad in their country of citizenship may not be required or eligible to purchase GeoBlue. If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to receive a citizen exemption from purchasing GeoBlue:

  • The student is an international student (typically an F-1 or J-1 visa holder)
  • The student’s permanent residence is the same as the proposed country of study
  • The student is registered or enrolled in a health care plan in the proposed country of study

If you believe that you meet these conditions, contact your GLO adviser to confirm that you qualify for a citizenship exemption. In your email to your GLO adviser, please describe how you meet the criteria above.

Maintaining Domestic Health Care Coverage While Abroad

Northwestern University’s Student Insurance Office requires all full-time students to have U.S. domestic health insurance coverage during study abroad enrollment to avoid any gaps in coverage in case a medical emergency abroad requires the student to return to the U.S. early for continued treatment or recovery.