Student International Travel Guide

Going abroad can be an exciting opportunity for any student. There are many things to plan before you go. One important thing is insurance. Below are different types of insurance to consider before your trip.

Important and Required Documents for International Travel for Students

All students traveling internationally on a college sponsored program for Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke or Smith are required to submit a Travel Waiver-Sponsored Travel Form to the office sponsoring their travel. College sponsored travel is defined as any travel that 

  • a student receives any funding;
  • academic credit for work done during or upon return from the travel;
  • or any travel which has been arranged by the college.

Travel Waiver - Sponsored Travel Form
(Assumption of Risk and General Release): [AmherstHampshireMount HolyokeSmith]

Health Insurance

If you have health insurance through another party, such as your parents, have them check to see if international coverage is provided and the details of this coverage. Some policies cover only emergency care, have a very small benefit limit or short duration of time when the insurance is effective. Sometimes this timeframe can be less than a semester.

If you have health insurance through your school, visit the Gallagher Koster Insurance website to review what is covered in your policy and to purchase additional study abroad insurance if necessary. Another option is a limited health plan through a clearinghouse type website such as InsureMyTrip.

Personal Property

Your personal property such as clothes, jewelry, books or computers may be covered by a homeowners or renters policy. If not, there are other options available. These include:

Trip / Itinerary Cancellation

Trip cancellation is pre-departure coverage that reimburses you (up to the covered amount) for pre-paid non refundable trip costs if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. While each plan defines what its trip cancellation benefit covers, the following are common reasons for trip cancellations: injury or illness, weather or natural disaster, labor strike, and/or other scheduled conflicts. Your credit card may pay some of these expenses but these can be extremely limited.

  • Trip cancellation plan (i.e.,
  • Credit card (highly limited coverage)

General Liability (Personal Liability)

General liability or personal liability insurance provides coverage for a student when s/he commits an accidental (not expected or intended) negligent act that results in bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Some countries require liability insurance for every student. This insurance may be available through your study abroad institution.

  • Through study abroad school
  • Other insurance plan (i.e., CSI Insurance)
  • Parents homeowners or tenants policy

AIG / Travel Guard

AIG/Travel Guard is an independent service engaged by the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith) to provide 24-hour, worldwide emergency assistance services for covered travelers when traveling abroad. It is important to remember that AIG/Travel Gueard is NOT (and does not replace) international medical insurance. It does, however, provide valuable services, such as those listed above. For a brief overview of the services AIG/Travel Guard covers, please refer to the AIG/Travel Guard Student Coverage letter.

All students on Five College-sponsored international travel are required to register their international travel with AIG/Travel Guard using the AIG/Travel Guard “My Alerts”. This will give you the opportunity to receive e-mail alerts from AIG/Travel Guard and help enable your program coordinator to contact you in the event of an emergency. This recommendation is in addition to any other required registrations by your institution. Please check with your institution’s International Travel Contacts for any additional registration requirements. Students are advised to print their school’s emergency contacts, and a copy of the AIG/Travel Guard card to carry with them while abroad. Students must comply with all institution registration requirements as well as provide a copy of the the Travel Waiver (Assumption of Risk and General Release) to the office sponsoring their travel.

For more information about AIG/Travel Guard and to register on the AIG/Travel Guard portal, please visit:


All students traveling on college trips (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith) automatically have Medical Evacuation and Repatriation through AIG/Travel Guard Insurance. Medical Evacuation plans provide assistance in the event that you become seriously ill or injured while traveling. These plans provide emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate care facility or, with some plans, to your hospital of choice. Repatriation means medically assisted travel to a medical facility in your home country or repatriation of mortal remains.

More information about the plan and what it covers is available on the Five College Risk Management website, or refer to one of the following:

As always, please check with your College’s international study abroad office if you have any questions.

All students must check with their institutions for registration requirements. Students are also advised to print their school’s emergency contacts, and a copy of the AIG/TravelGuard card to carry in their wallets while abroad. Students must comply with their institution’s registration requirements as well as provide a copy of the Travel Waiver Form to the office sponsoring their travel.

Other Sources of Information