Do any of these programs have health insurance?


Yes -- health insurance is a pretty common benefit from schools and teach abroad programs alike. However, some teach abroad programs (particularly volunteer teaching programs) will have travel insurance. Most of those plans will cover health related issues as well, but it's always a good idea to look at the fine print.

If you're not given health / travel insurance as part of your benefit package, we have a list of some companies you can look into:

Which program were you looking at specifically?

I taught in Israel. I did have my U.S. insurance but also had the insurance the program provided. Medicine was free when I had the doctor write a prescription.

Also, as I learned the hard way when I studied abroad in London several years ago, go to the dentist before you depart. I know pretty much every program requires a physical but I had a broken sealant in London and had to get it fixed on my second day there; it was not covered by my insurance or the NHS. So get your teeth done before you depart wherever you go. Stock up on any special medicines you think you may need, especially if you don't speak the language. You don't want to have an allergic reaction to something and not know what it is you're having issues with!

Yes, some programs have insurance, but some do not. When you find a program you are interested in, ask if insurance is provided and what it covers. If insurance is not included, ask about recommendations for private insurance.

I have also known people who take out long term travel insurance policies while working abroad. While medical coverage is often included in these policies, it is best to check the fine print to see exactly what is covered.

Also, keep in mind that the health care costs may vary significantly from your home country. I had national health care while working in Japan through the JET Programme and I needed an MRI. The doctor told me it was too expensive and tried to dissuade me. The cost? About $30 USD with insurance. It would have been $100 USD without. In my home country (US), it could have easily cost $3-6,000 dollars.