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Health and Safety

International Emergency Insurance

In Case of Emergency

Call +1-703-993-7500

We are committed to providing study abroad opportunities that do not jeopardize the health and safety of our students. For this reason, we monitor global news each day and remain in regular contact with the U.S. State Department, embassies or consulates, the Center for Disease Control and on-site experts and hosts in the countries where our students are located. Additionally, the University Travel Advisory Committee (UTAC ) oversees all University travel to “higher-risk” locations.

Many health insurance plans do not cover general health care while abroad. Students participating in a Mason study abroad programs (including external study abroad) are covered under a Mason-sponsored international emergency insurance. George Mason University requires all students traveling abroad on university-sponsored or related travel to obtain international emergency medical and repatriation / evacuation insurance coverage through Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Service. Global Education Office (GEO) programs include the required insurance coverage.

  • Coverage starts the day before the start date of a program and ends the day after the end date of a program.
  • If a student is traveling before or after a program they are advised to purchase additional emergency medical insurance. 
  • Insurance covers medical expenses in cases of accident or sickness.
  • In most cases students will have to pay the cost-of-care at time of service and file a claim with Mercer for reimbursement.
  • Medical and security evacuation must be pre-approved and authorized. Evacuations are based on specific trigger events.
  • See Summary of Benefits for more information

Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Insurance Does Not Cover

  • Travel interruption/cancellation insurance*
  • Personal liability

It is recommended that you investigate and, if needed, purchase insurance to cover these events.
Check with your homeowners insurance to see what items – camera, phone, computer – might be covered from theft or damage.

*Conditions apply. $1000 limit. See Summary of Benefits for more information.

Important Exclusions

Benefits will not be paid for loss or injury that is cause by or a result of:

  • Commission of or attempt to commit a felony
  • Commission of or active participation in a riot or insurrection
  • Medical benefits will not be paid for any loss, treatment, or services resulting from:
  • Injury caused by or resulting from travel in or on any off-road motorized vehicle not requiring licensing as a motor vehicle, or a motor vehicle not designed primarily for use on public streets or highways
  • Injury resulting from off-road motorcycling; scuba diving; jet, snow or water skiing; mountain climbing (where ropes or guides are used); sky diving; amateur automobile racing; automobile racing or automobile speed contests; bungee jumping; surfing; or parasailing.
  • Additional exclusions apply. Read the Summary of Benefits for more information.
  • When participating in any of these activities purchase additional insurance.

Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Portal

Students will have access to the Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Portal which provides important information on in country health and safety considerations, finding doctors, finding out about vaccinations, in-country emergency numbers, U.S. Embassy locations and contact information and more.


Prior to Departure

Before you depart for your program, it is important that you understand your coverage and how it works. Be aware that in many countries, the cost of medical services must be paid in advance by the patient (and then reimbursed by insurance).

The international emergency insurance provided by the Global Education Office (GEO) only covers you through the duration of your program. If you will be traveling independently before or after your program and wish to extend your insurance coverage, please contact your Program Officer.

It is recommended that you also look into liability insurance to cover any valuables you will take on the trip, such as a laptop computer, camera, or video recorder. You can also consider tuition, trip, travel, and luggage insurance.

Before You Go

  • Get a check up.
  • See a dentist.
  • Seek out host-nationals to speak with regarding what life is like in country.
  • Seek faculty, family, or friends who have been to the country and know what it is like to be a visitor there.
  • Get a good recent history of the country and read it before you go.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle here before you go as it will be essential to remaining healthy while you are abroad.

While Abroad

It is recommended that you retain your U.S. health insurance while abroad. Should you have an accident or illness abroad that requires long-term care, you will have health insurance upon your return home to cover these expenses. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to purchase a health plan if you return to the United States with an illness or injury that insurance companies consider to be a pre-existing condition.

The following are organizations where you can find supplemental insurance plans:


Emergency Protocol

What Global Education Office (GEO) will do What students will do
  • Reach out to all program Academic Directors
  • Send message to all participants in the area reiterating the safety protocols
  • Contact Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Services if necessary
  • Send message to students’ assigned emergency contact
  • Notify/Liaise with the U.S. Department of State
  • Provide additional information as it becomes available and provide any and all assistance necessary to support students in relocating to safety or repatriating to the United States or home country
  • Get to a safe place or shelter;
  • Call (email or text) emergency contacts (parents or legal guardians) to say you are safe;
  • Await for further instructions: Host Institution, Academic Director/Trip Leader, or the Global Education Office (GEO), Embassy and/or Local Authorities;
  • If phone tree is activated, call the next person in the tree; and
  • Contact Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Services if needed.

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