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Most Memorable Experience

I volunteered at a nursing home in Aix, and meeting my 98-year-old friend Ferdinand was easily one of the best things I did.

Allison Mack

French and English, with a certificate in European Studies
IAP Aix-en-Provence, France


Medical Insurance and CISI

U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care abroad may face extreme difficulties. That is why the University of Wisconsin System has mandated that all University of Wisconsin students studying/traveling abroad under a UW sponsored program must enroll in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).

For questions regarding the CISI insurance policy, claims, status of reimbursements for claims, or to extend CISI coverage contact:

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI )
River Plaza • 9 West Broad Street • Stamford, CT 06902-3788
Tel: 203-399-5183 • Fax 203-399-5596

For medical referrals and information abroad, emergency medical assistance, or questions regarding medical evacuations or repatriation, contact:

CISI TEAM ASSIST (24-hour emergency assistance)
From the U.S. call: 800-472-0906
From outside the U.S. call collect: 713-267-2525
CISI Policy Number: GLB 9133969
ASSIST ID#: GLB 9133969


Existing Coverage Limitations

It is also important for you to confirm your students current medical insurance limitations as it relates to services and fees associated with the location where your student will be staying during their time abroad. Because many students are still covered by the parent/guardian’s insurance plan, it is important to inform them of their coverage and contact information as well as identify any additional costs to you.


Access to Medications


Some countries may limit the amount of a particular drug that people can transport into and out of the host country. Some medications that are prescribed in the United States may be considered illegal substances in other countries. Check with the country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., about any such restrictions.

If your student takes prescription medications regularly or expect to take some while abroad, they should bring a sufficient supply with them for the duration of their program. Ask your doctor about the availability abroad of any prescription medications your student takes regularly. Even if his/her prescription is available, it may be simpler to take an adequate supply with them for the period he/she is abroad (provided it is not perishable). Your insurance company may ask you for a letter certifying that your student will be studying abroad, which your IAP Study Abroad Advisor can provide you with if requested.

Your student should keep all prescription medications in their original bottles and carry them with you in your carry on luggage. For some medications, your student may need to carry a letter from your physician stating why they need the prescription medication. Bring along copies of their medical prescriptions, including the name of the active ingredient(s).

Over the counter

It is also important to note it isn’t only the availability of prescription medications that need to be assessed. Some over the counter options that are available in the US may be restricted in other countries due to active ingredients that are banned. Ask your student if there are any routine medications (Aspirin, Advil, Nyquil, etc) that are banned in their study abroad country.