International students studying abroad Down Under in Australia must purchase health insurance and should also consider obtaining travel insurance before leaving their home country. Both health and travel insurance will provide you and your family with confidence that you’ll be taken care of during your time abroad. However, requirements and policies are not always straightforward, which is why we’ll be providing some clarity on Australian health and travel insurance coverage in this blog.
Travel insurance is recommended to protect you and your valuables while travelling from your home country to Australia. Most of the time, international students’ travels go as planned, but it’s important to plan for every eventuality. Purchasing travel insurance is a great way to be prepared for any issue that might arise.
A typical travel insurance plan includes:
- Reimbursement for the loss, damage, or destruction of personal belongings and baggage
- Medical care in the event of an illness or accident
- Coverage for the cost of bringing someone to stay with you if you’re hospitalized
- Personal liability
- For example, if you cause personal injury or property damage to someone else during your travels, insurance covers collateral damages up to a certain amount
- Trip disruption
- For example, if your connecting flight is delayed, insurance will pay for your food and accommodation while you wait for the next available flight
It’s important for international students to note that not all travel insurance plans cover all of the above incidents. Make a list of the circumstances you want coverage for and do your research to see what travel insurance plans best meet your needs.
Tip: Some credit cards provide travel insurance, so check with your bank to learn what your card benefits offer!
Required Visa Documents
Students must submit a series of supporting documents as part of their online student visa application. One of these required documents is the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Students and their representatives can apply for a student visa once they are enrolled in a course of study in Australia and have been issued OSHC. To find out which documents you’ll need for your visa, check the Document Checklist Tool.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
OSHC is health insurance that covers international students’ medical expenses, including visits to a family doctor, some hospital stays, emergency ambulances, and limited prescription medicine. Students must be covered from the day they arrive and throughout the length of their stay to keep their student visa valid.
You can purchase OSHC through any private health insurer registered in Australia, and need to do so before applying for your study visa. Most educational institutions will provide students with a list of one or more OSHC providers to help them select a provider. Some registered OSHC providers include:
If you’re travelling with any family members, they must also have OSHC coverage to apply for their visa and keep it valid. The OSHC must be issued in the names of the individuals it covers. Students and their family members must ensure the names on the policy match the names on the corresponding passports. If your visa application is denied, don’t worry! Your OSHC policy payment can be refunded.
Note: Your OSHC must be valid on the day you enter Australia. It’s recommended that you keep your OSHS policy documents in your carry-on luggage.
Some international students may be asked to take a medical and a radiological check-up to show they’re in good health as part of the visa application process. If a student is asked to complete a health exam, they must see a doctor who has been approved by Australia’s department of immigration. A health exam is a requirement for students from most South Asian countries.
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