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How to protect your pupils from international travel risks


Published: 25/05/2021

The UK is one of the world’s most popular destinations for international students - but studying abroad also comes with risks attached, and school’s may have to “up-the-ante” on the travel protections they provide to attract prospective pupils from abroad as we learn to live with COVID-19.

Here’s a quick guide to the risks you may need to consider for your international pupils, as well as how international student travel insurance could make your school’s package a more attractive offering.

What risks need to be considered for international pupils?

International pupils have a long list of things to worry about when they come to study in the UK.

Not only do they have the stress of catching flights, learning a new language and moving to a whole different country – they also have to think about things like what happens if they’re sick or injured, or lose a vital document while they’re away from home.

Add to that the potential for homesickness, and it’s hardly surprising that parents want reassurances their children are adequately protected during their stay in the UK.

Alongside the standard risks of running a school, here are a few additional scenarios to consider for international students:

  1. What if a pupil gets sick or injured and requires medical treatment, and/or has to stay in the UK past their scheduled departure date? They may also incur costs flying home or if a family member comes to visit whilst they’re unwell.
  2. What if a pupil’s flights home or to the UK were delayed or cancelled, or they miss their flight?
  3. What if a pupil is unable to complete their course because they have to return home due to an unforeseeable event (such as the illness or death of a family member)?
  4. What if a pupil loses their baggage or personal belongings on their way to or from the UK?
  5. What if a pupil loses their passport, money or other important documents that need to be replaced before they can return home or access other services?

With so many risks and concerns associated with international pupils, it’s also an opportunity to extend the level of care you provide by offering additional protections, such as international student travel insurance.

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What does international student travel insurance cover for schools?

International student travel insurance offers parents peace of mind that their kids are protected from the moment they apply to study at your institution, through their journey to the UK, and until they return home.

Not only does this help you fulfil your duty of care to your pupils, but could also reassure existing and prospective parents that they’ve chosen the right school for their child.

Cover can either be included in a school’s overall fee package, or offered as an optional extra to parents, including:

  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • Course fee cover
  • Medical emergency and other expenses (our emergency medical team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
  • Repatriation costs
  • Baggage and personal possessions
  • Personal money, passport and documents
  • Missed departure

We also understand that student safeguarding and wellbeing is paramount – so we’ve also included cover for the cost of professional counselling if the student suffers any stress, anxiety, depression or any other mental or nervous disorder while they’re studying with you.

Find out more about international student travel insurance.

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What about COVID-19 related risks?

To give your pupils more confidence to travel, our international student travel policies automatically include cover for emergency medical treatment if a student contracts COVID-19 whilst studying in the UK.

We’ll not only cover the cost of their emergency medical treatment, but we can also provide cover for transport or accommodation costs if it is medically necessary for the student to stay beyond their scheduled return date.

Should their return home be unavoidably delayed, the policy will continue to provide cover without charge for the period of the delay up to a maximum of 60 days (or until they return home).

Don’t forget…

It’s not just international pupils you may need to protect against travel risks – now that COVID-19 guidelines are relaxing, many schools are starting to book school trips again to lift students’ spirits after a particularly unusual time in their education.

But as we’ve already covered, travelling abroad can come with significant risks attached - so parents will be grateful if you can offer them an easy-to-sort solution to their children’s travel insurance needs.

Find out more about our other independent school travel products.


The preferred insurance provider for English UK and BETA

We’re specialists in protecting international students, providing cover for hundreds of thousands of overseas students each year through over 100 different education providers across the UK.

Our long-established specialist education insurance team covers a wide range of education sectors, including state schools, independent education, boarding schools, further education, universities and specialist private language schools – so we have the knowledge and hands-on experience to help make sure your establishment stays protected at every step.

Speak to one of our specialist account managers to explore your international student travel insurance options.

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