Health & Safety

Travelers should review the following information to determine their own insurance needs.  Travelers who have additional questions after reviewing the below should consult their program representative or university Risk Services via

NU Travelers are Required to have Personal Health Insurance

All travelers are required to have personal health insurance that provides coverage for their care while when participating on Northeastern sponsored trips or programs .  Travelers are urged to contact their health insurance provider in advance of departure to better understand how their particular insurance plan responds away from home. Many insurance plans (including NUSHP for students and Blue Cross Blue Shield available to eligible NU employees) provide some out of state and out of country coverage  for emergencies on a reimbursement basis (meaning that the traveler pays out of pocket then files a claim for reimbursement with the insurance company upon return).  Travelers should be prepared to pay for their medical care while overseas including deductibles and co-pays  and co-insurance on their respective health insurance plans.

If your personal health plan does not provide adequate coverage for your travel, you can purchase travel insurance that does.  There are many companies that provide this type of policy.  Under the Resource section below, we provide links to companies that provide travel insurance.  Northeastern University offers these links as examples of what is available.  NU does not sponsor, endorse or recommend any particular company or policy.

University-Provided Urgent and Emergency Coverage

NU maintains a comprehensive program to respond to costs associated with accidents and emergency/urgent illnesses that arise during and in the course of NU sponsored trips.  This is not health insurance and is not a substitute for a traveler’s personal health insurance policy.  Examples of what is considered “urgent” and what is considered an “emergency” are as follows:

  • ”Emergency” is a condition that is life threatening. Examples include but are not limited to:  difficulty breathing, injury to head or eyes, uncontrolled bleeding, loss of consciousness, severe burns, fractures, disorientation and inability to speak, suspected heart attack.
  • “Urgent” is a sudden, unexpected injury or illness that a prudent layperson could expect to result in serious medical complications, loss of life or permanent impairment in the absence of immediate medical attentionExamples include but are not limited to: severe flu, strep throat,  strains/sprains, sinus infections, urinary tract infections, skin rashes and infections, minor cuts that may need stitches.

The university program also provides repatriation and emergency evacuation for circumstances that arise during and in the course of NU sponsored trips.

The university program exceeds minimum limits required by overseas consulates and has no deductible.

Confirmation of Coverage Letter for Visas

Travelers requiring insurance confirmation for obtaining visas for NU sponsored trips should contact the coordinator for their program or the Office of Risk Services at to request the letter.  Letters should be requested at least 14 days in advance of need or scheduled consular visits.

Personal Property Insurance 

Northeastern University does not insure the personal effects of traveling students or employees including lost luggage.    We recommend that you do not bring high valued or irreplaceable items with you.   High valued items and personal computers and electronic devices should never be packed in checked luggage.  You should rely on your personal insurance for any losses that you may sustain while traveling abroad.  Please check your personal travel policy or your renters or homeowners policy for coverage

Northeastern University students who are enrolled in the College Student Renters Insurance Program through Gallagher may find coverage for their belongings under this policy.

In the Resources section below, we provide links to companies that provide travel insurance that may offer coverage for lost luggage and items lost while traveling.  Northeastern University offers these links as examples of what is available.  NU does not sponsor, endorse or recommend any particular company or policy.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Travelers should check program details for trip cancellation and reimbursement information.  Northeastern University does not provide trip cancellation insurance coverage to travelers.

Travelers may purchase Cancellation/Interruption insurance through a number of sources.   Because policies can vary greatly, you should pay close attention to the following :

  • What is and is not covered – specifically in relation to COVID-19 and pandemics since not all insurance policies cover COVID-19 or pandemic diseases
  • Your airline’s flight cancellation refund policy
  • Your program’s cancellation and refund policies
  • The terms of your housing contract, the cost of housing, and when deposits and expenses are owed for your housing

Cancellation/Interruption insurance will NOT cover: any program fees, housing, or flights that are refunded through your program, housing provider, or airline as a result of a trip interruption or cancellation.


Cancellation For Any Reason (CFAR)/Interruption for Any Reason (IFAR)

IFAR is an an enhanced type of Cancellation/Interruption coverage  CFAR/IFAR insurance.  It will generally cover: a percentage of your program fees, housing, and flights if your program is canceled or you withdraw from the program for any reason if these expenses are non-refundable.

Gallagher Student and Special Risk Insurance offers Worldwide Trip Protector Plus** – a CFAR/IFAR policy that is available to Northeastern students for program and leisure travel.  This offering may also be used by faculty and staff for leisure travel. Gallagher’s program notably includes coverage for cancellation or trip interruption as a result of  COVID and pandemic .

The Worldwide Trip Protector Plus policy can also be customized to include other coverages including medical expenses , repatriation and lost luggage.

For the CFAR/IFAR option offered through Gallagher, travelers must enroll in CFAR/IFAR insurance within 21 days of receiving a non-refundable bill for a coverable expense. Typically, the earliest coverable expense will be the non-refundable program or trip deposit.

For more information about the CFAR/IFAR, please review the Worldwide Trip Protector Flyer and CFAR/IFAR FAQs.

Click here to further explore and obtain a quote.

**Note that Northeastern University does not recommend or endorse the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus.  We make it available as a convenience to travelers during a time when trip cancellation coverage may be a prudent consideration.  Travelers should review the information to determine the policy that best suits their individual circumstances.



Personal Travel Insurance:


Emergency Treatment

Prior to your trip, you should familiarize yourself with the local emergency number (“911 equivalent”) in the locations you are visiting.  If you or someone in your group has a life threatening health emergency, you should contact the local emergency number in your particular location.  If you do not know this number, you can contact Northeastern Travel Support Network’s international assistance hotline at +1.857.214.5332 for assistance in locating the nearest appropriate medical facility.  In any event, you should notify the hotline as soon as possible.  They will notify the appropriate contacts at the university and can also assist in arranging payment for emergency medical services and in providing interpreter services if required.

The international assistance hotline can be contacted at +1.857.214.5332 (international collect calls are accepted).

Urgent Care

If you are aware of or have a relationship with an appropriate medical facility in your location, go to that location.  If you need assistance locating an appropriate medical provider, contact Northeastern Travel Support Network’s international assistance hotline for help.  If your condition arises during and in the course of the NU sponsored trip, the Travel Support Network can assist in setting up a Guarantee of Payment at the facility you are visiting.  This is widely accepted by most hospitals and clinics.  If the provider accepts the Guarantee of Payment, the provider will bill NU for the services.  If the provider does not accept the payment, you may need to pay up front for the services and then be reimbursed for eligible expenses.  If you need to be reimbursed, please contact and our claims team will assist you.

The international assistance hotline can be contacted at +1.857.214.5332 (international collect calls are accepted).

Other Medical Care

If you have a chronic condition that requires or may require you to receive care while you are away on an NU sponsored trip, you should work with your medical providers and health insurance company to arrange appropriate services overseas.  Although WorldAware can be a resource to find physicians to work with you and your providers in the location(s) you are visiting, we recommend that you work through your medical providers to find the appropriate clinicians abroad.  You must rely on your personal health insurance for these services.

For medical care that is neither urgent nor emergency or care that is provided outside of the NU program dates or on side-trips outside of the program, you should rely on your personal health insurance.     Please work with your personal insurance company to determine your coverage overseas.  The examples of travel insurance above may be a resource for you to find coverage if your personal health plan cannot accommodate your need for coverage abroad.

Your Personal Insurance Coverage

  • All NU travelers traveling overseas are required to have personal health insurance
  • Contact your health insurance company to learn how you are covered for incidents that occur outside of MA and outside the country. Let them know specifically where you will be traveling- including lay-overs
    • NUSHP (NU Student Health Plan) – Provides some coverage on a reimbursement basis. See your plan for details. 617-373-8007
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield (offered to eligible employees of NU) – Provides some coverage on a reimbursement basis. See your plan or contact BCBSMA member services department at 888.543.8770 for details.
  • Rely on your personal insurance for :
    • Personal side trips, which is defined as leisure activity not directly related to the educational experience of the NU program.
    • Chronic conditions for which you need ongoing care
      • Make arrangements in advance with your treating providers & your health insurance company
    • Non-Emergency, Non Urgent Treatment
    • Elective procedures and treatments
    • Lost/broken glasses, contact lenses, medical devices
    • Travel outside of the official trip/program dates
    • Injuries, illness resulting from activities outside of the program activities

NU Program for Registered Travelers

  • Emergency and Urgent Only
  • Provides coverage for NU employees traveling abroad for injuries occurring in the scope of employment
  • Provides coverage only during official NU trip/program dates
  • No Deductible
  • Meets/exceeds minimum limits required by consulates for visa issuance
  • If you have eligible out of pocket expenses that need to be reimbursed, please contact for assistance in processing your claim.

Note: if the NU program responds to an accident or illness that is deemed to be outside of the program or not an emergency/urgent condition – the traveler may be billed back for the services and costs.

Travelers who have additional questions can consult with your program or university risk services via

The university’s Office of Risk Services can answer your questions.  The best way to contact the office is to email or view this website for additional contact information.

Injuries that occur on the job are the responsibility of the employer.  In the U.S., we have workers compensation that will pay your related medical expenses and lost time for injuries that happen in the course and scope of your employment.   Other countries have similar type programs. They vary by country and in many cases, as in the U.S.,  they also vary by state or province.  Before you accept a co-op position, you should confirm with your employer that they are covering you for work related injuries.  If you have any questions or cannot get confirmation, please see your co-op advisor for assistance.

If you leave the program location to go skiing or engage in other free time activities (e.g. you are in France and go to Italy), you must register your side trip on “My Travel Plans” found on the myNortheastern Portal under the “services and links” tab, so that the university can plan for resources and be better able to assist you in the event of an emergency.  Please review the university’s guidance on side trips prior to your departure.

Regardless of whether you are skiing, zip lining, or simply doing a bicycle tour outside of the program, the university’s assistance program (NU WorldAware) may be able to assist and provide you with resources to get the help and treatment that you need. However, you will be responsible for the medical bills as well as other expenses that may be incurred by you that result from your leisure time activities (e.g., special transportation or returning home if the injury is severe).

All students traveling abroad are required to have personal health insurance that will cover them for activities and travel outside of the NU program.  If you have NUSHP (Northeastern University Student Health Plan), this meets the requirement.  If you have health insurance other than NUSHP, you should check with your health insurance provider prior to departure to understand how it may (or may not) provide coverage overseas.  For additional information, please visit

No.  The university does not provide insurance coverage for students renting or driving vehicles abroad.  This includes cars, vespas, motor scooters, motorcycles, and other types of powered vehicles.  You must have your own personal insurance for liability purposes if you plan to rent or drive a vehicle while abroad.  You are also responsible for any medical costs incurred as a result of you driving a vehicle overseas.  The university’s program does not provide this coverage.

Special Notes for Co-op Students:
If you are on a co-op abroad and your employer requires you to drive on business, you should ask your employer to confirm that you are covered under their insurance.   See your co-op advisor if you have any questions or cannot get confirmation.

Yes.  The University provides coverage for accidents (including repatriation) that occur while you are away on a university-sponsored program or work-related activity, but does not cover you for routine sickness or medical needs while you are out of the country.

The Policy on International Travel requires “All students undertaking University-sponsored International Travel must possess personal health insurance that meets minimum standards as prescribed by the university.”  Personal health insurance coverage varies by vendor and type. Therefore, all travelers should call their insurance company and ask about coverage in the destination countries. The U.S. Department of State suggests some questions to ask your insurer, including:

  • Does my plan cover emergency expenses abroad such as returning me to the United States for treatment if I become seriously ill?
  • Do you require pre-authorizations or second opinions before emergency treatment can begin?
  • Do you guarantee medical payments abroad?

The university recommends travelers ask how the billing and payment for any services provided overseas will be handled and what paperwork you may need to make a claim. Travelers should request a full summary of benefits out of country.

If you have questions about university provided travel insurance, please email Risk Services at