Lars Kohler is excited about his study program in the United States—after all, it has always been his dream to study marine biology. One of the things he has to pack, along with his clothes and books, of course, is international student insurance, sometimes called study abroad insurance. There are others from his university who are also enrolled in different programs in the United States, though.

Lars has two options now: To purchase individual exchange program insurance (also called J-1 insurance) and to purchase group study abroad insurance along with his friends and colleagues. There are several plans available for both options. However, Lars needs to look up a couple of things before purchasing the insurance plan.

First, he needs to check that the insurance that he purchases satisfies all the requirements of insurance put forth by his university, the exchange program, as well as any requirements that the U.S. Department of State has for his visa status. For example, if he is coming to the U.S. under a J-1 visa, there are several prerequisites that the health plan must satisfy.

Lars must also think about purchasing long-term study abroad insurance, depending on the duration of study. There are several insurance plans in the market—for example, Patriot Exchange Group Insurance and Student Health Advantage plans. The important thing is to look for necessary and relevant coverage.