Study Abroad is a Big Market for Travel Insurance

  • Angela Borden
Jun 12, 2018

Did you know studying abroad continues to be a growing trend around the world and in the U.S.?

This, of course, means the market for our Liaison Student plans is also growing. It is important for study abroad students to have proper insurance to protect them while they are away from home.   

U.S. Students Traveling Abroad  

According to Institute of International Education (IIE), greater than 325,000 students studied abroad in the 2015/2016 school year, and this number has grown 19 percent over the past five years. And this trend is likely to increase! For students with a  Bachelor's degree, about 15.5 percent of them participated in a study abroad program before they graduated. Also, think of your own experience — several years ago, you may have heard intermittently about college and graduate students traveling abroad. Now, it is much more common to know many students who are venturing abroad for a different type of learning experience.  

Where are U.S. Students Studying Abroad?  

IIE states that 32% of U.S. study abroad students go to the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany. China is the sixth most popular destination.

Remember that for a portion of this market, parents will be the purchasers, buying travel insurance for their kids. It's important to keep that in mind if you choose to market to this group.   

International Students Traveling to the United States 

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information system (SEVIS) is a nationwide, internet-based system maintained by the U.S. government to track information on foreign nationals who travel to the United States to study. Specifically, they track a few visa types that can be protected by a Liaison student plan, including F-1, M-1, and J-1 visitors. In a comparison of March 2017 to March 2018, SEVIS shows that F and M students decreased a small amount (0.5 percent) while the number of J-1 visitors coming to the United States increased from 201,408 in March of 2017 to 209,568 visitors in March of 2018 (an increase of 4 percent). Likewise, IIE's Open Doors Report supports an increase, with 85% more international students studying in the U.S. than in the prior decade.  

Who is Traveling to the U.S.? 

Almost 50 percent of international students in the U.S. come from China and India according to IIE. For the third year in a row, the largest growth was for students from India, including graduate level and optional practical training (OPT).* China remains the top sending country, but India's growth rate is outpacing China's. Each of the top 25 places of origin had more than 7,000 students in the U.S.! That represents a large market for the student travel insurance.  

If you don't have one already, you might want to consider a strategy for reaching these students, who will need a student travel plan to ensure they are properly protected while they are in the United States.  

Third Country Travel 

In addition to students traveling in and out of the United States, there is also a large group of students traveling to and from other countries outside the U.S. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the number of international students abroad has been increasing by approximately 12 percent each year in the 21st century. 

In an effort to expand the market for student travel insurance, the Liaison Student plans now cover non-U.S. citizens traveling to locations outside the U.S. as well as to the United States. 

*Students studying in the United States who are involved with Optional Practical Training (OPT) are covered by Liaison Student plans.  

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