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Insurance Requirements and Options for Studying Abroad in France

paris 153055856Ten of the top 25 study abroad destinations for US citizens are inside Europe- number four on that list is France, according to the 2011/2012 (IIE) Open Doors report. The latest report shows that there were 17,168 US students who studied abroad in France during the last academic year- a 0.9 percent increase from the year prior.

If you’re included in the steadily growing number of students (whether from the US or not) spending a semester, year, or degree abroad in France you must make sure you have the insurance you need. Your situation, including time abroad, will determine if you need a visa and to purchase private health insurance for France, or will be eligible for the French national healthcare system.

First, let’s take a look at the requirements!

If you are under 28 years old and staying for longer than 90 days in France you might be eligible for coverage under the national healthcare system in France. There will be a few factors that play into your eligibility, but if you are younger than 28 and will be in France on a long stay student visa, it doesn’t hurt to check it out!

If you’re older than 28 years old and in France on a long stay on a student visa (more than 90 days) you are required to show proof of private health insurance. If you will be there short term, less than 90 days, you will be on the Schengen visa if you are a non-US citizen. This also means you must show proof of private health insurance to meet your Schengen Visa Insurance requirements. Your health insurance plan must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum coverage must be EUR €30 000 (equivalent to $50,000 USD)
  • Coverage must be valid within the Schengen region and for the full duration of stay
  • Coverage for expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death

If you need to buy a private health insurance plan that will meet these requirements you have a few options to choose from, here are a few popular options that those studying abroad in France often purchase to show proof of coverage:

Travel Medical Insurance Even if you’re study abroad trip to France is short-term, you can still have a plan that will cover you for illness and injury when the need strikes. With this plan you can choose your coverage amount and deductible, this means you can choose your plan price.

Patriot Travel- Sometimes one year of coverage just isn’t enough. This plan is renewable for up to two years for anyone studying abroad outside of their home country. It’s also a great option for those who need flexibility in coverage and price.

Student Health Insurance- If you need coverage more long-term this plan is renewable up to four years. It will also provide coverage for mental health, maternity, pre-existing condition after a short wait and organized sports.

All three plans will give you immediate access to documentation after your purchase showing proof that you have the coverage you need, or are required to have while studying abroad in France.

If you would like personalized assistance finding a health insurance plan for your study abroad in France, please contact us for assistance.


Posted by Bryanna Davis

Bryanna joined International Student Insurance in 2011 after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.

4 thoughts on “Insurance Requirements and Options for Studying Abroad in France”

Garnet says:

Thanks, it is very informative

my website

Leah Hammond says:

Hi Garnet,

Thank you for visiting our blog and we are happy to see that you have found this information helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions on our insurance plans, as we would be happy to assist you! Best, Leah

Rebecca says:

My daughter will be studying in France for the Spring 2019 semester. Does she need the civil liability insurance? Would this be covered under our homeowners policy?

Thank you!

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your comment. I would recommend contacting your daughter’s school or the French embassy and they’ll be able to assist you with this question. Generally, civil liability coverage is required for anyone traveling to France. I would also recommend contacting your current homeowners insurance provider and asking them if the coverage extends internationally.

Best of luck!


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