A pharmacist talking to a student about a prescription drug

Becoming injured or falling sick in another country can be a stressful experience. Having suitable health insurance coverage for your international work term can relieve that stress and is mandatory for working abroad. It is important that you know and understand the details of your health insurance coverage prior to travelling abroad.

Eligible insurance plans

If you plan to work abroad, you must have suitable health insurance to cover your time outside of Canada. Your options include:

  1. WUSA/GSA extended health and dental insurance plans. Ensure you have not opted out of this plan at the start of this term under the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) health and dental plans or Graduate Students Association (GSA) health and dental plans.
  2. Other health insurance coverage plans. If you are covered by your parent/caregiver’s plan or another health insurance plan, please ensure you are aware of the details and that the coverage is adequate for your work term abroad. Be sure to check before you opt out of WUSA/GSA student extended health and dental plans.

Note for U.S. work terms: Visa sponsor agencies have different health insurance requirements – some may accept the WUSA/GSA health and dental plan, others may have their own mandatory plan. Contact your visa sponsor to confirm their requirements and review our U.S. work permit page for more information.

More about WUSA/GSA health and dental plan

WUSA and the GSA have partnered with Studentcare to provide students with extended health and dental coverage. Get to know your plan and how to use it so you are ready in case you become sick or injured while working abroad. Before your travel for your international work term, be sure you have the following:

  • Group number and plan
  • Opt-out and opt-in details
  • Your Travel Health Passport, which includes a detailed explanation of coverage —it is a best practice to print your Medi-Passport insurance card to have with you
  • The Studentcare mobile app downloaded to your mobile device to digitally access your Travel Health Passport

Have questions about eligibility or have opted out? Visit the Studentcare website or Health Services.

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and working abroad

OHIP does not provide health insurance coverage outside of Ontario, but you will need to extend your OHIP coverage if you will be outside of Canada for more than seven months in a 12-month period (e.g., back-to-back, or two separate work terms in one year).

If you are a Canadian resident from outside of Ontario, please refer to your provincial Ministry of Health for more information related to travel or work abroad. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable work term abroad!