August 11th, 2014 by Ross Mason
Accepted at George Fox University
George Fox University is located in the state of Oregon. It is a Christian university that has a supportive community that encourages academic rigor and spiritual growth, and is home to about 3,700 students each academic year. George Fox University requires students to have health insurance, and the university also provides Health and Counseling services on campus for all students. Along with needing to have Health Insurance all students are required to have received the measles/mumps/rebella (MMR) vaccination prior to attending class. This can be done prior to getting on to campus or for a fee can be done at the GFU Health and Counseling Center.
George Fox University has their own school health insurance plan but if you can find another, alternative health insurance plan, you can fill out a waiver form with the university.
This years deadline for waiving the school plan is August 16, 2014.
School Insurance Plan
The University has a student health insurance plan for all international students, called the George Fox University International Student Insurance Plan. It is provided by UnitedHealthcare, and the cost for this plan is $1,598 for 12 months of coverage. You can find full information about the plan through your school.
Alternative Insurance Coverage
Students are, however, allowed to purchase alternative insurance coverage, which could save you up to $1,000 per year, and one such approved plan is our International Student Health Insurance plan. This health insurance plan is not through George Fox University, but the school will allow you to purchase our plan, in place of the school’s insurance plan. If you decide to purchase our International Student Health Insurance plan, you will need to then complete the George Fox University Health Insurance waiver form.
Under our plan there are three options – Smart, Budget and Select. The Smart plan is the base level of coverage, Budget is the middle plan and the Select is our highest level of coverage. All three plans cover a range of benefits, so please be sure to visit the website to learn more about the various levels, or contact our team so that we can help you pick the right level for you!
Why Purchase Alternative Coverage?
There are many reasons why students will want to purchase alternative health insurance coverage, but the leading factor is that it will save you money! Depending on which level of coverage our purchase through our plan, we can save you up to $1,000 per year on your health insurance coverage when compared to your school’s insurance plan. The plan has also been accepted by your school, so there should be no problem in waiving coverage.
If you would like more information about our plan – please either visit our website or contact our customer support team!
August 6th, 2014 by Ross Mason
Accepted by Digipen!
Offering dedicated programs in computer science, digital art, and computer engineering, DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington is known to be a “world-renowned leader in education and research in computer interactive technologies.” International students who are looking for a place of higher education that is committed to fostering academic growth and inspiring creativity in all its students will thrive in DigiPen’s graduate and undergraduate programs. Each degree program has an advisory committee comprised of faculty, staff, and industry professionals who assess the curriculum on an annual basis for proper rigor and applicable content. The institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges to teach an approximate 1,055 students from 35 countries.
With 9 percent of the enrolled students coming internationally, DigiPen wants to ensure that all international students are enrolled in a health and accident insurance policy before the start of classes. The institute allows international students to choose an insurance plan that suits their needs, providing they submit proof of insurance before the start of the semester. DigiPen encourages students to choose a plan that provides:
- Medical Expenses Coverage
- Lifetime maximum benefit—minimum $1,000,000
- Policy year maximum benefit—minimum $250,000
- Maximum benefit per injury or sickness—minimum $250,000
- Repatriation of Remains Coverage
- Medical Evacuation Coverage
Because there are so many options for international students when it comes to choosing a health insurance plan, DigiPen Institute of Technology makes the search easier and more convenient by featuring our own international student health insurance plan on their website. The plan covers and exceed the Digipen Institute of Technology International Student Insurance recommendations for necessary coverage for international students. The coverage is offered on a monthly basis and international students with the F-1 visa are automatically eligible. The plan includes the following main benefits:
- Doctors visits
- Pre-existing Conditions
- Maternity and Newborn Care
- Mental Health Disorders
- Emergency Medical Evacuation
- Repatriation of Remains
The Budget and Select plans reflect DigiPen’s recommended coverage and will keep international students financially safe if any health problems arise during their educational stay. These plans can start at just $36 or $62 a month, saving students in some cases more than $1,000 per year!
Once you have purchased your insurance plan online, international students must fill out the Proof of Insurance Form provided by DigiPen Institute of Technology and submit it with a copy of a card or certificate that indicates the dates of coverage, the terms in English, and coverage amounts listed in U.S. dollars. International students who do not provide this proof of insurance by the time the semester begins may have their enrollment in the institute and their F-1 visa canceled. This process should occur at the start of every academic year.
If you need help purchasing coverage for the Digipen Institute of Technology, please contact us and we will be happy to guide you!
August 4th, 2014 by Victoria Troupe
August has arrived again and the carefree whims of June and July are nothing but a fond memory again. Sure, the sun is still shining, the pools and beaches still crowded, but the school year ahead is looming over again like the cool breeze of the autumn, waiting to force the white sundresses into the closets and the students back into the stale classrooms. It’s only a few short weeks now until you’re sitting at your desk, listening to your mundane professor ramble on about the obscurities of life, thinking back on the summer you’ve had. What do you see? Did you study to get ahead in school? Did you stay home and work to make extra cash? Although a commendable use of your time, do you wish you had escaped for just awhile to test your limits and see the world? Or maybe you took the trip of a lifetime and saw a far away place that you’ll never forget. Regardless of what memories your summer brings, it’s never too early to get inspired to make your next summer vacation the best it can be!
Planning the perfect summer trip can take time, so start early! Start now! Here are some summer travel inspirations for students to help you through the strenuous school year to come, and to help you on your way to the summer vacation of your life.
Social learning and work and travel programs – If you prefer to spend your spare time learning and preparing for your future, travel may offer some surprising opportunities. There are programs all over the world that that allow you to learn while traveling. For instance, if you are interested in studying a foreign language, language immersion can be a smart choice. Resources like ESLdirectory.com and Study Travel offer different programs and information about studying language around the world.
If you want to attain new skills or study in the field, you can also look into intern abroad programs and trips. Check out Go Abroad and United Planet for great interning, teaching, and volunteering opportunities overseas. The programs look great on your résumé, and may even offer college credit! Many programs are flexible with dates, duration and location.
Of course, your college or university might offer some interesting opportunities to travel abroad and earn college credit. Check with your Study Abroad office to see what programs are available.
Cheap travel deals for students - Let’s face it. Students are tight on cash. We pay big money to sit and listen to the professor ramble on and challenge our young minds to the core. Student deals and discounts make traveling easier when every penny counts. For example, Student Universe gives options for discounted travel and tours for students.
Travel sites like CheapOair.com, Priceline, Hotwire and Kayak.com offer great deals on airfare and accommodations. Low-budget airlines line Ryanair are great money-saving options for short trips from country to country. Hostels, couchsurfing, and other hospitality organizations are popular among many students that can’t afford expensive hotels.
While you’re abroad, the International Student Identity Card can help ensure a cheaper summer trip, with discounts on travel and services. Showing the card will award you a student discount to most major museums and tourist attractions.
Unique experiences for a lifetime – Some destinations are especially great for students and offer a great combination of wonder, fun, and affordability. The Guardian recently rated the top 10 student trips. Here they are:
No matter your reason for traveling, you can be sure that leaving your comfort zone and experiencing new, exciting places and people will make your next summer vacation a memory that will last a lifetime. And you’ve got all year to look forward to it.
July 28th, 2014 by Bryanna Davis
If you already know that you want to become an international student in the US but are unsure when it comes to where to study- let our top 6 cities for international students in the US help you decide! These US cities have become popular with international students recently not just because they are host great schools- but because they’re able to cater to the lifestyle of an international student thanks to the diverse culture, access to the arts, and the variety of public transportation. Plus, they know how to show visitors a good time.
See why we consider these the top 6 cities for international students in the USA to study, then check out if they will be a good fit for you.
- Los Angeles (LA): In LA you can find a number of great schools like University of Southern California and the University of Los Angeles. This city is home to Hollywood, a district known for hosting movie stars and the Hollywood sign and is also often called the “Creative Capital of the World.” If you’re itching for somewhere to stretch your creative legs and get noticed, LA is a good option for you.
- New York City: If you’ve heard of “The Big Apple” then you’ve heard of New York City. It’s a city full of skyscrapers, bustling people and culture. If you prefer a building skyline to a tree line and honking horns to chirping birds then New York City will capture your heart. There you can see numerous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, a series of infamous bridges like the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge, Times Square, Ellis Island and Central Park. Whether you walk, take the metro or hire a cab, the vast variety of transportation makes navigating the city as an international student an easy one. New York City also has a number of great schools for international students to choose from including New York University and Columbia University.
- Chicago: Although this Midwestern city is known as the “Windy City,” the weather won’t keep you from experiencing all this city has to offer. By taking the local metro, known as the “L” you can experience Chicago style pizza, take pictures by the bean, hangout at one of the lake beaches or catch a show at the Chicago Theatre.
- Boston: As the largest city in Massachusetts, and the state capital, Boston boasts endless gardens, museums, performing arts centers and theatres. Northeastern University and Boston University are just two schools in Boston you will want to make sure you consider.
- Philadelphia: Home to more public arts than any other US city, the cheesesteak and soft pretzels, you can’t go wrong if you choose to study in Philadelphia! Philadelphia is also home to numerous Fortune 500 companies making your chance of landing a great OPT opportunity pretty good. Check out the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University if you’re considering Philadelphia.
- Austin: If you’re looking for a city that can take you on a path less traveled, Austin is your city. With the motto “Keep Austin Weird” it’s hard to disrupt this city, making adjusting as an international student an easy task. Another perk is that you can save money on bus or metro fair- Walk Score ranked Austin the 35th most walkable city in the US in 2013. If interested in Austin make sure to check out the University of Texas.
If you choose to study in one of these top 6 cities for international students in the USA, make sure you check the insurance requirements of the school you choose to see if one of our plans will meet.
July 14th, 2014 by Ross Mason
Summer of Fun Competition
This summer, ISI is offering you not one chance – but two chances to win $500! The 2014 Summer Fun Competition runs all the way through July and August and its your chance to win one of our $500 prizes, or you can enter in both ways and win up to $1,000!
The competition is very easy – so there is no excuse to not enter!
We have two entry methods:
- Share our US Healthcare System Video to one of your preferred social network OR
- Tell us about your experience purchasing your insurance plan with us.
Then all you need to do is complete our application form (you will need to complete it twice if you want to enter in both categories) which can be found on our Summer Fun competition page:
The winners will be selected at random after the competition closes and we will announce them in our September customer newsletter and post them on our website.
July 7th, 2014 by Victoria Troupe
F-1 visa holders are required to return to their home country within 60 days of graduation. The only exception, besides a visa status change, is to apply for Optional Practical Training. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a special opportunity for international students to further hone their skills by working in their field of study.
Here are the eligibility requirements in order to apply for OPT:
- You must be in F-1 status.
- You must have enrolled in a full course of study for one academic year or will complete one academic year by the date the OPT approval begins.
- You have not exceeded 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization.
If you meet these requirements, you are eligible to apply for OPT. However, the application process can be difficult. Here are 5 tips to make sure your OPT application goes smoothly.
- Do not wait for a job offer to apply for OPT. You are allowed to apply up to 90 days before your program ends and it is a good idea to allow the full 3 months for the application processing, processing in your international student office, and mailing.
- Make sure the job you take relates to your major or field of study. While on F-1 OPT, the work you will perform must directly relate to your major area of study. If you are starting a business, the majority of the work you perform must be directly related to your major area of study.
- Choose your OPT start date wisely. The “start date” is the date your work permission begins. You cannot work earlier than the start date, but you can start working later. As mentioned, your requested start date must be within 60 days after your program completion date. Changing the requested OPT dates after the application has been submitted can be very difficult, so choose your dates carefully.
- Complete and submit all of the required documents. They are:
- Completed I-765 Form
- Photocopy of all revised and previously issued I-20 Forms
- Photocopy of passport identification page
- Photocopy of F-1 visa page
- Two passport photos
- Photocopy of the front and back of your I-94 card OR your F-1 admission stamp in your passport and a printout of your electronic I-94 information
- Photocopy of previously issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (if applicable)
- Check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
- Completed G-1145 Form (for convenient email or text notifications of your application processing
- Mail your application within 30 days of the new OPT-endorsed I-20 being issued. Late applications will be denied.
Be sure to check with your school’s international student services office for full details about their approval process and for help receiving your revised I-20. Remember these 5 tips and your OPT application will go as smoothly as possible.
June 30th, 2014 by Bryanna Davis
If you’re planning on studying in Denmark as an international student, you might be wondering what you need when it comes to meeting the international student insurance requirements for Denmark. The answer is- it will depend on your situation.
First, it’s important to realize that Denmark has nationalized healthcare. This means that eligible citizens in Denmark do not need to purchase a private health insurance plan for most medical expenses. Instead, medical services are funded through taxation.
To see if and when you are eligible for the Danish Nationalized Healthcare, find the situation below that best fits yours as an international student inside of Denmark.
More than 3 months of study in Denmark:
Citizens of the EU- If you are from within the European Union, bring your European Health Insurance Card to have access to immediate health coverage within Denmark when needed. However, keep in mind that you will still need to register with the Danish National Healthcare system once you arrive.
Non-Citizens of the EU- If you’re not a citizen of a country that is part of the European Union, then you’re not eligible for the nationalized healthcare system for the first three months you are inside Denmark. However, as soon as you arrive make sure you apply for the Danish National Healthcare so you can have coverage after your third month. In the mean time you’ll need to purchase a private health insurance plan for the first three months you’re inside Denmark so you can have coverage as needed.
Less than 3 months of study in Denmark:
Citizens of the EU- As mentioned previously, if you are citizen of the EU you have access to the Danish National Healthcare right away, as long as you bring your European Health Insurance Card.
Non-Citizens of the EU- If you are not from a country within the EU and you will be studying in Denmark for less than three months you will not be eligible for the Danish National Healthcare. This means you will need to purchase a private health insurance plan that meets the Schengen Visa insurance requirements for your time inside of Denmark.
No matter how long you are staying, something else you will want to take into consideration is that the Danish healthcare service will not provide dental insurance coverage. Even if you qualify for the national insurance, you might want to purchase a private insurance plan for dental coverage.
As touched on previously, if you will be inside Denmark for less than three months and you are not a citizen of the EU, you will need to purchase a private health insurance plan that will meet the Schengen Visa insurance requirements. If this applies to you, find a plan that meets the following requirements:
- The insurance company has a representative office in Europe
- Medical expenses, medical evacuation, and repatriation coverage of at least US $37,500 (or the equivalent of 30,000 euros)
- Insurance is valid for the duration of stay in the Schengen countries
If you have any questions when it comes to international student insurance requirements for Denmark or finding a plan that will meet the Schengen Visa requirements, contact one of our agents for further information.
June 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel
Summer time is here, and that means that many students will be grabbing their backpacks and making the journey across Europe. While most students venture to the big – and expensive cities – such as London, Paris, Prague, take the path less traveled and you might just surprise yourself (and spare your wallet!).
Here are 3 top hidden European travel destinations for students to enjoy:
1. Riga, Latvia
One of the secret treasures, Riga is the capital of Latvia, and has been influenced by the Germans and Russians due to centuries of occupation. This has characterized much of the architecture which has both Jugendstil and communist design. Not only will you have eye candy, but you’ll find Riga a hip and vibrant place for students to explore and enjoy! With its youthful population, students can find bars, clubs, and cafes within walking distance.
2. Bucharest, Romania
Want a “little Paris” without the price tag? Bucharest may just be the perfect place for you! Bucharest is Romania’s largest city and capital, with an abundance of things to do! With its Old Center, Parliament Palace, and not to mention – tons of museums, Bucharest will enchant you! With a prospering Jazz scene and abundance of parks, you will be fascinated by this multicultural city.
3. Valencia, Spain
A beautiful, charming old city, Valencia is located right on the Mediterranean Sea within 3-4 hours drive from Madrid and Barcelona. Are you a foodie? Did you know that Valencia is the birthplace of paella? If you go in March, there is the famous Fallas Festival. If you are looking for some time in the water, take your pick of the beach or hot springs, where you can just relax and enjoy yourself!
Have you traveled throughout Europe and have some hidden destinations of your own? Share it with us – we’d love to hear what secret town you found, and how to maximize your vacation without breaking the bank!
June 20th, 2014 by Ross Mason
What Belgium Offers International Students
When looking at international destinations to study abroad, most students who are looking to Europe tend to opt for England, Spain, Italy or maybe even Germany. But, a country that is often overlooked is Belgium – and we are here to tell you why you should consider it as a study destination as Belgium has so much to offer.
So what does Belgium offer to International Students?
Without a doubt, you cannot get more centrally located in Europe than Belgium. The country borders France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, all within a few hours drive or train, and you have access to the EuroStar which takes you directly into London, and of course air connections to all of Europe. Without a doubt, you cannot get a better location if you are looking for a starting point to explore all parts of Europe when you have time.
Most schools in Belgium teach in English, so for a lot of students this is an added benefit – but the level of multiculturalism is unrivaled. For example, there is not just one official language, not even two – but they have in fact 3 official languages; French, German and Dutch. You could not pick a better country if you are looking to really dive into languages and immerse yourself!
With prices across Europe generally increasing, with the UK now costing up to £38,000 in some places, international students in Belgium are typically going to be able to save more money. The cost of living is generally low, especially if you are also permitted to work during your studies, and you still have access to some of the world’s leading universities.
Quality of Life
Like other parts of mainland Europe, the quality of life in Belgium is very high. Not only do you have a vast array of architecturally rich cities like Bruge or Ghent, but you also have the benefit from being in one of the safest parts of Europe and access to an internationally renown healthcare system. All these things come together to offer students a very high quality of life, that perhaps other parts of Europe could not.
To learn more about the various options for international students, including health insurance and visa requirements, please visit our Belgium International Student center for more information.
June 9th, 2014 by Victoria Troupe
Applying for a F1 student visa to study in the United States can be a long and tedious process. Once you finally make it to the interview at the US consulate, you’ll want to be ready to tackle any questions that are thrown at you so that there is no doubt that you are a qualified candidate to study in the States. Here is a list of the top 5 F1 visa interview questions that you can expect.
- “Why are you going to the US to study?” This and similar questions regarding your plans to pursue higher education outside of your home country can be expected. You’ll need a good reason why an education in the US is better for you than an education back home and why you prefer to study instead of joining the workforce.
- “What university will you attend and why?” Your choice of university says a lot about you as a person and student. Acceptance into multiple, reputable universities and your comparisons among them can shed light on your ambition and future goals.
- “What are your GPA, GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, and IELTS scores?” Not surprisingly, you will need to prove your academic capability. Being a successful student at home does not necessarily mean that you will be successful at an US university. Study abroad experience is something to mention, as well as strong written and spoken English.
- “How do you plan to pay for your educational and living expenses?” Arguably the most important aspect of your interview is proving that you can afford to study abroad. Be prepared to give details about your income, your sponsor’s income, and your plan to budget for things like room and board, food, insurance, transportation, etc., as well as your tuition and fees.
- “Do you plan to return to your home country after your program is completed?” F1 visas are only granted to those that have ties to their home country that will ensure that they will return there after their studies are over.
Although these are popular F1 visa interview questions, there is no way of knowing what questions your interviewer will ask of you. Being confident and prepared is the key! Check out this article on Questions to Expect during your F1 Visa Interview for more information.