An important, but often overlooked, part of the study abroad program is arranging for comprehensive health insurance coverage. Having appropriate insurance coverage is important, because without it, you may end up with costly health care bills long after your study abroad experience is over. Many students assume that the health coverage they have in the United States, whether under their parents' plan or their own, will cover them overseas as well. This often is not the case, as many policies have strict coverage limitations, or only cover medical emergencies abroad. The International Center, on behalf of the University of Missouri, requires that all students who study abroad provide proof that they have comprehensive health insurance coverage.
If you find that your current health insurance plan does not cover care overseas or only covers emergencies, you will need to purchase a comprehensive insurance plan for study abroad participants. The International Center at the University of Missouri recommends that you purchase the HTH Worldwide Sickness and Accident Policy for Study Abroad, a policy that was created especially for study abroad students from the four University of Missouri campuses. The cost of insurance has yet to be determined, but in past years it has never exceeded $90.00. More information on how to apply for insurance through HTH Worldwide go to the University of Missouri International Center.
You will need a valid passport to travel to the Republic of South Africa. Applying for a passport may take several months so you are advised to apply as soon as possible. For more information regarding passport applications, go to the U.S. Department of State Web site.
Currently, individuals traveling to South Africa on an American passport and planning to be in South Africa for less than 90 days DO NOT need a visa. You may contact the South African Consulate by calling (312) 939-7929 if you have any questions about visa requirements. Make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport before traveling.
The United States Department of State issues Travel Warnings when it decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. AT THIS TIME THERE ARE NO TRAVEL WARNING WITH REGARD TO SOUTH AFRICA.
For information regarding up-to-date travel warnings, go to the State Department's Web page.
For more information from the State Department regarding South Africa, go to the South Africa Consular Information Web page.