Restless youth have always yearned to travel and live abroad, and today's students are no exception. In 2000-2001 more than 150,000 U.S. college students received credit for study abroad, twice as many as ten years before1. For as long as young people have journeyed abroad, their parents have been anxious about their health and safety. Parents' worries have grown more acute as students have ventured to more exotic places like Latin America, which is twice as common a study abroad destination as it was 15 years ago.1
Helping students travel, live and study abroad safely and securely is HTH Worldwide's continuing mission. HTH's unique proposition to study abroad students and, by extension, their parents is the offer of both unsurpassed international health insurance coverage and online and telephone supported assistance. HTH's assistance services are designed to help students avoid Dengue Fever, undrinkable water, a military coup, outdated hospitals, unqualified doctors and all the other health and safety challenges they may encounter.
With the HTH Study Abroad Parents website, HTH is expanding its commitment to promote a healthy and safe study abroad experience by including those who love the venturesome student most. Here's a sample of what you as a parent or guardian of an international student can do on www.hthparents.com with a focus on your student's destination:
- Help your student find a doctor or dentist outside the U.S., or find one for yourself. Review the doctor's credentials and background online-even send an email to the doctor.
- Learn emergency numbers, vaccination requirements, pharmacy standards and the names of notable hospitals and clinics.
- Review detailed security profiles.
- Review recent health and security news-and receive breaking news by email.
- Translate prescription drug names and important medical phrases and terms so they're recognizable by local medical professionals.
More generally, you can:
- Learn about culture shock and the other emotional challenges of life abroad.
- Review your student's health insurance plan, learn how to file a claim, and download a claim form.
- Learn about your student's medical evacuation benefits.
HTH offers international students access to these services through www.hthstudents.com. Now, parents and guardians-in partnership with HTH Worldwide--can help their students prepare for their time abroad, and in the event of trouble, help them navigate the health and security issues they face.
Like leaving home for college, studying abroad can be an eye-opening adventure for both students and their parents. With careful preparation and a partner like HTH Worldwide, the experience can be life-changing, one that students often describe as the best part of their college years. As Shakespeare observed,
"Rather see the wonders of the world abroad, than, living dully sluggardized at home, wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness."
As parents, I hope you will find that HTH resources help you enjoy the wonders of the world through the healthy and safe experience of your international student. Please don't hesitate to contact me by email or phone (1-610-254-8704) if I can be of any assistance.
Eliot C. Heher, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Co-Founder
1 Open Doors Report, 2002. The Institute for International Education. www.iie.org.