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The world is your oyster – Insurance for student overseas work placements

Many students are able to take advantage of fantastic work experience opportunities overseas. Working abroad provides students with a chance to put their academic knowledge into practice, as well as to gain an international perspective in their chosen field.

In most cases, the University’s Public Liability and Travel insurance program will cover students who participate in overseas work experience activities provided that;

  • the work experience has been approved by the Head of School;
  • total time overseas (including all travel) does not exceed a total of 180 days (up to 365 days for postgraduates); and
  • any private travel does not exceed 50% of the total travel time and is for less than 28 days.

Students who exceed these time-frames must purchase top up cover as an attachment to the University policy prior to departure. If things change while overseas, top up cover can be purchased by contacting the University’s Insurance Broker before the period of cover expires. Make sure that you are familiar with the Student Travel Insurance Guide when planning your overseas travel.

All students who are participating in an overseas study experience including work experience, should register their experience in the Global Learning Application System. Please refer to page 7 of the Student Travel Insurance Guide or the Global Learning website.

Student Placement Agreements

Student placement agreements provide assurance that the host organisation will provide a level of insurance in addition to what the University provides. A Student Placement Agreement must be completed by the student and the host organisation.

The agreement must be approved on behalf of the University.

If the placement will be undertaken for course credit, students should complete the student placement agreement in the Work Experience & Community Placement guide. The Head of School must approve all placements for course credit.

If the placement is not for course credit, students need to complete the application in the Voluntary Placement Guide. Voluntary placements must be approved by the Legal and Risk Branch.

Some countries, such as the USA, require students to purchase country medical insurance in addition to what the University provides. Check with the relevant embassy well before departure.

An embassy has asked for proof of insurance as part of a visa application. What can be provided?

The Work Experience & Community Placement Insurance Guide includes Memoranda of Insurance, which can be printed as proof of insurance cover. If this is not sufficient, a letter of confirmation can be provided by Legal & Risk Branch. Please provide as much notice as possible and allow at least 3 working days.

A PhD student wants to undertake work experience in a country that has a level 3 DFAT warning. Can they go?

Probably—but certain conditions will be applied. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) routinely assesses the danger of travelling overseas and may issue travellers a warning against visiting some countries. A Level 3 warning advises people to “reconsider the need to travel”.

Final approval to travel to these destinations must be given by the Executive Dean of the relevant Faculty and the Vice-Chancellor & President. Approval will be based on a risk assessment of the proposed location and the individual’s familiarity with the country in question. For more details, refer to the Travel Safety section of the HSW handbook.

It is strongly recommended that all overseas travellers register with smartraveller.gov.au and review the advice provided for the country/countries they will be visiting.

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