General Advice on Health, Safety, and Insurances in Asia

Here you will find some general information about vaccinations, health care services, safe driving, natural disasters, and travel insurances for your studies abroad in Asia. You can find more detailed safety information in the Asia Exchange Guide for each destination, which you will receive after being accepted to one of our study abroad programs.



Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date before going abroad.

The essentials:

  • MMR
  • Diphtheria-tetanus

Consider also:

  • Hepatitis A and B

Other vaccinations are usually optional; their necessity depends on the destination, the length of the stay, and other destinations you may plan to visit.

Vaccinations always depend on the individual, so remember to consult your physician. Inform your doctor if you plan to stay in rural areas or travel to remote destinations.

Some vaccinations can also be bought in Asia more affordably than in your home country (Japanese encephalitis and Malaria, for example). It may take a while for the immunity to develop. Ask your doctor for more information.


Especially in the larger cities and tourist areas, healthcare services are of Western standards, and most hospitals have employees who speak fluent English.

The most encountered illnesses for travellers are stomach flu, dehydration, and cold caused by the excessive use of air conditioning. It’s easy to avoid these by taking care of hand hygiene, choosing your restaurants carefully, drinking enough fluids (bottled water and sports drinks), and not turning the AC on too high. Tropical countries also have more exotic illnesses, and the local healthcare providers will have the best knowledge about them.

In Asia, more non-prescription medications are available at pharmacies than in most European countries. The pharmacy staff can also help find a cure for the most common tourist illnesses.

Safety in Asia

All our study destinations are very safe. Violence, in general, is rare, especially towards foreigners. Mutual respect is essential. The greatest danger can be the heavy traffic which can be quite different from what you’re used to at home.


Many Asian countries have left-sided traffic, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it. The traffic culture differs from Europe and North America and can initially seem chaotic. Still, the traffic flows according to its own rules. Traffic jams are a part of everyday life, but metros and sky trains help ease traffic in larger cities.

Scooters are a popular form of transportation, especially in Bali and Phuket. Many exchange students choose to ride a scooter, even if they hesitate to do so initially. Our students have only had a few minor accidents, but if you decide to ride a scooter, proceed at your own pace and always remain calm and alert while riding.


Riding a scooter, a motorcycle, or a car abroad most often requires a local or international driver’s license. You can get a local license from the local authorities and acquire an international driving license in your home country.

Not all travelers get one of the licenses mentioned above. This could, however, cause difficulties if you have an accident and try to claim your insurance company.

Acquiring an appropriate driver’s license is recommended mainly for two reasons

  • The local authorities expect drivers to have a local or an international driver’s license, and they might give a fine to drivers who don’t carry either one of the licenses.
  • In case of possible accidents, drivers may be expected to present an appropriate driver’s license to the authorities and their insurance company. Not having a driver’s license may affect how much your insurance company is willing to compensate for injuries or material damages.

Ask your insurance company for more information regarding driving abroad.


The safety of our students is our topmost priority. Although Asia is generally very safe, there are some precautions you are wise to take. In addition to being insured, one of the most important precautions is having proper vaccinations. Read more about health and safety below.


Every student is required to make sure that their insurance policies are in order before going abroad. Ask your insurance company about the kind of traveler’s insurance they offer and whether or not it can be combined affordably with home insurance. Remember to ask which activities your insurance policy will cover if you plan on doing extreme sports, such as diving, surfing, bungee jumping, rock climbing, hang-gliding, or parachuting. Travel insurance often does not cover extreme sports, and additional insurance policies can be expensive.

You can ask your insurance company whether they have agreements with hospitals at your exchange destination. If they do, the hospital may be able to bill your insurance company directly when you show them your traveler’s insurance card. You can also pay for the medical bills and have them reimbursed after you return home.

You might also want to consider flight cancellation insurance for your airline tickets because most airlines will only allow you to cancel your flights with a doctor’s certificate.

Most of our students recommend STAY Travel Insurance and Cap Student as excellent options for various types of travel insurance.


STAY Travel Insurance

The STAY Travel Insurance products of HanseMerkur range from health insurance to comfort packages with various benefits. Find out more under the following links.

Cap Student

Our partner Chapka Assurances, offers the Cap Student, an affordable insurance contract designed for students studying abroad. This offer includes, amongst others, medical expenses and unlimited hospitalization with no excess. Find out more under the following link:


The WorldPass offer, provided by HEYME, will guarantee you a refund of your medical expenses from the 1st euro. Our collaboration with Heyme grants you 5% discount on your insurance.

Find out more here.

International Student Health Insurance Europe by Swisscare

Swisscare offers various solutions in the area of international student health and travel insurance.

Swisscare Student Insurance plans come in three levels, providing you with the choices and coverage you need.

Standard (max. annual benefits: 50 000 €)

  • Medical protection
  • Inpatient treatments
  • Outpatient treatments
  • Dental up to 300 €
  • Luggage up to 2000 €
  • Third-party liability
  • Repatriation to home country
  • Repatriation mortal remains
  • Assistance 24/7

Comfort (max. annual benefits: 150 000 €)

  • Medical protection
  • Inpatient treatments
  • Outpatient treatments
  • Dental up to 500 €
  • Luggage up to 2500 €
  • Third-party liability
  • Repatriation to home country
  • Repatriation mortal remains
  • Assistance 24/7

Premium (max. annual benefits: 500 000 €)

  • Medical protection
  • Inpatient treatments
  • Outpatient treatments
  • Dental up to 1000 €
  • Luggage up to 3500 e
  • Third-party liability
  • Repatriation to home country
  • Repatriation mortal remains
  • Assistance 24/7

Unique benefits

  • Instant certificate delivery by email
  • Sickness and accident
  • Third-party liability
  • Worldwide cover
  • Travel benefits
  • 3 insurance sums of 50K, 150K and 500K
  • Assistance 24/7


You only pay for the total of insured days. In other words, no hidden costs.





0.58 €

17.28 €


0.64 €

19.20 €


0.91 €

27.36 €

Apply online

If you are looking for an insurance, or wish to change your existing policy, e.g., to extend your cover, go to Swisscare’s website.

For any additional questions, please visit the Contact Us section on Swisscare’s Student Insurance website.

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