A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

What about health and medical issues when living overseas

What if I get sick - or hurt?

Most employers in most countries will provide you with a very basic form of health/medical  insurance. 

In some countries, you will become eligible for the national health care system, in others you will belong to a private plan that your employer has purchased for you (or you may pay for a certain percentage of the coverage).

Is the provided coverage adequate/enough?

If you are young and healthy, don't ride a motorcycle or engage in dangerous activities, and don't travel to other countries -  then it probably is.  These type coverages are fine for the occasional cold or semi-serious illness.  But they are not adequate for long-term or out-of-country coverage, or for any kind of serious or catastrophic illness or injury. 

If you are thinking about teaching English abroad long-term, are middle-aged or older, and/or ride a motorcycle - then consider purchasing a good quality policy that you can take with you from country to country.

Aren't these type policies expensive?

Yes, and no.

What is really expensive is to have a serious medical problem and no, or lousy, coverage.  Yes, you will find that some policies offered by major insurance providers quite expensive.  But there are some reasonable alternatives.  Do a web search for alternatives - read the fine print and make an educated decision about what might work best for you.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is a good option if you want some coverage only while out of the country where you are working - as your work coverage will not usually cover you out of the country, on the way to your job, or on your way home.  And, after all, one reason for choosing TEFL as a job alternative - is so you can travel.

  I feel better already - knowing that you - at the very least - know something that you really need to know if you are going to live and work overseas. 


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