Health & Safety
Medical Insurance Requirement
Medical health insurance coverage that is applicable outside of the United States (The Czech Republic in particular) is required for participation in the Prague Summer Film Program.
Full information can be found at the Massachusetts Health Insurance website if you have additional concerns about requirements. Talk to your insurance agent to see if your alternate health plan meets the following requirements:
- The plan must provide to the student reasonably comprehensive coverage of health services, including preventive and primary care, emergency services, hospitalization benefits, ambulatory patient services, and mental health services throughout the school year.
- The services covered under the alternate health plan must be reasonably accessible for all health services to the student in the area where the student attends school.
- A health plan through a closed network of providers and accessible only for emergency services is NOT comparable coverage. Students and parents should be aware of this very important fact.
- The burden of proof that the alternate insurance is adequate falls on the student.
Please check with your insurance agent regarding any policy questions or concerns you may have about health benefits while living and traveling in Europe. If you believe your current insurance policy does not provide sufficient medical coverage while out of your state/geographical service area, please research a health insurance plan that does. Please note the following:
Additional Study Abroad Insurance Health Plan Information
You are free to choose whatever health insurance plan meets the above requirements. We offer some links below so you can research other options. We do not make recommendations for any of these plans. It is best to talk to your insurance agent about which plan will work for you, or which plan could supplement your current insurance policy to meet the State of MA requirements.
Also, it will be helpful to read this USA Today article about study abroad insurance options.
Study Abroad Insurance
Payment for Medical Services Abroad
European doctors and hospitals DO NOT ACCEPT American insurance for payment of services. You must be prepared to pay for services when you use them. Most American insurance carriers will reimburse you for these expenses, so be sure to keep all receipts. You should check with your current insurance agent on plan coverage details and on reimbursement procedures before you leave for Europe.
Emerson College cannot guarantee your safety while abroad.
Traveling and living abroad for Americans is becoming more complicated. Prague is a very safe city to walk around. Everyone uses public transport, even at night. Assaults are extremely rare. As in any city though, the tourist is always a target for the criminal element. We suggest the following to help improve your level of safety while abroad:
- Pay attention to your body language. Cultural differences are often reflected in the way people gesture and carry themselves. Hand gestures can have profoundly different interpretations from one culture to another.
- Pickpockets are skillful, so keep a close eye on valuables at all times.
- Avoid moneychangers on the street: They may pass off counterfeit U.S. dollars and local currency.
- Don’t use your back pocket for your wallet and avoid hanging your handbag on your chair in public places.
- Use common sense at ATMs; they attract thieves that watch for tourists.
- Beware of over-charging in restaurants by checking the bill thoroughly.
- There is no standard price for taxi services, but drivers are required to display their prices, usually on the door. In taxis, insist the taxi driver puts the meter on or refuse the ride. Be sure that the meter is running while you are in the taxi. If you really want to take one without a meter, agree on a price before you enter the taxi.
- Guard your handbags, cameras, and laptops against thieves on motorcycles and mopeds.
- Try to fit in. Minimize your “foreignness” in your actions and appearance.
- Do not wear patriotic clothing or participate in patriotic displays.
- Avoid political and religious discussions, confrontations, or arguments.
- Take a photocopy of your passport, credit cards, and bank cards and the numbers you’ll need to call if anything is lost or stolen.Keep this information in your room. You should also leave a photocopy of these items with your parents or other responsible family member, so that they can assist you from home, if needed.
- Learn to be an organized traveler. Keep documents safe, but readily available when on the move.
- In cases of assault or rape, visit FN Motol for emergency hospital care.
- For sexual assault/rape, you can talk with an advocate who will offer support, information, options, and resources.
- For abusive relationships and stalking, you can talk with an advocate who will offer support, information, options, and resources.
Prague is relatively safe and is an unthreatening city to walk around. Violent crimes in the city centre are rare. The main criminal problem is pickpockets. Thieves tend to operate around the city’s tourist sights and on tram lines (mainly numbers 9, 22, 23). Guard your handbag, wallet, and passport. It is not likely that anything stolen will ever be recovered.
Charles Bridge at night