Health & Safety

Health Insurance

All international students are required to purchase the University of Michigan health insurance for coverage during the duration of their exchange term at the University of Michigan (including dependents on F-2 visas). You do not need to purchase insurance before coming. At orientation, our office will explain your insurance in depth. 

Coverage: If you would like to learn more about insurance coverage, we recommend you review the International Center’s website

Fees: Your U-M health insurance will be billed to your U-M student account after you arrive on campus. It will be a monthly fee that will need to be paid regularly. 

Waivers: If seeking a waiver to this requirement, research acceptable alternative coverage in advance here

U.S. Citizens: U.S. citizens (including dual citizens) are not eligible for the University of Michigan international student insurance. The U-M University Health Service states that U.S. citizens are eligible for the D-Ship plan

Leaving Early: If you leave U-M permanently before the end date of your I-20 or DS-2019, or leave the U. S. because you have decided not to complete your post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), it is your responsibility to submit an early departure form in M-Passport. Leaving U-M or not enrolling in classes does not automatically cancel your IHI plan. You can find more details here

Safety Tips

In case of an emergency

  • Dial 911 to connect to local emergency services. 
  • Use blue light emergency phones on campus to connect to U-M Police (DPSS). 
  • If you have a cell phone, call U-M Police (DPSS) at (734) 763-1131. 

General safety tips

Keeping documents safe

  • Keep your passport, I-20, and other important documents in a safe place at all times. 
  • Consider getting a State of Michigan ID or driver’s license to carry instead of your passport. 
  • Notify your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling to the U.S. 
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone; do not write your PIN down. 
  • Keep a list of numbers for your bank or credit card companies in the event that your card is lost or stolen. 
  • When using an ATM, be aware of your surroundings. Only use an ATM in well-lit areas. 
  • Keep a small amount of cash ($25) in small bills ($1, $5, $10, $20) available for tipping or small purchases. 
  • Trust your instincts; only exchange currency at official banks. 
  • Protect your MCard, especially if you decide to use it as a debit card (offered by PNC Bank). 
  • Keep your receipts for returns and for customs. 

Health & wellness

A semester abroad can be an exciting and challenging experience. While focusing on your academic work, you will have the opportunity to meet new people, explore new places, and try new things. While this is an important and beneficial experience, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and maintain your health and wellness. The university offers a number of resources to assist all students in maintaining their physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness.

Physical health & fitness

A good way to relieve the stress of work and school and to remain physically active is to join a gym or health club! The Ann Arbor area has many gyms and other work-out facilities both on and off campus. 

U-M offers a wide range of recreational activities for students, faculty, and staff. U-M facilities offer weights, cardiovascular training machines, racquetball, basketball, volleyball, badminton, swimming pools, running tracks, fitness classes, and much more. Students may also participate in club team sports. Check out the U-M Recreational Sports page to explore all of the teams open to U-M students.

University of Michigan sports facilities/gyms

  • Intramural Sports Building (IMSB, or the IM Building) – 606 E Hoover Ave (free with your MCard) 
  • Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB) – 401 Washtenaw Ave (free with your MCard) 
  • North Campus Recreation Building (NCRB) – 2375 Hubbard Rd (free with your MCard)
  • Och Fitness Center – located in the basement of the Ross School of Business (requires a membership fee for the entire semester) 

All gyms have standard exercise machines (i.e., elliptical, treadmill, etc.). The CCRB and NCRB have a swimming pool as well. 


If the weather is nice, you can head outside to a few parks around campus. One student favorite is Nichols Arboretum, often just called “the Arb.” The Arb is great place to go for a walk, run, or hike or a nice spot to relax with friends. 


U-M campus also has several outdoor athletic fields.

Adjusting to the local culture

  1. Participate in the local culture.
  2. Don’t fight the culture; flex with it. 
  3. Learn what is most important to the people in the culture.
  4. Constantly test your own ideas about the culture. 
  5. Don’t assume you understand the culture.
  6. Occasionally withdraw from the culture to avoid culture fatigue. 
  7. Explain your culture to your hosts; help them understand you. 
  8. Learn from others, but don’t become dependent on them. 
  9. Learn from TV, radio, and the press; these resources are great for cultural insights.
  10. When you don’t know, ask. 

Mental health & wellness

Spending a semester away from home can create a number of additional stresses and challenges for students. In addition to the stress created from your academic work, you will also likely face challenges associated with culture shock. The University of Michigan offers a number of resources for students to help manage this stress and cope with theses challenges.

U-M counseling & psychological services (CAPS)

CAPS provides free and confidential counseling and psychological services to all students enrolled in the University of Michigan. With certified professional councilors, CAPS provides assistance with a number of needs including general wellness, anxiety, depression, screening and assessment, and recommendations to off-campus providers.

Physical health and medical care

U-M University Health Services (UHS) provides a wide range of assistance regarding your physical health and wellness in addition to providing medical treatments for common health conditions, UHS also provides medication management of common mental health concerns. Appointments can be made online and accepts international student health insurance.

Dial 911 in case of an emergency