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Is medical insurance required for an exchange?

In some countries, people are covered for medical or dental treatment and go to a doctor, dentist or hospital and receive treatment at no cost. This is NOT the case in Canada.

All International Exchange Students studying at the university must make sure they have adequate medical insurance to cover any medical care while they are in Canada. If students do not have medical insurance they are responsible for paying all costs for medical treatment themselves.

For most exchange students, the simplest choice (recommended strongly by International Student Services) is purchasing a medical insurance plan in your home country.

If you obtain a study permit for at least 12 months (365 days or more), you may apply to access the provincial Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). This is free basic insurance coverage for all Albertans and covers:

  • Doctor visits (average cost $25 - $35 or more)
  • Laboratory tests
  • Hospital costs should you be admitted to hospital ($1000+ per day).

AHCIP does not cover:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation needs
  • Dental services
  • Ambulance transport

As an International Exchange Student, even if you are eligible for AHCIP, you may still want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

Students who are ineligible to obtain coverage under AHCIP must purchase a private plan through an insurance company or agent, in their home country or on arrival in Canada . 

If you do arrive in Canada without insurance coverage, medical insurance providers are authorized to provide this service to those who apply within five days of arriving in Canada. An updated list is available at the International Student Services office (MacEwan Student Centre, Room 275).

Apply for an Exchange


  • For the Fall semester: 
    February 1
  • For the Winter semester: September 15

Contact Information:

Fazeela Kayyum 
Coordinator International Student Support & Incoming Exchanges