International insurance is like packing the right shoes. It is indispensable to your well-being abroad...and costs less than buying a new pair of shoes.


Enrollment in UW-System’s CISI international health, medical, and evacuation insurance will be required for all employee international travel on university business as of January 1, 2022 as an allowable expense. CISI enrollment is not available for personal travel. Read the memo from the UW-Madison Provost and the Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration here: CISI Insurance Enrollment and Reimbursement.

Insurance Requirement

The Board of Regents requires all University of Wisconsin students studying/traveling abroad under a UW-sponsored program to enroll in health insurance through an insurance plan offered by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)

CISI helps UW support students and employees abroad in times of need. The insurance is required for all UW System students traveling abroad on university-affiliated travel and is available to employees and their dependents who are involved in educational programs abroad on a voluntary basis. CISI will make direct payments to providers and serve as a liaison with clinical staff on the beneficiary’s behalf.

CISI offers 24-hour worldwide assistance, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help support students and employees across a spectrum of needs ranging from the relatively minor — such as help replacing a lost passport — to the more complex — such as identifying reputable medical specialists and providing emergency evacuation. Through its contracted partners, CISI has a medical staff that can translate across language and cultural barriers to help beneficiaries in need and provide seamless payment to ensure uninterrupted care.

UW-Madison’s Division of Business Services provides more details on CISI insurance.

Faculty and Staff Coverage

CISI is available to faculty and staff who are involved in educational programs abroad on a voluntary basis. This provides an excellent option for staff that are not sure how their personal insurance will respond abroad, or who don’t want to risk paying for medical care and submitting for reimbursement after their return. Individuals should contact their primary health insurer with questions regarding how the coverage works while in travel status. Remember that employees injured in the course and scope of their employment may be eligible for benefits under Worker’s Compensation, regardless of the location of the worksite.

CISI policies can be purchased by UW students and employees for immediate family dependents as well.

For information on benefits or how to enroll in CISI coverage, contact UW-Madison’s Risk Management Office at 608-262-8926 or see International Health Insurance.

CISI Benefits and Services

CISI annually provides insurance coverage, travel/technical/medical assistance, and claims benefits to more than 150,000 students studying abroad each year.

Sampling of CISI Benefits and Services:

  • 24-hour Emergency Assistance services staffed with multilingual representatives
  • Fully assisted emergency evacuation and repatriation
  • Payment guarantees issued to overseas hospitals in several languages
  • Direct access to overseas provider network via CISI Emergency Assistance Center
  • Coordination with educational programs to arrange direct-pay relationships with medical providers in top destinations
  • Claim payments issued from CISI offices in several foreign currencies
  • In-house staff to serve as beneficiary’s liaison in the event of a medical or legal crisis
  • Online enrollment for additional independent travel
  • Security Evacuation Benefit covering both political unrest events and natural disasters
  • Coverage for traveling faculty and staff at student rates
  • Drug Translation Tool
  • On-line Provider Network of over 12,000 doctors and hospitals in over 85 countries
  • Zero Deductible, Home Country Coverage
  • Pre-existing allowance