International Student Services flying kites

International Student Services

International Student Services (ISS) supports international students as they strive to achieve their educational, professional, and personal objectives.

International Student Advisors provide advising services with respect to immigration and visa matters, work permission, orientation, cultural adjustment, and personal concerns as well as academic advising through Academic Services. ISS helps in planning and implementing programs which increase international and multicultural knowledge and understanding at Bennington.

Prospective Students

Deciding if you would like to attend Bennington? Check here for information that will be helpful when making your decision.

Apply to Bennington

Bennington welcomes applications from students across the globe. Learn more about applying to Bennington from overseas.

New Students

On your way to Bennington? Check here first for information you may need to prepare for your arrival.

Learn More About…

F-1 Visa Regulations

Employment Authorization


Taxes and Social Security

Health Insurance

In the United States the cost of health care is very high, including:

  • Routine medical care
  • Emergency care
  • Lab tests
  • Visits to specialists
  • Prescriptions
  • Emergency Room visits
  • Mental health care
  • Hospitalization

Health insurance from other countries often provides limited services while the student is abroad and/or may exclude the U.S. entirely.  For these reasons, incoming international students are required to purchase the Prime Plus plan from IFS insurance shown in the grid below for the their stay in the U.S. The only exception to this is if the student can provide documentation and demonstrate that an alternative policy from their country covers a reasonable amount of medical care in the U.S. Plans that have unreasonably high deductibles will not be approved as exceptions. If your country provides student health insurance coverage for you while you are in the U.S., please review additional insurance coverage information and forward the policy documentation in English to for review and response. Documentation for review must be received before August 15, 2017.

Insurance for Students

If a student willfully fails to maintain the insurance coverage or makes a material misrepresentation to the College regarding the coverage, the student will be considered in violation of their good standing at Bennington College. It is the student’s responsibility, not Bennington’s, to obtain and maintain insurance coverage.

Health insurance definitions included below. Students should be in touch with the College if they have other questions or concerns regarding health insurance coverage by emailing:

  • ACA-compliant coverage refers to a major medical health insurance policy that conforms to the regulations set forth in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). These plans can be sold on or off the exchange, but all new individual major medical policies sold after January 1, 2014, are required to be ACA-compliant.  This means they must include coverage for the 10 essential benefits with no lifetime or annual benefit maximums, and must adhere to the consumer protections built into the law.
  • Coinsurance refers to money that an individual is required to pay for services, after a deductible has been paid. Coinsurance is often specified by a percentage. For example, the insured pays 20 percent toward the charges for a service and the employer or insurance company pays 80 percent.  After the insured has paid the deductible, he’s responsible for a percentage of the costs, specified by the coinsurance split (80/20, 90/10, and 70/30 are common coinsurance splits, with the insured paying the smaller percentage and the carrier paying the higher percentage). That remains the case until the out-of-pocket maximum (OOMP) for the year is reached.  At that point, the insurance company starts to pay 100 percent of covered claims until the end of the year.
  • Copay or Copayment is a predetermined (flat) fee that an individual pays for health care services, in addition to what the insurance covers. For example, some HMOs require a $10 copayment for each office visit, regardless of the type or level of services provided during the visit. Copayments are not usually specified by percentages.
  • Comprehensive coverage—also known as major medical health insurance—refers to plans that cover a wide range of health services (i.e., not a limited-benefit plan or supplemental policy). All new individual policies sold after January 1, 2014 must be at least as comprehensive as the Affordable Care Act requires, meaning that they cover the ten essential health benefits with no annual or lifetime benefit caps. Plans that predate 2014 are still considered comprehensive if they are major medical policies, but they are generally not as robust as the new policies.
  • Deductible is the amount an individual must pay for health care expenses before insurance (or a self-insured company) covers the costs. Often, insurance plans are based on yearly deductible amounts.
  • Generic drug—Once a company’s patent on a brand-name prescription drug has expired, other drug companies are allowed to sell the same drug under a generic label. Generic drugs are less expensive, and most prescription and health plans reward clients for choosing generic drugs.
  • Prescription Tier—Tiers apply to the category and cost of drug. Tiers include: Preferred generic (commonly prescribed generic drugs); Generic (generic drugs that cost a little more than preferred generic); Preferred Brand (brand-name drugs that don’t have a generic equivalent); Nonpreferred Drug (higher-priced brand-name and generic drugs not considered preferred); and  Specialty (most expensive drugs on the drug list used to treat complex conditions like cancer and multiple sclerosis. They can be generic or brand name).
  • SVMC—Southwest Vermont Medical Center is the local hospital for the region located in Bennington, Vermont.

For more information see:

Who We Are

Kate Child
Kate Child
Director of First-Year Experience and International Student Services
Barn 120
call call 802-753-2491
Danielle Dohaney
Danielle Dohaney
First-Year and International Student Advisor
Barn 120
call call 802-753-2494