As a young adult in the USA, I've been lucky enough to always have been covered on my dad's good insurance plan. I went to the doctor, dentist, and hospitals carefree. When I was applying for my residence permit in Finland, it was my wise ole dad who cautioned me about buying travel insurance.
At first, I was skeptical. "Nothing will happen," I said. Then with a bit more thought, I decided to buy it anyways, thinking it would help my residence permit application. I still believed nothing would happen.
Unfortunately, six days ago something happened. While doing a bit of "harmless" sledding, I had a horrible fall and broke my wrist. This horrible ordeal involved an ambulance ride, an emergency room visit, 12 hours of painful waiting, 2 sessions of x-rays, a cast, and the possibility of surgery to reset some bones.
Thankfully, I bought travel insurance even though I believed nothing would happen. In retrospect, it wasn't that expensive--$180ish to cover me for 6 months. I may end up saving that much. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will pay. I have not yet received or submitted the invoices to them, but at least I have that possibility. Without insurance, I would surely be paying out of pocket.
Heed my warning: if you go abroad for ANY length of time and your normal insurance does not cover you, buy travel insurance. Accidents indeed do happen. Make sure you shop around and read reviews.
Life in Finland with a broken arm is, well, life with a broken arm. I have 5 weeks sick leave as per the doctor from my internship. I've been staying with my boyfriend since then because I need help doing daily things. I can't completely dress myself, take a shower, or prepare meals. I can't currently travel back to Pori by train alone because I can't carry my luggage. Although it is unfortunate, I could have been hurt much worse, and at least I am not alone.
My biggest struggle has been boredom and not being able to do much exercise. Now I'm trying to fill my day with studying Finnish, blogging, and sleep. However, I still will be counting down the days until this cast comes off.