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Health and Support Services

If you need help, just ask

Moving to a new country is not always easy. This is why most universities, colleges and education institutions offer dedicated support services to help international students adjust to life in the UK and make the most of your study (and holiday) time.

What to do in an emergency

If you need urgent medical help, you need to go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital or call 999.

It’s free to call 999 and all emergency medical services are free in hospitals. Depending on where you live and your situation, there may be a fee for the ambulance service.

If you have a serious ongoing medical condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or allergies to medication, you might wish to wear a medical necklace or bracelet with your medical information on it.

If you are studying in the UK for longer than six months, you can generally access the following treatments (and some others) free through the UK’s National Health Service (NHS):

  • Some emergency treatment (but not follow-up treatment)

  • Family planning services

  • Diagnosis and treatment of certain communicable diseases

In order to qualify for free or discounted NHS treatment, you must meet certain conditions as well as pay an additional International Health Surcharge as part of your visa application. To find out more, please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

Don’t forget to register with a GP (a local doctor). You should register with a GP as soon as you can after arriving in the UK, as they will be able to help you with a whole range of health issues.

To register, you will need to visit the doctor’s clinic during consulting hours, and show them:

  • a letter from your institution, as proof that you are a student

  • your passport

  • any other relevant immigration documents

It’s important to let your GP know you would like treatment from the NHS (provided you are eligible) in order to avoid paying the full (private) cost of treatment.

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