Student safety guide for Indian students in the UK
Stay safe. Follow these safety tips while staying in UK
Universities and institutions in the UK pay extreme attention to the safety of their students on campus. As an international student, you’ll have access to various points of contacts for any kind of emergency. Don’t worry, 24-hour security is provided at most campuses.
Your university security service can help
Almost all campuses in the UK have a special body to ensure the safety of their international students. So, as the first step, check if your school offers one and keep the security officer’s number saved in your phone.
Various universities and schools also offer services like shuttles and security escorts to drop you to your accommodation or stations after hours. Some go a step further and have their own mobile apps with a direct line for students to get in touch with the security. Also, there is CCTV surveillance and security that work round the clock on the premises.
If, at any point of time, you feel unsafe in and around your campus or accommodation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your college authorities.
What to do in an emergency?
If you happen to face any emergency, call the toll free number 999 or 112. This is a common number that can be used for fire, police or ambulance.
Always, report a crime however big or small it maybe. Additional numbers that you must save in your phone include:
- Gas emergency – If you think you have a gas leakage or smell gas, call 0800 111 999
- NHS Direct – Reach out to 24-hour health helpline on 0845 4647
- In non-emergency situations, call 101 (such as reporting a crime or getting general information)
Always carry your health insurance card in your wallet and keep your health insurance agency’s contact number saved in the phone. This will come handy in case of a medical emergency.
Stay alert when outdoors
- You must always be aware and vigilant about your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable at any point of time, leave the place or inform someone you trust.
- Avoid travelling alone especially during the night. Pre-book a taxi or have a friend drop you.
- Walk on well-lit streets, preferably in a group. Carry sufficient emergency cash.
- Do not accept rides from strangers.
Navigate safe through the city
- Take some time to study the routes in your city properly. Get familiar with the area and check the latest maps for directions.
- For short distances, you can make use of regional trains, buses, and tubes.
- When taking a taxi, make sure that it runs on metre; if it doesn’t have one, agree on the fare beforehand to avoid any misunderstanding later on.
- Laws in the UK are different from India. So, learn them beforehand to avoid breaking them unintentionally.
Keep your money and documents safe
As an international student, you must keep all your documents safe with you at all times. Your passport, identification, visa papers, and immigration forms should always be kept in safe place. If you prefer to use cash, keep it in various places instead of a single location. It is always a better option to use a card rather than cash.
Do not carry your passport when you go out exploring. If you do not have a permanent place to live, contact your university’s international support team to get you campus storage facilities.
Have fun, but with care
Exploring new venues and enjoying your new surroundings can be exciting but before taking a trip to these areas, research and look up any information you can find on that place to see whether it is safe for you to go venturing. Inform your friends and family about your plans beforehand. You can also share your live location with someone you trust.
Always stay connected
Always keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts at all times. Here’s how you can always remain connected:
- Get a local number and share it with friends, family, university office and your roommate
- Always keep your phone charged and on ringing when not in a classroom
- Whether you're going to another town or to the nearest shopping mall, keep someone informed
- If you feel unsafe at any given time, share your live location with someone you trust
Your IDP counsellors will brief you about all the precautionary measures before you leave India during your pre-departure session so that you are well prepared for the new challenges ahead.