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Health and support services

If you need help, just ask

Moving to a new country isn’t always easy. That’s why most schools, colleges and universities in the UK offer orientation programs, which help you make new friends and get to know your new campus and city.

If you find yourself struggling or in need of advice or assistance, the National Union of Students or UK Council for International Student Affairs are both great places to reach out to. Visit their websites to find out more about how they can help.

You can also get free, independent and confidential advice on your rights and responsibilities in the UK, covering things such as benefits, work, money, consumer, housing, healthcare and education, from Citizens Advice.

Staying healthy while you study

You might find yourself in need of medical support while in the UK.

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

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

Don’t forget to register with a GP

You should register with a local doctor as soon as you can after arriving in the UK, as they will be able to help you with a wide range of health problems.

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 loose immigration documents

It’s important to let them know you want treatment from the NHS (provided you are eligible) so you avoid paying the full (private) cost of treatment

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