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What are the health and support services available in the UK?

Here’s a lowdown on the support services available for you!

It can be a little challenging to cope with the changes in your environment when you move to the UK for the first time. With a new set of customs and norms, adjusting into the culture takes some time, and you may need some assistance to absorb it all smoothly. But if you struggle to adjust, or feel alienated or unhealthy, there are a range of support services available to help you out.

In case you get hassled at any point, you can reach out to:

Campus support services

Dedicated to support international students via various orientations and programs. These may include supportive and educational workshops, cultural celebrations and academic support. Sometimes, they also help with student accommodation and employment/internship opportunities.

Student associations on campus

Most universities and colleges have their own student associations, which help international students manage their various activities along with academics. Some universities also have a dedicated international student associations to offer unbiased support to students from another country.

For instance, Oxford University has a Newcomers’ Club that offers a common platform to all newly-arrived students to meet, interact and even explore the city together.

Student associations off campus

There are various student associations outside of campus that work for the welfare of national and international students. For instance, the National Union of Students in the UK is a national representative body that works for student rights and represents over seven million students in the country.

Support for students with disabilities

Most universities and institutions offer special support to international students with disabilities, but it is best to communicate the same at the time of application to discuss if any special arrangements need to be made for you.


Make sure you have a health insurance

As an international student enrolled in a program for over six months in the UK, you qualify for a free medical treatment under the UK's National Health Service (NHS). To receive discounts, you’ll have to meet certain conditions and pay an additional International Health Surcharge as part of your visa application. You can find more information on UK Council for International Student Affairs (https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/) website. Discuss with your IDP counsellor for more details.

We recommend you to get registered with a local doctor or a medical centre located in your campus on arrival.

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)

A great way to come prepared to face various challenges of settling into a new country is by attending one of our pre-departure sessions, which are help free of cost for our students. Just walk into any of your nearest IDP office to know more about the same. 

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