Health, safety and wellbeing while abroad

Woman pointing at a world map

Studying or working abroad can be one of the most exciting opportunities during your studies, but it’s also important for you to be well prepared before you go. Your health and safety is our top priority, and all students must complete a planning document and attend a pre-departure session with the International Opportunities Team.

In addition to keeping yourself safe while you're abroad, do your research about the area and country you're studying in to give you an idea of what to expect once you arrive in your host country.

Health

Healthcare varies from country to country, so it’s important that you check in advance of leaving whether you need to purchase health insurance. If you are travelling within the EU, you can get a free EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)*, which will entitle you to reduced cost or free emergency health care while abroad.

If you’re travelling outside of the EU, you may be required to have a check-up with your GP before you go. See the GOV UK website for more information.

Make sure you also check the aircraft carrier regulations and insurance terms and conditions if you have a medical condition or disability before committing to any arrangements. You may be required to supply a letter from your GP to evidence your fitness to travel.

*The European Health Insurance Card may become invalid post-Brexit and students are advised to make sure they have alternative arrangements in place. For further information, please visit askUS.

Safety

Your safety while you study abroad is a top priority. Make sure you check the emergency numbers of the country you’re travelling to, and find out where the British Consulate or Embassy is based in your host country, just in case.

Even while you are studying or working abroad, you are still a student of our University, and you’ll still have access to the same support facilities, including the services of askUS. It may also be useful for you to read our information on crisis support, which provides details of out of hours contacts and support systems in place to help you.

If you are intending to travel anywhere other than your host destination while abroad, let us know. The Call My Alert app allows us to communicate to all of our colleagues and students securely in the event of an emergency. If you enable location services on your device, we can pinpoint where you are using the app and get to you quickly if needed. Once you have downloaded the app, you will need to join the user group UoS1241, when prompted.

Wellbeing

Studying abroad is an exciting experience, but it’s also normal to feel nervous or homesick once you’re there. We encourage you to join in any international student welcome activities at the host university, to help you meet new people and settle in.

You are also a student at your host institution and will be entitled to their support services. Please be aware that some charges may be payable for disability related support, so ensure you contact Disability and learner support as soon as possible to discuss funding. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, just ask.

If you require any academic support during your time abroad, contact either your exchange coordinator or your personal tutor. Your tutors can help you with study related queries, such as module choices and any paperwork required. The International Opportunities team are here to support you with anything that your host institution and personal tutors may not be able to assist with.

Six top tips for coping with culture shock

1.

While you're away: the first few days or weeks can be unsettling, but once you start meeting new people, you’ll start to feel more at home. Join societies, attend welcome events and speak to others in the same situation as yourself.

2.

While you're away: Stay in touch with your friends and family back home and remember that your time abroad will likely fly by, so enjoy the moment and make some new memories.

3.

While you're away: Go on an adventure and explore the sights of a new city. It might make you remember why you wanted to study abroad in the first place.

4.

On your return: If you have reverse culture shock once you arrive back at home, settle into normality by visiting friends and family, and share your new experiences with them.

5.

On your return: Enjoy home comforts to remind you of all the things you missed while you were away, whether it’s your favourite British foods or all those programmes you can only get on Netflix UK.

6.

On your return: If you’re struggling to readjust, our Wellbeing and Counselling team can help. Get in touch by visiting www.salford.ac.uk/askus, or pop into University House to speak to the team in person.

Insurance

While studying or working abroad, you are covered under the University’s insurance. For more information, please read our Insurance Cover Summary. If you would like any further information, contact our Finance Department at finance-traveloffice@salford.ac.uk.

If you are about to undertake a work placement abroad, we recommend that you check with your employer what insurance they provide.