Health Advice in the UKWe hope that you will be fit and healthy throughout your stay in the UK but these are a few things that you should think about before leaving home.
- Your Health in the UK
- Health Care in the UK
- Bringing Medical Records and Medication to the UK
- Students on courses for less than 6 months
- More Information on Health in the UK
Your Health in the UK
When you come to London to study, it is especially important to be aware of your physical, mental and sexual health. You will be living in a different climate, perhaps eating a different diet and preparing your own food for the first time. Even the laws and expectations about drinking alcohol, dating and sex may be different from what you are used to. All the changes and differences you will find can be more difficult when you do not have your normal network of friends and family around you. You will have to look after yourself. For advice for all students on staying healthy including some tips on eating well, go to Health
Most UK students have the Meningitis C vaccination before they start College. Meningitis C is a rare brain infection which can be fatal. It is a good idea to get the Meningitis C vaccination before you come to the UK especially if you are under the age of 25 and plan to live in Halls of Residence. If you come to the UK without having the vaccination, you should ask your doctor for it when you register. For more information go to meningitis on the health section of this website.
If you come from a country that has a high incidence of TB -Tuberculosis (This currently includes Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Thailand) you should bring a recent X-ray with you to the UK. This should be no older than 6 months old. You will have to show the X-ray when you enter the UK at the airport when you go through the Health Control Unit. You will also have to complete a form and write in your London address. (If you are coming to the UK and are going to look for accommodation, you will be asked to send the card in later). If you are from a country with TB and you don't have a recent X-ray, you will have one taken at the airport but this can cause long delays (up to 3 or 4 hours).
Health Care in the UK
Most people in the UK use the free National Health Service (NHS) and if you are studying full-time and have permission to be in the UK as a student you are entitled to use it. The University college sites are widely spread across London. All sites have trained first-aid staff, but we do not have a full medical service like some campus universities. To access the NHS services, you have to register with a doctor when you have an address in London. Ask Student Services for help with this when you arrive in the UK.
Bringing Medical Records and Medication to the UK
If you take regular medication in your own country, you should bring a supply of this to last you a few months when you arrive in London. It is a good idea to ask your doctor for medical records or at least a record of the prescriptions that you need in order to access them in the UK. These should be in English.
Students on courses for less than 6 months
If you are coming to the UK for less than six months you cannot use the National Health Service - you may only receive free emergency treatment. You should arrange health insurance in your own country to cover your short stay in the UK.
If you are from a European Economic Area country, or your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK you can use the NHS even if you come to the UK as a visitor. For a list of reciprocal health agreements go to the Health section for current international students in the UK.
More Information on Health in the UK
If you would like more general advice on Health - go to Current International Students - Health