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Make sure you have adequate medical insurance which covers all activities you plan to take part in. Also check it covers repatriation to the UK. If have a long term medical condition you will need check carefully that your insurance covers this and it may be worthwhile checking if there is a specific support group or body for your condition as they often have links to specialised insurance services.


Health Insurance information for Students travelling abroad

The National Health Service in UK is a publically funded health care system providing healthcare free at the point of use for people legally resident in the United Kingdom.  It is funded primarily through central taxation and should not be considered ‘Health Insurance’.

Whilst healthcare may be free in the UK do not assume it is the same abroad.  You will very often have to pay part, if not all of your medical bills which in some cases can be very high.

It is very important therefore that when travelling abroad you consider taking out adequate travel insurance which covers all activities you plan to take part in and any long term conditions you may have.


European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European health insurance card EHIC (formally E111) can be issued free of charge to UK residents registered with the NHS.  The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance but should be used in conjunction with an insurance policy.

The EHIC enables you to access state-provided healthcare within the European Economic Area (EEA) at a reduced cost or sometimes for free on the same basis of treatment which would be available to residents in those countries who are not otherwise privately insured or insured under a compulsory state health insurance policy.

If there is normally a charge or only basic health care offered free of charge to a resident of the country you are visiting then the same level of care will be available to you with the EHIC. This will not include private medical care or additional services such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property.  It is important that you only visit the state health care provider as services received at private clinics or hospitals are not covered.

Further information on the EHIC and details on how to apply are available via the NHS website*.  


*please note, there are numerous bogus websites which will charge for the EHIC card.  There is no charge for this card so please only apply via the official NHS websites as above or: