While there is always some inherent risk with any kind of travel, there are a number of steps that you can take to help you keep healthy and safe.
Many health and safety precautions whilst abroad are the same as you should take as a stranger in any new town or city, so exercise common sense at all times.
If you have a particular health condition, discuss the details of continuing your prescription abroad with your GP. Also be sure to take translated copies of any important health documentation you may have.
Once you have settled in to your new accommodation, it is a sensible idea to find out the location of the nearest hospital and A&E department in case of an emergency.
Your local British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission abroad will be able to offer a range of services including issuing replacement passports; assistance if you are the victim of a crime; and liaison with family and friends on your behalf.
You are strongly advised to locate your nearest British Consulate to your host destination and take a note of the telephone number and address. Most British Consulates operate an answerphone service outside working hours with a emergency number if needed.
Students who are not UK nationals are advised to locate their nearest consular representation and follow the same guidelines.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has lots of travel tips and advice for your host country online.
All British Nationals should register on the FCO's free LOCATE service which provides regular updates and information for UK nationals overseas.
Should an emergency situation occur whilst you are abroad your first action should be to make contact as soon as possible with your nominated contact at your host university and your family. The host co-ordinator often has the local knowledge and “know how” to advise and support you.
It is also very important for you to contact the University of Edinburgh. During normal office hours you should contact your Erasmus Coordinator and the International Office. Out of normal office hours, the University maintains a 24 hour phone line (+44 131 650 2257).
You should explain your situation and the emergency phone operator will seek to transfer you to a staff member in the International Office.
Depending on the type of emergency it may also be appropriate to report to or contact your nearest British Consulate.
This article was published on Apr 2, 2013