Taking out valid health and travel insurance for the length of your time abroad is essential; don't leave home without it!
Some institutions require that you have insurance before you can enrol, but even if they don't, it is vital that you take out suitable insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed by your insurers.
Please ensure that the policy covers repatriation to the UK (or your home country), and if it does not then take out an additional policy to cover this. Students on work placements should ensure that their policies cover them for working in their host country.
In addition to health insurance you should take out travel insurance to cover yourself for delays, cancellations or loss of money or belongings whilst getting to and from your host institution.
You can purchase travel insurance through the University’s Insurance Department. This provides comprehensive cover and should be suitable for most study abroad programmes. The cost for a year in Europe is £95.00.
All eligible students should obtain a European Health Insurance Card before departure - this entitles you to free or reduced cost medical treatment in the countries of the European Economic Area (the EEA constitutes the 25 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) and Switzerland.
The EHIC is not a substitute for travel and health insurance since it may not cover all health costs and never covers repatriation costs.
The EHIC replaces the old E111 health insurance form (which is no longer valid) and is free. Further information about the countries involved and what treatment is covered can be found on the Department of Health's webpages.
Make sure that you have your National Insurance number to hand when making your application.
You will not need a visa for travelling within the EU if you are a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
If your exchange is outside of the EU (eg. Turkey) or you are a national of another country, you may require a visa for your Erasmus period - please ensure that you contact your local embassy or consulate of the country you will be visiting to find out if your need a visa and, if so, how and when you must apply for it.
Please ensure that you apply for your visa in plenty of time before your Erasmus exchange or placement as applications may take several months to process.
Normally, along with other documentation, you will be required to provide written confirmation of your acceptance from your host university or organisation, as well as proof of your start and end dates.
This article was published on Apr 2, 2013