Know before you go
Whatever your reason for travelling abroad, you’re sure to want a safe and trouble-free trip.
Covid 19 travel updates and guidance
The Covid-19 pandemic has made travel much more uncertain and unpredictable. It has brought about the need for more risk assessment and contingency planning to be undertaken by both the University and the students who plan to undertake activities abroad. Please ensure that you read all the information on our travel updates and guidance pages as part of your preparations. These pages are updated regularly as travel circumstances change.
Know before you go
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.
Often the things that go wrong for travellers could have been prevented or made less stressful by taking a few simple precautions. With this in mind, it makes sense to spend a little time getting prepared before you travel - you could save yourself a lot of problems later on.
- Make sure you have valid travel insurance, even if you’re only planning a short trip
- Check what vaccinations you need by visiting the NHS Fit For Travel website, your travel health clinic or GP at least 6 weeks before you travel
- Read up on your destination on the FCDO's Foreign Travel Checklist, including local laws and customs
- Find more travel advice on the UK Government Travel Aware campaign
Looking after your mental health
Moving and living abroad is a huge step and can be a stressful and anxious time. Mental health issues, existing or new, can flare up. It's important to be aware of the impact that cultural and lifestyle differences can have and to look after your mental, as well as your physical, health.
Even if you're only going abroad for a short space of time, and even if you’ve travelled extensively in the past, it can take a while to adjust. This is perfectly normal, and please remember you’re not the only one going through it. Getting involved in local life at your host institution and in your host town/city may help you adjust more quickly and easily.
We'd recommend doing some research on the support available at your host institution (e.g. counselling service) and how to access it before you arrive.
Remember you can still access UoE support whilst abroad, including:
- The Advice Place
- Student Counselling Service (offers email counselling for students who are not in Edinburgh)
- The Study & Work Away team
- Your Exchange Coordinator
- Your personal tutor
You can also find helplines and crisis numbers to call at home and abroad via TherapyRoute
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 the 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 an emergency number if needed.
Students who are not UK nationals are advised to locate their nearest consular representation and follow the same guidelines.
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 or place of work, and your family. Your local contact 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 Exchange Coordinator (if you are an exchange student) or Personal Tutor, and the Study and Work Away Service (SWAY).
University of Edinburgh phone line
Out of normal office hours, the University maintains a 24-hour phone line. You should explain your situation and the emergency phone operator will seek to transfer you to a staff member in Edinburgh Global.
Out of hours emergency contact tel: +44 131 650 2257