Know before you go
Whatever your reason for travelling abroad, you’re sure to want a safe and trouble-free trip.
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.
Preparing for your time abroad
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 if you:
- 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, including local laws and customs
- Make photocopies of your passport, visas and insurance details and leave a copy with a relative or friend at home
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Looking after your mental health
Moving and living abroad can be a stressful and anxious time. 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.
The following resources may be helpful in preparing for and managing your time abroad.
Digital resources for health and wellbeing
Go International provides links and resources for managing your physical and mental health whilst abroad.
Student Counselling Service
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 a 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 Edinburgh Global. 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.
University of Edinburgh phoneline
Out of hours emergency contact tel: +44 131 650 2257