Travel updates and guidance

Study and work abroad overview for 2021/22

An overview for students going abroad in 2021/22 outlining the University's position on travel and how your travel will be approved.

Update 15th July 2021

Following the UK Government’s announcement that, from 19th July, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will no longer advise against travel to amber countries, the University Executive has agreed to approve travel, where possible, for students who wish to undertake their planned mandatory and optional study and work abroad activities in 2021/22.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, with global travel restrictions and local/national lockdowns being implemented with little or no notice, it is likely that study and work abroad activity will continue to be affected during the 2021/22 academic year.

University position on travel 2021/22     

While the University remains firmly committed to supporting international activities for students, the current unprecedented situation requires us to balance this carefully against the risk and feasibility of international travel during the outbreak.  Any decision the University makes regarding travel must ensure our duty of care to all students is not compromised.  The health, safety and wellbeing of our students remains our number one priority.

We are offering flexibility to allow students to travel where possible during the 2021/22 academic year, subject to risk assessment and approval processes.  Approval to travel will depend on a number of factors including the type of activity planned, the intended destination country and the host institution.  

We understand that it will come as a disappointment for many that Covid-19 is continuing to affect activities and cause uncertainty.  We are very mindful of the implications, particularly for students for whom an overseas study/work period forms a mandatory element of their degree programme. 

The University of Edinburgh is committed to ensuring that no student is academically disadvantaged by the unprecedented circumstances, and your School will work with you to identify alternative arrangements if you are unable, or do not wish to travel. 

SWAY (Study and Work Away) will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as circumstances change.

Conditions of approval to travel 

Approval to travel will be subject to completion of a robust risk assessment process and final sign-off by the SWAY Service.  You can read more on our risk assessment web page:

Risk assessment webpage


Financial commitments

Students are advised not to make any firm arrangements or financial commitments far in advance of their planned activity and, where possible, not before their risk assessment is approved.

If you are required to make financial commitments as part of the application for your host institution, please note that the University of Edinburgh cannot guarantee that they will be covered by our insurance provider.

University hardship funds are available to support University of Edinburgh students.  The Advice Place can also advise on financial matters.