Travel updates and guidance

Travel arrangements

Guidance on booking travel, applying for a visa and UK quarantine requirements.

Making your travel arrangements

You should only book your travel abroad if you have met all of the following conditions: 

  • You have received confirmation from the Study and Work Away (SWAY) Service that your host institution is willing to accept you in-person 

  • You have received confirmation that you are covered by the University’s travel insurance policy  

  • You have completed the relevant risk assessment, had it approved by SWAY, and received explicit confirmation from them that you can book travel 

We strongly advise you to book both outbound and inbound (return) travel where possible.  Some travel providers may not offer tickets for the inbound (return) leg of your journey so far in advance. In this case, we will accept risk assessments confirming outbound travel only, with the following conditions: 

  • You buy a return journey as soon as possible and send the confirmation to sway@ed.ac.uk   

  • You understand that the University travel insurance does not cover the purchase of a flight home in an emergency if you do not already hold a return (inbound) ticket. Therefore, if you need to return home at short notice due to Covid-19 travel restrictions (or any other reason) you will not be able to claim the costs of this through the University 

Visas

Following the end of the Brexit transition period, UK and EU students going on Erasmus+ exchanges may now require a visa.  You are responsible for applying for a visa if you need one. It’s best to apply as soon as possible once your exchange place is confirmed as applications may take several months to process. You must meet all visa requirements and in plenty of time. 

If you have an EU passport and are doing your exchange in an EU country, you should not be subject to any visa requirements. However, if you are currently based in the UK you would need to make sure you meet your host country requirements for entry for travellers from the UK.

If you have questions about the process of applying for your visa you should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate directly.  Your host institution's International Office will also be able to advise on what's required. The SWAY team are not permitted or qualified to offer advice regarding visa applications, and they can’t apply for you. If you’re not a British passport holder you should make sure you follow visa regulations and procedures appropriate for your nationality.

It's possible that your visa deadline may be earlier than the review date for your travel or the deadline for your risk assessment.  In this case, you will have to apply for your visa without definite confirmation that you will be able to travel.  Unfortunately, this may have cost implications should your exchange then be cancelled.  Depending on the circumstances, reimbursements may not be possible. For more specific information please contact your exchanges team.

Returning to the UK 

You should check quarantine rules for your home country if you plan to return home during your time abroad, and factor this into planning your outward study/work placement.

 More details can be found on the Scottish Government website: 

Quarantine rules and information for people entering Scotland

If you are returning to the following nations, please click on the links for more specific guidance: 

Will I have to pay the quarantine fee? 

Students are expected to cover costs for any quarantine fees payable during or after their period of study or work away. 

You can apply for financial hardship support from the University if needed - these applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. . 

Find out more about the University's hardship fund

Will insurance cover these costs if I need to travel back to the UK due to an emergency? 

No, students would need to apply for financial support via the University’s hardship fund.  

More travel questions?

Read the Travel FAQ's page  for further guidance.