Go Abroad

Health and Welfare

Registering with a doctor

For Erasmus students, it is not obligatory for you to register with a local doctor during your time abroad, but this is worth considering, particularly if you will be there for a year. It is recommended for those who have a pre-existing medical or mental health condition. Read the UK Government's health advice for travellers carefully for more details about the health-care system in your host country. This website also says what is or is not covered by the EHIC card, which is only valid within Europe.

For destinations outside of Europe, it is often compulsory/advisable to register with a doctor. It is also advisable to visit your dentist before leaving the UK as dentist bills, particularly in North America, can often be very expensive and not covered by the insurance policy.

More information is available in the pre-departure briefings and My Time in... information for Hong Kong, Japan and USA.

Pre-existing medical conditions, disabilities and specific learning difficulties

If you have a pre-existing health condition, disability or specific learning difficulty, it is very important that you meet with your doctor, specialist or Student Support to discuss your plans. This will help you to work out what type of support you might need while abroad, if any. Even if you do not currently need support or a prescription, it is worth discussing this in case your circumstances change while you are abroad. Having a back-up plan will mean that if something does happen, you will be prepared and it can be dealt with promptly.

Make sure that you have supplies of any necessary prescription medicines before you leave. (You may need to check that your medicine is allowed in the host country.)

We also strongly recommend that you notify the Go Abroad Team as soon as possible, so that we can advise you appropriately and liaise with your host university/school/employer on your behalf (if this is necessary). All information is kept confidential. This is important because support might be provided in different ways to the UK, e.g. through a local hospital rather than through the host university.

Disability support

Support at some universities overseas is focused primarily on assisting students who have mobility, vision or hearing impairments. ‘Unseen’ disabilities and specific learning difficulties are not always covered by these services. In some cases, this is because local students get support through their own doctors or social services. In others, it seems to be because unseen disabilities do not yet have the prominence that they do in the UK.

Awareness and support is growing gradually, but it is imperative that you contact the Go Abroad team and Student Support team early so that we can find out what support you need and what is offered at your Host university.

Emergency contacts

Emergency services numbers:

  • Mainland Europe: 112
  • USA and Canada: 911
  • Hong Kong: 999
  • Japan: 119
  • China: Police 110, Medical 120, Fire 119

Notify the Go Abroad Team of any emergency:

T: +44 1227 827994
E: goabroad@kent.ac.uk

If you are unable to contact us directly, arrange for someone to contact us on your behalf.

Make sure that you have registered for the University’s insurance policy before you go abroad. Keep the Chubb emergency assistance number in a safe place, ready for you to use in an emergency.

In the event of a serious incident in your town/country, follow the advice given by local authorities to keep yourself safe. Do not take unnecessary risks.

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International Development Office

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 12/09/2017