UCL Students Abroad


Making sure you are covered for personal mishaps whilst abroad is a key part of your preparation. Please read below for details what you're covered for by UCL and what else you might need to arrange.

Having fully comprehensive travel insurance - to cover all eventualities - is a prerequisite for studying abroad. All undergraduate students who undertake a period of study abroad as part of their UCL degree programme will be covered by UCL's own insurers and the cost of the insurance premium will be met by UCL.

During the summer before you begin your year or term abroad, you will receive a personalised copy of your travel insurance policy document. The policy document contains information about what you are covered for and how to access help in case of an emergency.

Please use the FAQs below to find out what you're covered for and how to make a claim if you need to. You can also download the FAQs a PDF if you prefer.

Who is eligible for UCL Study Abroad travel insurance?

All undergraduate students who undertake a period of study abroad as part of their UCL degree programme will be covered by UCL's own insurers. The cost of the insurance premium will be met by UCL.

Postgraduate students undertaking study or research abroad can obtain cover via the UCL Insurance Office, and should contact their department to discuss these arrangements.The UCL Study Abroad Team cannot provide advice or information on insurance to postgraduate students. 

How do I apply for my insurance policy?

You do not need to apply. If you are eligible, the UCL Study Abroad Team will automatically arrange travel insurance cover for you and you will receive a personalised copy of your travel insurance policy document during the summer before you begin your period of study abroad. The policy document contains information about what you are covered for and how to access help in case of an emergency.

When will my cover begin and end?

UCL will cover you up to two weeks in advance of the start of term or start of work contract and up to two weeks after your study or work placement ends. You will be asked to provide the relevant dates during the summer before you go abroad.

Please note that if you intend to travel to your destination earlier, or stay on/travel elsewehere after, then you must put adequate insurance cover in place during that time.

If I travel outside of my host country, am I covered?

No, you are only covered in host country (or countries, if you are undertaking a split-year abroad). If you decide to travel in vacation time during your placement or after your placement has finished, ensure that you have arranged your own insurance coverage for this time.

Will my personal belongings be covered?

Yes - up to a value of £10,000. This includes clothes and other items if they are lost or stolen as well as laptops, cameras, mobile phones, mp3 players and other electronic equipment.

Will I be covered for ongoing medical treatment?

No - the cover is for medical emergencies only.

For everyday healthcare, if you are in an EU country you should use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Outside Europe, you will be covered by the compulsory health insurance policy you take out in the US, Canada and Australia, or you will need to ask locally how you can access healthcare (and on what basis).

The International Office at your host institution should be able to provide you with useful information in this respect.

If you are going to be working rather than studying, your employer may provide health cover for you, or will be able to advise you on how and where to access primary healthcare.

Am I covered for dangerous activities?

You are covered for winter sports (skiing and snowboarding). Scuba diving is fine provided that you do not dive below 30 metres, but not extreme sports such as mountain climbing, bungee jumping or diving.

However, you should bear in mind that you are covered for UCL business only (i.e. your time as a student or on a work placement) and that holiday travel is included only on an incidental basis.

Am I covered for personal liability?

Yes - the UCL policy covers you up to £5 million if you cause damage to anyone/anything. This is known as civil liability insurance in France (where it is often a requirement).

However, although the personal liability element of the policy would normally cover damage to third party property, insurers have stated that they define rented accommodation as property of the student and not that of a third party, as it is under the students care, custody & control. Students should confirm with their landlord whether there is insurance as part of the rent paid for damage caused to the property.

Am I covered for dental and optical treatment?

You will only be covered in the case of emergency treatment. Routine treatment is not covered by the policy.

Will I be covered for a pre-existing medical condition and do I need to declare it?

There is no need to declare pre-existing conditions. You will be covered by the policy regardless.

Will the cost of my ongoing prescription medication be covered?

No - only emergency medical treatment can be covered, not ongoing treatment.

Am I covered if my flight is cancelled?

You should seek reimbursement for alternative travel arrangements from the airline you are booked to travel with.

If you incur additional costs for accommodation and incidentals, these can be claimed from the UCL policy.

Is there an excess on the policy?

There is no excess on the policy if the cover is for 6 months or less but a claim has to be for a minimum amount of £25 in respect of medical expenses, baggage & money.

The medical expenses excess, for persons on a journey of longer than 6 months is £100.

How do I make a claim?

If the claim is for a medical emergency you should contact the insurers on their helpline + 44(0) 1273 400 850 at any time of the day or night, 365 days of the year.

For all non emergency claims, you should contact the insurers on their helpline +44(0)207 204 8952 who will manage the claim and also answer any questions you may have regarding the claim.

Where do I get a claim form?

Claim forms can be obtained from Serena Ezra or June Campbell in the UCL Finance Division.

Where do I send my completed claim form and supporting documents?

Once the claim form has been completed, it should be returned to-

Serena Ezra
UCL Finance Division
Gower Street
United Kingdom

If I have a query about my claim who do I contact?

You can contact Serena Ezra - s.ezra@ucl.ac.uk, +44(0)20 3108 3056 or June Campbell - june.campbell@ucl.ac.uk, +44(0)20 3108 3059

If I don’t have the original receipts for items which are lost, damaged or stolen can I still make a claim?

Yes - the insurers accept documents from websites or suppliers which state the replacement value of the item.

For lost/stolen pasports and driving licences you should attached (to your claim) evidence of the cost of replacing each document.

How long will it take for my claim to be settled?

It can take up to 4-6 weeks for the insurers to settle a claim if they have all the documentation.

My question is not covered in any of the above points, who can I contact?

You can contact Serena Ezra or June Campbell in the UCL Finance Division.

Healthcare provision is very different from country to country. Doing your research to make sure that you have access to a doctor if you need one is vital. Please see below for details of how to access healthcare in different locations.

EU - European Health Insurance Card

Health Care For EU Nationals and other UK Residents In EU Countries

If you are studying abroad in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will also need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card.

The European Health Insurance Card is a document which provides the holder - EU Nationals and UK residents either studying or working (unpaid) abroad in another EU country - with an extended range of health care. The card does not, however, offer the same range of cover provided by a fully comprehensive insurance policy.

You may be required to show your European Health Insurance Card to your host institution (or employer if working in an unpaid capacity) on commencing your studies (or work placement).

Please the NHS website for more information about applying for a European Health Insurance Card (NB. as a student undertaking study abroad you have to provide additional information regarding your placement and therefore online applications are not acceptable).

It is likely that EU nationals undertaking a salaried work placement in an EU country will be expected to apply for health care cover in the country concerned. Any queries on this should be directed to your employer or to the health authority in the relevant country.

Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements

The UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with a large number of non-EEA countries and territories. If there's an agreement in place, you’ll be treated as if you were a resident of the country in question. Generally, these agreements cover UK nationals living in the UK. If you're not a UK national, you may still be covered for some reduced cost or free treatment if you normally live in the UK. Find out which countries are included on the NHS website

If you are undertaking a work placement during your year abroad, please note that you may be required to purchase additional insurance to cover you during your time in the workplace. Please check with your prospective employer for further details.

Students who are spending their exchange placement in one of the following countries may be required to take out their host institution's mandatory health insurance policy as a condition of enrolment:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Chile

If you have been required by your host institution to purchase their own insurance policy, the UCL Study Abroad Team may be able to reimburse you for this cost.

Health Insurance Reimbursement FAQ's

Am I eligible for reimbursement?

If you are uncertain about whether insurance that you have been required to purchase by your host institution is eligible for reimbursement, please contact us by email to studyabroad@ucl.ac.uk with a scanned copy of your receipt of payment.

Overview of the Reimbursement process

  • Once you have made a payment for mandatory health insurance purposes (this may be one payment for annual coverage at the beginning of your placement or payment across a number of instalments), please send your documents to us by email
  • Upon receipt of your documents, we will confirm by email that your documents are in order
  • Your reimbursement will be processed on the next available processing date (second Friday of each month). You will receive an email from us on the next working day following the processing date to confirm that your reimbursement has been processed and the amount that you will receive. If you made the payment in an overseas currency,this amount will be converted by us and you will be paid in Pound Sterling
  • You should expect to receive your reimbursement within 4 weeks of receiveing the confirmation email

Which documents am I required to send?

When you have made a payment, please send the following documentation by email to studyabroad@ucl.ac.uk:

  • Receipt of payment confirming your full name, the amount paid and confirmation that the payment was for health insurance purposes. Please ensure that you are sending the receipt, confirming that the payment has been made, rather than the invoice for the payment
  • Completed Bank Account Details form If you would like the funds to be paid into a UK bank account. We are only able to make payments into UK bank accounts. If you do not have a UK bank account, your reimbursement will be processed as a cheque (in GBP).

When will my reimbursement be processed?

We will process reimbursement claims on the second Friday of every month. Ensure that you factor this into your budgeting. Once you have made a payment, try to send your documents to us as soon as possible to ensure that your payment is processed on the next available processing date. 

When will I receive the funds?

If you have requested payment by BACS (Bank Transfer), you should expect to receive your reimbursement within 4 weeks of the monthly deadline date on which your paperwork was processed.

If you have requested payment by cheque, we will receive your cheque within 4 weeks  of the monthly deadline date on which your paperwork was processed.We will then be in touch with you by email to confirm a suitable postal address.

Page last modified on 04 dec 13 09:59