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Spring break 2021 - support and services

UCL will be closed from 5.30pm on Thursday 1 April 2021 to 9am on Monday 12 April 2021. Students still have access to plenty of support during this period.

Details of all support, facilities and services available to you over the spring break are listed below.

On this page:

This page is being updated regularly to provide details on provision over the spring break. This page was last updated on 23 March 2021.


Mental health and wellbeing support

Phone and online counselling

UCL works in partnership with Care First to provide you with additional telephone and online counselling support. Care First counsellors, who are all professionally qualified and accredited by the BACP, are available 24 hours a day during the spring break, when other UCL mental health services may be closed.

Care First counsellors are able to provide advice and guidance on any issue, no matter how big or small, from things happening at home to university life.

For free telephone counselling through Care First, call +44 (0)800 197 4510.

Care First also offer support through a one-to-one online messaging service, in which you will speak to a counsellor in real time.

To access this support, visit Care First Lifestyle. You will need to log in using these details:

  • Username: uclstudent
  • Password: bentham

Students overseas have access to this form of support through the Global Student Assistance Programme at any time and should call +44 (0)800 174 319.

The Care First service and the Global Student Assistance Programme is paid for by UCL and is available only to UCL students. This means that you will be required to provide your name, date of birth and UCL student number in order for a counsellor to be able to help you. Care First must inform UCL Student Support and Wellbeing if a student is at serious risk of harming themselves or someone else.

SilverCloud

SilverCloud is an online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) platform, that offers online wellbeing support to UCL students. CBT helps you to identify and challenge negative thought and behavioural patterns that impact how you are feeling so that you can make changes for the better.

This evidence-based programme consists of 21 available modules (including Anxiety, Depression, Stress, and Mindfulness) and includes interactive tools, activities and videos for you to complete in your own time.

Sign up to SilverCloud. 

Same-day appointments

The final Student Support and Wellbeing same-day appointment session will take place on Thursday 1 April. Same-day appointments will resume on Monday 12 April 2021. 

Students can book an appointment by phoning +44 (0)20 7679 0100 or contacting the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing via askUCL.

Our longer pre-booked appointments will remain available in the final week of term. Again, these can be booked in advance by contacting the team via askUCL.

Students can still contact the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing over the phone on +44 (0)20 7679 0100 during working hours up to and including Thursday 1 April.

Student Space

However you’re feeling, help and guidance is available. Explore a range of trusted information, services and tools to help you with the challenges of student life.

There are three ways that Student Space is here to help during the pandemic:

  • Access to dedicated support services for students, by phone or text
  • Information and tools to help you through the challenges of coronavirus
  • Helping you find what support is available at your university

Student Space is run by Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity. It has been developed collaboratively with services, higher education professionals, researchers and students to complement the existing services available to students.

Visit Student Space to find out more.

External and emergency support

The Samaritans can be contacted in the UK on 116 123 at any time and everything discussed is confidential. You can find similar listening and support services wherever you are in the world through the Befrienders Worldwide network.

In an emergency, including a mental health crisis, always phone 999 (or equivalent number overseas) or make your way to the accident and emergency (A&E) department at your local hospital. The closest A&E to UCL is at UCLH.

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Students' Union UCL activities 

Connect with others through events

Throughout the Spring break, the Students’ Union and its clubs and societies will continue to host events to keep you connected and entertained over the break. Project Active sessions will also continue throughout the break, so whether you’re a seasoned sports person or a beginner, there are sessions for you!  

See all the events happening over the break.

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Facilities and support on campus 

UCL continues to follow UK government guidance in all its decision making related to the reopening of our campus. Where facilities outlined below are remaining open over the spring break, they are doing so in accordance with guidance for England.

Read further information about what's open on campus.

UCL halls

If you are staying in UCL halls over the spring break, you will have access to the same support as usual from your team of Wardens and Student Residence Advisers (SRAs). There will be a member of staff on duty every day if you need assistance. Your hall noticeboard will have their contact details.

It may be necessary for you to self-isolate in halls over the break. We know that this will be a difficult time, and you may need help with the practicalities of day-to-day living as well as support with your mental health. Please be assured that we’re here to support you through the process of self-isolation throughout the break and we are also working closely with intercollegiate halls to support the UCL students staying there.

Find out more about the support available to students who may have to self-isolate.

Further information on the spring break provision for our students in halls can be found on the UCL Accommodation website.

Library services

The Student Centre will be open 24 hours a day from 1 April. and Bidborough House will be open every day from 9am to 8.30pm during the Spring Break. 1-19 Torrington Place will be open from Monday 5 to Friday 9 April. Please see the Library’s opening hours for more details, and book your study space in advance. 

Please note, you will not be able to place Click and Collect or Scan and Send requests from 5pm on Tuesday 30 March until Monday 12 April. 

At UCL you have access to one of the world’s best digital libraries which you can use anywhere and at any time. Subject Guides developed by our Subject Liaison Librarian team provide support and guidance in using library resources across all subjects. You can also access a knowledgebase for library queries 24 hours a day. 

Bloomsbury Fitness

Bloomsbury Fitness (UCL's on-campus gym) is currently closed due to Government restrictions, but will re-open on Monday 12 April. To support your mental and physical health, join in with free Project Active sessions running through Students’ Union UCL.

Security

Security officers will continue to be present on campus 24 hours a day throughout the spring break period. Please speak to them for any security-related issues.

Please note that during the closure period, access to campus may only be granted on production of a UCL ID card.

Find out more about UCL Security.

Food and drink

A limited number of food and drink outlets are currently open on campus. Find out what’s open on campus.

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Travel, testing and immigration

Leaving campus to travel home for the spring break

If you returned to campus after 8 March, the Government asks that you do no travel where possible, including travelling home for the break.

If you returned from the beginning of Term 2, you are permitted to travel home for the break, provided you do so only once before 29 April 2021. You can travel back to your term-time accommodation at any time. If you do decide to travel, you are strongly encouraged to get tested before you leave.

Getting tested on your return/arrival to campus

To protect yourself and your peers, if you are returning to term-time accommodation for Term 3, you are encouraged to get tested before you return to university, where community testing is available. 

International students preparing to travel to the UK should read our travel advice to find out more about what you should do on arrival.

If you have questions about your education in Term 3, please contact your department. For general questions, please contact askUCL, our self-help centre and student enquiry system.

COVID-19 testing facility at Bidborough House

UCL’s COVID-19 testing centre at Bidborough House will operate limited opening times over UCL’s Easter closure, opening on Tuesday 6 and Friday 9 April so that staff and students can continue to test twice a week. Opening dates/times are as follows: 

  • Friday 2 April (Good Friday): Closed 
  • Monday 5 April (Easter Monday): Closed 
  • Tuesday 6 April: Open 8.30am–3pm 
  • Wednesday 7 April: Closed 
  • Thursday 8 April: Closed 
  • Friday 9 April: Open 8.30am–3pm 
  • Monday 12 April: Opening hours resume as normal.

If you cannot reach Bidborough House on these days, community testing is available to all and you can find your nearest facility here

Anyone that is part of a household or bubble of a school pupil or staff member are also eligible for home-test kits, which can be collected from your nearest participating test-site, or ordered to your home address.

Find out more about booking tests on UCL’s Coronavirus web pages. 

Read further travel advice.

Read more about travelling between home and campus.

Travelling abroad

In line with UK Government guidelines, you should only travel abroad if you have a valid reason. International students returning home is considered a valid reason. You will need to have filled out a Travel Declaration Form before you arrive at the airport/port of departure. More details can be found on the UCL Travel Advice webpage.

It’s also important to check the rules and regulations of the country you will be travelling to. It is your responsibility to find out whether you need to provide a negative PCR test before you arrive and whether you will need to quarantine. Please note that the LFTs (Lateral Flow Tests) being offered by UCL do not usually meet the requirements of 'fit to fly' testing. If you are travelling abroad to a destination that requires a negative COVID-19 test, you will have to get this yourself through a private provider. Please also bear in mind the self-isolation/hotel quarantine rules when returning to the UK.

Of course, remember to take your passport (and BRP if applicable) with you when you travel. In the unlikely event that either of these documents is lost or stolen, please follow the guidance on the Students’ website.

Immigration and visa advice - EU/EEA/Swiss students

The UK has now left the European Union. If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student, this could mean that you need a visa to continue to study at UCL. 

Full information about the EU Settlement Scheme can be found on the Students website. You can also contact the Student Immigration Advice team for personalised advice through their online form.

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Health care

Connect to Protect

Report your status through UCL Connect to Protect to let us know if you think you may have coronavirus, you have tested positive for the virus, you are waiting for the results of a coronavirus test, or you need to self-isolate.

Ridgmount Practice and GP support

The Ridgmount Practice, UCL's partner GP surgery, will remain open as usual during the spring break with their usual opening hours, but will be closed on bank holidays.

Other GP surgeries may be operating different hours over the spring break period. Please check with your local surgery if you are unsure.

Whether at the Ridgmount Practice or another GP surgery, it is very important to note that you should always call your surgery before attending in person.

For UK students returning home for the spring break, remember that you may need to complete a temporary resident form for your local GP to see you.

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Other support and services 

Study Abroad

If you are a student currently studying abroad and you require emergency assistance, please contact your travel insurance provider on the emergency number +44 (0)1273 400 850.

If you will be staying in your placement over all or part of the spring period, don’t forget that you can contact the Global Student Assistance Programme for advice. The service, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, provides independent, impartial support and guidance on a wide variety of legal, financial and personal matters. 

askUCL

Staff in the Student Enquiries Centre team will continue to respond to enquiries submitted through askUCL during the spring break. Please note, however, that this will be at reduced capacity, so it may take slightly longer than usual to receive a reply.

The team will also be continuing their phone service until the final week of Term 2. Visit the Student Enquiries Centre webpages for more information. 

Money matters

For information regarding financial support, visit the UCL Fees and Funding website.

Faith services

If you're a member of the Christian faith and would like information on places of worship over the Easter period, please see our message from the UCL Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser.

If you are celebrating Ramadan, read our message from the UCL Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser with tips on looking after yourself and looking ahead to exams. 

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