A combination of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty about whether we are permitted to travel to Europe and beyond, and the process of organising such travel. Travellers need to be aware of both post-Brexit travel requirements and COVID-19 travel restrictions, both of which are changeable.
UK citizens have lost the automatic right to free travel throughout the EU, therefore if you wish to travel to the EU for work or study purposes you need to prepare to follow the required bureaucratic processes of the host country. The University must react to Government advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore it is to be expected that the University’s policy can change at very short notice. It is ultimately the responsibility of each individual traveller to keep updated on these rules and regulations, and we will do our best to help you navigate the new world of EU visa applications and COVID-19 travel restrictions.
If you are to spend more than 90 days in the Schengen region for study or work purposes you will need to arrange a visa before travel, and we have provided information below on the general visa requirements for the most popular destinations for our students. This information has been taken from third-party sites therefore is subject to change without notice, however the general processes and requirements are likely to remain standard.
As of 1 October 2021 a valid passport is required to travel to EU/EEA countries.
Country specific information
Below find advice for UK nationals living abroad, including residency, health and benefits, and specific advice for people following the UK's departure from the EU.
Post-Brexit living in country guides:
Check the guidance for all UK nationals living in the EU.
Check the guidance for all UK nationals living in the rest of the world.
Visa information for the most popular study-exchange destinations
It is likely that you will need to apply for a visa to study outside of the UK. The process and visa requirements depend on what country you are travelling to and the duration of your stay. Most EU/EEA countries will permit you to study for a period of up to 90 days with a Schengen Visa.
You can check what visa you require on the EU Immigration Portal. You can apply for your visa at your host country's embassy, consulate, or visa application centre and may have to attend an interview. You may need to apply for your visa and book the embassy appointment via an agent, depending on whether the embassy has outsourced the process. We have provided the application requirements and links to the respective visa agents here for convenience.
We will provide guidance on how to apply for a visa if one is required. We will organise group sessions to assist with visas for Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands. We will also provide individual bookable appointments to assist with visa requirements and provide a document checking service.
Health and Insurance
Read how you can access healthcare when travelling to the EU.
Current EHIC cards can be used until their expiry date, however you cannot now apply for a new EHIC card. A new scheme is now available - UK Global Health Insurance Card, which gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).
Apply for a free UK global health insurance card here.
An EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. Make sure you have both before you travel.
Each healthcare system is different, and in some countries you’ll need to pay to have treatment. See here for what is covered in each country.
These country guides explain how you can access healthcare services in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland when you’re studying or working abroad.
Before travelling you must complete a form to request the University's travel insurance. You will be prompted to do this as par of the pre-departure process.
If you are going on a work placement abroad please check with your employer if you are covered by their workplace insurance.
We would also recommend that you consider private travel insurance if you plan on taking part in any adventurous or pre/ post-exchange activites personal, or have pre-existing medical conditions. You should read the University’s travel insurance documentation for full details of what it does and does not cover.
Quarantine / Covid tests / Vaccination passports
International travel restrictions are being constantly updated by the British and overseas governments. It’s essential that you keep up to date with the latest news given the changing requirements and react accordingly.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic you:
- should be ready to comply with the host nation’s travel requirements including having documents that you will need to present at border controls
- should be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements
You can contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission or the FCDO in London on 020 7008 1500 for help or advice if you need emergency help from the UK government while overseas because:
- the country you are in will not allow you to travel back to the UK
- there are no commercial travel options available
- will need to rely on the local healthcare system