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English Universities

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This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, health and safety, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

Operations Specialist
Diane Lindsey
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail:
Academic Specialist
Andrea Nuernberger 
Phone: (805) 893-2810; E-mail:
Program Advisor​
Kaitlin de Blanc
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Rachel Wilson
Phone: (805) 893-5927; E-mail:
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823

Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583​ 

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network UCEAP United Kingdom page.

Study Center Abroad

This program is administered from a UCEAP Study Center with a UC academic liasion and program officers. Study Center locations are in London and Edinburgh. Study Center staff will advise you on academic matters and ensure that your academic program meets UC requirements. They also provide general information and help with living in the United Kingdom. The host university also has advisors who will work with you to plan your course of study.
The Study Center is the first point of contact for advice or assistance during the year.

Contact Information

London Study Center

3 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3RA, United Kingdom
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-44-207) 079-0562
Phone (calling from the U.K.): 0207-079-0562

Edinburgh Study Center

25 Buccleuch Place
Edinburgh EH8 9LN​
Scotland, United Kingdom
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-44-131) 662-8988
Phone (calling from the U.K.): 0131-662-8988

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code ................ 011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
United Kingdom country code ..........44
London city code...........................207
Edinburgh city code.......................131

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Academic Information
Please see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad for critical academic information and policies, including unit requirements, taking less than the program requirements, the MyEAP Study List registration process, changing courses, petitions, and grades. While abroad, direct all academic questions to the London or Edinburgh Study Center staff first, with one exception: direct any questions regarding satisfying home UC department degree or major requirements through UCEAP coursework to your home UC department or college advisor.
U.K. host university faculty and staff can be helpful in understanding how your host university works. Remember, however, that they work with students from many international universities, and they are not responsible for knowing specific UCEAP academic requirements or exceptions. The people who can answer those questions are the UCEAP Study Center staff based in London and Edinburgh, who are in close contact with your host university. Contact them to resolve any academic (or other) concerns, confusion, questions, or difficulties throughout your program. You should also let them know about any issues that may impact your academic performance (illness, housing problems, personal issues, anxiety, or similar concerns) throughout your time in the U.K.
Program Overview
Among the many unique opportunities offered by study abroad in the U.K. is the chance to experience British academic culture. Many UCEAP participants find it to be far more independent than the UC culture, often with suggested (rather than mandatory) readings, a higher expectation of independent study, and final grades highly dependent on just one or two essays or exams. Although this can be daunting at first, UC students who manage this responsibility find it gives them the freedom to tailor their experience and their studies to more closely match their personal academic interests. Be sure to read Exams & Grades in this chapter carefully, as the exam system is very different from UC and requires preparation through the term.
In the United Kingdom, students usually follow a more specialized academic curriculum than is the case at UC. During your program abroad, plan to take most courses in your major at an upper-division level; completion of all lower-division requirements in your major is recommended prior to departure. Many host universities limit the amount of coursework that can be taken outside the major.
Generally, fewer courses are offered than at UC; depth rather than variety is stressed. There are also fewer hours of formal instruction and a greater expectation of independent work. The assigned tutorial advisor or director of studies will help you plan an appropriate course of study and is always available to discuss progress and offer advice during your program.
You are encouraged to take advantage of course offerings not normally available at your UC campus. If preparation is adequate, you may enroll in honors courses with second- or third-year host university students.
Most UCEAP students find academic programs in the United Kingdom interesting and challenging. Classes at British universities tend to be small by UC standards, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. The smaller size creates a stimulating learning environment, often with more personal instruction and student-teacher interaction than at UC. If you are in the sciences and engineering, you will most likely find a greater emphasis on practical (laboratory) work than at UC. Essays are an integral part of undergraduate life, often even for science and engineering students. There is significantly more writing expected of students in the U.K. Any academic work submitted late will be marked down and may even receive a mark of zero.
You will choose one field of concentration during your program with the expectation that you will do most, if not all, of your coursework in that field. You will concentrate more in a single subject than is done at UC. Depending on the host university, you may be permitted to do some coursework outside that field. However, most host universities limit the amount of such coursework. Plan to deepen your understanding of the field in which you have completed introductory work.

Host University Information

Visit the UCEAP website to learn more about your host university.
Most British universities offer a three-year undergraduate program leading to a bachelor’s degree; Scottish universities offer a four-year program. In their first year, students are already at the equivalent of the sophomore year in a U.S. university. Rarely do students change majors or undertake a double major in widely disparate fields (e.g., English literature and psychology). Instead, students study a single subject for the entire bachelor’s degree program. Work commonly done at the first-year college level in the U.S., such as lower-division mathematics, is completed in secondary schools and is rarely available at universities. However, many universities now offer beginners foreign language instruction and some offer broad curriculum courses in other subject areas too.
Most UC students are placed at the second-year level for work in their major department, although first-, third-, and fourth-year coursework may be taken, if appropriate. In the United Kingdom, as in the rest of Europe, professional study, such as law or medicine, is done at the undergraduate rather than the post-graduate level. Consequently, if you are in a subject such as physiology or some branch of biology, you may be taking some of your courses in a medical school. If you are in a major such as law and society, limit your schedule to one law course per term. Aim to take classes in jurisprudence or international law rather than in areas of specifically British legal practice, such as criminal, civil, or family law. Classes in sociology, criminology, politics, and history are appropriate for UC pre-law majors.
Historically, many U.K. universities offered mostly or only year-long courses, with one exam in spring or early summer. Any mid-year exams were often in January, after the holiday break. End-of-year exams were often held in May or June, after a three- to six-week study period (or “revision break”).
Most UCEAP partners are currently in the process of moving to a more modular, two-term structure (or “semesterizing”), but at varying rates and ways among universities and often even among departments within a university. This has led to many accommodations for exchange students, and faculty are often able to offer specific alternatives. However, much remains rigid and formalized, particularly the extremely structured exam system. Each university has an “Examination Review Board” (also called a Grades Board, Board of Examiners, or similar) which controls the exam process.
To avoid unexpected surprises as to when you can submit final papers and take final exams, when you will receive grades, and when you may depart from the program, read Course Information and Exams & Grades in detail in this chapter, and consult the London and Edinburgh Study Center staff before committing to specific classes.
Academic Culture
To the UC student caught up in the intensity of 10-week quarters (or 15-week semesters) and accustomed to the anonymity of large lectures, the British university systems may sound like academic paradise. But be prepared; in fact there is much that you will find unfamiliar in the British systems. You will spend much time during the early weeks at the university simply learning this different university culture.
The pace and the amount of direction you will receive will be different. Rather than receiving a syllabus detailing what to read for each class meeting, expect to simply receive a long reading list. This list will constitute the material of the course and you will likely need to find your own way through the reading. Tutors and lecturers may give some guidance about what will be covered in a certain class meeting, but they may also assume that you are familiar with the works on the list. This lack of specific direction can be frustrating, especially at the beginning. Expect to ask questions about reading, background knowledge, and the like.
Faculty members, most often called lecturers (professor is a rare title held only by the head of a department or the holder of a chair), can frequently be found in their offices, but they are not generally required to hold specific office hours. Like their UC counterparts, some are readily available, some elusive.
You will have to adapt to the relative infrequency of class meetings. Classes typically meet once a week. At some host universities, there will be one lecture and a tutorial/seminar meeting each week. Although you will spend far less time in class, this does not mean less work. You will be expected to read more independently. An exception to this schedule applies to the science classes, which often involve frequent class meetings and long lab sessions, called practicals. Since most classes meet infrequently, each class meeting is extremely important; come to class prepared and expect to participate when appropriate. For the most part, UC students are used to speaking up in class and frequently find that this gives them an advantage over the local students, who are sometimes more reticent about participation.
You may need to buy some texts; however, fewer texts are required than at UC and you can use more library resources. Unfortunately, academic libraries in the U.K. are generally not as user-friendly as the UC libraries. The collections are typically smaller, and the hours more restricted. Students frequently photocopy the chapters and sections of books they need. (The costs of photocopying are about twice what they are in California.)


You are expected to be more independent than you might normally be at UC. There is rarely any immediate accountability for the material presented in lectures; students often demonstrate their mastery of material in exams at the end of the year. There are no regular tests, and few assignments other than papers provide feedback. As a result, you may not know where you stand academically in some courses until completion of final exams at the end of the academic year. You will need to work with less direction, fewer in-term assessments, and less sense of how your performance will finally be judged. The advantage of such a system is that you can set the agenda of your own education and tailor it to your particular interests.

Writing Ability

There is more emphasis on writing in the U.K. than at UC, and you may need to submit two or three essays per term, even in the sciences or mathematics. Excellent writing ability is the norm, and marking down for poor writing, spelling, and grammar is common. Seminars and tutorial sessions often require papers and oral reports.
Most British students have been trained rigorously in writing. The majority of their A-levels (exams required for entrance to English universities) and Scottish Higher Exams are written in essay format. Significant emphasis is placed on literacy, not only if you are in the humanities and social sciences, but also if you are in the sciences. It is important to express intelligent ideas clearly and coherently using well-supported arguments. Spelling and grammar errors are unacceptable. This is as important in exams as it is in essays written during the term. Change your laptop setting to “English (U.K.)” and use the Spelling and Grammar function.
You will need to familiarize yourself with a different style of essay writing. Instructors typically expect more outside (secondary) sources to be evident in essays than at UC. A good essay will attempt to insert itself into the critical discourse on the topic, not appear simply as the writer’s personal thoughts. Research your topic thoroughly (or more thoroughly than the hectic pace that UC quarters generally allow) and use that research in your essay. Pay close attention to the correct citation of sources. Plagiarism, even if accidental, will incur severe penalties.

Study Habits

Students in the U.K. may appear rather puzzling in their study habits. They may seem to study very little, especially early in the term. This is particularly true of first-year students, who most often are not required to do more than pass their exams. However, some of this appearance may be deceptive. While American students may be accustomed to talking about how much and how hard they have to work, British students are not, and in fact like to appear altogether nonchalant about their studies, as if there is always time for a free evening. UC students have come to suspect them of being closet scholars, working in secret on weekends or late at night. Whatever the case, you will probably find that your own secret weapon is the study habits formed in the crucible of a pressured quarter or semester system.

Academic Progress

In the UK or Ireland, it can be difficult for you as a UC student to gauge how you are doing with a class as you may have only one essay and one exam, and you may not receive grades for the essay until late in the term. Under these circumstances, you have to continuously assess how you are keeping up with tutorials and discussion sessions. Ask yourself if you can follow tutorials, or if you struggle to keep up or take part in the discussion.
You should also look at past exam papers, which are often available in the libraries. In addition, you should speak to your tutors or faculty to discuss particular concerns or request guidance with reading. You could ask for additional reading suggestions, or you could put together a draft/mock essay (not for actual grading) and discuss with faculty to see if you are going in the right direction. Some courses now have non-graded formative essays, which although additional work, help you find out where to improve. The formative essays can also show you what grade you would have obtained.
Our Study Center staff in London and Edinburgh highly recommend that you enroll in study skills workshops at the start of the term.  Some courses are still 100% final exam, so it can be very difficult for you to gauge your progress. By enrolling in workshops, you can practice and learn about the academic system and expectations. 
Course Information
You will most likely be assigned an academic advisor who will help you plan an appropriate course of study based on your qualifications and host university offerings. If your host university does not assign such an advisor, you may rely on the staff of the International Office or Department Course Organizers.
If you have difficulty and don’t know whom to consult, start with the Study Center staff, who will refer you to the right person at your host university and can clarify UCEAP academic requirements. You should also take your home UC departmental advisor’s contact information, as you may need to e-mail them questions about new courses or about your home degree requirements.

UCEAP Minimum Load

While on UCEAP, you are required to take a full-time course of study and enroll in a minimum of 21 UC quarter/14 semester units each semester or 14 UC quarter/9.3 semester units each quarter. You are also required to enroll in what the host university considers a normal, full-time course load for its students. This load will vary widely among the universities.
If the host university requires fewer units for exchange students in general, you must still fulfill your UCEAP minimum requirements. The only exceptions include predeparture disability exemption or a deficit load petition approved while abroad. Deficit loads are typically only approved in health or other circumstances beyond your control (not needing the units to graduate is not an acceptable justification for a deficit load). See the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad chapter on Academic Information for more detail regarding minimum UCEAP load.
The U.K. course load generally transfers as 42 to 48 UC quarter units (28 to 32 semester units) for the year. If you are approaching your campus maximum at graduation, refer to the section on Variable Units in the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.


Try to be flexible as you begin the course registration process at the host university; it can be a cumbersome and decentralized process. Depending on your host university, you will register in one of the following two ways:
  1. By directly visiting individual departments, completing a module choice form in which you select courses, and returning the completed form to a host university administrator who maintains the academic record. In some cases, the host university’s international student office reviews the course list and inquires with the departments about course availability.
  2. By being enrolled in courses directly by the International Student Office.
Keep in mind that the courses chosen prior to departure are not guaranteed; course registration is confirmed either shortly before or after arrival, depending on your host university’s registration process. Confirmed courses will sometimes appear in your admission letter from the host university. It can sometimes be difficult to change courses once the term has begun, so be sure to choose your courses thoughtfully.
If you are a graduate student with UCEAP-approved study plans, you can be accommodated in most fields. Admission is more likely if you establish contact during the application process with a possible sponsor for a particular project. In addition to reviewing information in this guide, contact the Campus EAP Office for more information.
Honors (third-year) courses in the departments of Humanities and Social Sciences have limited space at some universities. This has particularly been the case in the fields of English, history, literature, politics, psychology, and sociology. If you are interested in any of these areas, you must be flexible about course choices.
In addition to registering at your host university, you must also complete your MyEAP Registration Study List. The Study Center staff will guide you through this process and advise you of deadlines for course changes and petitions. Be sure to read all e-mails from the Study Center during the registration process and review your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your U.K. courses will appear on your UC transcript.

For which courses should you register?

You are encouraged to take classes from all 3 years of an undergraduate degree; however, there are some conditions you have to consider.
  • During their first year of study at a U.K. university, U.K. students are already at the equivalent of the sophomore year at a U.S. university. U.K. students sit General Certificate of Education Advanced Level exams – commonly referred to as A-levels – prior to attending university. A-levels require studying a particular A-level subject (e.g. Biology, History etc.) over a two-year period. Parts of A-level coursework can be considered equivalent to lower level college coursework in the U.S. Because students have studied a particular topic in much detail prior to entering a university, the majority of courses you will be taking at a U.K. university are upper division, except for some first-year courses that are very introductory.
  • Second-year courses are typically considered “equivalent” to the junior year at a U.S. university. As a UC student you most likely will be placed at the second-year level for work in your major department. Most second-year courses in the UK equate to UC upper division courses, and the U.K. university expects that you have knowledge of a subject or fulfill various pre-requisites before allowing you on a second-year course.
  • Third-year courses in the U.K. are quite advanced and require thorough knowledge in a subject. If you are not sufficiently prepared for these courses, you might be struggling with this level. Also, even if your home department has pre-approved you for third-year U.K. courses, you might be told by the host university that you do not have enough background to take that level because third-year courses are particularly specialized. In addition, if your GPA is not high enough, you may be restricted to taking only level 1 and 2 classes in your major.
Conclusion: You can register for first, second, and third-year courses; however, do not register for third-year courses thinking only these courses are upper division. If you want to take third-year courses – and many UCEAP students do – you need to meet the pre-requisites, and you have to understand that these are specialized courses that can be very demanding.
Students at the University of the Arts London can enroll in second-year courses only.

Unit conversion from UK host institution to UC

Host institution UK host institution units UC quarter units UC semester units Most common # of courses UC students take per term
Imperial College London  varies varies varies varies
King's College London      15 6 4 4
London School of Economics (year) 0.5/1.0 6/12 4/8 4
University College London  0.5/1.0 6/12 4/8 4
University of Bristol 20/30/40 8/12/16 5.3/8/10.7 2-3
University of East Anglia 10/20/30 4/8/12 2.7/5.3/8 2-3
University of Kent 15/30 6/12 4/8 2-4
University of Leeds 10/20 4/8 2.7/5.3 3-6
University of London, QM 15/30 6/12 4/8 4
University of London, RH       0.5/1/0 6/12 4/8 4
University of Manchester      10/20 4/8 2.7/5.3 3-6
University of Sussex      15/30 6/12 4/8 2-4
University of Warwick   12/15/30 5/6/12 3.3/4/8 3-4
University of the Arts London (all colleges) 20/40 8/16 5.3/12 2
Note: Bold indicates most common number of units per one-term course. Higher unit numbers tend to be for year-long courses, but not necessarily.


Semesterization & Fall Term

As mentioned in the previous section, semesterization and/or accommodation for exchange students may open many new options for UCEAP students. However, for both fall-only and year students, it is extremely important to understand, before you commit to your courses, when you will be assessed, when you will receive your grades, and when you can depart the program. Discuss these issues with your faculty and contact the Study Center staff if you have questions. They are extremely knowledgeable about the changes these universities are going through, and what will and will not work depending on your host institution and department. The two primary issues are:
  • Year courses taken by fall-only students. All universities offer varying numbers of year-long classes. Many—though not all—year courses can accommodate fall-only students by assessing them in December, halfway through the material. However, you may not receive a grade until after the Examination Board meets in spring or early summer. Find out when your grade will be available before committing to the course. In MyEAP, make sure your Study List includes the correct course, number of units, and duration; you may need to ask the Study Center staff to add a new version of the year course
  • Fall courses – January exams given in December. Most universities with fall-only UCEAP programs now have December exams for fall courses. However, you will still need to request “early alternative assessment” for exams or papers; follow Study Center guidance to do so. Some departments (notably math and often economics) will not accommodate December exams, and most will not even begin grading until all finals are submitted in January. Note that for two fall-only programs, Manchester and Sussex, the official end of the program is in January. You must complete and submit all work before leaving the U.K., regardless of host university options (see Exams & Grades section).

Full-Time Participation

While instruction may continue into the final month or so of the academic year (some universities call this part of Spring semester “Summer Term” or “Term 3” or “Trinity Term”) the period is mostly reserved for “revision” (study for final exams) and taking final exams.
UCEAP students may find that they have only final papers due during or before this period, without any final exams. In rare cases students find that NONE of their classes requires a final paper or exam during the revision and final exam period. In that case, if you want to consider departing from the program before the published UCEAP program end date, you must notify the UCEAP London Study Center immediately before taking any steps to return home, vacate housing, etc. 
If the Study Center agrees that it is appropriate for you to depart before the UCEAP program end date, you will be asked to complete a Petition to Withdraw. The Petition will ensure that you receive UC credit for classes you have completed and will fulfill the legal requirement that your campus Financial Aid office be made aware of the exact period of time you studied abroad. Assuming the Study Center pre-approves your early departure, you will not be charged the UCEAP withdrawal fee.  However, there still may be other financial and insurance consequences to consider:
  1. check your housing contract; there may not be a pro-rated refund of any kind
  2. if you have received financial aid, you may be required to return a portion of it because it is based on costs over a specific period of time
  3. even if you purchased a changeable airline ticket, there may be a cost to change the return date; this cost is not reimbursable by UCEAP
  4. your UCEAP insurance coverage may be affected depending on how your withdrawal petition is processed and where you will be traveling 
Instead of departing early, you may want stay to the end of the academic year by adding an independent study or research project, or doing an internship or volunteer work if you have the correct visa in the UK.

Modes of Instruction

In general, British students are expected to engage in more independent study than are students in U.S. universities. Contact hours with faculty instructors are fewer than in a U.S. university, but usually more intense. Also, instead of textbooks, wide-ranging book lists are employed, giving you an opportunity to read broadly in a given field. Instruction generally consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and labs or practicals. Science courses usually integrate the lecture and lab into a single course. The tutorial system includes formal and informal teaching conducted in small groups where you can discuss written work or topics you have prepared. Tutorials may consist of reports and discussions, with each student contributing a different experience to the whole. The tutor facilitates the discussion and gives guidance on future work.
Seminars are larger group discussions, usually based on short papers written in advance by one or two students. In seminars, you will be encouraged to contribute your own views and test your opinions against those of others. Tutorials and seminars are supplemented by lectures, which are often used to cover the groundwork in a subject. Lectures, which may be on very diverse subjects, often are neither required nor tested; instead, the assessed academic work tends to be accomplished in the tutorials. Instruction may also be divided into both core courses (lectures and tutorials) and special papers or projects. You may be expected to select a mix of both kinds of courses in the same fashion as the host university students.

Exams & Grades

U.K. Examination System

Exams are a serious business in British universities—far more so than almost any final exam at UC—and local students prepare for them in earnest since their entire final standing may be riding on the result. Often, 70 percent or more of the final grade is based on exams, and there are still many courses that just have one final exam. Each university has an office with authority over every aspect of the exam system (variously called the Board of Examiners, Grade Board, Review Board, or similar). They are not flexible about changing exam dates other than the above accommodations for fall-only students (which vary by department).
Exams are “blind double-marked” meaning that two outside readers judge your anonymously-submitted final exam or paper. This system operates in order to ensure transparency, fairness, and quality assurance. If there is a large discrepancy between the grades given by the two instructors, or you are on the cusp between two grades, your work will be sent to an impartial external examiner. Due to this system, if your performance falls short in an exam, the course grade will not be adjusted, even if you demonstrated substantial effort in the course. If you feel there was a true error in your grade, or you have other concerns, consult the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad (Grades section).
Note that many U.K. universities offer their students a chance to “re-sit” or re-take exams, or to submit a paper at a later time. However, regardless of any option given to you by your host university, UCEAP students are never allowed to re-take an exam or submit any assignment after the program ends and/or after you return to California. See the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad for full details of this critical regulation.

Preparing for U.K. Exams

Keep up with your reading and class attendance throughout the year so that final exam time will not be unnecessarily stressful. Take notes throughout the year so that you can effectively “revise” or study, especially during the spring revision period.
The London and Edinburgh Study Center staff have years of experience helping UC students adapt to the U.K. system, including exams. Review their website, which has much more detail and advice about many aspects of U.K. host universities. For example, they note that the goal in “revising” for U.K. exams is to draft answers to several likely questions, including references to major authorities or critics with succinct quotes, so that the exam hours are filled with writing what has already been thought through. While some creative thinking is always required in the exam, it is difficult to complete the required essays without a careful process of preparation. This is very different from simply rereading materials (and different from the type of “cramming” that you may do at UC).
Check previous exams for your course, often available at the library or on the website. They will give you many clues about the kind of questions asked and the kind of study required to answer them. Some instructors provide a list of dummy “prompts” or questions for essay exams for students to prepare before the exam. Familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam before the event by asking questions of your instructor or tutor.
If you typically are a disciplined student and are able to keep up with your work, the U.K. academic model can actually be more rewarding and liberating, and may even seem easier. However, if you often procrastinate, you’ll need to find ways of staying on track. Do not hesitate to ask your faculty or the Study Center staff if you feel you don’t understand the academic expectations. The earlier you ask for help, the more likely you will be to succeed.

London School of Economics -- Year -- ONLY

On your LSE transcript, you will receive two letter grades from the LSE General Course: one for coursework and one for the final exam. The coursework grade will account for 60% and the final exam grade for 40% of your final UCEAP grade. The final UCEAP grade will be reported in MyEAP and then transmitted to your campus registrar and posted to your UC transcript. 


Grade Reporting

For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad. Specifically, note the Grades section and the 90-day window for processing batches of grades. You can only request individually expedited grades once it has been 90 days since the end of the program, and then only if your particular grades are complete (often the problem is with the host university’s particular department or division).
While many U.K. university grades are processed within two to three months, some are often quite slow. Much depends on the Examination Board schedules, which change from year to year. U.K. universities that have historically transmitted grades to registrars past the 90 days include the University of Sussex, the University of Warwick, and the University of York, but others occasionally do as well.
You may get notice of your individual U.K. grades in a host university portal system, or directly from your instructor. However, because you will earn UC grades (not U.K. grades) there are additional steps to get it from the host portal to your registrar. U.K. grades must still be submitted to the Study Center; reviewed, converted, and entered for the UC faculty; electronically signed by the UC faculty, sent to the Systemwide Office, and then transmitted to the UC registrar.
Seniors should especially consider these issues, along with those outlined previously in the Course Information section, to make sure they do not require grades sooner than what may be possible. No individual expediting is possible until the end of the 90-day window, regardless of graduation or graduate school deadlines.
Grades for the fall semester are typically available late March, and grades for the spring semester are typically available late July or early August.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
You are encouraged to seek out internship opportunities in business and industry, the professions, government, the arts, or with non-profit public interest groups in the United Kingdom. Past UC students have taken part in science research projects with host university professors, archaeological explorations, arts festivals and other exciting internships which they have found greatly rewarding and often very beneficial to their future studies. While such internships are not arranged directly by UCEAP, host university international offices and Study Center staff will support applications and do their best to facilitate placement.
If you are interested in participating in an internship, you must obtain the Tier 4 Student Visa before departure from the U.S. U.K. laws prohibit any student from working, interning, or doing volunteer work unless they hold a Tier 4 Student Visa.
Alternate Spring Course Option for students at host universities in London:
(Queen Mary University of London and King's College London)
You have the opportunity to replace one Spring course choice with a new option offered in partnership with UC Berkeley Global Internships and EUSA, an internship coordinator. It is an internship plus online course. Students who choose this option will intern two full days per week during the Spring term and 4 full days per week during Spring break. You will receive 6 quarter units for the internship plus online course. This is an unpaid internship. The correct Tier 4 Student Visa is required.
Extending UCEAP Participation
UCEAP encourages fall students to extend participation to the academic year. If you are considering extension, submit a Departmental and College Preliminary Approval to Extend (DPA) form prior to departure. The DPA does not obligate you to extend, but will expedite the process. Once you are abroad, make an appointment with the Study Center and complete the Request for Final Approval (RFA).
UCEAP must approve your extension request once you are abroad in order to finalize the extension. Approval is based on a number of factors, including academic performance, the support of your UC campus department, and available space at the host institution.
Once your extension has been approved, UCEAP will notify your UC campus registrar, Financial Aid Office, and Campus EAP Office. For information about the steps you need to take in regards to finances, see the Extension of Participation chapter in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.

Visa for Students Extending Participation

If you are a short-term student with a Student Visitor Visa, you must return to the U.S. during winter break and apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa from the British consulate. The British Home Office has stated that anyone with a Student Visitor Visa cannot receive a second Student Visitor Visa upon arrival or re-entry.
If you are a short-term student with a Tier 4 Student Visa, you can either return to the U.S. to apply for a second Student Visa or you may be able to apply to the Home Office in London (or Glasgow); however, this method will cost at least $590 to apply by mail and at least $1,000 to apply in person. In addition to the high cost, applying by mail obligates you to submit your passport to the British Home Office for a number of weeks, during which time you cannot travel out of the country.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
“Nothing gives the English more pleasure, in a quiet but determined sort of way, than to do things oddly.”
—Bill Bryson
Become as acquainted as possible with the U.K. prior to departure, and keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers and magazines, and by watching films set in contemporary Britain. UC libraries subscribe to the main daily newspapers published in London, and weekly or monthly magazines of news and commentary are also available.


UCEAP students recommend acquiring a guidebook or two before departure. Travel books give comprehensive accommodation, sightseeing, historical, and travel information. Suggested travel book series include Let’s Go, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, Blue Guide, Michelin Guide, and Intelligent Traveler’s Guide. Other resources are Time Out, DK, Insight, and Footprint guidebooks.
Social Conduct

Living in the U.K.

Class stratification is still a part of U.K. society, and you are likely to be aware of some degree of class consciousness among your British peers. A smaller percentage of the population attends university in the U.K. than in the U.S., which means that a given university may be less representative of the population as a whole. But because students traditionally leave home to go to university just as in the U.S., the political and social character of a university cannot be predicted by its location. Be open to a variety of social and political attitudes on the part of your counterparts in Britain.
The United Kingdom is a multiracial society and has experienced, and continues to experience, racial tensions. But the mix of races is quite different; in addition to Africans and Afro-Caribbeans, Britain has a sizable population from the Asian subcontinent, including Indians and Pakistanis, but in relation to California, a smaller number of East Asians. Moreover, ethnic minorities represent different cultural experiences, deriving their place in contemporary Britain from the nation’s comparatively recent colonial past. British people are conscious of the need for racial awareness and sensitivity, but as ethnic groups are unevenly spread across the country (minorities typically concentrated in London and the large cities of the Midlands and North), they vary a great deal in their actual experience of racial diversity.
While Britain’s differences from the U.S. should not affect the degree of acceptance and friendliness extended to non-white American students, it may mean differing assumptions, even misunderstanding at times, about the backgrounds of such students. Political correctness is as much a part of discourse in Britain as in the U.S., but it also means different things and elicits a variety of attitudes.
You will likely hear much about culture shock in your campus UCEAP orientation meetings and during the orientation abroad. Whether you feel the term overstates the matter, or that shock is just the right term to describe adjusting to a new environment, realize that adjusting to life in a different country, even one where the language is the same and much of the popular culture is shared, can present a significant challenge. Though many returned students describe their time on UCEAP as “the best time of my life,” they admit that genuine effort is required to adjust, especially in the beginning.  

Drinking & Smoking

You will find quite different practices and attitudes toward drinking and cigarette smoking. In general, British students use pubs for socializing a great deal more than their American counterparts; a night out may be more frequent and involve the consumption of more alcohol than most American students are used to.
Smoking, while more controlled than a few years ago, is still common, especially among university students. Smoking in public buildings has been banned and is restricted to designated areas on university grounds. If you do not want to share accommodations with smokers (even though they are not smoking indoors), clearly note this in your housing application and every attempt will be made to accommodate the request, although it cannot be guaranteed.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Travel to the UCEAP Orientation

Detailed instructions on transportation from various airports in the U.K. to the designated arrival point are found in the Arrival/Orientation Information in the online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Mandatory Orientation

You are required to attend a mandatory UCEAP orientation abroad. The UCEAP Official Start Date varies by host university (see the program calendar on the UCEAP website for your host university). The Official Start Date is established by UCEAP; it is not published by your host university.
You are subject to dismissal from UCEAP if you do not arrive on the on the date and at the place and time specified in the program calendar (see Student Agreement, Section 10, in MyEAP). Regardless of your host university’s orientation dates, you are required to attend the mandatory UCEAP orientation.
The UCEAP orientation usually does not take place at your host university. Accommodations will be reserved for you for two nights (three days). Most UCEAP orientations will take place either in London, Edinburgh, or sometimes your host city. You are responsible for traveling directly to the accommodations—do not go to the Study Center. Details about the orientation accommodations, local transportation instructions from various airports, and address and phone information are found in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist. Dates and city locations are also in the program calendar.
Orientation includes academic briefings, social and cultural events, and some free time to explore the area. Do not plan on spending the block of time reserved for orientation on sightseeing or attending cultural events with your parents or non-UCEAP friends. Tickets to plays or other events are pre-purchased for you. After arrival, you will receive a detailed orientation agenda showing the free time slots, which you can then use to meet with family and friends who may also be in the city. The orientation provides insight into the academic environment of your host university and explains course credit, Study Lists, grades, and other serious academic matters. Advice will be offered on such issues as coping with a new culture, personal safety, health, and banking. You are required to attend all UCEAP orientation sessions and meals.
You will be provided with some meals (including all breakfasts) during the UCEAP orientation. You are expected to pay for other meals and personal sightseeing.
If the UCEAP orientation conflicts with a religious observance, individual accommodation is possible. For example, among multiple options, you may attend an orientation on another date that is held by your Study Center. E-mail your request to UCEAP so appropriate arrangements can be made ahead of time.
The UCEAP orientations for students attending English universities (as distinct from Scottish universities) will take place in London.

Host University Orientation

In addition to the UCEAP orientation, each host university offers its own orientation. It is not a substitute for the UCEAP orientation, but an important supplement. Most UCEAP orientation dates occur before the host university orientation and are scheduled to end as closely as possible to the start of host university orientations. There may be a time gap between the two orientations of a couple of days; you must anticipate this time and budget for it because you will be responsible for personal expenses, which include the cost of housing, food, transportation, and any other miscellaneous expenses that come up between the two orientations. Check your UCEAP program calendar on the Participants portal of the UCEAP website to see the number of days between the two orientations.
There may be an extra orientation charge by the host university. The Student Budget, found on the UCEAP website, factors these costs into one of the line items, which means that the UC Financial Aid Office also factors these costs into the financial aid package (if you receive financial aid).
The host university orientation is mandatory. You will receive instruction on course registration and most universities begin their Registration Week during orientation; therefore, it is not likely that you will be enrolled in your preferred classes if you miss the host university orientation.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.

Travel to the U.K.

Before you make any travel plans, see the Entry Clearance section under Travel Documents of this guide and the visa instructions in the online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
No group flights have been arranged by UCEAP. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. Even if you are on full financial aid, you are responsible for reserving and purchasing your own airline ticket. Your Financial Aid Office is not responsible for purchasing tickets. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket. Standby tickets are not appropriate.
The UCEAP program calendar shows the Official Start Date, the UCEAP orientation date and site, and the host university orientation date. If you fail to appear on the dates indicated, you will be subject to dismissal from the program (see the Student Agreement online in MyEAP).
The start date of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. In addition, flights are routinely changed or canceled. Confirm your flight schedule with your airline about two weeks before departure. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel. In order to be kept informed of any program changes, you must update MyEAP with any changes in your address, e-mail, or phone number.

Airline and Customs Restrictions

Do not ask other students to carry any items abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines may not allow you to carry items for others. If you are allowed to board the plane with the items, customs abroad may charge you a high duty for those items. They will assume you plan to sell them, especially if you already have similar items of your own. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.

Travel to Your Designated Arrival Point

When traveling, always carry your passport, visa, ticket, prescription medications, and money. Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Leave extra credit cards at home, and carry only what is necessary. To avoid theft, never leave your luggage unattended.
Flights from the U.S. direct to Europe arrive the day after they depart the U.S. Keep this in mind when booking your flight to arrive on the correct date for the program.
You are required to arrive at the correct program site on UCEAP’s Official Start Date; see the program calendar on the UCEAP website for the date.
Detailed instructions on transportation from London-area airports to the designated arrival point at the program site are available in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
Please remember: if you fail to appear on the date and at the place indicated, you will be subject to dismissal from the program (see the Student Agreement in MyEAP).

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.

Travel to the Host University

Travel from your UCEAP orientation in London to your host university will be arranged and paid by the UCEAP Study Center in London.  You will travel by private coach (bus) or by train and taxis together with the other UCEAP students attending your host university.
Travel Documents
You are not required to present a birth certificate to the host university, even if requested. Your passport is sufficient identification.
Make photocopies of all important documents and keep the copies in a location separate from the originals. E-mail yourself a list of passport and credit card numbers and any other personal information that would need to be replaced if it were stolen or lost.

Length of Stay

If the British consulate (before departure) or an immigration officer (after arrival) asks if you are “leaving the U.K. within six months,” be sure to answer “No” and explain that you will attend university for the full academic year (or shorter term). You are not being asked about your vacation or travel plans, although the question may sound like that. Different stamps are placed in the passport depending on the length of time you will be an enrolled student.

Entry Clearance (Visa)

If you are attending university in England or Scotland for the year, you must obtain an entry clearance called a Tier 4 Student Visa (for the year) prior to departure from the U.S. The clearance is obtained by online application and hard-copy mail to/from the British consulate in New York.
If you are a U.S. citizen attending university for only one term, you can obtain an entry clearance called a Student Visitor Visa upon arrival in the U.K. by showing required documentation of student status and evidence of financial support. However, if you want to work, intern, or do volunteer work in the U.K., you must obtain a different entry clearance, called a Tier 4 Student Visa (for a short term), before departure.
Detailed information about the entry clearance (for both year and short-term programs) can be found in the online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen attending university for only one term, check the British consulate website immediately to find what process is required for students from your country of citizenship.

Traveling to the U.K.

You may not travel to or through the Republic of Ireland on your way to the United Kingdom. Do not book your flight on Aer Lingus, as it will make a stop in Dublin on its way to the U.K.
The U.K. and Ireland are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement, which also includes Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. The first entrance into the CTA dictates the type of entry clearance stamp or entry clearance activation you will receive. This means that if you arrive first in Ireland on your way to the U.K., you will receive an “in transit” stamp, even if you already have an entry clearance (for the U.K.) from the British consulate in your passport. So, the U.K. entry clearance you might already have will not be activated upon arrival in the U.K., and you will not receive an entry clearance for short-term study because the CTA has already been entered and an “in transit” stamp given.
U.K. immigration officers may not even be present where passengers deplane from flights from CTA locations into the U.K. Immigration officers elsewhere in the airport will not and cannot activate or give an entry clearance to persons who have already entered the CTA. This means you have no status in the U.K. immigration computer records—your student status in the U.K. is nonexistent and your stay is considered illegal. You must regularize your status in order to register at your host university—and you will be denied reentry if you travel.
If you must regularize your status, you will have to apply for the correct entry clearance after arrival at your host university. Most likely you will need to return to the U.S. to obtain the correct entry clearance. If the British Home Office allows you to apply to their London office, it will cost at least $590 to apply by mail and at least $1,000 to apply in person. Applying by mail requires you to submit your passport to the British Home Office for several weeks, so you will not be able to travel out of the country. To be on the safe side, do not travel to or through Ireland on your way to studying in the U.K.

History of CTA

CTA has been in existence for decades to allow ease of travel to British and Irish citizens between the two countries. The European Union has adopted and continues to refine several similar arrangements for various groups of European countries, the most well known being the Schengen Treaty and its offshoots. However, Europe compensates for ease of border crossing with more internal controls, such as identity checks and shared immigration databases. How does this affect you? The U.K. appears to be loosening internal CTA border control in the European manner, thus you would not receive the entry clearance stamp or activation you need if you arrive in the U.K. from Dublin.

International Student ID Cards

An international student identification card is cheaper in the U.K. than in the U.S., and some students wait to purchase one. However, cards purchased in the U.K. do not carry the supplemental travel insurance policy that is provided with cards purchased in the U.S. The UCEAP insurance plan does provide travel insurance coverage, so review your policy to see if it will meet your travel needs. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Students who are granted DACA are strongly encouraged to consult an immigration attorney to evaluate the risks of potentially being unable to re-enter the United States and any impact that participation in UCEAP might have on any deferred action application. If you are undocumented and have not been granted DACA, we strongly encourage you not to leave the country.
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
Identify each item of luggage on the inside and outside with your name, home address, and destination. A rolling, wheeled suitcase is a wise investment. Luggage restrictions vary by airline, though all carriers have weight restrictions.
Pack clothing that is washable and quick drying if possible. Objects such as scissors, pocket knives, nail clippers, etc., must be packed in checked luggage only. They will be confiscated if found in your carry-on luggage.


  • Layered clothing (T-shirt,fleece vest, button and pullover sweaters)
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Warm socks
  • Flip-flops, walking shoes, casual footwear
  • One dressy outfit
  • Umbrella
  • Heavy jacket or coat
  • Rainwear


  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Beach towel
  • Lightweight blanket
  • Seat pad (good for train and bus travel)
  • Travel-size sleeping bag
  • Empty backpack (to bring home items purchased abroad)
  • Travel alarm and flashlight
  • Small gifts for new friends (with UC Logo or California designs)
  • Family photos

Do Not Bring

  • Pharmaceuticals that are illegal in the U.K. (prescription medications are the exception; see Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad)
  • Fragile items unless they are bubble wrapped


The electrical current used abroad is 50 cycles AC rather than the 60-cycle current used in the U.S., and voltage is 220–240 rather than the standard U.S. 110–120 volts for small appliances. Most electrical sockets in the U.K. have three-pin plugs. Prior to packing electronics, check the plug or the tag near the plug to verify their voltage capabilities. If an item is intended for 110-120V, it will require a converter and an adapter. Items intended for 110-240V require only an adapter. Past students who did not check their electronics have caused short circuits in their accommodations and elsewhere.
Travel irons, curling irons, hair dryers, electric razors, etc. can be purchased in the U.S. with either a built-in converter or multi-voltage function. These appliances will need only a plug adapter to be used abroad. U.S. clocks need to be battery-driven to operate abroad. Past UCEAP students recommend purchasing small appliances abroad, although they will be more expensive than in the U.S.
If you plan to take a laptop, be sure that the AC input of its power supply will accept 240 volts and 50hz (AC Input: 100V–240V; 50hz–60hz); if it does not, purchase a transformer before departure. You can purchase the correct adapter plug (for three-pronged sockets) in the U.S. or abroad. Since the cost of electricity abroad is high and improper use of appliances may damage both the electrical outlets and the appliances, ask before using the outlets. Some university accommodations will test your appliances to make sure the appliances comply.
Information on electrical appliances and accessories can be found on the Magellan’s and Distant Lands websites.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protections for your property, as in spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP's travel insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends you to examine the details of the UCEAP travel insurance benefits and to purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
You may decide to purchase additional coverage, especially for high-value electronics (e.g., computer, tablets, camera, etc.). If you decide to do so, purchase supplemental coverage before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. You can safeguard your belongings from damage or theft by locking your room and securing money, travelers checks, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
Return Transportation
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase a ticket that allows changes to the return date.
The estimated airfare amount in the UCEAP Program Budget is based on the cost of a changeable round-trip student ticket.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.


  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Handling Money Abroad

Recommendations from UCEAP Students

Take funds in an easily negotiable form to last through the first few months abroad. Even after you open a bank account, checks will take up to six weeks to clear. Therefore, year and spring semester students should take as much money as possible in the form of travelers checks (issued in the foreign currency) in order to open a bank account with immediately accessible funds. You will initially need a minimum of U.S. $325 for textbooks and basic supplies. Budget additional funds for warm clothing and travel.
Because fall semester students will reside abroad for less time than year or spring students, they may or may not wish to open a bank account, depending on their circumstances (e.g., their dorm housing may want to withdraw the housing payment from a U.K. bank account).
Take a bank card that enables access to funds in a U.S. bank account at an ATM (called a "cash point" in the UK). The bank card must have a four-digit PIN. Most U.S. banks will charge currency exchange fees when money is withdrawn from an ATM. The fees can be high. However, U.K. banks will not charge currency exchange fees. Experience has shown that Bank of America cards are preferred over Wells Fargo cards, due to cost of fees per transaction. Check with your bank prior to departure to confirm their policies. 


In general, banking practices in the United Kingdom are similar to those in the U.S. In order to open an account, you will need to provide proof of a local address, proof of registration at the host university (a letter provided by your host university), and personal identification (passport).
Most large U.S. banks maintain relations with prominent British banks. Prior to departure, find out with which bank your U.S. bank is affiliated and what services they offer. Past participants have used Barclays, National Westminster, Midland National Bank, Lloyds TSB, Santander, Nationwide, Halifax, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland.
After arrival, go to a nearby bank and open a checking account (this is called a current account, as distinguished from a deposit account, which is the equivalent of an American savings account). There is often a branch of one of the main banks on campus or nearby.
Banking practices are more restrictive than those in California, and there are some differences. A typical student current account should include a checkbook and an ATM card. It is not possible to cash a check in a store without a specific check guarantee card (which banks are typically reluctant to issue to new customers—not just students). A U.S. credit card will not serve as a check guarantee.
Banking policy is left to the discretion of the individual bank manager. A good letter of reference from your U.S. bank may ease restrictions that might otherwise be imposed by a bank abroad. If the bank is less restrictive (or the students at the local host university have a good banking record), it may be possible to obtain a check guarantee card, which also functions as a debit/ATM card. Banks have their own names for these cards (e.g., Switch at NatWest or Connect at Barclays). The bank may be willing to issue such a card after an initial probationary period of banking, so be sure to ask about it.

Travelers Checks

You can take travelers checks issued in the foreign currency to open a bank account and for immediate use after arrival. Travelers checks are not as widely accepted at retail venues abroad as they are in the U.S. You will first need to cash your travelers checks at a bank. Not all banks provide this service or cash American Express travelers checks, and some banks will charge a fee. You will need to show your passport as ID when cashing travelers checks. If you are opening a bank account, take any amount of travelers checks. If you are not opening a bank account, take only a small amount of travelers checks and rely on your ATM card for cash.

Transferring Money

When transferring money, the larger the amount transferred, the more favorable the rates.
Wiring funds from a U.S. bank to a foreign bank is an option if funds in your foreign account run low. The sender in California can order a wire transfer from a major bank for a fee; however, most if not all major banks now require the sender to be a customer. The fee is fixed, so the larger the amount sent, the better. The money is electronically transferred to your account abroad and a second fee is charged. Money sent in this way is instantly accessible.
Many financial aid students request (via the UCEAP Electronic Funds Transfer form) that their financial aid be deposited electronically into their U.S. bank account (rather than being mailed as a hard copy check to their U.S. address). This large deposit can then be wired by the student’s power of attorney in the U.S. to the account abroad.
Another way to transfer money is by using a banker’s draft, which can be purchased at a U.S. bank in dollars and sent abroad by mail for deposit. Make sure the foreign bank will accept the banker’s draft without waiting for collection from the U.S.

Host University Fees

You are not obligated to pay application or registration fees that are normally required by the host university. Disregard these two kinds of fee requests when returning forms to the host university. You are, however, responsible for all housing deposits and payments, the international student orientation fee (often called the “freshers’conference fee”), and other charges.

Before Departure

The pound sterling, abbreviated GBP, is the official unit of currency used in the United Kingdom. The sign for the pound is £. Before leaving the U.S., exchange $200 into British pounds. The funds will be useful upon arrival for snacks, transportation, tips, and unexpected purchases. Some U.S. banks will purchase the foreign currency for you; the process may take a week or more. You can also exchange dollars for foreign currency at airports, though banks usually offer more favorable rates.
Contact your bank before departure to let them know you will be abroad and for what period of time. This will ensure that your bank cards are not flagged for suspected fraud and rejected should you need to use them while abroad.
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
E-mail is available, but facilities and resources are not the same as at UC and you will likely have to wait for access to computers.
Some computers may be too old to have ports for downloading and saving images from digital cameras. Also, some computer labs will not allow images to be loaded on the computers and e-mailed. If you plan to use a digital camera, you are encouraged to bring a laptop.
Approximate time difference: add 8 hours
There are two types of public phones in the United Kingdom, pay phones that take coins (of 20 pence and over) and card phones. Calling cards are the most convenient method for making calls from public telephones. Cards in denominations of £2, £4, £10, or £20 are available from the post office, travel centers, some news agents, machines on underground platforms, and anywhere there are Phone Card signs. Many BT pay phones take major credit cards and charge cards. Unfortunately, phone card telephones may not be available in your residence hall, and you may have to walk to one elsewhere on campus, or even off campus.

Collect Calls

In the U.K., collect calls (made by dialing 100) are expensive. Do not phone the Study Center this way unless there is an emergency.

Directory Assistance

Information in the U.K. is reached by dialing a provider of Directory Service Information. All providers have six-digit numbers beginning with 118 and all charge for the service, even from public phones. First try other means to find a phone number (the Internet, a phone book, etc.) because the charge can be expensive. More information will be distributed at the on-site orientation.

International Phone Calls

International calls are best made using phone cards, though at least a £10 card is needed for calling the U.S. The direct dialing code to the U.S. is 001 + area code + number. You can call the U.S. collect through the operator by dialing 155 (the International Operator). Calls made between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. are the most expensive, those made in the afternoon are slightly less expensive, and rates go down considerably after 8 p.m. An excellent time to phone California is 7 a.m. because the rates are still low and because at that time it is 11 p.m. (the previous day) in California.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long-distance phone companies, including AT&T and Sprint, provide special services that make it easy to phone home from abroad. In addition, you can purchase a wide range of commercial phone cards in the U.K. in various denominations specifically for international calls.


Many students use Skype for long-distance calls. Family and friends in the U.S. can call you, at low rates, using Skype from their computers. You can Skype family and friends from any computer with Internet access. Computer-to­-computer Skype calls are free. You will need a headset and a microphone.

Cell (Mobile) Phones

Cell phones are called mobiles in the U.K. A pay-as-you-go plan is best, as it offers flexibility and good rates. Often, UCEAP students purchase an inexpensive handset that will last the term or the year, and install a SIM card with their chosen plan combining free texts or free minutes. You will be advised on cell phones during the UCEAP orientation, and will have free time to purchase a cell phone.
You may consider unlocking your U.S. smartphone, but be aware that this can void warranties and potentially prevent you from downloading future software updates for your phone. Check with your provider about your phone's international capabilities. Some students suggest that it is convenient to bring your U.S. smartphone if only for wi-fi and other non-phone applications.
Mail & Shipments


The British mail service is usually fast. Letters mailed in the evening before the last mail collection at any of the British universities are delivered in London the next day or two and vice versa. Airmail to or from California usually takes from six to ten days; however, delivery times can vary widely and if you are being sent a package that must arrive by a certain date, have the package sent by an express courier service.
See Your UCEAP Network in this guide for the correct mailing address at your host university.


Packages sent from the U.S. generally take six to eight weeks to arrive by surface mail. Do not have packages sent. The Study Center will not collect luggage that has been shipped in advance and staff will not pick up any luggage that must be claimed at a customs office or dock.
Study Center Contact

Study Center Contact

It is important to keep in contact with the UCEAP Study Center, especially when responding to requests for information from Study Center staff. See Your UCEAP Network in this guide for contact information.
Study Center office hours are generally 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office may be closed for lunch. You may contact the Study Center at any time and leave a voicemail message. You may also contact the Study Center Director or Program Officer outside office hours in an emergency by using the personal phone numbers you will receive after arrival.
Housing & Meals
General Information

General Information

You will live in a university hall of residence, flat (apartment), or a room in a private home. You must make your own housing arrangements, deposits, and payments (even if you are on full financial aid). After you receive notification of acceptance, the host university should mail you housing information and application forms. Communicate directly with your university’s housing office and discuss housing questions with staff at the Study Center.
Most host universities provide excellent housing information online. Look for information on host meet-and-greet services, temporary housing, social activities, and other options offered to incoming students.
Most universities allocate and send confirmation of fall and year housing in late August. Be sure you have submitted the housing application by the university’s deadline, usually in June or July. Information about spring housing is usually distributed with the host university’s admission notification.
Window screens are not common in the U.K. Be prepared for insects to enter your room if the window is left open for a long period of time.
UCEAP Orientation Housing
During orientation, you will stay two nights in a student residence hall or hotel. The UCEAP fees will cover the cost of these accommodations. After the mandatory UCEAP orientation, you will be responsible for all housing and transportation arrangements and expenses. You may have free time until the host university residence is available (may be several days). Budget accordingly and plan to make use of this time for sightseeing, or to make private, non-university housing arrangements if desired. Study Center staff will advise you on temporary accommodations and travel.
If you arrive early or remain in the city where the UCEAP orientation is held, you may be able to stay in the accommodation being used for the UCEAP orientation. You must make reservations and pay to extend the stay directly with the accommodations, preferably before departure from the U.S. However, if rooms are unavailable, the Study Center will have information on nearby B&Bs or inexpensive hostels.
How to Secure Your Housing / Housing Contracts
University housing is becoming less available as more British students attend universities. Semester-only students, especially spring-only students, may need to find their own housing in the community.
To request host university housing, you must take the initiative to obtain, complete, and return all housing forms and deposits required by the university. You must make your own reservations and pay the required deposits (in British pounds) prior to departure—even if you are on full financial aid. The forms and deposits must be received by the host university by their established deadlines. When a university notes that housing is “guaranteed” for international students, it means that housing has been set aside for international students who apply and pay by the deadlines. Housing is not reserved or paid for by UCEAP, and it is unlikely it will be available to you if you miss the application or payment deadlines.

Housing Contracts

Carefully read all housing contracts prior to signing. These contracts are legally binding and commit you to the full cost of the housing for the period of time specified, regardless of the length of time you actually use the housing. Contracts are usually for the entire academic year. If you are a year student, do not assume you can depart university housing mid-year unless the contract states it is solely for a term or the university specifically allows a mid-year contract termination without fees. If you are a short-term student, read the contract carefully to make sure the contract covers the correct term.
The housing reservation begins on the date specified in the contract. The initial move-in date may or may not be negotiable after the reservation is made, and you will need to make your own arrangements if you arrive earlier than the specified move-in date. Carefully choose your initial move-in date based on when you will depart the UCEAP orientation and when you plan to arrive at the host university.

Housing Offices

Do not communicate with the host university housing office until you have completed a housing request form or until you have actually been accepted by the host university.
Know Before Choosing Your Housing

Know Before Choosing Housing

Quality and Distinctions

Housing quality is extremely variable, even on a single campus. The basic distinction in university housing is between residences in which meal plans are part of the package (halls or catered accommodations) and self-catering residences that provide shared cooking facilities for groups of students (anywhere from four to a dozen or more). Within this basic distinction, there are large dormitory-style buildings either on campus or some distance from it; or nearby older houses, mansions, or blocks of flats that the university has converted to student housing. A typical configuration of university housing built in the past 20 to 25 years consists of accommodations for four or five students with separate rooms, with a common entrance and cooking facilities; bathrooms may be shared or private (en suite) in the individual room (at additional cost).
In residence halls, bed linens are usually provided or available to rent, but towels are not. Each hall is headed by a warden or similar officer who frequently has the authority to decide whether a student can be accepted into the hall or released from a housing contract.


UCEAP students strongly advise that you request housing shared by more mature students if you select university accommodations. International students typically are housed with first-year students (freshers) who are living away from home for the first time and who may not be held to the same academic levels as more advanced students. Freshers can be noisy, boisterous flatmates, and may not study as diligently as UC students.

Meal Plans and Dietary Needs

Whether you choose a catered or a self-catering residence will depend on personal needs and preferences. Catered halls are the most convenient, and meals you take in the common refectory are a way to meet a wide variety of students. However, freshers usually choose the catered halls and UCEAP students report that the quality of the cuisine is lower than that provided in UC halls; UC students often tire of the food. Vegetarians, vegans, and those with other special dietary needs should not elect a residence with a meal plan (vegetarian and other options are limited). With a self-catering residence, you have control over what and when you eat. You may share meals with your flatmates or cook individually. Pots, pans, dishes, and flatware are frequently provided by the accommodation, but in some cases you may need to purchase them. Inexpensive kitchen utensils and other supplies can be purchased at charity (thrift) shops.


If you do not smoke, you may want to inquire about smoking practices among flatmates and come to an agreement at an early point in your association. If you do not want to share a flat with smokers, clearly note this in your housing application.

Distance from Campus

A significant difference from UC housing is that accommodations owned by the university may be at some distance from the campus. Carefully check the housing description to determine whether you are within walking distance of the campus, or whether there is quick and inexpensive local transportation. Bus transportation is widely available and you can obtain an inexpensive bus pass.

Private Housing

Another housing possibility is non-university housing in lodgings (rented rooms in private homes with some meals provided) or in flats (apartments shared among three or four students). In the latter, heat and utilities usually are not included in the rent. A number of UCEAP participants have reported that private accommodations in the community are preferable to university housing. You are advised to discuss housing questions with UCEAP returnees or with UCEAP students currently abroad. Your Campus EAP Office has e-mail addresses of current participants, many of whom have indicated they will be glad to discuss their experiences by e-mail.

Council Tax

If you choose to live in private housing, you must register as a student with the local council to avoid being charged the local council tax. You can check with the host university accommodations office and with the local council for more information about this tax. Be aware that if any occupants of your house or flat are not students, you will not be exempt from council tax.

Housing Closures

Many dormitories are closed during the winter and spring breaks. However, some dorms allow students to remain during breaks if they have requested such accommodations on the original housing application. Carefully read and complete the original application in order to know if you will need to make alternate food and lodging arrangements during breaks. If you travel during breaks, provisions can usually be made for storing belongings.
Your Host Institution Housing

Housing in England

Imperial College London

One quarter of Imperial College students live in university-owned or managed housing. Most of the housing is self-catering and consists of single and shared bedrooms with common kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Most rooms in the university housing have both Internet and phone connections. The halls of residence vary widely in location and amenities, and are priced accordingly. See the ICL website for the specific names and locations of more than a dozen different halls of residence.
Distinct from the halls of residence are the intercollegiate halls, which are located in the Bloomsbury area of London. You are encouraged to apply for accommodation in one of the intercollegiate halls due to your location and also because these halls have catered meals.
The majority of ICL students live in private accommodations. The Student Accommodation Centre will help you find housing in the private sector if desired.

King’s College London

A number of accommodations are located throughout London on both sides of the Thames. Each hall offers recreation rooms, pantries providing basic cooking facilities, laundries, and television rooms, and some also offer quiet study areas, cycle sheds, access to sports and game facilities, gardens, and more. Some are for King’s College students, while seven intercollegiate halls accept students from all colleges within the University of London. Some halls accommodate a number of postgraduate students; if you are an older undergraduate, you may wish to consider these choices.
UCEAP students recommend Wolfson House, Lonsdown Terrace International House, both the Stamford Street Apartments (just across Waterloo Bridge from the college), and the intercollegiate residences. These options are conveniently located near classes, a major factor in making a London housing decision. The Stamford Street residence is only for King’s College students. Do not choose housing in Champion Hill, which is far from campus and in an undesirable area. Housing in Hampstead is also far from campus, but the area is desirable and the costs are lower, except for the cost of daily transportation. Students say Brian Cramer House is not a good place to live, citing security and maintenance issues.
The halls are served by public transportation and access to King’s College is by bus, underground, or British Rail. Travel times vary from ten minutes to approximately one hour. For example, if you stay at Hampstead Campus Residence, you must purchase a monthly underground pass costing approximately $120, but if you stay at Great Dover, you can walk to classes. Transportation costs are a serious factor in choice of housing.
You may note your choice of hall and consideration will be given to your preference; however, places in specific halls cannot be guaranteed and you are advised to select as many halls as possible.

University College London

University College London operates a number of university-owned residences, all located on the north side of the Thames with most in close proximity to the campus. Students can choose Residence Halls for dorm-style catered living, Student Houses for self-catered housing mostly comparable to apartment living, or Intercollegiate Halls for catered housing shared with students from other University of London campuses. All options offer at least basic cooking facilities and laundries, with a majority offering some or all of the following amenities: television rooms, quiet study areas, cycle sheds, access to sports and game facilities, gardens, music practice rooms, and more.
The halls are served by public transportation and access to University College London is by bus, underground, or on foot. Travel times are for the most part very short, and all residences are within 30 minutes of campus by public transport. Transportation costs should be considered when choosing housing.
You will note your choice of housing;and the accommodations office will try to meet your request but places in specific halls cannot be guaranteed. You are advised to select as many halls as possible.
Alternative Accommodation in London:
Aside from university-owned housing students can consider living in a wide range of Private Halls of Residence throughout London. Students should contact these Halls directly. University of London Housing Service (ULHS) provides a list of Private Halls arranged by location within the London area, complete with descriptions, pictures, and contact information. ULHS can give further assistance with finding private sector housing, accessed through subscribing universities. Students studying at a university with a subscription to ULHS can register in order to gain access to the available housing database (begin the registration process on the ULHS website in order to see the subscribed universities). More information for ULHS can be found on their website at can also download the London Student Housing Guide

University of Bristol

Full board and self-catering halls of residence are available. Each hall is an academic community committed to providing a supportive student environment, promoting student welfare, and encouraging personal development. All halls are home to students from different countries and backgrounds, representing different faculties and different stages in their academic careers. You may choose the larger, more traditional hall, or a smaller environment such as a flat or student house. Stoke Bishop, a mini-campus of self-catering flats, is attractive but a 30-minute walk from the university. UCEAP participants recommend Clifton Hill House and Manor Hall, as well as The Hawthorns, which is in the center of the campus. Students report the UNITE housing is not well maintained. Other accommodations, including lodgings with meals, bed-sitting rooms, and flats, may be available. The accommodation office may help you set up private housing.

University of East Anglia, Norwich

The university has several modern residence halls on campus, all organized on a self-catering basis. You may elect a single or a shared study bedroom in one of the residence halls on University Plain. UCEAP participants recommend Norfolk Terrace. New accommodations with private bathrooms are being built as well. UEA’s dorm rooms have been wired for Internet access. There is a hookup fee of approximately £20. Students report problems with the phone system in student housing.

University of Kent, Canterbury

You will live in either a catered college or in a self-catering accommodation, such as Parkwood. In general, past UCEAP participants have been more satisfied with the self-catering units than with the catered colleges. Although meals are provided in lodgings, you may also eat meals in the college. Students have been uniformly satisfied with Parkwood, which offers two different price options. Bed linens are provided in residence halls and in Parkwood. Towels are not provided. All students are officially members of a college, at least for administrative purposes, even those in self-catering accommodations.

University of Leeds

There are three categories of housing at Leeds: 1) university-owned accommodations (residence halls and university flats), 2) associate hostels, and 3) accommodations in private or municipal dwellings. Bed linens can be rented (towels are not included). Although some residence halls are a good distance from campus, students have been pleased with those accommodations.
All housing varies widely depending on condition, cost, cleanliness, and distance from campus. Due to the variations in housing, you are strongly encouraged to consider the following notes and discuss the merits of specific housing with UCEAP Leeds returnees before choosing accommodations.
You can also discuss housing options by e-mail with Study Center staff in Edinburgh.
  • UCEAP students have liked both Lyddon Hall and Lyddon Terrace (a shared house). Lyddon Terrace information is not on Leeds’ housing website, but it is on campus, has very large rooms, and is more like an apartment than a dorm.
  • UCEAP students strongly recommend Leodis Residences and Devonshire Hall.
  • Lupton Residences has had burglaries, but UCEAP students like the busy off-campus student area of Headingley, as well as the lower cost.
  • Ellerslie Hall, in the center of campus, is a 20-minute walk to the train station.
  • Charles Morris and James Baillie Park are popular, but James Baillie is accessible only by two long, isolated roads.
  • Oxley Residences and East Moor are four miles away; there is no direct bus link to East Moor and it requires a long walk in a secluded area.
  • Bodington Hall can take an hour to reach by bus during rush hour, but offers excellent on-site facilities. Students have enjoyed the social and community atmosphere.
  • St. Mark’s Residences is used during the summer and may not be completely cleaned prior to your arrival. Some rooms are in poor condition. All inhabitants at St. Mark’s are freshers and international students.
  • Clarence Dock Residences is in a recently upgraded neighborhood in the city center, but students say bus transportation is unreliable, and it is a 40minute walk to campus.
  • Montague Burton Residences has had serious cleanliness and maintenance problems in prior years, but recent UCEAP students like its proximity to campus.
  • Sentinel Towers, North Hill Court, Carr Mills, and Mary Morris International Residence in Headingley have all been recommended by UCEAP students. Sentinel Towers is well liked for its central location, close to both the campus and the city center, and nearby take-out food services are open until 4 a.m.
Commuting is a factor to keep in mind when you choose housing. Also, be aware that you may move into a room that has been used all summer by other students. If the cleaning crew has not yet cleaned, or has not cleaned thoroughly, contact the accommodations office immediately to request a cleaning crew.

University of London, Queen Mary

Queen Mary will send an accommodation form with its acceptance letter. If the form is returned to Queen Mary by the stated deadline, university housing is guaranteed in one of various types of self-catering residences either on or near the campus. Most of the housing has been built in the last decade with high standards. All rooms are singles, grouped into five to six bedroom flats. Each bedroom has a washbasin, and each group shares a bathroom and kitchen. Laundry and common room facilities are provided. About one-fifth of Queen Mary students live in university housing. The Mile End campus has two new 200­bed halls with full meal contracts. The older halls are about 35 minutes away by Tube (South Woodford). Bed and breakfast or pay-as-you-go meal plans are available. In addition, Queen Mary has just completed a 995-room student village and opened a new Learning Resources Center, greatly increasing computer access. The cost of private housing in London is high.
Past UCEAP students note that France House, Varey House, Maynard House, Lindop House, and Stocks Courts (all self-catering flats) are pleasant residences. Hatton House is more expensive. The East End is the older, lower-income part of the city and you need to be prepared for and able to adjust to this aspect of daily life. Students advise against living along Bancroft Road, where break-ins have occurred, and recommend paying extra for en suite and in-room Internet access because the convenience is well worth the cost. Students report the telephone system is non-functional in the student housing. Last year UCEAP participants rented mobile phones for 85 pounds/year with 60 minutes of free calls per month.

University of London, Royal Holloway

All visiting students are assigned to single rooms in self-catering halls, but students can choose to purchase meal plans offered for the campus as a whole. Regardless of the published room costs which vary widely, visiting students are charged a subsidized fixed price. Most rooms have their own bathrooms (called en suite). Hall fees are payable in advance each term.  Past students recommend Runnymede, Reid, and Gower/Wedderburn halls.The campus is on 120 acres of woodland about 19 miles west of central London.  Trains from nearby Egham Station connect with London's Waterloo Station in 35 minutesThere are more than 9,300 places available in University of Manchester halls and most are within two to three miles of the campus. Halls are catered and self-catered, but the self-catered options fill up quickly. Past UCEAP students recommend the self-catered halls.


University of Manchester

There are more than 9,300 places available in University of Manchester halls and most are within two to three miles of the campus. Halls are catered and self-catered, but the self-catered options fill up quickly. Past UCEAP students recommend the self-catered halls.
Most students have been pleased with their housing assignments. Fallowfield Campus Housing is highly popular, with many social activities and the option to room with British students. UCEAP students also recommend Bowden Court, Grosvenor Place, Whitworth Park, Weston Hall, and Lambert Hall. The catered and traditional St. Gabriel’s Hall houses mainly freshers and is all female.
Private housing called Manchester Student Homes (from studio flats to large shared houses) is also available for single students and students with families. These accommodations are located in the main residential districts of Manchester, Salford, and Stockport. Lists of private housing are available at the Accommodation Office. Students should take unsigned leases for any private housing to the Accommodation Office to look over and advise on—this office will have information on past student experiences with specific landlords. 

University of Sussex, Brighton

University housing may not be available for fall-only students and it will not be available for spring-only students. Past UCEAP students report that private housing is not difficult to find. The Sussex housing office has resources to help you find private housing and there is also a temporary homestay option where you can live while you look for housing.
There is university accommodation for 2,800 students and most housing is on campus. On-campus housing consists mainly of single-study bedrooms, but there are some shared rooms. Some students live in one of a number of large houses and small hotels owned by the university in nearby Brighton and Hove, about 15 minutes from campus by train or bus. All accommodation is self-catering, with a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Bed linens and towels are not provided, but bed linens are available for rent. All accommodations have phones, but students report serious problems with the phone system.
Past UCEAP participants have lived in East Slope, Park Village, Lewes Court, and Kent House (the latter two are strongly recommended). Norwich House is newer, with larger rooms, but only international students are housed there. Students praise Park Village for its social life, but note negatively that it provides one to two showers per 12 students. Northfield is the newest housing.
University of the Arts London
UCEAP students locate, reserve, and pay directly for housing.  Your UAL College will email you a Welcome Pack with accommodation information.  Short-term students may not be able to find housing in UAL dorms; UAL will provide links to several resources for local housing.
There are thirteen halls of residence located throughout central London for students attending one of the UAL colleges. Each hall offers a safe, student-focused environment as well as the chance to experience living in vibrant and distinct areas of the city. The unique halls provide a variety of different room types, including single and studio, en suite and not en suite. Many halls arrange these rooms in cluster flats, helping to create an enriching community experience. Most  halls provide: internet access; on-site laundry facilities; a common room; and a social program which is open to all residents. UAL’s accommodation webpage features 360-degree virtual tours of all the residences, enabling students to view a model of each hall’s room options and facilities. Students with disabilities can be accommodated at Camberwell, Cordwainers, The Costume Store, Don Gratton House, Mana Ash, and Will Wyatt.

University of Warwick, Coventry

You may live in campus accommodations, a university-leased house off campus, married or family housing, or a private room in a house or flat. Off-campus housing in Coventry, Leamington Spa, and Kenilworth is modern and comfortable. On-campus dormitories each have resident tutors (RAs) and a warden (manager).
Since Warwick is considered the MIT of England, the entire campus is extremely innovative, with the newest technological amenities. On-campus housing is among the best in the United Kingdom and has Internet access in every room and telephone access in most rooms. UCEAP students emphasize that the campus contains every kind of shop and service needed for comfortable living. There is also excellent shopping in town and especially in nearby Leamington Spa, which offers numerous events.
Address all inquires about housing to the International Office, which will liaise with the campus housing office as necessary. Students with dependents are welcome and child care is available.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.

Travel within the U.K. and Europe

After residing abroad for six months, you will be eligible to buy the InterRail pass, good for one month of travel throughout Europe. Students often use this pass during spring break and find it to be an excellent value.
The Eurail pass must be purchased in the U.S. You can select length of time and travel zones. The pass can only be mailed by the issuing party to a U.S. address. The pass is not valid in the U.K., but it is valid in the Republic of Ireland.


Numerous options are available for storing luggage during breaks or while traveling after the end of the program. Two storage companies are Big Yellow Self Storage and Excess Baggage Company. Storage sites are usually at airports, underground stations, and train stations. Prices and hours will vary, so confirm details in advance. Most companies can also arrange to ship luggage.
Extracurricular Activities
You are encouraged to participate in cultural activities while abroad. Join sports, music, theater, or art groups; provide volunteer services to social organizations; participate in athletic events and religious activities; and attend lectures, discussions, and receptions in academic and community circles. Most universities offer organized clubs ranging from political societies to sports clubs. Student organizations generally recruit new members actively during the campus orientation.
Read The Knowhere Guide for inside information and tips that only locals know. Popular attractions including local music scenes, shopping, cafés, art galleries, cinemas, festivals, and much more can be found at this website.

Imperial College London

Located near the Museum of Natural History and the Victoria and Albert, Imperial College London is at the center of London’s cultural offerings. In addition, the Student Union provides multiple opportunities to join clubs and participate in sports. The pub in the Student Union is a popular meeting place where students study.

King’s College London

The campus is in the heart of London, close to the city’s many academic resources and rich cultural opportunities in music, theater, sports, museums, and art galleries. The British Museum, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and the West End are all within walking distance of the college. Be independent and proactive in taking advantage of the many activities offered.

University College London

The campus is in the heart of London, close to the city’s many academic resources and rich cultural opportunities in music, theater, sports, museums, and art galleries. The British Museum, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and the West End are all within walking distance of the college. Be independent and proactive in taking advantage of the many activities offered.

University of Bristol

With over 150 clubs, societies, and sporting teams, you can participate in basketball, rowing eights, women’s soccer, field hockey, water polo, rugby, swimming, and the many arts and cultural activities that the area offers. The city of Bristol hosts several annual boat races; the Zoo Gardens, with a long-established animal breeding and conservation program; the Wildwalk, a living rainforest; Explore-At-Bristol, an interactive science exhibits center; the Orange Imaginarium, a planetarium; and an IMAX theater. Many of these venues have volunteer opportunities.

University of East Anglia

Norwich is a thriving center with great shopping, and excellent cultural and social opportunities. UEA has a student bulletin board on its website that allows you to correspond with U.K. students. The university hosts the Arthur Miller Center International Literary Festival with lectures and workshops by well-known authors. The on-campus Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts offers volunteer and internship opportunities.

University of Kent

Students note the city of Canterbury is “quiet” and it takes initiative to become involved in activities. Nearby Ashford is a stop for all EuroStar trains, so Paris and Brussels are only a little more than two hours away. The Kent Student Union offers a Certificate of Volunteering, which is a valuable addition to a résumé. The annual Canterbury Festival includes the Community Opera Project and seeks volunteers for both technical and performance components.

University of Leeds

Vibrant culture, commerce, and style make Leeds the primary social hub of the North and have secured the vote as the U.K.’s most popular student city. The 100-acre university campus is just a ten-minute walk from the center of the city and boasts a sports hall, a 600-seat theater, concert hall/disco, student-run television service, and student newspaper. The university received the Big Difference Award for helping refugee children in the city with English language skills. Volunteers are especially needed for this project. To escape city life, the impressive Yorkshire Dales and Lake District, with their awe-inspiring scenery and huge selection of outdoor activities and pursuits, are right on Leeds’ doorstep.

University of London, Queen Mary

The campus is in London’s East End, a multicultural district within easy access of the city center. The location provides the opportunity to study and observe the heart of government, media, business, and cultural activity. Student societies range from Debate to Creative Arts Film and Strictly Come Dancing. The Sports Club offers martial arts and mountain climbing amid the more conventional sports. A volunteer program (called Provide) offers one-day opportunities in various fields.

University of London, Royal Holloway

The campus is on 120 acres of woodland about 19 miles west of central London. Trains from nearby Egham Station connect with London's Waterloo Station in 35 minutes so all the resources of London are available. Hiking and mountaineering clubs at RHUL are popular, as well as Ultimate Frisbee and various dance clubs.

University of Manchester

The campus is close to the Peak District National Park and the Pennine Hills, with extensive sporting and recreational possibilities. There is an on-campus aquatics center and the Manchester Velodrome, which is the North’s only Olympic-size bicycle track (open to everyone). Student Action Manchester is the umbrella volunteer group. A number of film festivals take place in the city with international attendance.

University of Sussex

The campus is located on 200 acres of parkland near the south coast, just a few miles from the seaside town of Brighton, and an hour from London. Project V coordinates student volunteers. Clubs include surfing, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, Ultimate Frisbee, mountaineering, and many more. Active groups include break dancing, poetry, circus, conservation, chess, and open mike societies.

University of the Arts London

The UAL college campuses are located in central London, with easy access to all the city has to offer. The famous saying, "If you are tired of London, you are tired of life" is very true.  Note that construction and redevlopment are ongoing, as in any city that is many centuries old.

University of Warwick

With a 500-acre campus in the center of England, the university is 20 minutes from Birmingham and only an hour train ride from London. The campus Arts Center is U.K.’s largest outside London, and the campus sports options include rock-climbing, sailing, and scuba diving. There are Olympic-size track facilities. The university hosts the world’s largest student-run international event, One World Week, using the services of 200 student volunteers. A certificate is offered by the Warwick Skills Program for certain volunteer projects. A unique project is the ongoing restoration of Allesley Park Walled Garden, an 18th-century site. Stratford-Upon-Avon, the place of Shakespeare’s birth and home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, is 12 miles from the university.
Students with Disabilities
Inform your host university of any needs so accommodation in services or housing can be made if at all possible. You must provide a letter from your UC campus Disabled Students Office requesting specific services. Accessible housing is available but needs to be reserved early. Professors will give extra time on exams if required. Note-takers are not available. You will need to borrow notes from your classmates or record the lectures (each professor’s permission must be obtained to record his or her lectures).
U.K. law mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities, and the government effectively enforces this requirement. The law requires that all public service providers (except in the transportation sector) make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure their services are available to persons with disabilities. Getting around in U.K. cities may be difficult at times, since many sidewalks are narrow and uneven. Although the London Underground and the U.K.’s National Rail System are very efficient methods for traveling throughout central London and the U.K., most stations are not readily accessible for people with mobility disabilities. Very few stations have elevators, and most have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. Buses are equipped with lowering platforms for people with mobility, sight or hearing disabilities. Taxis are also a good means of transportation.
The Transport for London and National Rail websites provide information for passengers with disabilities. There are many other resources available on the internet for persons with disabilities traveling to or living in the U.K. Contact your Operations Specialist well in advance of departure.

Plan Ahead

  • Be realistic about your condition and its impact, on your worst and best days.
  • Have a plan for what to do to do during flare ups, along with a list of signs indicative of not being able to cope. Work a realistic daily schedule and list of needs.
  • Regardless of how you have managed your disability on your campus, you may have to address the tension between the program structure and the need for flexibility demanded by the typical, sometimes daily, fluctuations of different activities.
For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.

Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.

The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad
​UCEAP discourages working abroad for academic reasons.  Students must obtain a Tier 4 Student Visa before departure in order to work, intern, or do volunteer work.
LGBTIQ Students
​For more information,


UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law.  Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims

ACI at

National Health Service (NHS)

Short-Term Programs

If you are sick or injured, although you are not entitled to free treatment by NHS if you are a short-term participant, you can choose where to obtain medical treatment as you are covered by the UCEAP travel insurance policy. Usually the best option is to go first to the student health service at the host university. If you need further treatment, the student health service can make recommendations about private practitioners, clinics, hospitals, or other providers. Wherever you receive care, you will pay up front and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance company for consideration of a refund. 
The average medical consult charges could be 207 BP an hour. For more information about medical professional fees, access the British Medical Association page. If you need a written report extracted from your records, it could cost 51.50 BP.The cost of the written reports is not covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.   For more information about UCEAP travel insurance, refer to the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy brochure.

Year Programs

Health care in England is mainly provided by England’s public health service, the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is a rare example of truly socialized medicine. It is recognized as one of the leading health care services in the world. It is government-run and supported entirely through taxes. Though the public system dominates health care provision in England, private health care is available and can be covered within the terms of the UCEAP travel insurance policy.
If you are in the year program, you may be entitled to treatment by the National Health Service (NHS). However, be aware that access to treatment under the NHS is not a right. The NHS provides the majority of health care in England, including primary care, in-patient care, long-term health care, ophthalmology, and dentistry. Even though a year program is only nine or ten months long, you are considered a “year” student by the NHS. This treatment is free and generally of good quality. If you qualify for full NHS treatment, consult with the Study Center staff whether you need to register with a local doctor (or GP as they are known in Britain) when you arrive in the U.K. The GP is often the first point of contact for many patients. Students sometimes feel that routine matters are handled with less efficiency than they are used to in the U.S., and delays in obtaining treatment is a frequent complaint from the British public. Although the NHS is overextended in its resources, it still offers reliable and conscientious medical care. The training and competence of medical personnel is strong. For more information, see the NHS website.
If you are sick or injured and want to see a private doctor, you can use your UCEAP travel insurance benefits, pay up front for the appointment and submit a claim for consideration of a refund.  For more information about the claims process, refer to Travel Insurance Claims Process.
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Register at your host university’s student health center soon after arrival. Services are usually prompt and free of charge.
The standard of medical care in the U.K. is good. Most routine medical treatment takes place in a “surgery,” which is simply the office where one or more doctors practice. If you require more specialized treatment, you will be sent to a consultant.

How the Medical System is Organized in the UK

GP's (Doctor's) Surgery (Doctor's Office) or Health Center
This is your first point of contact for medical treatment.  You will need to register with a Health Center or GP's Surgery.  Most illnesses and other problems can be treated by a GP.  If you need to see a specialist, the GP will refer you to an appropriate hospital department.  In addition to consultations with a Doctor, most GP's Surgeries and Health Centers provide a range of community health services: for example vaccinations, women's health clinics, family planning, contraception and sexual health. GP Surgeries and Health Centers are normally open during the daytime and early evening. They normally have an answering-machine message about where you can get help when the Surgery or Health Center is closed. Your local hospital may also have a Walk-in Clinic.

UCEAP Travel Insurance

You are covered by UCEAP travel insurance.  It is not the same as your U.S. or UC campus insurance.  There is no copay or deductible but you will be expected to pay for any kind of medical service.  If you are sick or injured, you pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company.  You will need to budget for this. 

Average Cost of Medical Consults in the UK

The average medical consult charges could be 207 BP an hour. For more information about medical professional fees, access the British Medical Association page. If you need a written report extracted from your records, it could cost 51.50 BP. For more information about UCEAP travel insurance, refer to the UCEAP website, Participants page, Insurance tab.

UK Glossary of Medical Terms

General Practitioner (GP): The GP is the gatekeeper to the health care system. GPs typically treat routine conditions then refer patients to the hospital (usually the district hospital).
Consultant: Consultant is the title of a senior physician who has completed all of his or her specialist training and been placed on the specialist register in their chosen specialty. Consultants accept ultimate responsibility for the care of all the patients referred to them. Patients must be referred to them by GPs.
Surgery or Doctor’s Surgery: In England, “surgery” is essentially the doctor’s office, a place where you can ask advice from, or receive treatment from, a doctor or dentist.
A&E: Accident and Emergency department (ERs in the U.S.) for life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for life-threatening emergencies, such as, loss of consciousness; acute confused state and fits (convulsions) that are not stopping; persistent, severe chest pain; breathing difficulties; severe bleeding that cannot be stopped  
Chemists: Pharmacists are also known as dispensing chemists.
Plaster cast or Elastoplast:  Band-Aid
Surgical spirit: Rubbing alcohol
Jab (flu jab):  Shot (flu shot)
999:  In the UK it is the free hot-line to call whenever someone’s life is in danger.  The equivalent of 911 in the U.S.
Physical Health
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
If there has been any change in your health—physical, mental, or dental—since you submitted your health clearance form to the UCEAP Systemwide Office, you must immediately notify the UCEAP Program Specialist.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. For example, there are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you can find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.  Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself.
If you feel sick, do not delay in seeking medical care because of the cost. Your wellbeing should always come first and you will be able to reclaim costs through the UCEAP insurance. Ask the Study Center and the International Office at your host university for advice and assistance in choosing a care provider.  The Study Center can recommend a clinic to visit, provide advice about the UCEAP claim process, and help if extended absence is expected. See the Insurance chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
The host institution student health service that would further refer you to a specialist such as a psychiatrist, allergist, cardiologist, etc. Although you might be able to make your own appointment directly with a specialist, this is not the usual procedure. If you plan to request a referral to a specialist, provide a letter from your health care provider in the U.S. The letter should specify your diagnosis, treatment, and medication. It will be needed for appropriate referral and consideration of medication refills.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy allows you to choose where to obtain medical treatment if you are ill or injured. There is no copay or deductible. Wherever you receive care, you will pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance claims department.  Read your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter, for more information.  You can also contact ACI at, for benefit and claim information.
Prescription Medications
​Continue with your prescription medication, as indicated by your doctor, especially while abroad. Cultural, environmental, and academic differences may create triggers.

Before Departure

  • Talk to your doctor to discuss whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription to last throughout your trip and whether your prescription contains controlled substances. If your medication contains controlled substances, you must get a license to enter the UK for more than 3 months.  To check if your prescription is on the controlled drugs list, visit this website,
  • Ask for a letter (on letterhead) indicating your name, treatment, diagnosis and medication regimen, including the generic name, so a physician in the UK can conduct an examination and confirm the diagnosis before issuing a prescription. Note, a private doctor’s visit for a prescription can cost around 470£.  Your UCEAP insurance may cover this appointment provided it is not for preventive care.  
Your US prescription (and/or the refill label on your prescription container) will not be honored abroad.  It is illegal for pharmacists to supply medicines based on prescriptions issued outside the UK, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland.
Carry your medication in your carry-on provided that it is non-perishable and legal in your destination. Keep all medication in the original container clearly showing your name, the prescribing doctor’s name, and the prescription number. Have a letter from your doctor, on letterhead, indicating your name, treatment, diagnosis, and medication regime. This confirms your legal authority to possess, for personal use, the prescription medication.  This will facilitate clearance through customs at your destination. Read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad ‘Medications & Supplies’ for additional information.

Mailing Medications

It is against the law to send prescribed and over-the-counter medication(s) through the mail. It will likely be stopped at UK customs. Many students, and their parents, have found out the hard way that their medication is stopped by customs officials. The U.S. Post Office also restricts using the U.S. postal system to mail medications. Prescription medications can only be mailed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered entities. Similar regulations may apply to some over-the-counter medications.

Medications that can be Problematic upon Arrival in the UK

Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psych​otropics – are under the purview of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine, including synthetic drugs, such as methadone and pethidine, and cannabis and coca leaf), which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions. See below section on Adderall. 
UK customs restricts the amount of controlled drugs you may bring into the country. You must get a license if you’re entering the UK for 3 months or more with medication containing a controlled drug. For most* controlled drugs, a 3‐month supply is permitted, but it must be accompanied by a letter from your doctor on letterhead indicating your name, diagnosis, treatment, and prescription regimen.
*Drugs including cannabis and derivatives, cocaine, synthetic ‘designer drugs,’ and hallucinogens are defined as ‘Schedule 1’ drugs and cannot be brought into the UK in any quantity.

To Find Out Whether your Prescription Medication has Restrictions


Adderall is NOT licensed in the UK

If you take Adderall, read the following carefully:
  1. Adderall is “unlicensed” in the United Kingdom. This means no UK licensed health practitioner can write a prescription for Adderall.
  2. Students on summer programs can bring enough Adderall with them to cover their time in the UK, provided the U.S. doctor will issue the prescription for the length of the program.
  3. Students on non-summer programs can bring no more than a three-month supply of Adderall. It is illegal to mail controlled drugs through the mail.
  4. Non-summer students should work with their US doctor before departure to change their medication to one that can be obtained in the UK.
  5. At least two weeks before your supply is gone, visit the host university student health service or a General Practitioner (GP).
  6.  The student health service or GP most likely will refer you to a specialist, usually a psychiatrist.
  7. The specialist will conduct an evaluation before prescribing medication.

UCEAP Insurance and Prescription Medication 

Coverage is effective beginning 14 days before the official start date of the program so you can fill and pay for prescription medication, prescribed by a licensed physician, within 14 days before the program begins and submit a claim form for a refund. The claim form can be found here:
Complete the ‘COMPLETE THIS SECTION FOR SICKNESS CLAIM’, cross out ‘Date of sickness’, and write in “prescription medication”. The claim form and the pharmacy receipt, (see details below) can be scanned and attached to an email addressed to . The pharmacy receipt must include the fill date, Rx number, medication name, strength, dosage, quantity, days’ supply, amount paid, prescriber name, and patient name. Keep copies of all documentation submitted.
For questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits, read the UCEAP insurance brochure, or contact ACI at
Mental Health
While the transition to your studies in the UK through UCEAP can be an exciting opportunity, you may be coping with personal, financial, health, and other stressors. 
It is easy to become worn down from physical and mental stress due to the vastly different environment. To counter this, adjust your expectations, eat well and drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and share any concerns with the Study Center.
The Study Center and UCEAP Systemwide staff can help you navigate the UK health care system. In the UK it is not possible to go straight to a specialist.  You will need to see a GP (General Practitioner) first and receive a referral letter to see a psychologist if the GP considers this necessary. The Study Center staff can help you with information about local services, UCEAP insurance coverage, and other considerations to help you restore balance, build strength, gain emotional resiliency, and increase your personal well-being. You do not need to cope alone. 
Your mental health is important to us all. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your study abroad plans and program details with your doctor. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at  For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process.
For more information about mental health services in the U.K., refer to the NHS website.
Health Risks
Group B meningococcus (Nm B) is the most important cause of endemic meningitis in industrialized countries, accounting for 30% to 40% of the cases in North America and for up to 80% in some European countries.  It is the major cause of meningococcal disease in the UK, causing about 2,000 cases per year. Babies, children under 5 years, young people aged 14-24 and the elderly are most at risk. The bacteria is carried by approximately one third of adults in their intestines and for most people it doesn't usually cause problems. Classic symptoms: a headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright light.  Other symptoms include, fever, vomiting and diarrhea, confusion and drowsiness. It is important to trust your instincts. If you suspect something is wrong, seek medical help immediately. The vaccine widely available to most people and given throughout colleges and universities in the U.S. and EU does NOT protect against this particular serogroup. For more information, Meningitis UK.
Food Allergies
​Students with severe food allergies should take precautions while in the UK and while traveling.
Some precautions to take include, include:
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor 6-8 weeks before departure to discuss a treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance.
  • Tell others about your food allergy.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
Air Quality
​Students with severe food allergies should take precautions while in the UK and while traveling.
Some precautions to take include, include:
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor 6-8 weeks before departure to discuss a treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance.
  • Tell others about your food allergy.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk

 You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. 

​Staying safe in another country is similar to staying safe in a large U.S. city. Understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant (pay attention to your surroundings; do not walk around while talking on the phone or while listening to music).
If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country.  Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.  Be proactive about your safety. Be prepared.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and contracted with emergency service and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. 
Steps to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime:
  • Assess your surroundings.
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones. 
  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
  • Research potential risks you can encounter while traveling. 
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking.
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?

Know what to do in a possible risk scenario

Locate the nearest emergency exits. If evacuated in a group, remain in the center of the group with as many people around you as possible. Don’t take the lead or straggle behind.
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Read the UCEAP the Guide to Study Abroad, Safety Chapter  for more information on how to prepare to have a safe experience and access the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in preventing crime. There are steps you can take to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime. Inform yourself of risks you can encounter while traveling. Talk to returnees and learn firsthand the things to avoid. Stay alert. If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to tavel. 
In addition to the UCEAP information, do some reasearch.  Detailed information on the country, its cultural, and political and security situation can easily be found on the Internet, through the U.S. Department of State.  Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Be conscious of what is unusual or threatening. 
  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with just in case you get separated.
  • Never leave your bags or other valuable items unattended.
  • Always keep your wallet and phone in a front pocket that you can zip or button up if possible. Don't make your mobile phone a moving target. The longer the phone call, the more likely you are to be spotted by a thief.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.
  • Know your limits. Consuming too much alcohol can land you in trouble and potentially leave you very vulnerable.
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling? 
  • Make sure you tell someone where you are and who you are with, especially if you are with someone you don't know well.
  • Always try to make prior arrangements as to how you will get home.
Crime & Prevention
Cities in the U.K. are, by all relevant measures, relatively safer than comparable metropolitan areas in the U.S.
In general, the centers of cities, the parts that visitors and tourists are likely to frequent, can be considered safe. Most central-city parks present few risks in daylight hours. But larger open areas, the commons and heaths in and adjacent to major cities, should be treated with caution. In all cases, inquire into and accept the advice of local university officials, police, and others with experience in the communities.
Most crime in the U.K., as in Europe generally, is directed against property. Pick-pocketing, mugging, and snatch-and-run thefts remain common criminal incidents, especially in airports, restaurants, public transportation hubs, and crowded streets. Take precautions. 
Visitors should be aware of "distraction crimes." Strangers will attempt to engage victims inconversation, or otherwise distract their attention, so that their accomplices may more easilysnatch bags or parcels or pick the victims’ pockets. Avoiding such distractions andmaintaining situational awareness will help to deter such crimes.
Burglary is on the increase in the student residences. Keep your room door locked and store valuable items in locked drawers or closets, if available. If you take valuable items such as a laptop or an expensive camera, the UCEAP travel insurance policy provides limited coverage for personal property benefits (in addition to health coverage). Read the plan, make sure it is adequate, and consider purchasing additional coverage before departure from the U.S. See more detailed information about insurance for personal possessions in the UCEAP Insurance Plan brochure.

Tips for Staying Safe

  • Exercise common sense about your personal safety and belongings and do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Do not carry large amounts of cash and, unless traveling, leave your passport in a safe place in your room.
  • Asian-American students report a significant amount of stereotyping by local citizens (e.g., students are assumed to be Japanese tourists and locals speak a few words of Japanese to them). All Asian-American students report this unexpected behavior.
  • If you choose to drink, do so responsibly. Criminals are known to target vulnerable individuals whose judgment is impaired by intoxication.
    • Always watch your beverage. Instances of drink spiking have been reported.
    • Do not leave drinks unattended in bars and nightclubs. Drugs can easily be mixed into drinks when unattended. These drugs can disorient you, dramatically impair your judgment, or cause you to lose consciousness. Once you lose sight of your drink, do not continue drinking.
  • Watch your personal belongings, particularly in busy locales. Do not leave them unattended.  Thieves use snatch-and-grab techniques to steal smartphones, laptops, purses, and other valuables. In restaurants, bars, theaters, and other public places, keep bags within reach; do not place possessions on the floor or hang them on a chair.
Civil Unrest
Civil Unrest
Public rallies and demonstrations, common in bigger cities, are usually peaceful and rarely end in violent confrontations. In case of bigger gatherings, there is a possibility of sporadic confrontations and violent escalation. Strikes occasionally occur in the transportation sector and could have an impact on commuters. Given the diversity of its population, political events that take place around the globe can often precipitate demonstrations and protests in the U.K., particularly in London.
Police and protest organizers engage in dialogue before the event, and, as a consequence, protests take place with little or no violence. Still, certain political situations may spawn larger demonstrations that entail a commensurate increase in the risk of violence. Students in the U.K. should maintain good personal security practices, stay current with media coverage of local events, avoid large demonstrations, and exercise caution should they happen upon demonstrations.
Do not participate in demonstrations, and remain vigilant when in the vicinity of any demonstrations; if violence erupts seek shelter.
Terrorism can occur anywhere in the world. Islamist extremists continue to view the U.K. as a legitimate, high priority target. Radical Islamist groups and their surrogates have demonstrated their intent and capability to operate on U.K. soil. This threat is enhanced by the possibility of violence perpetrated by radicalized lone actors, as well as individuals returning from fighting in Syria and elsewhere.

The large scale terror attacks in France have put all of Western Europe at an increased level of vigilance. Following the Paris attacks in 2015, the government has been increasingly vigilant against radical Islamist groups who have demonstrated their intent and capability to operate on U.K. soil. This threat is enhanced by the possibility of violence by radicalized lone actors. 
The U.K. government assesses the current threat of international terrorism in the U.K. as “severe,” meaning that an attack is “highly likely.” Threats against specific American targets in the U.K. are assessed as “substantial” level, meaning that there is a “strong possibility” of attack. Throughout the year, U.K. authorities have made various terror-related arrests with an emphasis on U.K. citizens attempting to travel to Syria to be “foreign fighters.”
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Public transport in the U.K. is excellent and extensive. Information on disruptions to London transportation services can be found on the Transport for London website.
Information about the status of National Rail Services can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians do not have the right of way. Cars are only required to stop for pedestrians on black and white “zebra” crosswalks with flashing yellow globe lights on the sidewalk.
Be extremely careful when crossing the street.  Oncoming traffic approaches from the opposite direction. There are helpful reminders painted on the sidewalk curbs to look right.
  • Look both directions while crossing streets, follow the pedestrian indicator lights.  Always cross with caution; never in front of a car.
  • As a pedestrian, having a green traffic light facing you does not mean you should proceed into the street.
  • Be predictable; follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs; they impair your abilities and judgment.
  • Do not cross the street while wearing headphones or talking on the phone.
Cell-phone related injuries are most common among youths. Activities such as emailing, talking on the phone, texting, or listening to music have contributed to some people falling off walkways or bridges and walking in front of moving traffic. If a text message, call, or email cannot wait, step aside, let others go by, and respond before proceeding.
Hitchhiking is not considered safe anywhere in the world.
Emergency Service Response
The police services, fire brigades, medical response, and other emergency services in the U.K. are excellent. Police services in the U.K. rank among the world’s best, but they face daunting challenges and strongly encourage the participation of the public in ensuring their own safety.
Fire Safety
The U.K. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Act requires businesses and educational institutions to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. Students have a responsibility to comply with the Fire Safety Policy of the host institution.  Become familiar with your host institution's Fire Safety Procedures, Arrangements and Responsibilities. Fire wardens are appointed by the host institution's Deans, Directors and Heads of Unit. There should be sufficient numbers of fire wardens to cover all areas occupied by Schools, Units and Divisions.
Know where the fire exits and alarms are located and have a fire escape plan.

In an emergency dial 999.

Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.

U.S. Embassy in London

If necessary, call the emergency number of the U.S. Embassy in London: (011-44-207) 499-9000.
Physical Address (GPS & Google maps)
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United Kingdom
Mailing Address
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London, W1A 1AE
United Kingdom
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