Approx. Time Difference
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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.
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 Staff 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).
Student Finance Accountant
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583
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.
Pembroke/King’s College, University of Cambridge
UCEAP works with the University of Cambridge Pembroke/King’s College International Programmes (PKP) to customize an eight-week summer program for UCEAP students. The director of Pembroke/King’s College International courses schedules classes and assigns faculty members according to the courses chosen (during the application process) by each year’s group of UCEAP students.
Pembroke/King’s College International Programmes also handles the logistical side of the academic program, providing prearranged housing. The summer school office is open year-round. The housing and classrooms may be in different Cambridge colleges each year. The summer school may have a secondary office only for UCEAP students as well.
Student Mailing Address
c/o Pembroke/King’s Programme
Cambridge CB2 1ST
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.
London Study Center
21 Sicilian Avenue
London WC1A 2QS, 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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The six-week program is divided into two 3-week sessions, and you will choose three courses based on specified course combinations. (Some courses take place over three weeks while other courses take place over the full six weeks of the program.) Courses range widely within the humanities, social sciences, science, business, law, and arts.
The program provides unique “Cambridge-style” teaching in small groups with a focus on intense classroom interaction, discussion, and individual feedback and support. Instruction takes place on the King’s College campus, and the intensive courses are taught by British faculty with the same styles, formats, and expectations as other Cambridge college courses. You enroll in three of over 45 courses offered.
Active participation and attendance is mandatory in all classes. There is a strict policy on absences and tardiness. You must take midterm and final exams as well as complete all required coursework and essays.
Academic support outside the classroom: There are daily drop-in sessions were you can discuss academic issues of any kind. Program Assistants may also organize essay writing sessions. Consult the PKP Student Handbook for more information.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while on UCEAP and enroll in a minimum of 15 UC quarter units. You may take one course P/NP.
Each course is worth 5 UC quarter units and is based on 12 lectures and 8 seminars, with each teaching session lasting 1¼ hours. Some courses take place over three weeks (Module 1 in July, and Module 2 in August) while other courses are spread over the full six weeks of the program (Module 3). Supervisions count as Module 3. For most purposes, lecture groups are capped at 30 and seminars at 15 to ensure that students have the opportunity to be heard and to get to know their instructors - and vice versa - well. Assessment is usually based upon the final paper, final exam, and student participation.
You are free to mix and match courses in Science and Math; Economics, Business, and Management; Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Supervision.
You may select your three courses based on one of the following course combinations:
- One Module 3 course, one Module 1 course and one Module 2 course
- Two Module 3 courses and one Module 1 or Module 2 course
- Two Module 1 courses and one Module 2 course
- One Module 1 course and two Module 2 courses
- Three Module 3 courses.
In place of your third course, you can also choose a supervision. The timing of the supervision option is counted as a Module 3 course.
You are advised to be open-minded about how you select and combine your three courses. If possible, select one course in your major field, one course in the field of your minor or to fulfil a general requirement, and one course to discover and try something fun or completely different. Program staff has found that students who try out a new topic in a new subject area have often an exceptionally stimulating and inspiring experience. They also suggest to combine overview courses and more specialized courses.
Most courses are accessible to anyone as they require no prior knowledge. However, it may take you a couple of sessions until you have adapted to new ways of thinking and are comfortable using subject-specific language.
You should take science courses only if you have a strong foundation in the sciences, which usually means you are a science major. While as a non-science major you may be able to keep up with the content of the first introductory teaching sessions, the pace will accelerate quickly usually making it difficult to keep up with the coursework.
Make sure that you carefully read all course descriptions on the website or online system and that you do not make up your mind too quickly when just skimming through the course titles. Unless you take time to read at least the course descriptions you can’t be sure to know what the course will cover.
You will be advised of any materials you will need to read in advance. Once in Cambridge you will have access to the Pembroke and King’s College libraries, and will usually be provided with e-course readers which can be accessed through the online application system.
In addition to registering at Pembroke/King’s College, you must submit a MyEAP Registration Study List. If you make any changes in your Pembroke/King’s College registration (allowed on a limited basis during the first three days of each module only), you are responsible for making sure that your MyEAP Study List is correct, as it determines what will appear on your UC transcript.
Supervisions: Special Study Projects
The supervision system (one-on-one or small-group teaching) is one of the key strengths and advantages of the Cambridge undergraduate teaching system. Supervisions, similar to an independent study at UC, are both academically demanding and rewarding, and best for students with a significant amount of initiative and enthusiasm for the subject they intend to study. Supervised study is especially popular among students working towards a thesis.
Supervision is modeled after the unique Cambridge/Oxford way of teaching that involves a minimum of contact hours but a very flexible student effort. The reward of supervision is intellectual and experiential, and you earn 5 UC quarter units independent of how many hours you might spend researching a topic beyond what is required. Supervision is a great way for you to get a taste of independent learning you would probably not encounter in the U.S. until graduate school.
You may submit a proposal to replace one course with a supervision in which you develop your own proposal in a subject area of your choice. If you are interested in doing a supervision, follow the instructions and meet the proposal submission deadlines in your acceptance e-mail from PKP to add this extraordinary opportunity to your Pembroke/King’s College registration.
NOTE: You will also need to complete the UCEAP Special Study Project form, including proposal details and approvals for your supervision, in order to add your supervision to your MyEAP Registration Study List.
Students participating in the Supervised Special Study will be assessed an additional 800.00GBP. This will be applied to your MyEAP account and is in addition to the PKP program budget. The fee will be payable to UCEAP not Pembroke/King's college.
Another unique feature of the Pembroke/King’s College program is a series of plenary lectures in the evenings, which supplement and enhance the academic experience. These talks are followed by drinks and an informal question and answer session, and are open to all Pembroke/King’s College students.
Some 2017 lectures can be viewed here
There are several steps involved before grades will be posted on your UC transcript. Grades must be submitted to the Study Center, reviewed by the Study Center, signed at the UCEAP Systemwide Office, transmitted to your campus, and then processed at the UC registrar.
Seniors should especially consider these issues 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 this program are usually available by mid October.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Internships for academic credit or enrichment are not available in this program.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Extension is not possible on this program. However, you can participate in back-to-back programs by applying to both and following all predeparture processes for both. Be sure to check the program calendars first. Also check the visa processes for both, to find out if you can obtain the second visa in the correct timeframe and from the location where you will be at that time.
“I think it has something to do with being British. We don't take ourselves as seriously as other countries do."
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.
The British Council has advice on living and studying in the UK that can be found at www.educationuk.org under the ‘Living in the UK’ tab.
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.
British University Life
American universities and their counterparts in the United Kingdom are very different. These books will give you an idea of what life is like at a British university.
Amis, Kingsley Lucky Jim, New York: Penguin, 1974.
Snow, C. P. The Masters, New York: Scribner, 1951.
Novels Relevant to California Students
Are you intrigued by differences between Americans and the British? These books offer a look into Britain’s academia and society, often from an American perspective.
Bradbury, Malcolm The History Man, New York: Penguin, 1985;
Eating People Is Wrong, London: Secker & Warburg, 1959.
Fielding, Helen Bridget Jones’s Diary, New York: Penguin, 1999.
Hornby, Nick Fever Pitch, New York: Riverhead, 1998.
Lodge, David Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses, London: Secker & Warburg, 1975;
Small World, New York: Penguin, 1995;
Nice Work, New York: Penguin, 1990.
North, Freya Polly, Ullstein TB, 2001; Sally, Heinemann, 1996.
Living in the U.K.
Life in Britain will almost certainly be different from what you are used to. There is of course no single ‘British’ way of life as attitudes and outlooks vary considerably. International perceptions of the British broadly revolve around their politeness and reserved nature. The British are a diverse, multicultural society, with strong regional accents, expressions and identities. Britain is a very cosmopolitan country with residents from all over the world.
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 and going out
The legal age limit to buy and consume alcohol in the UK is 18. Pubs in Britain are open to anyone and their opening hours vary. Pub culture is a part of British social life, but this does not mean that you have to drink alcohol. It’s totally acceptable to ask for a non-alcoholic drink.
It is advisable to carry some photo ID with your date of birth on it, as you may be asked to produce it when purchasing alcohol. Accepted forms of ID are your driver’s license (this includes non-UK driver’s licenses) or passport.
All bars and nightclubs in the UK have a strict over 18 policy. Once again, it is advisable to carry photo ID with your date of birth on it. You will be refused entry into venues if you are unable to provide proof of age upon request.
SmokingSince July 2007, smoking has been banned in all public spaces, including pubs, clubs, and restaurants. Smoking is not allowed in any academic buildings on campus and the residences are also non-smoking. Smoking is more common in Britain than where you may be from.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
You will attend an on-site orientation organized by the program provider. The orientation will include information on the academic structure of the program as well as important information about health, personal safety, finances, emergency preparedness, and other practical matters.
You are required to appear at the program site on the Official Start Date and participate in all orientation activities; failure to do so could subject you to dismissal from UCEAP (per Student Agreement).
The Pembroke/King’s College summer orientation includes a walking tour of the university and the center of Cambridge and a comprehensive packet of information. You will receive a “swipe” card to access the gym, library, computer lab, and all other facilities at the appropriate college. You will have the opportunity to visit Ely Cathedral and punt on the River Cam. There will be a day trip to Norwich on July 6th (includes transport to and from Cambridge by coach and tickets to the Norwich castle). Another day trip to London on Friday July7th is also planned (includes transport to and from Cambridge by coach and a guided boat tour on the Thames). The cost of the trips to Norwich and London is included in the UCEAP fees.
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. 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.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. 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.
- You are responsible for reserving and purchasing your tickets (even if you are on full financial aid). 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 for UCEAP.
- You are required to arrive at the correct program site on the UCEAP Official Start Date (see your program calendar for exact dates). Failure to appear on the date and at the place UCEAP indicates may result in dismissal from the program (see Student Agreement).
- Flights are routinely changed or canceled. Confirm your flight schedule with your airline about two weeks before departure.
- 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. Do not ask others 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 take them or customs abroad may charge you a very high duty. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.
- 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 your program. When you fly directly home from the U.K. you will arrive in the U.S. the same day you departed.
- 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. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges you may incur. In order to be kept informed of any program changes, update MyEAP with any changes in your e-mail address, mailing address, or phone number.
Financial Aid Students
Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket 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.
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.
U.S. Citizens: Obtain an entry clearance called the Student Visitor Visa when you arrive in the U.K. from British immigration officers at the airport or at another port of entry. UCEAP will provide detailed information about this clearance. You need to show proper documentation of your student status and evidence of financial support for the coming term abroad. UCEAP strongly encourages U.S. citizens to obtain the Student Visitor Visa upon arrival in the U.K.
To work or do volunteer work in the U.K. you must obtain an entry clearance called the Tier 4 Student Visa before departure. Summer programs do not issue the CAS number that is required to apply for the Tier 4 Student Visa.
Entry Clearance for Back-to-Back Program Participants (subject to change)
Summer plus Fall: Present admission letters from both host universities plus financial proof to cover both programs, and obtain a Student Visitor Visa upon arrival in the U.K. (if both programs total six months or less).
Summer plus Year: If possible, obtain a Tier 4 Student Visa before departure for the year program, then obtain a Student Visitor Visa upon arrival for the summer program. This method may not be possible because you cannot apply for the Tier 4 Student Visa more than three months before the start of the year program and you may not yet have received the CAS number you need from the host university.
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.
Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students
Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.
If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at https://law.ucdavis.edu/uc-undocumented/
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
- Heavy jacket or coat
- 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.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property. 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.
The UCEAP Travel Insurance
policy offers limited personal property coverage. Review the policy carefully before departure to determine if it is adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss.
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions.
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.
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.
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
While abroad be cautious about carrying and displaying money. You will need a minimum of $200 initially for textbooks and basic supplies. Budget additional funds for clothing and travel. You can change your US dollars into British pounds at the airport upon your arrival in London. Change at least US$100.00 to see you through the first couple of days of transport, food and any fees that might be owed to the University.
Take a bank card that enables access to funds in a U.S. bank account from an ATM. The bank card must have a four-digit PIN. Although most U.S. banks will charge currency exchange fees when money is withdrawn from an ATM abroad, ATM withdrawal is the best way to access your money.
Free wireless internet is available on most UK campuses. Please check your device before coming to England as you may need an adaptor to be able to connect to the wired internet.
E-mail is available, but facilities and resources are not the same as at UC.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Q & A
Q: What kind of housing is available?
A: You are required to live in a college residence for the eight-week summer program. The housing may be in King’s College, Pembroke College, or another Cambridge College. All accommodations are within 5-25 minutes’ walking distance of each other and the classrooms. Bedrooms are single, with central heating, either private or shared bathrooms, and a complete set of bedding.
All housing is equally nice, centrally located, and conveniently situated, but not identical. All rooms have Internet connections and shared kitchens. There will be differences in room size, amenities, and view. Some rooms are located in historic, centuries-old stone buildings. You will choose your housing online after acceptance by Pembroke/King’s College; their website has room descriptions and prices. There are several price ranges; however, the number of rooms in each range is limited, so availability is first-come, first-served.
Housing costs must be paid in full by you directly to Pembroke/King’s College before you can register for classes.
Q: What about meals?
A: You will be issued a “swipe” card credited with a food allowance to cover approximately ten light meals per week. Meals are available Monday through Friday and on Sunday. Any unused amount is nonrefundable. Formal dinners will be held several times, reflecting old college tradition. Summer program lecturers and Cambridge student assistants will attend the dinner. Dress is semiformal at the dinner; jeans or sneakers are not allowed, but suits are not required for men.
Q: Will there be computer and phone access?
A: The computer lab is open 24/7. Laptops are strongly recommended; you will also have access to a printer.
There are no phones in the rooms. You can lease a “pay as you talk” cell phone. The cell phones work in conjunction with phone cards, which you purchase locally as needed. Your deposit is returned upon return of the cell phone.
Q: What else should I know?
A: Students from other U.S. colleges and other countries will also be participating in the Pembroke/King’s College summer program. They will be in your classes and will add a different perspective to the international experience. Also, some U.K. and international graduate students will be living in Cambridge during the summer, so you will be able to make a variety of acquaintances in addition to students you meet from the U.S. A dozen British Program Assistants will be living with you, giving you more access to locals.
Depending on space availability, you may pay approximately $25 per night to remain on campus a few extra days after the program, but you may be assigned a different room.
You can leave luggage while traveling abroad after the program. However, luggage can be picked up on weekends only when porters are on duty, usually from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Q: What about students with dependents or traveling companions?
A: UK visa regulations prohibit short-term students from bringing dependents. Students with traveling companions will be required to live in university housing while the traveling companion will need to locate his or her own private housing.
Pembroke/King’s College Housing Withdrawal Policy
Pembroke/King’s College policy states that the Application Fee, Supervision Supplement, and the Accommodation Fee are not refundable at any time after application.
Accommodation for 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).
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
If you keep a bicycle in Cambridge (and you will find one very useful) it must be identified by a special number to be painted on the mudguard. The number will be issued by the Porter’s Lodge and should be painted on as soon as possible. Secure your bicycle with a lock and chain whenever it is not in use - theft of cycles is a common problem in Cambridge. It is wise to have your cycle mechanically checked and to buy a safety helmet and lights. Cycling in Cambridge, among thousands of other cyclists, requires special care. Please read the notice on 'You, your life, and your bike' below.
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people and integrate more fully into the community. Join clubs, sports, music/theater/arts groups; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles, and get the most out of your time abroad.
It is sometimes difficult for UCEAP summer students to find and participate in activities, but it can be done. You do not live with, or attend class with, British students. You will receive information after arrival on options available, but you also need to make an effort to locate other options and participate in as many activities as possible. Interaction in the community is the only way to get to know British people, and UCEAP students who have joined clubs, played sports, attended religious services, and participated in local events have tremendously increased their enjoyment of the program.
Visa regulations prohibit students from any kind of work, including volunteer work, unless the Tier 4 Student Visa is obtained before departure for the U.K. Summer programs will not issue the CAS number required to apply for this visa, so do not plan to work or do volunteer work while in the U.K.
Pembroke/King’s College, University of Cambridge
Program assistants who are British students organize daily activities from sports and cultural outings to picnics and barbecues. The events are optional but are the best way for you to become fully engaged in all the benefits of the program.
Optional side trips are also offered, accompanied by staff. Notice of these trips is posted during the program, and you must sign up by a deadline and pay directly for them. UCEAP will not pay the optional field trips fees on your behalf nor are they included in the program budget. Past UCEAP participants praised these trips and suggest budgeting around $200 to take full advantage of all offerings.
Optional after-hours classes and weekly lectures are available at no cost, providing outstanding academic enrichment. The lectures are given by eminent specialists in their fields.
Students with Disabilities
Inform your host university of any needs so accommodation can be made if 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).
UK 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 UK cities may be difficult at times, since many sidewalks are narrow and uneven. Most stations along the Underground and National Rail system 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 a good means of transportation.
The Transport for London
and National Rail
websites provide information for passengers with disabilities. Contact your Operations Specialist well in advance of departure.
- Be realistic about your condition and its impact, on your worst and best days.
- Have a plan for what to do during flare-ups, along with a list of signs indicative of not being able to cope. Plan 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 fluctuations of different activities.
For more information:
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 US), 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.
UCEAP discourages working abroad for academic reasons. UK Summer students cannot work abroad. The host university will not issue the CAS number needed for the Tier 4 Student Visa required for work, internship, or volunteer work.
Travel Within the United Kingdom
The best way to explore England, Scotland and Wales is with a BritRail pass, allowing for unlimited train travel on Britain’s National Rail Network! Find out more information here
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
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.
Since your summer program is less than six months, you will not be not covered by Britian's National Health Service (NHS). If you are sick or injured, you will be charged for any scheduled and medically-necessary treatment you receive. Pay up front and submit a claim for a refund consideration from the UCEAP insurance company.
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.
The UCEAP Travel Insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance. Inform yourself before seeking care. Your UCEAP Travel Insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
Read details in Benefits at a Glance
. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. You will be financially responsible for any charges for medical services that are not included benefits in the policy and for any charges over an above the “maximum allowable amount”. Your travel insurance policy number is ADD N04834823. It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
The travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. There is no deductible or co-insurance.
You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses. For more information about the medical claim process
or about non-medical claims
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 Status
Contact ACI at email@example.com.
Contact the study center or visit the PKP Student Health Service for assistance with scheduling a medical appointment.
For medical care, register with a GP (general practitioner) at a local office or “surgery”. GPs are qualified doctors who can diagnose and treat a range of illnesses. They can also send patients to specialists who are trained to treat specific illnesses or conditions. Once you are registered with a GP, you can make appointments to see them at the surgery. If a GP determines that you need medication, they will write a prescription, which you can have filled at a pharmacy, or “chemist”. The Study Center can recommend a clinic to visit, provide advice about the necessary UCEAP medical insurance claim process, and help if extended absences are expected.
You will need to budget for medical expenses, as your UCEAP Travel Insurance requires that you pay up front, and submit a claim for reimbursement consideration. For information about medical professional fees, access the British Medical Association page.
For more information about UCEAP travel insurance, refer to the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy Brochure and Benefits at a Glance.
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 US) 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 US.
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 US 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.
First check whether your prescription medication is legal to bring into the UK, especially if your medication contains a controlled substance like narcotics or psychotropics. If your prescription contains controlled substances, you may need to get a license to enter into the UK with the prescription. Information on Adderall is further down in this section.
Refer to Gov.UK’s webpage on traveling with a medicine containing a controlled drug to see if your prescription is on the controlled drug list, and for more information on how to comply with UK law. You can also access the NHS website to check your medication.
Talk to your doctor to discuss whether you can have an adequate supply to last through the duration of your stay in the UK. Obtain a signed letter on letterhead, indicating your name, treatment, diagnosis, medication regimen/dosage, and both brand and generic name of the prescription. Take this letter with you, along with your prescription in its original packaging, in your carry-on. Do not pack it in checked baggage.
If you need a refill, you will need to schedule an appointment with a local doctor for a new prescription. You will need to pay up front for the appointment and submit a claim for refund consideration to the UCEAP insurance company.
Cannabis, cannabis derivatives, cocaine, synthetic designer drugs, and hallucinogens are defined as “Schedule 1” drugs and cannot be brought into the UK in any quantity.
For further information, read UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad Medications & Supplies, Prescription medications. For questions about your UCEAP Travel Insurance Benefits, read the UCEAP Travel Insurance Brochure, or contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not mail medication, or have medication mailed to you. It will be stopped at UK Customs and confiscated.
Do not mail medication, or have medication mailed to you. It will be stopped at UK Customs and confiscated.
Adderall is NOT licensed in the UK
If you take Adderall, read the following:
- Adderall is unlicensed in the UK – no licensed health practitioner can write a prescription for it.
- Summer program students: Bring enough Adderall with you to cover your time in the UK. program students: Bring enough Adderall with you to cover your time in the UK.
- Non-summer program students: Bring no more than a three-month supply of Adderall.
- Work with your doctor to change your Adderall medication to one you can legally access.
- Refer to the UK's list of controlled drugs.
- Visit the host university student health service or general practitioner (GP) 3 to 4 weeks before your supply is gone, in order to be referred to a specialist/psychiatrist. The specialist will conduct an evaluation before prescribing medication.
The Pembroke/King’s College Student Health Service no longer provides psychological counseling to short-term international students, so you will need to make an appointment with a private psychologist or psychiatrist. The PKP Student Health Service can help you make an appointment.
If you are currently in treatment in the US, discuss all program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. Carry a letter from your doctor (on letterhead) indicating condition, treatment history, and medication regimen, so a local physician can assess your needs.
Consider the country where you will be living and studying. Many countries do not have adequate resources. How will you manage your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition?
If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for the length of your stay. Traveling through customs with medications for personal use can be problematic in countries where those medications are prohibited. Stimulants frequently used for attention deficit disorders, such as amphetamine or methylphenidate, may be problematic, along with narcotics. What substances are prohibited in any given country varies. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
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.
- Do not try to manage alone. Reach out to local staff.
- 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. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at email@example.com.
Group C meningococcus is the most important cause of endemic meningitis in industrialized countries. 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 US and EU does NOT protect against this particular serogroup. The vaccine may be required by some host universities in the UK. For more information, see Meningitis UK
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions while in the UK and while traveling.
- Discuss the risks with your doctor 6-8 weeks before departure.
- Carry the medications and refills you need to prevent an adverse reaction, like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors. 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.
Safety is our concern but it is your responsibility. Be proactive in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Have an action plan.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Observe and assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel; label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.
Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed.
Report anything suspicious to local authorities. Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff. Schedule direct flights, if possible. Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area. Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency. If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible. Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.
Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety
- Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.
- Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel.
- Assess your surroundings. Observe and learn to recognize danger.
- Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Assess reasonable and safe options. Trust your feelings; if you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
- Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.
- When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.
- Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking. Know your limits. In many countries beer, wine and liquor in some countries contains a higher alcohol content than similar products in the US. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
- 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. 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 locally if you are in an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Registration with the local US Embassy or Consulate
Register online with the US embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
(STEP), a free service for US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Registration with the UCEAP Security Provider
You will be automatically registered with iJET International, the University of California security provider. You will receive important security and informational messages about local conditions for your program country.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, for more information. Access the US Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Cities in the UK are relatively safe. Most central-city parks present few risks in daylight hours. Be cautious in larger open areas, the commons, and heaths in and around major cities.
Most crime that occurs is petty theft, occuring in airports, restaurants, public transportation hubs, and crowded streets. Do not leave valuables unattended. Be aware of "distraction crimes" in which a stranger attempts to distract your attention while an accomplice lifts bags or picks your pockets. Be aware of your surroundings.
To avoid becoming a victim of burglary in the student residences, keep your room locked and store anything valuable in locked drawers or closets. If you take valuable items with you abroad, the UCEAP travel insurance policy provides limited coverage for personal property benefits (in addition to health coverage). Familiarize yourself with the plan, and consider purchasing additional coverage if needed before departure from the US. See more detailed information about insurance for personal possessions in the UCEAP Travel Insurance policy brochure
Asian-American students report a significant amount of stereotyping by local citizens.
Tips for Staying Safe
- Exercise common sense about your personal safety and belongings. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Unless traveling, leave your passport in a safe place in your room.
- Drink responsibly. Criminals target individuals whose judgment is impaired by intoxication. If you lose sight of your drink for any period of time, discard it to avoid being a victim of drink spiking. Drugs can be mixed into unattended drinks.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Public transport in the UK is excellent and extensive. Information on disruptions to London transportation services can be found on the Transport for London
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 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.
- As a pedestrian, having a green traffic light facing you does not mean you should proceed into the street.
- 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.
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.
Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment
University of California Policy
Every member of the UCEAP community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”) that violates law and/or University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of Prohibited Conduct and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Report to the local partners and/or UCEAP staff if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Know where the fire exits and alarms are located, and have a fire escape plan.
In an emergency, dial 999.
Most college-related fires in the US 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 US Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory 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, UC security providers, US Embassy, US 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.
The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on US government-arranged flights, that require US citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its experienced security providers, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
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 US
- 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.
If you are abroad
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times.
- If you need immediate emergency assistance, call 999 for Police, Ambulance, or Fire Department.
US Embassy in London
33 Nine Elms Lane
If necessary, call the emergency number of the US Embassy in London:
- Within the UK: 020-7499-9000
- International: +44 20-7499-9000
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.