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Field Geology Summer School, University of St. Andrews

- Summer

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, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
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
Michelle Bobro
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail:
Academic Specialist
Andrea Nuernberger
Phone: (805) 893-2810; E-mail:
Program Advisor
David Thalenberg
Phone: (805) 893-2667; 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
Program Overview
Over a six-week course, this program introduces you to Earth Science in the context of Scottish Geology. Scotland is the ideal natural laboratory for this study, in that it offers classic exposures of a variety of rock types relevant to key periods throughout the three billion years of Earth history. Since you will be based in St Andrews, this geology is right there on your doorstep for you to explore!
By participating in this program, you learn to appreciate Earth history, using Scotland as the case study, and you gain a deep understanding of the Earth’s composition and evolution. For example, you uncover some of the Earth’s great mysteries by being able to identify differences between rock types and their uses, and you participate in active learning through group fieldwork and an independent project (Pet Rock).
Field trips include the cliffs in St Andrews (only a stone’s throw -- almost literally); Cellardyke/Crail and Kingsbarns; The Rock and Spindle; Siccar Point (just once you will pop into England for a visit to this world-renowned site); and the Highlands of Scotland, Ullapool.
The program is led by faculty in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, a division of the School of Geography and Geosciences at the University of St Andrews.
Academic Culture
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 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 inat the end of the term. Often there are no regular tests, and few assignments other than papers provide feedback. As a result, you may not know where you stand academically until completion of the course. 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, 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.
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.
Course Information
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. You enroll in one intensive course for a total of 9 UC quarter units. The course must be taken for a letter grade.
All students enroll in one six-week course:
Field Geology - 9 UC quarter / 6 semester units
This course is appropriate for both science and non-science majors, as you are not required to have prior knowledge of geology. Lecture topics include Earth history and plate tectonics, the rock record and the rock cycle, basic rock identification, taking field notes, fossils, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, Structural Geology, evolution of Scotland, and Economic Geology in Scotland.
The course transfers to UC as a lower division course that may fulfill General Education requirements.


In addition to registering at the University of St Andrews, you must submit a MyEAP Registration Study List. The Edinburgh Study Center staff will guide you through this process. Be sure to read all e-mails from the Study Center during the registration process. 
University of St Andrews faculty and staff can help you understand their own rules and regulations. Remember, however, 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 Edinburgh, who are in close contact with the University of St Andrews. 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.

Independent Research Projects

Internship, research, and independent study are not possible with this program.
There are several steps involved before the grade you receive at the University of St Andrews 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.
This is a new program, and we do not know when grades will be available.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
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.
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 and Smoking

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
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).
You will attend a welcome session where you will have the chance to meet staff from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and become familiar with the facilities and location of your classes.  There will be a separate UCEAP orientation on the same day.
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 Tips

  • 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 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 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.

Entry Clearance

​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.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, check the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) website to find out if you need to obtain an entry clearance while still in the U.S.

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. 

AB540 Students

AB540 students should 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 applications.
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

Initial Expenses

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.
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. Dollars can also be exchanged for foreign currency at airports.

ATM Withdrawal

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.

Travelers Checks

You can also take travelers checks issued in British pounds for immediate use after arrival. However, note that travelers checks are not as widely accepted abroad at retail venues 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, and some banks will charge a commission. You will need to show your passport as ID when cashing travelers checks.
Do not expect to open a bank account due to time constraints.
Communications Abroad

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.
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.
Housing & Meals
​You are required to live in dormitory housing, the David Russell Apartments on campus, that is prearranged by the University of St Andrews. You will be placed in a single study room. All rooms have phones and are cleaned daily. Building amenities include internet connectivity, laundry facilities, a TV room, and a common area. All meals are provided and available at appointed times throughout the day. Your UCEAP fees cover the cost of the pre-arranged housing and meals.
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).
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Extracurricular Activities
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.
There are many exciting places to visit within St. Andrews and the larger region of Fife. Visit nearby Glamis Castle, the Scottish Deer Center, and the Sensation Science Center. Laede Braes is a popular walk with the locals and students that can be walked, jogged, or cycled. If you acquire a bicycle, the surrounding countryside and nearby parts of the Fife Coastal Pathway are worth exploring, simply for the incredible views. Or if you are feeling even more adventurous, check out Elie Watersports, a facility open to all skill levels, with instruction if wanted, and with standby safety and rescue staffing.
Although St. Andrews is a fairly remote seaside town, a short bus or train journey will take you to the bigger Scottish cities, all of which are great fun to experience.
  • Dundee will provide more amenities here than are available in St. Andrews.
  • Edinburgh is a must see! This fabulous historic city, with a world famous castle situated in the middle on top of a hill, also boasts great shopping, cafes, and pubs.
  • Glasgow is home to cultural attractions such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum as well as a vibrant music scene.
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
When you leave your host city for more than 24 hours, you must 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 where to reach you promptly.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
LGBTIQ Students

​For more information,


​For more information,


Travel Within the United Kingdom
Eurail passes must be purchased in the U.S. (either before departure or by someone in the U.S. once you are 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.
UCEAP Insurance
Since you will be studying in the U.K. for a period of less than six months, you will not be covered by the National Health Service (NHS). If you are sick or injured, you will be charged for any scheduled and medically-necessary treatment you receive and will be expected to pay up front and submit a claim for a refund consideration from the UCEAP insurance company. For benefit information, email or refer to UCEAP Travel Insurance policy.
Before you travel:
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  It is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is not ACA compliant for domestic coverage.  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.
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.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims

ACI at

Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
A high level of medical care comparable to that in other industrialized countries is available throughout the country. Hospital treatment is free to people who ordinarily live in the United Kingdom. If you do not normally live in the UK for more than six months, you may be required to pay for any treatment you might need.  You are covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.  For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to the UCEAP website, Participants page, Insurance tab.
Before departure, review the U.S. CDC Travelers’ Health information website for specific health information for all your travel destinations.
Generally, you will need to see a GP (a 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’re registered with a GP, you can make appointments to see them at the surgery. If a GP determines that you need medication, he/she 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.

Private Medical Care

You may choose where to obtain medical treatment as you have UCEAP medical insurance coverage.
Wherever you go to receive care, you will be expected to pay up front and submit a claim for a refund for eligible services to the UCEAP travel insurance at

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.
Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  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 and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page for health risks present in the country where you will be studying. Know what to do if you get sick.
Good basic personal hygiene and hand washing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating.
Prescription Medications


  • Although you should always travel with a copy of your prescription from your U.S. doctor, many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country.
  • If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription that a local pharmacy will fill. It will be critical to have a letter from a U.S. doctor during this appointment explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen. 
  • In some cases, the local physician will need to confirm your diagnosis before issuing a prescription. Note that a doctor's visit to get refills may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance. . If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  • Most countries will only allow quantities of medication for personal use; only a 30- or 90-day supply.

Before Departure

  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program. Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage to adjust to time zone changes.
  • Always carry medications in their original containers.
  • Have a letter from the prescribing physician indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries.  Talk to your doctor immediately to switch you to another medication.
  • If you are taking psychotropic medications (e.g., Adderall, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Vyvanse, etc.), find out whether they are legal in your UCEAP country before your UCEAP program starts.
    • Talk to your doctor. If intending to travel with a prescription containing controlled substances, review medication regulations in official government sites. Addresses and excerpted national statutes for most countries can be found at the International Narcotics Control Board.  You can also check your UCEAP Program Guide, Prescription Medications section for direct links.
  • Pack your prescription medications, in original containers, in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.
  • Carry copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names for medications.
  • Have a letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
  • Leave a copy of the written prescriptions at home with a friend or relative.
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country in quantities to last through your stay, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure, so you can have time to consult with your doctor on any resulting complications.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance. Consult with ACI, Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.
​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 regime, 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 psychotropics – 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 all those medications likely to be 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 unlicensed 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
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 plans to go abroad 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.
Plan and budget to pay up front.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit receipts to the UCEAP insurance company for reimbursement. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at  For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process.
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 isx-to-eight weeks before departure to discuss a treatmemnt 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 isx-to-eight weeks before departure to discuss a treatmemnt 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?
Putting yourself, fellow students, or the reputation of the program at risk is cause for dismissal from UCEAP.
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. 
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
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.
Do not participate in demonstrations, and remain vigilant when in the vicinity of any demonstrations; if violence erupts seek shelter.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Scotland has an excellent road safety record.  Many roads are in good condition.  Public transportation generally is safe.  Almost every place in Scotland is accessible by bus or train.  The road system is concentrated around Glasgow and Edinburgh. Otherwise, it is largely undeveloped.

For authoritative information on road safety in Scotland, visit the Road Safety Scotland 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, and 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, and always cross with caution.
  • 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.
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.
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.
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.

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.

U.S. Embassy in London

If necessary, call the emergency number of the U.S. Embassy in London: (011-44-207) 499-9000.
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United Kingdom
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