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Questions about Studying Abroad?

We've got the answers you need.

Whether you are still considering the option to study/work abroad, or you are in the process of preparing, on this page you can find a collection of the most frequently asked questions regarding studying/working, living abroad and insurance.


You'll need to decide as soon as possible. The Study Abroad' option for most students is usually in the second or third year of studies of a four-year degree, so you'll need to start considering this during your first year. Contact your Exchanges Coordinator of your School to explore your options.

Most of our partner universities do provide courses taught in English, but you should check with your Exchanges Coordinator when choosing your option. If you do find a suitable placement with modules taught in English, you may also want to consider attending Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) classes to learn basic language skills for the country you'll be living in. 

The IWLP is a free programme open to every campus-based, full-time student at the University. Regardless of what you're studying, you can learn a language alongside your degree. You can choose to study a number of languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. To find out more about the IWLP, email

You'll need to discuss this with your Exchanges Coordinator so you should check well in advance how the Study Abroad placement will count towards your degree.

Styles of teaching can vary from country to country and class to class compared to Portsmouth, but don't worry, you'll adapt quickly, and the experience you’ll gain from a different way of learning will prove beneficial in the future, and even enhance your studies when you return to Portsmouth.

No, you'll still need to attend any sessions organised by your department to prepare you academically and personally before you go. You'll also need to research any further requirements your host institution or company might have.

If you're taking part in the British Council Language Assistantship you must complete the documents required for work placements.


Unfortunately no – you'll need to make your own accommodation arrangements. However, the institution or company you'll be joining should be able to help.

Please visit the following web page where it has information on what to do on a medical emergency.

Healix will talk you through everything you need to do, arrange the necessary assistance and keep in touch with you until the situation is resolved or until you return to the UK. You can ask them to call you back, which means that they will bear the cost of the call but you can't reclaim telephone costs as part of the insurance.

You're covered by insurance for emergency medical or dental expenses, but not for routine expenses or check-ups. It is also advisable to have your GHIC/EHIC.

Yes. While the University Travel Insurance may satisfy the J1 visa requirement, it doesn't always satisfy the US college requirements for Affordable Care Act compliant benefits, and you may not be able to waive the US college or university offering with the university travel insurance. Your host institution will be able to offer a suitable product.

Certain governments or local authorities may demand full health insurance cover, especially for longer trips. It is your responsibility to consider such requirements when planning trips.

Some European destinations insist that students purchase specific civil liability cover. This is to cover your legal liability for any damage to your accommodation. You'll need to pay for this yourself.

Please email who will be able to assist you.

You don't have to use the University insurance policy if you have separate insurance – but you'll still have to go through the process and complete the Permission to Travel form. You must ensure your policy is sufficient to meet the scope of travel and activities you are planning. You can check with the University Insurance Officer by emailing if you’re not sure.

If hazardous activities are part of your study or work abroad experience and as part of your degree, you may be covered, but don't assume that you are. So contact the University Insurance Officer to check. If you’re carrying out a hazardous activity that isn’t part of your studies, you'll need to arrange your own personal cover, at your own cost.

The University policy does not exclude pre-existing medical conditions but it does exclude travelling against the advice of your medical practitioner. If you’re not sure if that applies to you, contact your GP to check that you’re able to travel. It’s also important that you discuss any special needs and requirements you may have, with your supervisor.

No, they are not. It is advisable to travel with your EHIC/GHIC as you may be entitled to reduced cost of your prescription.

Please contact your GP or check the NHS travel advice pages.

Please ask your Departmental Coordinator or speak to our Exchanges and Study Abroad Team at If you have a question about insurance, you should contact