Health and sport

Students' Health Service

Health and healthcare

Read UKCISA health and healthcare full information including how the UK medical system works and getting medical treatment. 

Charges for using the UK's National Health Service (NHS)

EEA nationals: European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

  • If you are a resident from European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, the EHIC gives you access to the NHS at a reduced cost or for free.
  • It does not guarantee total health care cover.
  • Get your EHIC before you travel to the UK. 

Non-EEA nationals: Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

  • If you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), your visa application may include the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This is a fee you may need to pay to use the NHS.
  • You can check if you need to pay the IHS towards your healthcare in the UK
  • If you are in the UK for less than 6 months, you are not entitled to use the NHS for free. You will have to pay for treatment as a private patient. We advise you get private medical insurance to cover costs before you travel to the UK. 
  • If you are in the UK for more than 6 months, you will need to pay the IHS fee to be entitled to use the NHS. If you need to pay, the IHS will be part of your visa application.

Medical insurance

Private medical treatment is expensive we advise you get private medical insurance to cover costs before you travel to the UK. Find out more from UKCISA about insurance.

Before you travel to the UK

Sport and exercise

Use the University's sports facilities while you are here.

Find out more about short membership for pre-sessional students, email

International student support

Advice for international students living in Bristol, including Council Tax, working, money, driving in the UK, extracurricular activities and more.

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