Health and sport

The content on this page is for students who started in 2018. Information for 2019 courses will be available nearer the time.

Health: EEA nationals

  • If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This gives you access to the NHS at a reduced cost or for free. It does not guarantee total care cover.

Health: Non-EEA nationals

  • If you are a national of a country outside of 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. If you haven't already, check to see if you need to pay the IHS towards your healthcare in the UK.
  • If you are taking a short course (a course lasting less than six months) you are not able to access free health care under the NHS. You will have to pay for treatment.
  • You should take out comprehensive medical insurance before you leave home. Find out more from UKCISA about insurance.


  • You should find out what vaccinations and immunisations you need before you travel. This information should be available from your country’s government travel website.

Health documents you must bring

  • Bring details (in English), of any past physical or mental illnesses requiring medical treatment.
  • Bring a full record of past immunisations.
  • If you have a serious illness or are currently undergoing treatment or investigation, bring a doctor's letter in English summarising your medical history. This will help the doctor organise your ongoing healthcare in the UK.
  • Bring your European Health Card (EEA students only) to access hospital treatment.
  • If are bringing prescribed drugs or medication with you, you will also need a letter of explanation from your doctor. If you are bringing prescribed drugs or medication, bring enough to last you at least two months.

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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