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Moving abroad: planning for your healthcare

Studying abroad

If you are going to another European Economic Area (EEA) country to study as part of a UK course, you will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You will also need one for any dependants you may have. Your cover will last the duration of your course. 

You cannot apply online or via phone for an EHIC to study in another European Economic Area (EEA) country. You should download the EHIC application form (PDF, 122kb) instead and return it to the NHS Business Services Authority, which processes all applications.

NHS Business Services Authority
EHIC Applications
Bridge House 
152 Bridge House
Pilgrim Street 
Newcastle upon Tyne

Make sure that when you submit your EHIC application, you include copies of the documentation listed below.

  • Name and address of the UK educational institution.
  • Address where you are studying overseas.
  • Period of study.
  • Details of the qualification you are studying for

The course is not part of a UK course

If you're going to another EEA country to study a course that is not part of a UK course, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for the duration of your course, as long as you intend to return to the UK at the end of your course. However, you may lose your entitlement to a UK EHIC if your circumstances change, for example if you start working in the EEA country where you are studying. In those circumstances, you may need to register for state healthcare in the country where you are studying or obtain private health insurance.

Your EHIC application will need to include,

  • Address of where you will be studying abroad.
  • Period of study.
  • Details of the qualification you're studying for.

Studying in a country outside the EEA

If you're going to study in a country outside the EEA, you will not be entitled to healthcare paid for by the UK while you are studying.

However, anyone who is studying outside the EEA for less than six months in one of the following countries is entitled to emergency care or immediately necessary treatment that arises during the period of study abroad:

  • Anguilla
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • (FYROM) Macedonia
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Russia
  • St. Helena
  • Serbia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Former USSR (Soviet Union)

For more information, see the country-by-country guide on travelling outside the European Economic Area (EEA).


Page last reviewed: 27/08/2014

Next review due: 27/08/2016

Apply for a free EHIC 

The EHIC is entirely free of charge. However, other, unofficial, websites may charge you if you apply through them. Apply now for your free EHIC.

If you're having difficulties with the online application form, to update your personal details, or to replace a lost or stolen card, call the automated EHIC application service on 0300 3301350.

For general enquiries about the EHIC or claim refunds, call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999. If calling from abroad ring +44 191 218 1999.

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Media last reviewed: 13/06/2014

Next review due: 13/06/2016