Health and Safety
If you are studying on a course of six months or more you are entitled to free health care on the NHS (National Health Service) from the beginning of your stay. You will receive free hospital treatment, but you will have to pay for dental treatment and medical prescriptions. From 1 April 2011 medical prescriptions are £7.40 per item. You should register with a doctor (a General Practitioner (GP)) and a dentist soon after arrival.
Most doctors and dentists will only see you if you are ill and you have already registered with them therefore it is important that you do this once you arrive. In an emergency you can receive free medical treatment in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at a hospital.
NHS Direct is a telephone and website service available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Interpreters are available to assist.
Even if you are entitled to NHS treatment whilst in the UK you should consider taking out insurance which covers the additional possible costs resulting from illness, which can be substantial.
If you are not entitled to NHS medical treatment you should make sure you have adequate medical insurance to cover medical costs if you fall ill and also to cover the additional possible costs resulting from illness. Further advice is available from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.
Even though the town of Street is rural and fairly quiet students should take care of their own personal safety. Students are advised not to carry large amounts of cash with them especially when first arriving in the country. Just bring enough to cover your immediate needs (about £250) and use traveller's cheques and credit cards instead and until you have opened a bank account.
It is essential for all students to arrange insurance to cover your possessions, personal effects and valuables against the unlikely event of loss, accidental damage or theft. Endsleigh insurance is often a cheap insurance as it is tailored specifically to students and their needs.
Please note that if you are staying with a Homestay host family you will not be covered by their insurance in case of fire, flooding etc.
The British Council also publish a booklet about personal safety in the UK. A copy of this will be given to you on arrival.
Weather in Somerset
When you arrive in September it will be early autumn (average maximum temperature 18°C) and by the end of the first term it will be winter (average minimum temperature 2°C). Ensure that you have a warm coat, preferably waterproof, and plenty of clothes that you can wear in layers; even though it may be cold outside it will be warm indoors.
Temperatures will slowly rise again in the spring (March, April, May) and in the summer months (June, July, August) could reach in excess of 25°C. The weather in the UK is changeable and it can rain at any time of year.