Study abroad advice
Student tutorial at St Anne's College, Oxford, UK.
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Study abroad

As a truly global institution, the University of Oxford understands the importance of international experiences to your academic, career and personal development. There are opportunities to study, work, or undertake research in dozens of countries across the globe.

For a wide range of study, exchanges and research opportunities abroad, including eligibility, funding and application deadlines, visit the international opportunities webpage.

Before undertaking a period of study abroad, please ensure that you are aware of the following information.

Costs while abroad

In most circumstances you will still be required to pay fees for your course if you are undertaking a period of study abroad. Undergraduates on a course that includes a compulsory or optional year abroad will need to pay Undergraduate Year Abroad Fees at Oxford.

Living costs will vary according the country where you undertake your studies. You should be able to gain information on the cost of living from your department and other students who have previously undertaken the year abroad. Turing students receive a mobility grant in order to assist with the additional costs that occur when studying or working abroad.

Health and safety

Ensure you know what health measures you must take before travelling to your chosen country, whether it’s vaccinations, malaria tablets or having a supply of any prescription medication you require. The University Occupational Health Service can provide travel advice and immunisations for medical students doing electives abroad. Travel services are also available from your college doctor. Some countries will want to see documentation that you have had any necessary injections. If you require prescription medicines, take a full supply and also find out from your doctor the generic name for the medication as it may have a different brand name overseas. You might want to include basic medicine such as paracetamol and anti-diarrhoea drugs, sunscreen and insect repellent.

The societal attitudes and norms may be different from those you are used to. In particular freedom of political expression and rights to free speech, freedom of sexual expression and attitudes to same sex relationships; attitudes and the law pertaining to alcohol and other drugs. The age limits for participating in various activities can also vary according to location and, in most if not all countries, ignorance of the law is not a defence against prosecution. 

HIV infection is common in developing parts of the world such as Africa and South East Asia. There are rising rates in India, tropical South America and the Caribbean. In addition there are emerging problems, particularly with infections such as syphilis, in the former USSR and other eastern European countries. There is considerable risk in having a blood transfusion in any of these areas. Unless it is a matter of life and death, a blood transfusion should be avoided, and it is very important that you have first-class insurance that covers repatriation on medical grounds without delay.

Advice may be obtained from the University Occupational Health Physician. Before you travel you may wish to consult the guidance on fieldwork issued by the University's Safety Office. Also ensure you note the address and contact details of the relevant Consular office in your chosen destination, available at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. It is essential that if you change your plans you contact your college or department and inform them of this.


If you are in receipt of an award you should consult your grant-giving authority to find out what assistance is obtainable for medical insurance cover. Whatever help is available, you should ensure that your level of insurance cover is adequate for the countries to be visited including the cost of prompt repatriation which may well be preferable if you have an accident or fall ill. The University has a travel insurance arrangement that can be used by those travelling abroad for a University purpose, including undertaking research.

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