Information for George Washington Study Abroad Students
Taking part in a semester or academic year period of study abroad at Queen's gives you access to a range of Queen's support services to help with your transition to studying at Queen's and living in Belfast, similar to a full time degree international student.
There may be some differences on accessing services as a study abroad student, which are highlighted in this section.
All students can access our Student Wellbeing Service, so if you need to talk to someone or feel you are struggling, they can help.
If you need support with navigating support services at Queen's you should contact E: email@example.com
The type of student visa you will need will depend on your citizenship and the length of time you plan to spend studying in the UK at Queen's. Our International Student Support team provide guidance to prospective Study Abroad and Exchange students for their visa application.
From the 1 December 2020 most international students who study for less than six months at Queen's will study on a Visitor Visa for Study, whereas those studying for more than six months will apply to study on a Student Visa.
You will receive guidance on applying for a visa once your application to study at Queen's has been approved. Please note only the International Student Support team can provide advice and guidance on visas and immigration at Queen's. Academic and support staff are not permitted to give visa and immigration advice.
The University Health Centre at Queen's is a National Health Service medical practice. Your citizenship, immigration status and length of time you are studying in the UK will impact on how you access healthcare while living in Belfast. As a student on a Visitor Visa for Study (less than six months) you will not be entitled to free NHS care. More general information on healthcare while studying at Queen's can be found here.
COVID-19 Testing: All students regardless of immigration status will be able to access COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland via the Public Health Agency free of charge. You can find out more about COVID-19 here.
Visitor Visa for Study
(international students studying for less than six months)
(formerly Tier 4- international students studying for a full academic year)
If you are an international student studying for less than six months in the UK you are advised to take out private medical insurance as you are not entitled to free general NHS care and will be liable for charges for any treatment you receive in the UK.
You should always firstly check with your insurance to see what private providers in Belfast they will cover. Often students will make an appointment with a local private provider such as Kingsbridge Private Hospital which is located on the Upper Lisburn Road, which is on the number 9 Metro bus route.
For any minor ailments it is recommended you visit a pharmacy where a pharmacist can provide free advice. You will however have to pay a small charge for any over the counter treatments they recommend. The closest pharmacies to campus are located on the Stranmillis Road, Botanic Avenue and Dublin Road.
Those applying for a Student Visa and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee. The immigration health surcharge will entitle Student Visa holders to access NHS care in the UK at no additional cost in the same way as a permanent UK resident.
You can register with the University Health Centre and may receive free NHS care.
All GW students are required to have GW’s GeoBlue International Health Insurance when traveling abroad on GW-affiliated travel. Students studying abroad in the Global Bachelor's Program will be enrolled in GeoBlue insurance by GW's Office for Study Abroad.
Once the GW Office for Study Abroad enrolls students in the GeoBlue health insurance plan, GeoBlue will notify the enrolled students via email. The notification email will detail the next steps for the student to register their GeoBlue account, download their GeoBlue ID card, and access GeoBlue tools and resources.
The GeoBlue coverage complements students' regular U.S. primary health insurance coverage. It is important that all students and their emergency contacts familiarize themselves with the policy coverage and exclusions. International insurance includes many coverage benefits that differ from domestic coverage, such as medical evacuation, but some standard domestic coverage benefits, such as routine examinations, are often excluded.
Travel insurance is not included within GeoBlue’s coverage or GW Study Abroad costs. Travel insurance is considered coverage for personal belongings, lost or damaged luggage, or disrupted/cancelled travel and helps protect a student or family financially in the event of unforeseen changes or interruptions to plans.
GW Office for Study Abroad recommends that students consider purchasing travel insurance to cover some of the larger personal expenses, such as airfare, associated with study abroad. GW will not reimburse these expenses in the event of trip cancellation or disruption. It is important to review any travel insurance plan information prior to purchase or prior to making any official payments for upcoming study abroad travel. Some plans may only provide coverage for qualifying events, while others may offer “cancel for any reason” coverage. Many travel insurance providers will only approve coverage if the insurance is purchased shortly after the first travel-related payments are made.
International students who are studying at Queen's for less than six months on a Visitor Visa for Study are unable to undertake paid or voluntary work. You are however allowed to undertake volunteering activities, but you must be careful these do not meet the definition of voluntary work. All activities advertised by Volunteer SU meet the definition of volunteering, so we recommend you speak with the Volunteer SU team in the first instance. If you are unclear on what meets this definition you should speak with our International Student Support team, who can give advice on your visa and immigration permissions.
International students on a Student visa (formerly Tier 4) are permitted undertake paid or voluntary work, but there may be certain restrictions on this. Please visit the International Student Support webpages here or contact the team for specialist advice on firstname.lastname@example.org
Careers, Employability and Skills Service
All students have access to services offered by our Careers, Employability and Skills team. You can request a one to one appointment with a specialised Careers Consultant via MyFuture, the QUB digital platform which advertises employability opportunities to students. You log into My Future using the same Queen's credentials which you use to access the QUB systems. They often run events and workshops thoughout the year which can help you to develop your employability skills and also make the most of your study abroad experience.
Volunteer SU is part of the Queen's Students' Union and volunteering is a fantastic way to meet new people, engage with your adopted community, develop your employability skills, as well as get the feel good factor of giving something back! For students here for only one semester, we recommend the Handy Helpers scheme, which is a great way to get involved in volunteering with flexible one-off opportunities, with no long term time commitment.
Getting involved in a club or society during your time at Queen's is another great way to get more involved in campus life, and also hone valuable skills in communication, teamworking, event management and leadership. You can find out more about Clubs and Socs at QUB here