Accessing healthcare while studying in Europe
Nobody intends to get ill while studying abroad, but it pays to be prepared in case the unexpected happens. Get ready for your studies by having a plan for medical care in case you need it.
Prepare yourself for your studies in Europe by finding out everything you need to know about healthcare services and health insurance for international students.
One key goal in the EU is, that every resident has access to high quality health care. Each EU country has a national healthcare system. If you unexpectedly fall ill as an international student in Europe, you can immediately get healthcare at your study destination.
In most cases, health insurance covers a large part of any medical costs. Accessing healthcare depends somewhat on your personal circumstances, as does the kind of healthcare insurance you will need during your study in Europe.
If you are a EU/EAA student staying in a Member State for study purposes only, you will need to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
The EHIC provides access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a stay in one of the EA/EEA countries. Students from the UK can get a GHIC card.
The EHIC does not replace travel insurance. It does not cover private healthcare or return flights to your home country, for example.
For non-EU/EEA students staying for study purposes only, a travel health insurance may be good enough. If you are already insured in your home country, check with your insurance provider that your policy covers you in your destination country.
If your health insurance is not recognised there, you may need to take out national health insurance in the country of your study destination.
You may also be required to purchase national health insurance if you have a permanent or long-term residence permit, or if you are employed in the country of your study destination.
To find out more specific information about health insurance for students in any particular country, get national information when you follow the link to the country profiles section.
Campus medical treatment
Some European universities have health departments where students can get medical services (both general and specialised). You should check with your host university whether they offer medical services to their students.
If it is the case that your host university does not provide health services, you can receive medical treatment at local general practitioners and specialists, and if your case is urgent, at hospitals.
The emergency number is 112. This is the number to call when you are in distress in any Member State in the Europe Union. For fire, police and ambulance services, you can dial the emergency number 112 anywhere in the EU, free of charge.
Many countries also have different emergency numbers besides 112. Be sure to take note of the emergency number(s) of your destination country as part of your preparations for studies in Europe.
You can get a vaccine against COVID-19 at walk-in vaccination centres, local health centres, pharmacies, and even some universities offer vaccinations on campus.
Check with your host university where you can get your COVID-19 vaccination. You should also be clear on what kind of health certification, if any, they require.