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Your well-being


Everyone enjoys the excitement of starting at CATS, but as time goes by, you may start to miss home. This is normal, and there are simple things you can do to help yourself adjust to College life.

We recommend:

  • Taking part in activities organised by the College to make friends with other students.
  • Staying in touch with home via email or telephone. Most of our students have contact with their families at least once a week. It might be helpful to fix a time to talk with your family every week, taking into account the time difference with the UK.
  • Bringing photographs or items from home to decorate your room.
  • Most importantly of all, though, it’s really important to talk about how you’re feeling. Your Personal Tutor, House Parent or the Welfare team will always be happy to listen and offer advice.
  • Remember, almost everyone feels homesick at some stage but help will always be close at hand.


If you feel unwell you will need to go and see the college nurse.

The college nurse will:

  • See you if you are feeling unwell or have a minor injury
  • Advise on healthcare and wellbeing concerns
  • Advise if you need to see a doctor
  • Authorise absence from class if you a too unwell to attend lessons


If you bring any medication into the UK, also carry a letter (translated into English) from your doctor explaining what the medicine is, and what it is for. Similarly, if you are undergoing any long-term medical treatment, you should also bring a letter from your doctor, counsellor, or hospital specialist. This letter can be shown to a relevant UK specialist if further treatment is needed.


before leaving to establish whether the medication you are taking is licensed for use in the UK, and to inform the College of any medical conditions. Students may also arrange to speak to the College Nurse directly. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, we also recommend that you bring a copy of your prescription.

UK medical services

UK medical services include: 

  • Consulting a GP (doctor)
  • Most other GP services, such as visiting a clinic for a Non-emergency treatment in a hospital.

Medical insurance

Even if you qualify for these free NHS services, you may still wish to take out private medical insurance. Sometimes it can take several days to get an appointment with an NHS GP, and there are long waiting lists for non-emergency NHS services. Some students will require insurance for certain medical services. 

Under the National Health Service (NHS), all students are entitled to free emergency hospital treatment in an Accident & Emergency department.

You do not need medical insurance for emergency care. The NHS also provides a full range of free, non-urgent healthcare services, but these services are only available to some students, depending on the terms of your visa. Private medical insurance could give you much quicker access to treatment if you need it.

Students on Student Visa

If you come to the UK on a Student Visa, the cost of free NHS healthcare will be included in the cost of your visa application.

This is called the ‘Immigration Health Surcharge’, and it gives you free access to the full range of free services provided by the NHS.

Certain healthcare costs are not covered by the NHS. All students will have to pay for these at the point of delivery.

These include:

  • The prescription charge. Although the medicines themselves are free, each prescription is charged at £9.00 per item
  • Certain GP services such as travel vaccinations
  • Dental Treatment

Please note: The £9.00 prescription charge is only for NHS patients – this includes you if you become an NHS patient under the terms of your Student Visa. Prescription charges for private patients are considerably more.

Students on a Short-Term Study visa

A Short-Term Study visa does not entitle you to free healthcare on the NHS. This means that you will need private medical insurance.

If you do not have private medical insurance, and you require non-urgent healthcare, you will be required to pay at the point of service. This can be extremely expensive, so it is very important to arrange your insurance before coming to the UK.

You should ensure that this insurance covers all additional costs that might result from illness, such as a flight home.

Students on EU Nationals

EU nationals on courses lasting less than six months. If your home country is a member of the European Union, you will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to receive free NHS healthcare. You must obtain your EHIC before leaving home.

If you have an EU passport, but you normally live outside the EU, you will usually have to pay for healthcare in the UK. In this case, you should take out private medical insurance.

Can students live off campus?

Our policy is that all students should stay in College campus accommodation where possible in order for us to secure student safety and wellbeing. Requests to live in independent accommodation must be approved in advance by the Principal and we will only authorise this if we think it is safe and we can protect our school community. Students living in independent accommodation or at home with family/guardian must adhere to the Day Student Charter. Students from an amber or red list country may have to:

  • download and engage with any government contact tracing app and be prepared to share this with College staff
  • attend health assessments on request
  • provide accurate contact details for their place of stay prior to the start of term. 

Can students choose shared bedrooms?

We are happy for students to share rooms if that is what parents would prefer and subject to availability. Irrespective of room type, students will be expected to follow the safety protocol to protect themselves and our school communities. By opting to share a room, students are forming a household bubble, therefore any quarantine rules will apply to both students respectively at any time. In the case of a student in a shared room developing symptoms of Coronavirus our usual isolation procedures would necessarily apply to both students in the room due to the length of time during which students will have spent in close proximity.

What cleaning procedures are in place?

We will have enhanced cleaning schedules throughout the campus, but especially in public and high contact areas.

COVID-19 related questions

Will students and staff be required to wear masks?

Mask wearing will still be in place at the start of term to ensure that we continue to successfully protect our community of international students and staff. This will be under regular review throughout the term.

Are masks available to buy in the UK?

Yes, these are readily available online for delivery within the UK through a range of shopping websites.

What healthcare provision is on campus?

We will provide outstanding care and support during a student’s stay. There are on-site medical staff at every campus with responsibility for monitoring the health and wellbeing of our College community. They have longestablished relationships with local doctors and healthcare advisers, who are based at medical clinics within a short distance of each campus. Here are the specific details about the medical provision at each of our campuses:

The Red House Clinic is a short walk from the Campus. All eligible students are registered with the clinic during their induction. The College Nurses and the boarding team have developed very close working relationships with the Doctors at the clinic. We receive regular contact and updates from the clinic. The Red House clinic also uses an online symptom checker app which gives our staff and students direct access to medical advice. In addition, the College also benefits from having one of the Cambridge City Emergency Medical Centres located directly behind the campus should students require urgent attention.

Our school Matron (Boarding House Nurse) has an excellent, well-established relationship with our school Doctor at the local General Practice Clinic, New Dover Road Surgery, located a 5-minute walk from the Campus. All our academic year students are registered with the clinic and can access their econsult service providing online support assistance and advice through the Matron, without visiting the premises. Our Matron has 25 years’ experience working in the NHS including paediatrics and cardiology. She has been a private Nurse in a hospital before joining CATS Canterbury 10 years ago.

Even in the heart of the capital, our students are able to benefit from a personal level of attention and service from the Brunswick Medical Centre located a 10-minute walk from the student residence. All eligible students are supported to register upon arrival which provides access to a wide range of face to face and online services for the patients in their care.

What essential protective items will be supplied by the school/College?

Every student will be provided with a Care Kit on arrival. It includes items for at least two weeks, such as hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.

What is the school doing to ensure no one is bullied for wearing a mask?

Any form of bullying is not tolerated within the schools. With the pandemic the wearing of masks is now becoming more commonplace throughout the UK and attitudes have changed to people who choose to wear them. We have an extensive programme of cultural acceptance in place as part of our induction programme and will be specifically including this aspect.

Can students smoke during quarantine?

Now more than ever we discourage students from smoking. All students will need to declare in advance that they are a smoker, with parental acknowledgement for students living within our boarding accommodation. There will be minimal opportunities for students to be supervised outside the building to do so. In line with our discipline policy, smoking within any College buildings or Boarding Houses is against the law and strictly prohibited, any students found to be smoking in their room will risk expulsion from the school.

What laundry facilities will there be during quarantine?

Please bring enough clothes for two weeks as laundry facilities will be restricted during quarantine.

Can students cook for themselves if they wish to during quarantine?

Unfortunately, we will not be opening the shared cluster kitchens for catered students during quarantine. Food deliveries will also not be permitted during any periods of quarantine.

Can students over the age of 12 be vaccinated?

Students will need to register with their local doctor and our College Nurse will be able to help students book an appointment. Once students are registered they will get their NHS number and are then directed to the link to book their vaccine appointment at a time convenient to them. Alternatively students can get their vaccine at the nearest walk-in clinic. Currently, students aged 12 and above are only offered one dose.