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Advice on travel, study and work abroad

See answers to our frequently asked questions from students planning to travel, study or work abroad

The University is committed to a truly globalised experience during your studies.

Due to the prevalence of Covid-19 globally, continued uncertainty over potential restrictions and the safety of travel over the next few months, the University has decided to enable student exchanges abroad and international placements to take place where and when this is possible.

Your health, safety and wellbeing are our priority and we have put strict safeguards in place in order to mitigate against the risks of international travel and ensure your safety.

We’ve made this decision in order to give you clarity on your options for the 2021/22 academic year with as little disruption as possible and as early as possible to allow you sufficient time to make an informed decision. We also had to take into consideration that you’ll need to make alternative arrangements for whichever decision is made (such as accommodation).

We understand that travel and immigration restrictions are complex and we will continue to support you with your decision-making and preparation.

Our updated guidance is for both outbound and inbound students who plan to do a study/work abroad mobility for the autumn 2021/22.

University of Portsmouth students planning to do a Study Abroad or international placement in Autumn 2021/22

In order to be granted permission to travel, your destination country must be on the UK Government’s green list. If your mobility is a mandatory part of your degree, then travel to countries on the government’s amber list will be considered by exception where there is no alternative.

If a compulsory placement is part of your degree and you are unable to travel, the University will make alternative arrangements to allow you to meet the requirements of your degree course or to transfer to a 3-year variant of your degree course.

If your study placement is optional and you are unable to travel, the University will attempt to provide the opportunity for you to defer your placement.

The details of these arrangements vary from course to course and you’ll have been contacted directly by your Faculty or School by email. We encourage you to check your emails frequently. If you are still unclear or wish to discuss the options further, please contact your Exchange Coordinator (study mobilities) or Faculty Placement Centre (work placements) as soon as possible.

All international travel must be approved by the University in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures for Student Travel in the Academic Year 2021/22. You can find a copy of this document here.

Approval will take place in two stages. You are required to:

1. Undertake and submit an initial risk assessment as part of the application process. This risk assessment should be completed and sent with the application form to:

Once your initial risk assessment is approved, you can start making necessary arrangements, such as booking accommodation.

As the spread and impact of Covid-19 continues to fluctuate across the world, we recommend that you avoid making financial commitments until as close to the travel date as possible.

The following additional Covid-19 requirements will apply:

  • Your destination country must be on the Government’s green list, unless your mobility forms a mandatory part of your degree, in which cases countries on the Government’s amber list may be considered in exceptional cases.
  • You are required to comply with the vaccination requirements of your destination country, including completion of the Covid-19 vaccination programme of your country of residence before travel, subject to any medical or religious reasons which may prevent you from doing so.
  • You will need to bear the costs of any Covid-19 testing required both for departure and arrival.

A full checklist is available in the Standard Operating Procedure and you can obtain guidance on completion of your risk assessment form.

2. Fifteen working days prior to travel, you must revise and submit your risk assessment to ensure that the risk profile has not changed and that the mitigations you had proposed are still appropriate. You are required to submit this for final approval, along with:

  • Your travel schedule and itinerary
  • Confirmation of your completion of the Covid-19 vaccination programme of your country of residence, or relevant exemption
  • Permission to travel form
  • Confirmation that you have downloaded the Healix Sentinel version of the Travel Oracle app (instructions in appendix A of the Standard Operating Procedure)

Late submissions will not be accepted. If this information is not submitted fifteen working days prior to travel the initial approval to travel is automatically withdrawn. This decision cannot be appealed.

You will receive confirmation of approval within five working days of the submission of the final risk assessment and you can then make your final arrangements for travel

You should regularly review the UK Government’s travel list and you are required to submit the risk assessment based on the status of the government guidance applicable at the time of the submission and not on the potential status at the time of travel.

The University’s decision is based on the status of the destination country at the time of the submission of the initial and final risk assessment. For example, if the country is on the red list, your mobility will not be approved on the basis of the initial risk assessment, even though the country could move to the amber list in the near future.


All students are required to revise and submit a final risk assessment form, regardless of whether the country profile has changed or not.

Whilst you are on your placement, you should continue to reassess the risk from time to time to ensure that the risks identified in your risk assessment and the mitigations continue to be appropriate and relevant. If you become aware that the risks have changed, you should make contact with your Exchanges Coordinator to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are in place and that it is safe and appropriate to continue with the mobility. You will have the opportunity to discuss your options and your Exchange Coordinator will consult with colleagues before agreeing a way forward with you.

If this situation arises, we aim to offer an alternative destination. This is subject to availability and is at the discretion of the host. We will work with you individually to ensure we explore all options. Please contact your Exchange Coordinator if this applies to you.

Some host Universities will provide online access to their modules, so that you can continue your placement at a distance. Your Exchanges Coordinator will be able to advise you if this option is available to you.

The University offers University insurance cover for registered students on all approved activities. If you are a graduate, you will not be covered and you must seek your own travel insurance cover. More information about the University insurance can be found on our ‘What to do before you go’ and our FAQs pages.


In light of the current pandemic, there are a number of exclusions , and you need to ensure you are satisfied with the provided cover. If you are not, it is strongly recommended that you purchase additional private insurance. Any further information, please contact our University Insurance Officer at

You will still need to carry with you a EHIC/GHIC. EHIC/GHIC is not travel insurance.

For advice on tuition fees, please contact the Student Administration Services at or on +44 (0)23 9284 7745.

If you applied for a tuition fee or maintenance loan from Student Finance England and are unsure of the impact on your loan application, please contact the University’s Student Finance Centre at They will need to know what alternative option you’re taking now your placement has been cancelled.

The UK is still eligible to participate in the current Erasmus+ programme until its end. The University is able to offer the opportunity to participate in Erasmus+ until May 2023. If your travel is approved to a country within the EU, you are still eligible to apply for Erasmus+. However, other practical arrangements will need to be considered such as travel and insurance and you may need to apply for a visa to study or work in the host country. Please see our visa information page for details. For advice on Erasmus+, please contact the Exchanges and Study Abroad team at or call on +44 (0)23 9284 3149.

We fully understand if you wish to no longer undertake this option as part of your degree. Your department will be able to support you with alternative arrangements to allow you to meet the requirements of your degree course, or to transfer to a 3-year variant of your degree course. Please contact your Exchanges Coordinator to discuss and finalise your plans as soon as possible.

You have the option to suspend your studies and undertake your Year Abroad from September/October 2021 (provided travel restrictions are no longer in place).

To suspend your studies you need to contact your Course Leader and the MyPort Information Hub for a Suspension Form. You should complete this fully and return it to the Hub, including the reason for suspending your studies and the date you want to return. Your Course Leader will need to sign off the Suspension Form if the suspension is agreed.
Suspension is a temporary break in study, sometimes referred to as interrupting and must be agreed by the University. For further information, please refer to our withdraw, suspend or transfer guidelines.

Please note that while your studies are suspended you won’t have access to any University facilities such as the library or your computer account (although your University email address will remain active).

There are financial implications in suspending your studies. You’ll be charged a resumption fee when you return to your studies. Refer to the Tuition Fee Policy for these details.


We understand you may not have made any arrangements for accommodation in Portsmouth. If you need support to find accommodation, please contact our Student Housing team at or on +44 (0)23 9284 3214.

Even if you are studying/working at another location, you are still a registered University of Portsmouth student and you have access as you would have normally been studying in Portsmouth. If you are unsure who to contact, please email

Exchange inbound students who would attend the Autumn term 2021/22

We look forward to welcoming you in the Autumn term to our campus. For further information about, please see our Covid-19 webpages for further information about how you’ll be taught and what life on campus will be like.


All information about our Exchange programme, including our modules available, can be found on our webpages.

If for any reason you are unable to travel, please make contact with your home university to explore your options. 

We are able to offer the opportunity for you to access most of our modules online. You can contact us directly at We will liaise with you and your home university to make the necessary arrangements.

You can enquire about accommodation options by emailing or call on +44 (0) 23 9284 3214.

Please see our Covid FAQs for all our international students.

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