University Preparation students
Your health

Day-to-day health

Good Hygiene and Cleanliness
Doing simple things every day can stop illness. Remember it’s always a very good idea to wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap, and to use hand sanitation stations regularly. Use a tissue when you sneeze or cough.

Illness and College
Please remember that in the UK, it is normal for many people go to work or college with minor everyday illnesses which are not highly contagious, such as a cold or a headache. Everyday medicine can be bought at a chemist or a pharmacy.

Sickness and Absence
If you don’t feel well enough to go to college, it’s very important to contact the college as soon as possible. The college phone number is in The Local Area: College Contact Details and online at If you live with hosts, please tell them that you feel unwell. You must call the college before lessons every day that you are not well. If you are sick for more than three college days, you may need to visit the doctor.

If you feel ill during the college day, please come to the Reception or see the Welfare Officer. The college also has some simple, everyday medicines that may help you. It may be possible to rest in a quiet area called a ‘sick bay’ until you feel better. If you feel ill, always tell a member of staff and never leave college without telling anyone.

Allergies, Asthma or other Medical Conditions
If you have a serious allergy, asthma or diabetes, or another medical problem that you already know about, it is very important that you tell us, so we are ready to help you. For that reason, there is a medical form for you to complete before you arrive. It is important that this is correct. You must also give us your parents’ correct contact information.

Health services

The local Chemist will have a wide range of medicines for everyday problems such as headache, indigestion or small injuries. You can choose these and buy these yourself. Do not take medicine from your own country at the same time; this can be very dangerous.

If you have an everyday illness and do not need to see a doctor, you can visit the Pharmacy. Many pharmacies are found inside the Chemist’s store. A Pharmacist will ask you about the problem, to choose the best medicine for you. You can speak confidentially if you prefer.

When you arrive at Kings, you should register with a local doctor (a doctor is also called a ‘GP’), especially if you are studying for a long time. We can help you do this.

Of course, for something much more serious, such as a head injury, you will be taken immediately to hospital.

Medical Emergency
Remember that if you urgently need medical help and there is injury or a risk of death, call 999 or 112 immediately.

If you have a problem with your teeth or need them checked, please ask the college for the name of a local dentist. There will probably be a payment required for this service.

If you need new glasses or need your eyes checked, ask the college for the name of a local optician. You will need to pay for this service.

We have a Kings Sickness and Medicines Policy and a Hygiene Policy which deals with some of the information above.

Full details of Kings policies and procedures are available to view at:

Need advice?
Do you need a dentist? Are you feeling ill? Or do you just need some general advice about healthcare in the UK? For help with any of these services or health advice, please speak to our Welfare Officer. This will be confidential.

General well-being

It’s very normal to feel great on some days, and not so good on others. As you are in a new country, learning a new language and also living with a lot of changes and differences, so you will probably feel this more often than other people.

Doing some of the following things might help:

  • Talk to friends, family or a member of staff about your feelings.
  • Keep a diary and write down how you feel.
  • Try something new, such as a skill or activity, or plan a college event.
  • Keep yourself fit, get enough sleep and eat healthily.
  • Focus on your studies.
  • Try not to isolate yourself or be alone for long periods.
  • Try and have fun and enjoy being in the UK.
  • Remember that you will be feeling ‘Culture Shock’
  • Remember that most students will have felt exactly the same way.

Culture shock

Life in England will be very different from life in your own country. Sometimes the differences will feel very big. This is called Culture Shock, and it is a very common feeling. Many students have strong changes in feeling during their stay in their new country. There are three main stages of change:

1. Honeymoon Period — You are excited by your new country
2. Culture Shock — You feel a little lonely and worried by your new problems
3. Adjustment — You accept the changes and begin to enjoy your new life.

What you can do to ease culture shock

Please remember that these feelings are normal for everyone. However, there are things you can do to help you adjust to the new culture.

  • Contact friends and family.
  • Talk to someone who is feeling the same.
  • Keep healthy; get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation.
  • Join a club, team or project and get some new friends and interests.
  • Work on improving your English - this will make you feel more positive and help you make new friends more easily.

Making new friends
During your first week, you will probably have a range of feelings. You will probably feel excited, tired, happy, lonely, surprised, and many other feelings! Lots of other new students will probably be feeling the same, so it’s a good time to make new friends.

Want to talk?

If you have tried our ideas for how to ease culture shock, but you still feel homesick, please talk to our welfare officer. This will be confidential.

Why don’t you...

  • Learn the names of 5 new classmates.
  • Choose a college trip or activity you’d like to do.
  • Ask someone you don’t know for help with something.
  • Start a conversation with 3 different students.
  • Sit with someone new at lunchtime.

Graph of mood/ months in a new culture