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Supplementary Health Insurance

All students can access the UK's National Health Service. Students on a Tier 4 visa pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to access the NHS, and students on short term visas must pay to access the NHS. However it is very important for both groups to have adequate international medical insurance to guarantee optimal health care for yourself and to protect you from significant financial problems while abroad. Insurance is particularly important for travel outside the UK, medical expenses in the UK (e.g., if you are here on a short-term visa) and/or healthcare costs not covered by the NHS including repatriation. 

All students are required to have supplementary health insurance. Supplementary health insurance is not the same as the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Queen’s University’s Alma Mater Society and Society for Graduate and Professional Students offer supplemental health insurance, though you are not obligated to purchase those services. Purchasing insurance is a personal choice and we recommend you compare plans in order to make a decision that is right for you. The BISC does not endorse any particular product.

Please note: If your health card has an expiry date which falls during your time abroad, you should contact your health care provider to request a new card. If your health card expires while you are abroad, you may have difficulty receiving medical care or you may find that your supplementary medical coverage is no longer valid. Some Canadian Residents may be required to notify their ministry of health about absences from the country that exceed a certain number of days. If you fail to do so you may have trouble with health care coverage upon your return.

First-Year and Upper-Year StudentsLocal orientation schedule

Regardless of your home institution, you are eligible for supplementary medical coverage through the Queen’s University Alma Mater Society. Upper-year Queen’s students are automatically enrolled in the AMS health plan, unless they opt out. First-year students must contact the AMS directly to enrol in their supplementary health plan. All non-Queen’s students must contact the AMS to enrol. To do this visit the AMS website or contact them directly at 613-533-3001 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Law Students

If you are a graduate or professional student currently registered at Queen’s you are eligible for the Society for Graduate and Professional Students health plan. For additional information pertaining to the SGPS health plan, including information about premiums and opting in/out, please visit the their website at https://sgps.ca/ or contact them directly at 613-533-2924 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

More information about Supplementary Health Insurance (PDF, 311 KB)

Pre-departure Preparations

  • Contact a health care provider to discuss your health and upcoming journey abroad.
  • Get a full medical and dental check-up before heading to the BISC.
  • Check that your immunizations and vaccinations are up to date. You may wish to bring a copy of your medical history with you but this is not a requirement.
  • If you are carrying an EpiPen or require routine, or frequent, injections may wish to carry a supply of syringes and needles sufficient to last their stay abroad. Take a note from your doctor explaining that you require the syringes for medical reasons. Also check with your airline regarding any restrictions in carrying these items in your baggage.
  • Discuss with your doctor any prescription medicine you are taking and formulate a plan for while you are in the UK. Not all medicines available in your home country will be available in the UK.
  • All medication should be kept in its original labelled bottle.
  • If there is an addictive ingredient in any of your medications, you should have a letter from your physician detailing the problem and the generic name of the medicine.
  • If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may wish to take a copy of your prescription.
  • Any condition that may require emergency attention, carry identification (a tag, bracelet or card) on your person at all times, indicating the specific nature of the problem and what should or should not be done if you are unable to communicate this information yourself. You may also want to create an allergy card in a number of languages to help you identify your allergy while you travel. 
Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
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