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Your role
Contacting your school
Travel, Insurance and Visas
Finding Accommodation
Education and lesson planning
Looking after yourself
Travel, Insurance and Visas
Essential travel information

You are responsible for your own travel costs to and from the country where you will be working. We cannot recommend individual travel agents on our website, but we recommend that you shop around and find the best deal before paying for your travel.

If you are appointed to a country in Europe, you should consider travelling by bus, train or ferry to your destination. You can find information on these websites: www.raileurope.co.uk, www.eurolines.co.uk, www.direcferries.co.uk. You may also consider using low cost airlines. The website www.whichbudget.com shows which airlines fly between which cities. If you decide to take your car, make sure it is adequately insured.

If you are appointed to China, Latin America or Senegal, you will usually be advised to travel on specific days so as to co-ordinate your arrival with other assistants in order to be able to meet at the airport.

If you are appointed to Latin America, you should buy a return flight with a flexible return date or the option to change the return date as two singles are often more expensive and exchange rates can fluctuate.

If you are appointed to China, you should buy a return ticket as your school will reimburse your flights upon completion of the contract.

You must ensure that you have medical and travel insurance for the duration of your appointment, including travel to and from the UK.

If you are appointed to any EU country, you should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Please contact the Department of Health to download an application form. This will cover you for emergency healthcare in the EU until your period of appointment starts and after it finishes. The EHIC is free of charge.

If you are appointed to Austria, France, or Germany, you will automatically pay a contribution from your pay to the national social security system or equivalent, so you should not need to take out extra medical insurance.

If you are appointed to Spain, you have student status as an assistant and will not pay social security payments. You should get a European Health Insurance Card for Spain.

Assistants appointed to Italy have a semi student/worker status and should apply for a European Health Insurance Card.

If you are appointed to Belgium, China, Latin America or Senegal, you should take out fully comprehensive medical insurance for the full period of your appointment. This should include emergency repatriation to the UK.

If you are appointed to Canada, you should take out a minimum three month comprehensive medical insurance policy. After 90 days you will be covered by the Quebec national insurance plan for some medical expenses. However if you travel in other provinces of Canada or in the USA, you will only be covered for emergencies.You should also make sure you have personal liability insurance in Quebec.

If you are appointed to Switzerland, you are advised to take out a policy covering you for the first few days and take out a local policy after arrival.

Assistants appointed to all countries may wish to take out an additional policy to insure your possessions if this is not covered on your family’s insurance. We also recommend you take out travel insurance for all journeys to and from your placement.

Launched in 2001, ‘Know Before You Go’ is an ongoing consular awareness campaign run by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). It encourages British nationals to be better prepared for their overseas trips with a view to avoiding common travelling traumas, risks and dangers. Assistants going to countries outside Europe in particular should ensure they read this information.

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