United Kingdom
United Kingdom Students for Global Health
(GMT+00:00) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
British pound
SCOPE Active
SCORE Active
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Students for Global Health) - Nottingham
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Students for Global Health) - HYMS - Hull and York Medical School

Salma Ghafoor
Gemma Richardson
Sarah Sobka
Karisma Sharma & Anna Martin UK
Sarah Sobka
Hello, and welcome to the UK! We are Students for Global Health, formerly Medsin.

Come and experience life as a student in the UK, where you will have the chance to experience clinical medicine or research in the National Health Service (NHS), meet lots of enthusiastic students, and explore all the UK has to offer!

Follow us on instagram: @wearestudentsforglobalhealth

We are a tiny collection of countries in the grand scale of the world, but we have a lot to offer. The vision of our NMO, is "a fair and just world in which equity in health is a reality for all". This is something we believe we can help achieve by offering exchanges. Our mantra is global health, local issue - which you can learn more about through this amazing video.

Exchanges are a challenge to set up in the UK, due to the quite high price of living and strict regulations that universities have in accepting incoming students. However, all the NEOs and NOREs are working really hard to run successful exchanges and increase capacity. We love being part of the IFMSA and meeting so many people from across the world. Exchanges are amazing as they open up opportunities for our students to experience the same.

Your students are so welcome here and we'd love to meet them. We really hope exchanges continue to grow here and people really enjoy their time in the UK!

The National Health Service - a publicly-funded service through taxation, that is free at the point of access to everyone. It is widely considered one of the best healthcare systems in the world and is an aspect of national pride.

"The NHS was launched in 1948.

It was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth – a principle that remains at its core. With the exception of some charges, such as prescriptions and optical and dental services, the NHS in England remains free at the point of use for anyone who is a UK resident. That is currently more than 64.1 million people in the UK and 53.9 million people in England alone."

To know more about how the NHS in England works, watch this video. 

There are 42 medical schools across the UK, all of which have an extremely competitive entry process that selects based on school results, admissions' test scores, work experience, extra-curricular activities and a formal interview. Students can only apply to up to 4 medical schools per annual application cycle.

UK medical schools typically run a 5 year training program consisting of two years pre-clinical and three years clinical. Some universities have a compulsory year called 'intercalation', usually the 3rd or 4th year of study, where students undertake research or a particular specialty in more depth. Intercalation is optional in most medical schools. However, many students consider it to explore special interests and/or to receive an extra degree qualification.

After successfully completing finals, students graduate with a temporary registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). They then join the two-year Foundation Programme, working as junior doctors in hospitals in an area of England called a 'Deanery'. After the first year of this programme, FY1, they get full registration with the GMC as a fully certified doctor.
As the UK is so small, travel is very easy and fairly quick. Public transport is widely used such as buses, trains and in certain cities their own transit system (for example, the 'metro' in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the 'tube' underground railway system in London).

Driving in the UK is also very safe, with regular maintenance of roads and mostly polite drivers that follow the highway code strictly.
The social program is dependant on the LC. There may be some money allocated for social activities but this is different for different LCs. You may want to visit another city on your weekends! You can speak to the committee in your LC about this and they can offer you advice on the best way to travel, and where to find accommodation.

The UK is, on the whole, very safe so you can explore nearly everywhere on your own, if need be, with relative ease and comfort. Strangers are quite open to talking and are generally friendly so there would be no problem asking for directions or advice if needed.

We don't yet have a formally organised National Social Program, but if you are here at the same time as other exchange students in different LCs, it might be possible to organise for you to do some activities all together.
  • Explore the big cities of the UK such as London, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bristol (England), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen (Scotland), Cardiff (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland).
  • Go on a night out in one of the above cities! Nightlife is huge in the UK with a vast range of pubs, bars, open-mic nights and nightclubs. The drinks are pretty cheap, although not as much in London.
  • Go hiking! There are acres of beautiful countryside to explore. There are many National Parks such as the Peak District, Lake District, Northumberland and Scottish Highlands which aren't far from major cities.
  • Explore the never-ending coastline. Obviously as the UK is made up of a couple of islands, you're never too far from a beach. The sea will never be particularly warm but it's still a lovely place to feel the sea breeze, get some fish and chips and often there's rides or arcades.
  • Get cultured! Most museums and art galleries are free. The UK has a very rich and interesting history hence has many landmarks such as Stonehenge, Alnwick Castle (used as Hogwarts and in Downton Abbey), Hadrian's Wall etc. Durham and York are very quintessentially English cities, with cathedrals, cobbled streets and the perfect place to have classic English 'afternoon tea'.
  • There's also the Tate, National History Museum and Shakespeare Globe Theatre and even Harry Potter Studios in London. The theatre is very popular throughout the UK but you get some world-class performances in the West End for reasonable prices.
  • Go see some professional football, rugby and cricket matches!
  • Theme parks - the largest and best theme park in the UK is Alton Towers. There's also Lightwater Valley and Flamingo Land in the North and Thorpe Park in the South.
  • You'll hear 'please', 'thank you' and 'sorry' constantly.
  • You'll find strangers calling you 'mate', 'love', 'sunshine', 'pet'. 'Cheers' also just means thank you, they're not toasting anything.
  • Do not dare push in a queue! You will be hated by everyone, although you might not get shouted at because most of us prefer to be passive and avoid confrontation.

  • In London, over 50% of the population are not native English. The UK is very multicultural so expect to see people from many different cultures.
  • Driving is on the left side of the road and the vast majority of cars are manual.
  • When you make friends with British people, you'll find most enjoy having a laugh. The general humour involves making fun of everything, including themselves and possibly even you. It is also generally dry and sarcastic but at the same time, deadpan, so you may not realise it's a joke. The vast majority of people are actually nice, so if you think someone has insulted you it's probably just a joke and means they feel comfortable with you. Don't take anything to heart! However, if you still feel uncomfortable please feel free to raise your concern.
Have fun! Please be patient with us as exchanges are pretty new to some of our LCs and we're trying our best to learn about how they can fit in the UK and manage expectations. Also, please honest and detailed in your Evaluation Forms so we can try and improve year-by-year. Writing a report on your experiences is a requirement in some LCs but is useful in general, not only to us, but to yourselves. If you had a great time in the UK, please spread the word! :D

Some LCs have very specific Exchange Conditions so please check LC pages for detailed information