Brexit Travel Advice
On 1st January 2021, after more than four years since the EU referendum result, the UK officially left the EU. At StudyLink we recognise that you may require more information for your student group travel, so we’ve compiled a guide to help you with the changes you can expect when travelling within Europe (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland).
Things to remember when travelling within the EU
British passport holders – We advise all those travelling to check the expiration date of their passport.
On the day you travel, they’ll need the passport to:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
Your students can check if they will need a new passport by using the government's free passport checker tool.
Remember it takes around 3 weeks to get a new passport, if applying online, and will take longer for postal applications. We advise for all travellers to check their passports at the earliest opportunity.
Visas & ETIAS
For short-term mobility study trips, British passport holders will not require a Visa for travel within most EU countries (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland). They’ll be able to stay for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period.
Although British citizens will not need a visa to visit Europe, they will need an ETIAS visa waiver from 2022 (at a charge of €7). The European Travel Information and Authorisation System is being introduced to register visitors from visa-exempt non-EU nations. Find out more here
As a reminder, the majority of foreign nationals wishing to visit EU countries may require a short stay visa or Schengen visa (Schengenvisum). Foreign nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland as well as some other countries are exempt from the visa requirement.
Through our Visa partner, your students can check the Visa and entry requirements for their study tour destination here.
European Health Insurance Card and Travel Insurance
Your students can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which allows them to get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced rate or in some cases for free.
If any travellers currently have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), it will remain valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, your students can apply for a GHIC to replace it.
However, neither the GHIC or EHIC is a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance. StudyLink offer extensive group travel insurance with healthcare cover at competitive rates, should this be required for your group.
For more information about the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), visit the government website here.
British passport holders will no longer be able to use the EU or EEA passport lanes, therefore your students should expect longer border control queues at the airport.
You should also make your students aware that, in addition to their passport, they may be asked to show:
- A return or onward ticket
- That they have sufficient money for their stay
As the guarantee of free data roaming has now come to an end, your travellers should check with their mobile phone network providers for any data roaming charges prior to travel.
However, a new law is currently in place to protect consumers from unknowingly incurring excessive data roaming charges. Once the cap of £45 has been reached, the individual will be contacted to notify them that they have reached this limit and to ask them to opt in to continue to use data roaming whilst abroad.
Any UK travellers wishing to drive in the EU, might need need an international driving permit for some countries. These are available directly from the post office at a charge of £5.50.
To find out if you'll need an international driving permit, you can find the IDP checker tool here.
For further information on requirements when driving in the EU, visit the government website here.
Alternatively, StudyLink can arrange for pre-paid tickets on public transportation, or coach transportation for your entire group, whilst in destination.
Food & Drink
There are restrictions in place over taking specific food products into European countries. Travellers cannot take meat or milk products (or any products containing them) into the EU.
If you have any further questions about student group travel within the EU, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the StudyLink team.
Download the StudyLink Brexit Travel Guide here.
Links to further information: