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Many of our incoming students ask, “Is London a safe place?”. As with any major city, there is crime, but the most important thing is always to be alert and ensure that you follow certain, simple guidelines.
Whilst in London you must abide by all British laws and regulations. Failure to do so could lead to arrest, prosecution and deportation. All of which will make it very difficult, if possible at all, to obtain permission to visit England again.
Being in central London, it is essential that you understand all aspects of security. You must always be aware of ‘suspect packages’ – unattended boxes or bags. This means that you must always keep your own belongings with you, ensuring you do not cause a false alarm. Sometimes entire underground stations are shut down and evacuated to investigate security threats. In this situation, be aware of your surroundings and alert authorities if you have any concerns. Should an incident occur, the most important thing for you to do is to let people know you are safe. We would recommend that you return to your accommodation and contact your Faculty Director in London straight away. In the absence of a local Faculty Director, you should contact Anglo Educational Services and let us know that you are safe. We also recommend contacting your parents as they will be worried about you.
Despite what some people think, it is still illegal to possess drugs in the UK (including cannabis) and the police are well within their rights to stop and search you in the street. If you are found in possession of drugs, you may be arrested and likely deported.
The UK has very strict rules on weapons. Mace and pepper spray are strictly prohibited, and it is illegal to be in possession of it. Other weapons such as guns and knives are also banned.
The legal age for drinking in the UK is 18. Please treat alcohol with respect, and do not abuse it. Drink sizes are often larger over here and if you end up intoxicated, you will be more at risk from other forms of crime. The police have the power to arrest and detain you if you are acting inappropriately due to alcohol.
Although international students studying their full degree in the UK are covered by the National Health Service (NHS), a study abroad student who is living in the UK for less than 6 months does not. However, you should have full medical insurance through your US university to cover you throughout your stay in the UK. We would recommend that you read through the instructions and what is covered immediately, so you understand the process before you need to use it (hopefully you never will!) and keep the insurance company contact details handy (on your phone, in your wallet etc.). All students will be provided with an up to date health information booklet upon arrival, providing detailed information on how to proceed with health issues.