SOAS University of London

General Advice for Wellbeing

Registering with a doctor

It is important to register with a doctor as soon as you arrive. Don’t wait until you are ill. You can register with the University of London Central Institutions Health Service at 20 Gower Street, London WC1E 6DP, if you live in central London. Details will be given to you when you enrol at SOAS. If you do not live centrally, you can register with any doctor close to where you live. A list of doctors is available from your local library or your local Health Authority; alternatively you can phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647, or search for GP Surgeries on the NHS website. Take with you proof that you are a student and ask to be registered as an NHS patient. Details on: and

Other Services

The clinic where your doctor is based often has other facilities you can use, e.g. contraception advice, chiropodists, maternity care, asthma clinic, diabetes clinic and healthy lifestyle clinics.


If you need to see a dentist, search the NHS website for a local one. You will have to pay some of the cost of dental treatment even as an NHS patient. Details on:


You will have to pay a minimum charge for an eye test on the NHS. Students do not automatically get free eye tests. However, if you have your student loan and no other income, you may be entitled to free eye tests. You should fill in an HC1 form, which you can get from the optician; order a copy of the HC1 form online. If the test shows you need glasses, the optician will give you a prescription. The cost of frames and lenses varies considerably, so check with various opticians before buying. The nearest optician is in the University of London Union building in Malet Street where an eye test will cost you £12 if you have a student card.

Student Counselling

The School’s Student Advice and Wellbeing department offers help and support with personal, emotional or work-related problems. If you would like to see a counsellor or find out more about what the service can offer, contact Student Advice and Wellbeing in SL48 - Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, phone 020 7074 5015 or email

Healthy Eating

Eating the right food, and enough of it, is vital for keeping warm and healthy. A healthy diet includes elements from all the main food groups (protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals). You should try to eat something from each of the following groups every day: Bread, rice, pasta or cereals, milk, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, lentils, nuts, beans. 

International Students

International Students studying in the UK for six months or more are eligible to receive full health care under the National Health Service (NHS) from the day of their arrival in the UK. Most services are free, but you will have to pay for prescribed medication. You are advised to register with the University of London Health Centre or other General Practitioner as soon as you have registered on your course. See above ‘Registering with a doctor’