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Study abroad and distance learners

Study Abroad and Distance Learners

We offer confidential support for students studying/on placement at a distance from campus who may experience difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing. 

We provide online support through qualified practitioners to help you cope more effectively with personal and/or emotional difficulties. Note that outside of University term times, available support may be slightly more limited.

Online support may include a Single Advice Session (SAS), or disability-related support if you experience mental health difficulties, specific learning difficulties, a disability or physical health conditions.

Single Advice Sessions

A Single Advice Session (SAS) will generally take place online, however telephone or email support may be considered if online video is not available. 

Request an SAS

If you have difficulties please contact Wellbeing on 01392 724381 or

What you will need

Computer and internet access, and depending on your choice of platform:

  • Relevant software eg Microsoft Teams
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Speakers
  • University of Exeter email address

Before your SAS

Before your advice session, it may be helpful to think about:

  • Concerns to discuss;
  • your current feelings;
  • how they affect you;
  • the causes of these feelings.

After your SAS

After your advice session, you might want to reflect.

  • If considering changes you might think about how you implement them;
  • You may wish to be mindful of your support network and resources.

If an emergency arises during a session your practitioner will discuss your options with you. We cannot make you seek urgent help, but we request you do so if you need to, or if we advise you to. During the Application Process, we will ask you for emergency contact details, as well as your acknowledgement and agreement of when we may need to use these contacts.

Wellbeing Services do not provide an emergency email service and practitioners cannot reply to an emergency email that arrives outside a scheduled session. If you are at immediate risk of harm, please do not wait to communicate this by email. 

If, at any time, you experience a mental health crisis, or significant concern for your health and safety, we urge you to seek immediate attention and make contact with someone who can help. Suggested contacts are listed on our Urgent support page.  

Where a practitioner has serious concerns for your safety, or the safety of others, they may make contact with the people detailed on your SAS request form, as well as any relevant others. In this instance, any information shared would be strictly on a ‘need to know’ basis.

If you experience technological breakdown or internet loss during an online session, we advise that you attempt to re-establish contact in the first instance. The practitioner will also attempt to re-establish contact. Sometimes, re-establishing contact can be as simple as disconnecting from the platform and reloading the link provided by your practitioner. If contact cannot be re-established, we suggest that you contact us through your SID Appointment Enquiry to explain what has happened.

Depending on the level of disruption, your practitioner will advise via your SID Enquiry whether the appointment will continue or be rescheduled.

The online platform we use (Microsoft Teams), utilises state-of-the-art security and encryption protocols.  Nevertheless, no online or distance counselling service can offer 100% security.  We do however take all reasonable actions to maximise security and we strongly encourage you to do the same by taking responsibility for the following:

  1. Never share your login details
  2. Change your password if you suspect it has been compromised
  3. Sit in a suitable location away from prying and eavesdropping
  4. Ensure your computer is protected from virus, hackers and spyware
  5. Use a firewall
  6. Delete browsing history, cookies and temporary files

Full details of how to download and use Microsoft Teams are available on the University's IT pages.

If you are unable to access this platform, please contact Wellbeing Services to discuss options whcih might be available to you.

The Data Protection Act (2018) protects individuals’ rights with regards to their personal data, regulating the information that can be held, how it is processed and to whom it can be disclosed. The University of Exeter (the "University") is a data controller and is committed to protecting your personal data and working in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation. Click here for further information about data protection.

For the purposes of Wellbeing Services Online support:

  • We keep computer-based records of all the information you provide by writing, email, phone and face-to-face contact.
  • All emails originating from both Student and Practitioner will be retained and attached to your confidential case notes. 
  • We summarise written case notes from all video conferencing sessions. We do not record or store video conferencing sessions and the visual and audio components of the session will be unavailable once logged out. 

 For full details on how Wellbeing Services manages your data please see our privacy notice.

Your confidentiality is integral to the service we provide. Information about you will not be disclosed to anyone outside Wellbeing Services without your permission, except in exceptional circumstances and as agreed in your Session Agreement. For further information about confidentiality and the exceptional circumstances when we are unable to maintain confidentiality, please see our Policies and Procedures.

Occasionally, Wellbeing staff may need to liaise with other people to ensure you receive the best support.  This may include staff in other University services, as well as people outside of the University (e.g. GP, other health workers).  When accessing our services we may invite you to complete our online Consent to Liaise form. For further information about Consent to Liaise, please see our Policies and Procedures.

For information about cancellation or non-attendance of Online appointments, please refer to our Policies and Procedures.



  1. The Wellbeing Services Online provisions are remote in nature. Because of this, we are limited in some aspects of the support we can provide. For example, we will be unlikely to have a good knowledge of support services local to you if you are currently studying away from campus. Likewise, if you disclose to us that you are vulnerable or at risk in any way, it is unlikely that we will be able to access urgent medical or psychiatric services on your behalf. We therefore strongly encourage you to register with a local healthcare service and ensure that you have details of both local support options and emergency services in your area.

  2. There may be occasions when Online Services will not be available to students due to:

    - Specific jurisdictional laws and requirements
    - Local time differences which are outside usual UK working hours.
    - University vacation periods

  3. No online or distance counselling service can offer 100% security and privacy.

  4. Our Online Practitioners work under UK jurisdiction and in the event of any legal concerns, UK laws shall apply.