Useful Information

Help and advice for living and studying in the UK from planning your expenses to emergency healthcare.

Useful information for studying in the UK

The following section features important information for students studying abroad in the UK.

 

Planning your expenses

  • Practical information
  • Currency
  • Bank accounts
  • Living costs
  • Fees

Practical information

We do not advise carrying large sums of cash with you on arrival. We recommend that you bring enough cash with you to cover your first two weeks in the UK - no more than £250 for your immediate needs. It is safer to bring large sums of money in travellers' cheques which can be cashed in banks, post offices and airports, but be aware that there is often a minimum commission charge.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in the UK, MasterCard (Access) and Visa being the most common. Diners Club and American Express are less commonly accepted. You can withdraw money from a cash machine (also known as an 'ATM' or cash point) if you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for that card.

You may want to inform your current bank that you are moving to the UK and ask if you can use your card here.

 

Visas

Do you need a visa?

To study abroad in the UK a visa is generally needed if you (or your family) are nationals of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa is called "entry clearance" because it gives you permission to enter the UK.

If you are a national of the EEA or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to enter the UK.

You can check your status and whether you need a visa on the UK Border Agency website.

We advise that you check these websites for up to date information on visas:

 

Types of visas

 
  • Student Visitor
  • Child Visitor
  • Tier 4
  • European Citizen
  • Dependant

Student Visitor Visa

This is a restrictive type of visitor visa as a student visitor visa is only valid for a maximum of six months and is non-renewable. Employment is prohibited on this type of visa.

This visa is suitable for students who come to the UK to study on courses of six-months' duration or less but do not want to work or extend their stay.

Students who want to study on an English language course of six to eleven month duration but do not want to work or extend their stay should apply for an extended student visa.

This visa allows the holder to come to the UK to study full time at INTO for a maximum of six months.

UKBA Guide to the new Student Visitor Visa

For more information on student visitors please also see the Home Office website.

 

Extended Student Visitor Visa

The Extended student visitor visa is only valid for a maximum of 11 months. This is for students who are studying on an English language course only and is non-renewable. Employment is prohibited on this type of visa.

 

Safety

  • General
  • At the INTO Centre
  • In the City
  • Insurance
  • Under 18

General safety advice

While you're unlikely to be affected by crime as a student in the UK, it is important to take basic security measures. Health and safety in-centre is everyone's responsibility, and if you do see something that concerns you or your classmates, please report it to our reception staff who will make sure it's dealt with immediately.

At each of our centres we provide students with an emergency contact number which can be used at any time, day or night. You can also report a crime at any time by phoning 0800-555-111. This call is free from anywhere in the country. The police use this system to receive information without asking the identity of the caller.

Healthcare in the UK

  • General
  • National Health Service
  • Dentists
  • Opticians
  • Emergency Healthcare

General advice

All INTO students must have emergency medical insurance as a condition of being accepted on their course of study. You should inform your medical insurance company as soon as you have had any treatment.

Good healthcare is one of the most important considerations for students living abroad. It is best to register with a doctor as soon as you arrive in the UK. Our Student Services team will give you the information you need to do so. 

 

General Information

  • Climate and clothing
  • What to pack
  • Power and Adaptors
  • Computers
  • Mobile phones

Climate and clothing

The weather in the UK can be very variable: wet and windy one day, warm and sunny the next. The warmest weather is between May and September, but it can rain at any time of the year.

It is a good idea to bring a selection of light clothes that you can wear in layers (that way you can add or remove layers depending on temperature), as well as some warm outer clothing and a waterproof coat or umbrella. Hats, gloves and scarves, as well as thick socks, are essential in the winter but can be bought at a reasonable price in the UK.

You may find that your accommodation has limited storage space, so do not bring too much clothing, you will be able to buy more suitable clothing once you arrive. Students usually dress informally for class. You may want to bring with you a suit or dress for more formal occasions, as well as a national costume as students often organise international events, where they learn about different cultures.