Welcome new students

New international students

Bunting with country flags hanging in a street

Welcome to our global family

Whether you are able to start with us on campus in straight away or are studying remotely until you're able to join us, a warm welcome awaits you at Essex.

At Essex you really will find the world in one place. We are proud to be a global community but we recognise that living and studying in the UK may be very different from your own country. The information below will help you prepare for your arrival and how to settle into university life so you can enjoy everything the University of Essex and the UK has to offer. 

Our friendly and professional staff are also on hand to guide, advise and assist you during your time at Essex. We offer a wide range of support covering academic and health and well-being issues.

Also, make sure you check out the rest of the information for all new students and our information for current international students

If have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Student Information Team.

Key information

Travelling to the UK

Before you arrange to travel please check the UK Government website for the latest information and restrictions on entering the UK and living in England. 

It’s important you keep checking for updates before you travel to find out if you are able to enter the UK, what you must do before you travelupon arrival and the rules about self-isolating once you are here.

We strongly advise you to check with your airline before you go to the airport and check the latest guidance on the UK Government website.

Find out more about starting at Essex and how to come onto our campuses.

The UKVI have told us that students with a long-term visa including a Student route or Tier 4 visa and those with settlement in the UK are regarded as residents so should be able to travel.

Read UKCISA guidance for international students travelling from the UK's red list of countries

Immigration

Visas

The UK’s student Immigration Rules have changed, Tier 4 has been replaced with the new Student route. Read our immigration pages for information about the new rules and applying for a visa to study with us.

Police registration

For those that have a condition on their vignette to register with the Police, if you are living in Essex you will need to create an account when you arrive in the UK and request an appointment via the Essex Police website.

If you have a Police Registration Certificate and it needs to be updated, you will also need to create an account and request an appointment. If you have any questions about registering, you’ll need to contact Essex Police. Find out more about who is required to register and the process.

Right to study checks and collecting your BRP

When you arrive in the UK and have finished self-isolating, if required, you’ll be able to arrange to get your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) from the place you’ve chosen and attend an Identity/Right to Study check. Find out more about collecting your BRP from the University.

Remote study

The University of Essex is a campus-based university. We offer our students a distinctive, on-campus, living and learning experience, and our students benefit from being on our campuses, sharing their Essex learning experience with fellow students and being part of our rich and diverse community.

We know that COVID-19 restrictions may still affect many of you. That’s why we will offer a level of flexibility for those who are unable to arrive at our campuses for the start of term. More information about eligibility and how to apply to study remotely can be found on the Student Directory.

Support with your English skills

Getting to grips with English as a second language has never been easier because we offer a wide range of services and opportunities for you to work on your language, writing, grammar and speaking skills.

Academic English Support classes (AES classes)

If your first language isn’t English, our Skills for Success team will invite you to register on to Academic English Support classes. You will receive an email with the details of modules available in the Autumn term and the link to the AES Registration survey where you can identify which modules you would like to be enrolled onto. The Academic English Support classes aim to help you achieve higher marks through improving your English language skills. Further information can be found on the Skills for Success webpages.

If you have any questions, please contact askthehub@essex.ac.uk

Clubs and societies

Surrounding yourself with native English speakers is a great way to improve your speaking skills and boost your confidence. What better way to do this than by joining one of our Students' Union's 165 sports clubs and societies. From the departmentally-focused and culturally-based to the downright weird and wonderful (Harry Potter Society, anyone?), there's an SU society for everyone. As every Essex student is automatically a member of the University of Essex Students’ union you can join any of the societies on campus.

Our society’s host regular events that promote language learning experiences. You can also ask for 121 sessions with society exec members or group
activities.

Watch movies

Our favourite tip for learning the conversational side of a language – watch movies! Watching movies in English (a.k.a. binge-watching Netflix) can be super helpful, it forces you to learn English and gain skills whilst doing something you actually enjoy.

If the big screen is more your thing then watch the latest blockbusters or timeless classics at our on-campus cinema, Cine10.

Money matters

Before travelling overseas, it is important to notify your bank that you will be using your debit or credit card abroad to make payments. This reduces the likelihood of your bank card being blocked which could delay your registration process. If you are paying your own tuition fees, you should also ensure that you have sufficient funds to pay your first terms fees. 

Insurance

Travel

We strongly recommend you arrange travel insurance before you leave your home country to cover you throughout your studies in the UK. Make sure your insurance covers repatriation of you and any dependants to your home country, should it become necessary, this will not be covered by the UK’s National Health Service in any circumstances and is expensive.

Lots of students choose to visit other countries during University vacations or as part of their studies, make sure your travel insurance covers you for worldwide travel and for the things you want to do whilst you are there.

Personal belongings

It is important that you take out insurance against the loss or theft of personal belongings including any cash funds.

If you will be living in University accommodation standard contents cover has been arranged for you with Endsleigh Insurance that will cover your belongings whilst they are in your room. We recommend you check the policy details including what’s covered, you will be able to increase the cover if you would like to.

Insurance companies

There are many different insurance providers in the UK who offer various types of policies. Before taking out insurance make sure the company is regulated by checking the Financial Services Register. Check the policy wording and make sure it offers you the cover you require.

Endsleigh Insurance was originally set up by the National Union of Students. They offer many different types of insurance policies for students including one for international students studying in the UK that may be of interest to you.

Healthcare

There are some services and treatments that are carried out at an NHS hospital that are exempt from charges and are free to everyone, including temporary visitors to the UK.

If you are from outside the UK read our healthcare web pages for more information about entitlement to free NHS care, this will depend on your arrival date and UK immigration status.

Our University provides advice and guidance about your health and wellbeing and you will have access to many support services whilst you are studying with us. After your arrival in the UK you will need to register with a local doctor, also known as a GP (General Practitioner), they will provide you with your NHS number.

Safety and security

  • Health and safety information and advice
  • Advice from the British Council - The British Council has created a downloadable guide 'Creating Confidence' to help international students prepare for their time in the UK. It highlights some safety and security issues that international students should be aware of and lists helpful contact information.

Download Creating Confidence by The British Council

Using your phone

Your current international phone is very likely to function perfectly in the UK, but you will need a UK sim card to avoid high charges.

You might feel that you do not need a UK phone number but keep in mind that you will need one when applying for jobs or internships (both on and off-campus), if you need to get a delivery from one of the local supermarkets and most importantly to keep in touch with your new friends at Essex.

The best thing to do is research the different mobile phone companies and the deals they offer.

Prepare to study and live in the UK - online course

The British Council has an online course designed to benefit international students who have been accepted to study at a UK university. The course will provide you with helpful information, support, and study skills for higher education, whilst giving you a taste of life in the UK. 

Students moving in to campus
Advice for applicants

Concerned about what the impact of COVID-19 means both for your university application and, for your university experience when you start in the autumn? We are working hard to ensure that you are able to start with us– in whatever way possible.

Read our COVID-19 guidance for applicants