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When you arrive in Cornwall

When you first arrive on campus, there are tasks that as an International student you need complete for the University, some for your College, some that we think you will find useful and some that are just fun!

It might seem daunting to know what to prioritise, so read through the information below carefully to find out what sessions are compulsory (you must attend), and what you can schedule around your other planned activities, lectures, inductions and society taster sessions.

If you are arriving in January, most of these tasks will be covered by events in the International Welcome Programme.

If you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months and require a visa to study, your visa will initially be granted on an Entry Clearance vignette (sticker) in your passport. When you arrive in the UK, you will then have 10 days to collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) card. Your BRP card is your new visa and replaces the vignette in your passport. 

We strongly advise you chose to have your BRP card delivered to the University, which you can choose to do on your application form (more details here).

If you have opted to have your BRP delivered to the University, you can collect this at International Student Clearance (see below).

If you have not selected to collect your BRP from the University, you should check your visa grant letter which will confirm where you need to collect your BRP from. This will likely be from the Post Office. Once you have collected your BRP, you must present this to the University either at International Student Clearance, or bring this to the Penryn Info Point (PIP) in the Peter Lanyon Building between Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm.

Your welcome email from Admissions will tell you whether you need to present original documentation to the University before completing online registration. You may also need to collect your BRP (biometric residents permit, or plastic visa card) from the University. You can complete this compulsory task at the following times and locations:

International Student Clearance can be completed at the Penryn Info Point in the Peter Lanyon Building:

  • Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00

Arriving late

In an ideal world, everyone would arrive before their course start date, however we recognise this is not always possible. If you do plan to arrive later than this, you must request written permission to do so from the Admissions Office ( or If you do not do this you may not be able to register with the University.

What documents do I need to show?

Your welcome email from Admissions will tell you exactly what documents you will require, but usually you should expect to present:

  • Original passport used to enter the UK
  • Your entry clearance visa vignette (sticker) or stamp

Students studying on a Tier 4 visa should also expect to show:

  • Original qualifications as listed on your CAS, plus translations if these are not in English
  • Your BRP (‘biometric residents permit’ or plastic visa card) if you have opted to collect this from the post office.

It is important that international students who are with us for more than three months register with a Health Centre. Students with us for less than three months are not eligible to register with a Health Centre, but are entitled to emergency health care. See our advice pages here.

All students under 25 years of age starting at the University of Exeter are advised to have the Meningitis ACWY vaccination. If you haven’t had this already in your home country, and if you have paid the immigration health surcharge, you can get vaccinated for free.

Students should telephone the main reception at Penryn Surgery on 01326 372502 if they wish to book a vaccination appointment.

Please note, this is free for students ages 19-25 in their first year at University OR who are still under 25 and have been previously invited to have the Meningitis vaccination, but have not yet had it. If you are over 25 years old, you must contact the Penryn Surgery to book your vaccination at a cost of £45.

Many UK banks do not let you open a bank account until you are in the UK and have registered on a programme of full-time study. It can take up to 2 weeks to open a bank account. Find out how to do this here.

Your visa grant letter will state if you need to register with the police. Full information on how to do this can be found on our website here.

You should go directly to Truro Police Public Inquiry Office, based at Pydar House. The office is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, but is closed between 1pm and 2pm for lunch.

If English is your second language you may wish to enrol in some free support classes or look at the possibility of credit bearing module options here.


If you are having trouble viewing our guide, download it here: ‌International Welcome Programme Cornwall January 2020