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Studying with a family

One of the great things about coming here with children is that I see a different dynamic to life in Exeter.

Students with families

Bringing your partner and children to the UK requires additional planning and finances. You can find some useful information below to help you prepare, and your family to settle quickly.

We have a range of support available to you, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit (Exeter), FXU Advice Service (Cornwall) and the Parents’ and Carers’ network and buddy system.

For your visa application, you will need to show a minimum amount of money per month, per dependant you bring with you to the UK, on top of your own maintenance. Read about this on our visa advice pages.

Your actual living costs will vary according to your lifestyle. The International Student Guide has some examples of anticipated living costs.

There are limited options available to couples and students with children in University-owned accommodation in Exeter. There is no University-owned accommodation for families in Cornwall. Most students will therefore want to find their own accommodation in the private sector. The Accommodation team in Exeter and Cornwall can help you find somewhere to live.

It is important to view a property to ensure it is suitable for your needs before signing any private accommodation contract. Once your contract is signed, you will be responsible for full payments of the rent for the duration of the contract. The Guild Advice Unit (Exeter) or the SU Advice Service (Cornwall) can assist with checking contracts. UKCISA have further information about what you can expect from private rented housing in the UK.

If your children are young, you will probably have to look after them yourselves as domestic help is hard to find and very expensive. There are private day nurseries which take children under school age but many have waiting lists and the costs are high. 

Exeter campuses

The Devon Information on Services for Children website has details of playgroups, nurseries, childminders and out of school clubs.

The University Family Centre on the Streatham Campus is run by qualified staff and takes children from six weeks to five years of age. Apply well in advance as demand is very high and places are limited.

Cornwall campuses

For information on childcare services in Cornwall visit Cornwall's Family Information Service Directory website.

Children of students at our Cornwall Campuses may attend the either of the two nurseries based either on the Penryn campus, or close to the Woodlane campus in Falmouth. For more details, please visit the website here.

Children are required to attend school from the ages of 5-16, and remain in either education or training until they are 18.

Children between 5 and 16 years can attend government primary and secondary schools in the UK, as long as they are here as your dependants. You will not have to pay for this. However, schools may sometimes refuse places to children if they consider their stay in the UK will be too short, or if the schools have no free places.

To find out what schools are nearby, see the Devon council pages for students in Exeter, and the Cornwall council pages for students in Penryn or Truro.

Exeter campuses

INTO offers weekly classes for partners of students registered at the University. They address the communication needs required to adapt to life in the UK in a motivating, friendly and supportive atmosphere. Please note there is a charge for these classes.

Cornwall campuses

The English Language Team deliver a wide range of general English language courses on the Penryn campus; partners and family members over the age of 18 are welcome to join.

Please contact the English Language Team in the first instance to discuss your needs, and they will direct you towards the most appropriate classes.