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Before you arrive

Whether you are coming to the UK for the first time for a short period or you have visited before, the International Student Support Office can help you with what you need to do before you arrive and when you get here as a new international student.

Read on for our top tips you’ll need to think about before you arrive on campus. 

England is currently operating 'red, amber and green list' rules for international travel. You must follow certain rules depending on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK.

For further details, and to assess which actions you will need to take when travelling to the UK, please see our Covid-19 travel pages.

Make sure you know where you plan to stay when you arrive at the University. You can apply to live in university owned or managed accommodation (sometimes refers to as 'halls of residence' or 'halls'), or accommodation in the 'private' sector, where the university does not manage or organise this for you. 

Speak to the Accommodation teams for help on finding accommodation:

Study Abroad, International Exchange and Erasmus students (Exeter and Cornwall)

Exeter campuses (Streatham and St Lukes)

Cornwall campuses (Penryn and Truro)

If you are a non-EU/EEA student or an EU/EEA student arriving from 1 January 2021 onwards, you will require a visa to study in the UK. Applying for a visa is a lengthy process, so make sure you apply in plenty of time.

Most students will require a Student visa to study, but if you are coming for less than 6 months, you may have the option of applying for a Visitor visa. See our Applying for a Visa pages for detailed information, including advice on application forms and a list of supporting documents required.

Online events

Throughout 2020, we are running a series of webinars to help you prepare for study at Exeter. We'd love for you to join us.

Once you have work out how you will pay for your visa, you will also want to think about your living costs in the UK. Our International Student Guide gives you some idea of the costs you can expect.

The University of Exeter is a cashless campus therefore you will need to ensure you have the facility to purchase items on and off campus until you are able to open a bank account, see our advice on bank accounts here. We recommend obtaining a pre-paid travel card prior to your travel, the Caxton Currency card is a favoured option and available to set-up online. 

Alternatively you may wish to open a digital bank, Starling Digital Banking being a recommended option, also available to set-up online: 

There are several ways to get to campus from all the major airports and ports in the UK:

  • we run our Airport Collection Service on certain dates to all our campuses to help make your travel easier
  • the International Student Guide includes information on independent train and coach travel options from Gatwick & Heathrow. You might also want to explore the options of flying to Exeter, Bristol or Newquay airport
  • full directions to our campuses in Exeter and Cornwall can be found on our 'Planning Your Travel' pages

All students (regardless of immigration status) are able to access emergency treatment in a hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) department. This is only for emergency treatment for serious illness or injury. It is also recommended you register with a docotr for less urgent healthcare needs. If the doctor accepts you as a patient you will be sent a medical card through the post with your NHS number. However, being registered with a GP (doctor), and having an NHS number, does not give you automatic entitlement to free hospital treatment. The hospital providing treatment is responsible for establishing whether international students are entitled to free hospital treatment.

International students

If you are in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your application. This entitles you to access the NHS within the UK. Most services are free to access, although some carry charges. You will be made aware if you will be charged to access a service.

Students on a short course of 3 months or more can now register with a GP surgery to receive primary care services. If, however, you need a referral to a hospital specialist then you will be charged for this appointment by the hospital.

EU/EEA passport holders

EU/EEA students would be exempt from charge if carrying a EHIC as will some other countries who have reciprocal arrangements. We recommend all other students have adquate medical insurance to cover specialist appointments whilst in the UK. UKCISA explain more about this here.

Covid Vaccinations

Anybody in the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. International students in England can receive the COVID-19 vaccine when their age or clinical risk group becomes eligible.
While registration with a GP (doctor) is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice. (Remember, you can register at the Student Health Centre in Exeter, or the Penryn Surgery in Cornwall).
Click here for our latest information for students regarding Covid vaccinations. 

International Student Guide

Read our handy guide full of tips to help you plan before you arrive on campus. You can also download this here: International Student Guide 2021/22

Global Chums mentoring

Find out about our Global Chums mentoring scheme on your campus.

Living in the UK

Prepare for life in the UK by checking out our student blogs, Instagram, or our 'Living in the UK' pages.

Planning Your Travel to University

Find out about different ways to get to your campus

Introducing: Student Support teams

Watch our short videos to introduce you to our Student Support teams you can access when on campus