Info for international students
UWS is a truly international university and every year we welcome hundreds of international students into our vibrant and diverse academic community. We do everything we can to help you prepare for life at UWS and support you during your studies.
- Arrive early to your UWS accommodation to self-isolate at no extra charge
- 'Check in and chat' service to keep in touch with you after arrival
- Support with visa issues
- Welcome food and cleaning packs in our accomodation
- Advice on registering with a GP and opening a bank account
You can find out more specific information for international students joining us this September below:
Information for international students
Q: The borders of my home country have closed – should I still apply?
A: The University would encourage you to still apply as this situation may change considerably in the coming months. If you're successful in gaining an offer, we'll be in touch to advise you on the next steps you should take. In the meantime, please continue to follow public health guidance for your home country and keep up to date with advice for the UK on the Government’s coronavirus action plan and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. It is our absolute priority to support you in any way we can.
Q: What happens if I can’t get my visa?
A: We’re aware visa centres have been closed for some time in some countries and we’re monitoring the situation. Further information can be found on the UKVI website. Postgraduate research students should contact their supervisor if they're unable to apply for a visa or contact Internationaladvice@uws.ac.uk if you need assistance in applying for your visa. If you are unable to get a visa and/or travel to the UK in time for the start of term, allowing sufficient time for quarantine where required, please contact us at email@example.com to discuss your options.
Q: Are there any visa concessions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic?
A: Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for a visa concession outlined on the UKVI webiste. If you need advice on your particular situation, please contact the International Student Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Will any of my visa fees be refunded if I can’t travel?
A: If you can’t travel due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, you will be able to apply for a replacement vignette up until the end of this year if your temporary visa expires. If you choose not to come to the UK after your visa has been issued and there are no travel restrictions, there is no refund of visa fees. If your visa application is refused, you will automatically be refunded the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Q: How do I get a replacement vignette if I had previously been issued with a 30 day visa and was unable to travel to the UK?
A: If your 30 day visa to travel to the UK to return to your studies or start a new course has expired, you can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge until the end of this year.
To request a replacement visa you can either:
- Contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk
- Arrange to return your passport to your Visa Application Centre (VAC) if it has re-opened
You’ll need to include your name, nationality, date of birth and confirmation of course dates (from your school/Programme Leader) with your ‘GWF reference number’ in the subject line. Your replacement visa will be valid for 90 days and you’ll be contacted by your VAC for a replacement visa to be endorsed.
Q: I am preparing to travel to UWS, is there anything I need to do before I depart?
A: We have prepared Pre-Departure guidance for all our new and returning students travelling from the EU and internationally. We would advise you review the pre-departure guidance before you depart:
Q: Do I need to quarantine/self-isolate if I am travelling to the UK from overseas?
A: If you are entering the UK from certain countries you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in your arranged accommodation. This means you will not be able to leave your University or private accommodation for the first 14 days after you arrive in the UK. It is important that you adhere to this in order to protect yourself and the student community. You will also be asked to complete a form to provide your contact details and travel information. Arrivals from certain countries will be exempt. Full information can be found online here for students studying at London Campus and here for students studying at any of our Scottish campuses.
If you are unsure of what you can and can’t do during self-isolation, please have a look at the following link for students studying at London Campus and here for students studying at any of our Scottish campuses.
If you require support during your period of isolation please refer to the email@example.com to be put in touch with the relevant student support services, in particular if you are staying in private accommodation.
Q: If I am feeling lonely during my self-isolation period is there anyone I can speak to?
A: During your self-isolation period, we would very much like to give you a call to see how you are settling in and to check that you are aware of the support services within the university and how you can connect with other students online. In your pre-arrival information, you will receive information about a ‘Check in and Chat’ appointment which you can request before you travel to the UK. You will also be reminded of this when you arrive.
Just fill out the form at this link so that we can arrange a ‘Check in and Chat’ appointment with you when you first arrive. In addition, once you are entolled, you will receive updates about the Virtual Quick Questions drop-in sessions arranged on a weekly basis with the International Student Support Team.
Q: How soon can I register with a GP if I am self-isolating?
A: One of the first things you will need to organise when you arrive in the UK is registering with a GP (doctor). However, you will need to begin this process online whilst you are self-isolating. Most GP surgeries are taking online applications. Please note: For GP letters, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find informaton on the UWS website on where to register with a GP.
If you have any health concerns, please call the NHS by dialling 111. You can also get advice online at www.nhsinform.scot/ (for students in Scotland) or https://111.nhs.uk/ (for students in England).
Q: Can I open a bank account if I am self-isolating?
A: Most banks are accepting online applications as you will be unable to go into a bank until your self-isolation period has finished. Please email email@example.com to request a bank letter. Further information on opening a bank account can be found here.
Alternatively there are many fully online or app-based bank accounts which you can find more information about here.
Q: What should I do if my local English language testing centre is closed due to the pandemic?
A: We’re aware English language exams have been suspended in some countries. If you can’t book an IELTS test, we may consider other English language qualifications. Please submit evidence of English language with your application and the admissions team will consider this.
Q: I have been told to collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from a specified Post Office within 10 days of my arrival – how do I do this if I am quarantining?
A: You will have received an email with instructions from the Home Office on how and where to collect your BRP. If you are required to self-isolate on arriving in the UK, do not go to the Post Office until after you have observed the required quarantine period. The Post Office have been asked to keep your BRP for a longer period than normal, so it should still be there once you have completed your self-isolation. Please refer to the following link for details on BRP collection.
Q: I have a stamp on my passport requiring me to register with the police within seven days of collecting my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) – how do I do this if I am quarantining on arrival?
A: During the coronavirus pandemic police registration has been suspended and you will not be penalised for not registering with the police. This rule is subject to change so London Campus students should check here for the latest info and Scottish campus students should check here.
Q: When does enrolment open for international students?
A: Online enrolment opens on different dates this year depending on your School and programme. We will email you with instructions on when and how to enrol, so keep an eye out for details.
We are allowing all new Tier 4 students to enrol this year once their CAS has been paid even if they have not yet arrived in the UK. Once new Tier 4 students arrive in the UK after current pandemic restrictions are lifted on travel they will be required to bring in their passport and visa for checking to their campus. The date for this is still to be confirmed.
Continuing Tier 4 students will be required to attend a ‘sign-in’ session once current pandemic restrictions are lifted and they are safe to be on campus. At this time their passport and visa will be checked. The date for this is still to be confirmed. These students will be able to complete enrolment prior to this check.
Q: I have a space booked in UWS accommodation and was hoping to arrive before the residence lease start date of 21st September in order to quarantine – will I be able to do this and will I be charged?
A: We understand how difficult a time this is, especially for students coming to study from overseas and we are doing everything we can to help support you to do this. As a result we can confirm that you will be able to access your space in our residences in advance of 21st September in order to quarantine and there will be no extra charge for arriving early. We are currently advising anyone needing to quarantine to arrive around Monday 7th September.
More accommodation specific info can be found here.
Q: I will be living in private accommodation on arrival, how do I prepare for the 14 day self-isolation?
A: We recommend you book student accommodation with the University, however if you prefer to stay in private accommodation, the following advice will help you prepare.
You must travel to your accommodation immediately. You cannot stop to buy items you need on the way. You will need to buy essentials without leaving your accommodation so you should make sure you have a credit or debit card that allows you to make online payments. If you are uncertain you should contact your bank to check.
Remember to bring adaptors for UK plug sockets, laptops and chargers. You must also ensure you will have access to the internet and a phone you can use in the UK. You should check with your mobile provider that your smartphone plan allows you to use the internet and make calls in the UK, or arrange with your accommodation provider to have Wi-Fi set up in your accommodation, or you could buy a 4G dongle.
Make sure you have one set of bedding and towels, unless your accommodation provides these (most private accommodation will not provide this).
Make sure you take any medication you need with you.
You will need to order your food online. Large UK supermarkets offer home delivery but you must book in advance to ensure you can get your groceries when you need them. Supermarkets will sell some toiletries, over-the-counter medication, household cleaner, and other household basics, as well as food and drinks. You can request home delivery from; Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbury's, Tesco, or Waitrose. If you want prepared food quickly you can order from local restaurants and cafes using delivery companies, the main food delivery companies are Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat.