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Coming to The University of Nottingham: A Pre-departure Guide

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  1. Coming to The University of Nottingham:A Pre-departure Guide

  2. Your Offer Congratulations !!!!!! Please ensure that you send your acceptance to the University as soon as you can to confirm your place. (and settle any necessary deposits) Make sure you follow any deadlines set by the University or UCAS

  3. What Next? • Your Pre-departure Checklist: • Things to do before you arrive in the UK • At the Airport • Getting to the University • Your first few weeks!

  4. Before You Arrive • Firmly accept your offer!!! • Pay any necessary deposit (relevant to PGT /Foundationstudents) • Arrange accommodation • Finances • Visa (make sure your passport is current and valid!!) • Organise paperwork • Arrange medical examinations and any screenings • Luggage and what to bring • Book Coach pick up and Welcome Programme Places • Flights to the UK • Travelling to Nottingham • ARRIVE!!

  5. Accommodation Guaranteed accommodation 3 years for undergraduates!! Catered halls (specific diets catered for) Self-catered halls What suits you best? Accommodation information Looking for privately rented Bringing your family to the UK

  6. Accommodation Lincoln Hall , University Park Newark Hall, Jubilee Campus Raleigh Park Broadgate Park Sutton Bonington Rutland Hall St Peter’s Court

  7. Accommodation Apply online You can only apply when the University has received FIRM ACCEPTANCE of your offer Deposit (A deposit may be required when you return your contract.) Accommodation deadline - 1 August

  8. Accommodation • What should I bring with me? • Facilities vary depending on the type of accommodation you have been allocated • Check the information that you have been sent and have a look on the website • Self-catered accommodation does not provide bedding. Check with provider if you can pre-order a bedding pack for when you arrive.

  9. Accommodation – useful info Electricity: The UK uses 240V Electricity. If you have items that can use multi-voltage (i.e. can operate on 110-115V and 220-240V) , then all you need is an adapter plug to use in the UK. Otherwise, you will need to consider alternatives. • What should I think about before buying items for my accommodation? • Take advice before you leave home – will your appliances work? • Do some research online – might it be cheaper to buy some things in the UK? • Check with your accommodation provider to see what your accommodation includes, and what must be provided by you • Remember, some things might be cheaper to buy with your new flat mates – consider waiting until you arrive in the UK and sharing the costs of items with friends

  10. Sharing accommodation Customs and Culture Smoking: Smoking is banned in public places. This includes all public buildings, public transport and open spaces. Smoking in bars and restaurants is banned except for special outside areas. Smoking is not permitted in University buildings. If you are out with a group of friends and wish to smoke, it is polite to ask first. Drinking: The legal drinking age in the UK is 18. Pubs are common meeting places. Whilst drinking is socially acceptable, it is quite usual for people to choose not to drink, either in a pub or at a party in someone’s home. Food: You may find that you are living with students who have different dietary requirements than you are used to. It is important here to respect the differences that you find and it will help you learn more about other ways of life. Vegetarian options are readily available.

  11. Sharing accommodation • Sharing accommodation means respecting others and learning about other cultures. It is a fantastic opportunity for you to meet with people from other countries and to learn a little about their way of life, and the customs that are appropriate for them You may find some unexpected differences! • We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the way that other cultures work, but if at any time you find that that you are having problems, there is always a member of staff available for you to talk to.

  12. Money Matters (Accommodation and Fees) • You are responsible for payment of your tuition fees and accommodation fees unless you notify the University of any sponsorship arrangements (your family are not considered sponsors) • It is possible to pay your accommodation and tuition fee costs in instalments. • Tuition fees can be paid in two instalments • Accommodation offers a variety of payments options – please check your contract for information about your accommodation • Tuition fees – early payment discounts are available to students. Details will have been sent to you with your offer letter and can also be found online at

  13. Compulsory Deposits • Postgraduate Taught and Foundation students are required to pay a £1000 deposit to accept their Unconditional offer, after which they will receive a CAS. This payment can be made via University/Applicants Portal, credit card, bank draft or bank transfer. • The deposit requirement will not apply to other groups of students and it will be waived for: Sponsored students (where they provide a sponsor letter to; Federal loan students; and Postgraduate Taught students who have already paid a deposit such as Business School MSc offer holders.

  14. Payment Methods • Tuition fee and accommodation payments must be made separately • Students can pay money to the university in advance via the portal however this is not a requirement of the visa process. A student can instead show necessary funding in their own or their parents bank account. We encourage you to do this. • Students who have paid money to the University in advance need to ensure that this is referred to in the draft CAS document online. Payments made after the CAS has been issued will not be shown on the CAS and therefore will not be taken into account when the visa is processed.

  15. Finances • If you have been awarded a scholarship by the International Office and received your official notification, then we will have notified the Tuition fee department of this. If you have been awarded a partial scholarship, you will still need to pay some part of your contribution to the tuition fee by the first payment deadline. • Please note that we cannot offer scholarships to current students, and so you MUST ensure that you have enough money to cover your tuition fees and living expenses in the UK. You will be asked for proof of this during your visa application and at immigration. • You cannot rely on part time work in the UK to cover your expenses, and visa officials will not accept the expectation to work as a suitable source of income. • It is very difficult to resolve financial problems once you have arrived.

  16. Currency and costs • Unlike other parts of Europe, Britain still uses POUND STERLING • Euros and U.S. Dollars are not accepted currency in Britain • England and Scotland have their own bank notes – Scottish notes are legal tender but may not be accepted everywhere (particularly large notes). • Bank Notes: £5, £10, £20, £50. £50 notes are not widely accepted. Please bring smaller notes if you can.

  17. Currency and costs Typical costs in England: • A loaf of bread – £0.75 • 1 kg rice - £1.10 • A pint of milk - £0.40 • A box of 80 tea bags - £1.60 • One laundry wash (on campus) - £2 to wash, £1 to dry • Local bus fare (e.g. to city centre from campuses) - £1.50 (single) • Taxi fare – appx. £1.80 per mile

  18. Currency and costs • You will be able to open a bank account in the UK but this could take some time. (Help will be provided during Welcome Week). • We recommend that you bring cash or traveller’s cheques to cover costs for the first two - three weeks. (£500+) If you have an international debit/credit card you can also withdraw cash from ATM machines on campus. Please check with your bank BEFORE leaving home. If you are bringing large amounts of cash or travellers cheques you must keep them safe! • If you decide to bring traveller’s cheques you will need to change these into cash when you arrive. You can do this at a bank or post office. • Please make sure that you read any paperwork from the University carefully to make sure that you have enough money when you arrive to cover any deposits etc.

  19. Currency and costs • As a student, saving money is very important! • Ways that you can save money when in the UK: • NUS Card offers many discounts in shops and online • Book long distance travel in advance and look out for special deals • Special deals in supermarkets – cook with friends! • Avoid peak times for cinema etc – cheaper during the day and discounts with student card • If you regularly use buses, trams and trains, consider buying a pass or combination tickets which offer unlimited travel • Cheap places to shop – ask around (Wilkinson, Argos, Pound shops) • Look out for second hand textbooks in campus bookshops, in your department and on noticeboards in your accommodation. Remember that course books are often available in the library!

  20. Currency and costs (students working) • Student visa holders on courses of degree level or above are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time in vacations. • The National Minimum wage is set at £6.08 per hour for workers aged 21 years and older and £4.98 per hour for workers aged 18-20 inclusive from 1 Oct 2011 • Jobs available on and off campus • Current vacancies include: - Personal Assistant (£6/hour) - Customer Service Assistant (£6.50/hour) - Database Management (£9/hour) - Telemarketing (£11/hour) • Undergraduate Internships

  21. Applying for a Visa • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – if course 6 mths+ • Your visa WILL be linked to the institution named on the visa letter • Can apply up to 3 months before course starts • Visas will be issued for up to one month before the course starts allowing you to join the University International Student Welcome Programme • Cost is £255 in local currency • The forms, the VAF 9 and Appendix 8 are available here: • Do read through UK Visas information carefully

  22. How to apply • You need 40 points to get the visa • CAS (confirmation of acceptance of studies) = 30 points Must have unconditional offer, firmly accepted. Postgraduate taught & Foundation students, need also to have paid the £1000 deposit. CAS will be sent out automatically by Admissions no more than 4 months before course start • Funding = 10 points Must show course fees for first year plus £5,400 for living costs If you have been in the UK for another course within the last 4 months and the course was longer than 6 months, you may only need to show the lower living costs of £1200.

  23. Documents needed • CAS – Note that this is an electronic document, you will not be sent a letter. You will be sent an email to check the details online, followed by the unique reference number needed for the visa application. • Previous qualifications – as mentioned in the CAS • Bank Statements showing cash in an account in your name or held jointly in your name. You must have held the money in your account for at least 28 days prior to the date of the application - Or Loan Confirmation clearly showing the amount. The bank providing the loan must be regulated by an official regulatory body. Where you are relying on a loan to cover part of your tuition fees and/or living expenses you must also include financial evidence as outlined above to show that you have the difference in your bank account - Or Sponsorship / Scholarship Letter The letter from your official financial sponsor must be on official letter-headed paper and have the official stamp of that organisation on it. The letter must also include the length of the sponsorship and the amount of money you will receive (or a statement that your official sponsor will cover all of your tuition and living expenses). Where the period shown on the sponsorship letter is less than that shown on the visa letter your application may be refused or a shorter visa issued.

  24. What else? • For financial documents in overseas currency, you must write on them the closing balance in pounds sterling according to the exchange rate on the following website ( We recommend that you print off the conversion from this site and include it with your application. Statements must be in English, or officially translated. • Evidence of your English language qualifications if this was a condition of your offer • Unconditional consent from a previous sponsor to remain in the UK if you were in receipt of sponsorship for a course during the past 12 months • An ATAS certificate (if applicable). This will be indicated on the visa letter we send to you. Alternatively you can find a full list of courses where an ATAS certificate is required at • An official translation of all documents in a language other than English or Welsh. The translation must include: The translators qualifications; Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation or the original document; The date; The translators signature

  25. What else?...continued • If you are under 18 years old, you must have a letter from both parents or legal guardians confirming support for your application and consent to arrangements for your care in the UK. • If you are bringing family (spouse, civil partner or children) with you, you will need marriage and birth certificates to prove the relationships. Please note that the immigration rules prevent students from travelling alone with children (without the other parent) unless they can prove sole custody for the child or that they are the sole surviving parent. Please read our guidance notes for more information: For help with completing the application forms, see here:

  26. Money matters Fees paid to the university or any university scholarship will be reflected in the CAS Fees paid in advance Students who have paid money to the University in advance need to ensure that this is referred to in the draft CAS online. Payments made after the CAS has been issued will not be shown on the CAS and therefore will not be taken into account when the visa is processed. Compulsory deposits Postgraduate Taught and Foundation students are required to pay a £1000 deposit to accept their offer, after which they will receive a CAS. Students will be able to make this payment via the University/Applicants portal, by credit card, bank draft or bank transfer. For more information and exceptions to the deposit requirement, see our guidance notes:

  27. General Advice For the visa process: Submit original documents. Ensure your documents are consistent and do not contradict each other. Ensure the documents are clearly explained. Submit copies as well as originals of any documents you wish returned. Provide the originals in a separate envelope.

  28. Biometric Data Your application will not be completed without submitting a biometric data 10 digit finger scan (electronic, no ink used) and digital photos required as part in You will have to go to your nearest visa application centre in person to provide your biometrics.  In those countries where there is no visa application centre, you will need to go to the British mission.  You should make sure that you do not have any decoration (such as henna), or any cuts or other markings on your fingertips before having your finger scans.  You should also make sure that if you have any cuts and bruises on your face, they have healed or disappeared before you have your photograph taken.  Digital photographs must be of your full face and you should not wear sunglasses, a hat or any other head covering (unless you wear it for cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered).

  29. Dependants From July 2011, you can only sponsor dependants where the course is longer than 12 months and at NQF7 postgraduate level or you are Government sponsored. These dependants will be able to work. If you are bringing dependants (partners and/or children) with you to the UK you must show that you have an extra £400 per month for up to 9 months to cover the living expenses for each dependant. If you are a sponsored student you need to ensure that the sponsor letter mentions your family members, otherwise you will be required to show the money for dependants living costs in YOUR bank account.

  30. Length of Visa

  31. Admin Review • If for any reason your application is unsuccessful and you think a mistake has been made you can apply for an Administrative Review of the decision. • Your request must be made within 28 days from the date you receive the refusal notice. The administrative reviewer will examine the evidence sent with the original application as copies are kept at the refusal post. • You will not be allowed to submit fresh evidence as part of this process. You should receive a decision within 28 days from the date they receive your administrative review request notice. - You should also send a copy of your refusal notice through to the International Office either by email ( or fax +44 115 951 5155 so that we are aware of your situation and can offer further advice and guidance as appropriate.

  32. Where to start Start by finding your local British Embassy / High Commission or Visa Application Centre: Speak to them about getting an appointment and make sure you understand what documents and funding you need If you have any questions remaining about the visa process, please email our Support Team:

  33. Your health • Students in the UK for longer than 6 months will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) • Most treatment is free e.g. visits to the doctor/nurse, emergency hospital treatment • Students can obtain optical and dental treatment and prescriptions at a reduced cost • We have a medical and dental centre on campus for students to use • Please remember that you may need to provide evidence of previous medical treatments on arrival in the UK, as well as evidence of vaccinations or chest x-rays

  34. Your health • TB Screening: • If you are remaining in the UK for over 6 months • Either in your home country or on arrival in the UK - it is much quicker to take the test before arrival • The test takes the form of a chest x-ray • CARRY YOUR CERTIFICATE WITH YOU IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE! • For more information:

  35. Your health • Recommended Vaccinations (not compulsory): • Meningococcal Meningitis C strain • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) booster for students under 25 who have not had Mumps, or two MMR vaccinations • These vaccinations should be arranged before leaving your home country wherever possible. Please note that these are just recommendations, and are not requirements for immigration or visas. • It is useful for the Health Service if you can bring a record of your vaccinations to the UK with you.

  36. What should I bring in hand luggage? • Passport and Visa • Original documents required for registration • Offer letter and other official University documents • Travel documents (e.g. air ticket) • Cash/travellers cheques to support yourself until you can open a bank account (which can take up to two weeks) • Evidence of financial support for fees and maintenance • Medical certificate if necessary • Insurance for travelling • 6 Passport-sized photographs for use at registration etc • Accommodation Details • Welcome Week & Airport pick-up e-ticket • Contact details for the University and for your family • Something warm to wear! • PLEASE PACK THESE IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE!!!

  37. Travelling to the UK • UK air travel restrictions are in place • Please check with your airline BEFORE you travel • There may be limits on hand luggage size and contents. If you do not comply, you may be denied boarding or you some contents (e.g. liquids) may be confiscated • If possible, try to book your flight so that it arrives in the UK during the daytime. This will make your travel to Nottingham much easier. If your flight will arrive late at night, you should consider booking accommodation at the airport and continuing to Nottingham the following day.

  38. Welcome to the UK!

  39. Arrival in the UK • Passport control • You will need to show the Immigration Officer: • Your passport and visa • Offer letter • Evidence of financial support • Evidence of accommodation • Evidence of recent medical examination or international vaccination certificate or chest x-ray (if required) • Collecting your luggage • Customs • Emergency contacts – Arrivals UK

  40. Welcome Programme • Coach pickup 2011 • You MUST register online to use the coach pickup service at Friday July 1 2011 • The pick-up is for Tuesday 20 September 2011 ONLY – we cannot arrange pick ups on other days, or for individual students! • We can collect you from Heathrow Airport TERMINAL 3 from 7am – 7pm on 20 September • If your flights will arrive after this time, consider arriving the night before and joining the pickup. We CANNOT wait for late flights. The last coach will leave at 7pm and you MUST have booked your place. • The journey to Nottingham from Heathrow takes about 3 hours by coach, depending on traffic.

  41. Coach pick up service • You are allowed to bring one suitcase and one piece of hand luggage – please remember that hand luggage space on a coach is smaller than hand luggage space on a plane. If your hand luggage is larger than 55x40x20cm then you may be charged extra for it • You can bring as much extra luggage as you can carry but you will be charged £20 for all additional cases (not per case) • Extra seats can be booked on the coach for up to two family members accompanying you to the University but they will be charged £20 per additional seat.* We will not be able to provide on campus accommodation for friends and relatives. *correct at the time of print • Information on local accommodation can be found on websites such as or Areas such as the city centre, Beeston, Lenton, Dunkirk and Wollaton are all located close to University Park and Jubilee Campus

  42. Arrival at the airport • Look for the University of Nottingham signs in Terminal 3 Arrivals (you will not be able to miss us!) • Please wait patiently to be registered and allocated a coach. During busy times (especially early morning and evening) this may take some time. • DO NOT leave your luggage unattended. It may be confiscated by airport security. Your luggage is YOUR responsibility • DO NOT leave the meeting point until your coach is called. We cannot hold coaches for missing passengers – it is YOUR responsibility to be on the coach when it is ready to leave

  43. Coach Pick Up - luggage • Do NOT bring more luggage than you are able to carry yourself! • Trolleys will not be available on campus to transport your luggage so you must be able to manage it by yourself • You can ship items to yourself but you MUST be available at your address to receive the shipment. We CANNOT hold shipped items that arrive before you do, for security reasons. Please do NOT send packages to the International Office as we cannot hold them for you. • The coach pickup service will allow you to bring one suitcase and one small piece of hand luggage no larger than 55x40x20cm free of charge

  44. Travelling to Nottingham If you cannot or do not want to use the coach pickup service then Nottingham can be reached easily by train or by coach. We do not recommend hiring a car. Remember, you can still register for and join the welcome programme, even if you do not use the coach pick-up service! Details on how to reach Nottingham from major airports can be found on the International Office website at If using public transport, do check service times before you arrive in the UK to ensure connections. Coaches go directly to Nottingham from Heathrow airport. Rail Information can be found online at: Coach Information can be found online at:

  45. Travelling to Nottingham • Try and book flights to arrive into the UK during the day • If your flight arrives late at night then you should book a hotel close to the airport rather than try and continue your journey to Nottingham • If you are planning to arrive on campus late in the evening, then please check with your accommodation BEFORE making any plans as there may not be anyone available to issue your room keys • Information on accommodation in Nottingham can be found online or via the accommodation office. For hotels elsewhere in the UK, you can find extensive information via websites such as or

  46. Contacting home • If you leave an email address on your registration form for the welcome programme, we will email your family to tell them you have arrived. • HOWEVER, you do need to keep in regular contact with your friends and family. The University is not permitted to give out information to callers about you or your studies, so it is your responsibility to keep in touch! • Most of you will have mobile/cell phones that you plan to bring with you. Some of the options available to you will be: - Obtain a new SIM Card and pay & go with your own mobile phone - OR: Special Deals with providers which include a new phone. To obtain a contract phone you will need proof that you have a UK bank account as well as proof of ID. Other options: • International Phone cards – think about buying before you leave home for cheap deals, or purchase on campus when you arrive • Computer Labs are available on campus for you to send emails. If you pre-register for your course online then you should be able to use the campus facilities on arrival!

  47. Welcome to Nottingham! • Do not expect to do too much on your first day on campus – you will be very tired from the flight so make sure you give yourself time to recover! • If you attend the orientation programme (Welcome Week) then you will be allocated accommodation on your arrival on campus, and provided with a meal. This will not necessarily be your term time accommodation, and so you will be provided with all the bedding you require for this period. • Student helpers will be on campus and in your accommodation all throughout this week, so please ask them if you have any problems!

  48. Welcome Programme • What is the Welcome Programme? • FREE!! • Your special introduction to life on campus and in the UK • 20 until 24 September – apply online from 1 July • We’ll email your family to say you have arrived • Free accommodation provided on half board • Meet other new international students as well as senior students • Many social activities organised • Essential information on The University, Nottingham, • opening a bank account, National Health Service etc • An opportunity to complete any outstanding paperwork • before the beginning of term (e.g. accommodation payments)

  49. Welcome Week - Activities