International students: After you arrive
Find out about what to do when you first get here, events to help you settle in and support available.
International student handbook
Download the International student handbook 2019 (PDF, 3,751kB) for essential information on living in the UK and services available to support you.
Important first steps
Make sure you complete these steps as soon as possible after you have arrived.
Collect Biometric Residence Permit card (BRP)
If you are on a Tier 4 student visa, you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. Your BRP card is proof of your immigration permission to be in the UK as a Tier 4 Student. Find out where to collect your BRP.
Complete police registration
If you needed a visa to come to the UK, check it to find out if you need to register with the police. If you do need to register with the police, you must do this within 7 days after arriving.
Opening a bank account
See the below banking handbook for detailed information on opening a bank account.
To open a bank account in the UK you will need a letter from the university. In September and January we run an International Welcome Lounge and you can get help with this there.
At other times of the year, you can request a bank letter from your Faculty Office.
Pre-sessional and International Foundation Programme students
Go to the Centre for Academic Language and Development reception to request a bank letter.
Study Abroad and Erasmus+ students
Email the Global Opportunities team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will advise you how to get the letter.
Faculty of Arts students
Request by email.
Faculty of Engineering students
Request in person or by email. Find out what to include in your request.
Faculty of Health Sciences students
Request by email.
Faculty of Life Sciences students
Request by email.
Faculty of Science students
Request by email. Find out how on the faculty documents page.
Faculty of Social Science and Law students
Request online. Find out how on the faculty documents page.
For information on everything you need to know about opening a bank account in the UK download our banking handbook (PDF, 287kB).
Register with a doctor
Register with a GP (doctor) when you arrive in the UK, find out how and get more information on health care for international students from the Students' Health Service.
In the UK if you have a health problem, mental health issue or a disability you may get additional free help so make sure you tell us so we can support you from the very beginning.
Meningitis and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination
If you haven't found accommodation before arriving in the UK, see our advice on how to find accommodation once you're here.
Register in person
You need to register in person to confirm your attendance and to collect your University Card (UCard) and other documentation. The process is different for pre-sessional students, who will receive an email with instructions on how to register.
If you are a sponsored student provide your letter
Find out what a sponsored student is and how to provide your letter to the International Partnerships and Relations Team.
There are a variety of events running throughout the year so whenever you arrive there will be opportunities to meet people and build your community. Check the current international students' page regularly for a list of upcoming events. A range of specific welcome events also run in September, January and pre-sessional arrival periods to help you settle in.
International Welcome Lounge
Visit the International Welcome Lounge during the main September and January arrival periods. Here you can get support with finding accommodation, opening a bank account, meeting other students or just come for a cup of tea and some snacks. Join exciting trips and activities from guided tours to social events. More information will be available here closer to the time.
Welcome Week September and Refresher events in January
Welcome Week in Septmeber is a celebration for all Bristol students (both new and returning) organised by Bristol Students' Union (Bristol SU).
It's one of the biggest events in the calendar. You can expect all of this and more:
- nights out
- food festivals
- movie nights
- colour runs
- wellbeing events
- an International Students' Network mingle
At the end of Welcome Week there is a Welcome Fair where you can find out about all the student societies and clubs you can join as well as find out more about life at Bristol. Watch a video from a previous Welcome Fair to find out what to expect.
Refreshers is a smaller version of Welcome Week and takes place in January for all new and current students wanting to try something new or find out about Bristol SU. More information about all events will be published closer to the time.
Your life in Bristol
Check the current international student page to find out about international student events and opportunities happening throughout the year.
Free support services
Find out about our free support services open to all students.
Get to know the campus by taking a self-guided walk, narrated by current students.
Your student community
Build your community with Bristol SU. Run by students for students.
More information about what you need to do next and what is happening during your first few weeks as a student at Bristol.