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.

Banking handbook

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. 

Get vaccinations

Meningitis and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination

Contact the Students' Health Service for information on getting a meningitisACWY and/or MMR vaccination.

Find accommodation

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.

Welcome events

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.

Self-guided tour

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.

Information for new students

More information about what you need to do next and what is happening during your first few weeks as a student at Bristol. 

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