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We know that as an international student, you may need extra information and support - please know that everyone here is working hard to help you make the best of your experience as a Solent student.

Please read the information below, together with the student and staff FAQs.

If you have not yet arrived in the UK, please also take a look at the Get Ready page on SOL. Please note that only registered Solent students will have access to Get Ready, as it requires a Solent username and password.

If you have any questions about your studies or life at Solent please email student.hub@solent.ac.uk.

If you have any questions about visas and immigration, or life in the UK, please email internationalsupport@solent.ac.uk.

If you receive a positive test, or have been asked to self-isolate, please email covid.support@solent.ac.uk 

Scroll down and you will find some frequently asked questions that provide more details specifically for our international students. We'll be updating them regularly, so keep checking back.


Please read these important updates:

Letter from Michelle Donelan, Universities Minister for England, regarding international students joining or returning to a UK university in the 2021/22 academic year.

Covid-19 communications toolkit from the Department for Education


Arrival in the UK

What you need to do before you arrive in England

Before you travel, you must check the rules for the country you are coming from or will travel through. If you are coming from or travelling through a red list country, you will need to quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine facility. Click here to information on how to book and pay for a quarantine package.

Travelling to your accommodation

Please follow the UK Government guidance for safe travel, and travel straight to the place where you will be self-isolating or be in quarantine. Solent does not currently provide a pickup service from the airport. 

Open a UK bank account

It is more important than ever to open a bank account before you arrive in the UK.

The UK Government's list of countries from which travellers need to self-isolate or quarantine upon arrival could change shortly before your planned arrival date. We strongly recommend you arrange an international account or bank card to facilitate your self-isolation or quarantine period upon arrival, even if you currently are not required to do so.

In the UK many places accept card payments only, due to the pandemic. Therefore, you should arrange an international bank account or bank card to be able to make card or online payments for basic necessities, such as food shopping, takeaway meals, and paying tuition fees, when you arrive in the UK.

Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in the UK - you should avoid bringing a large amount of cash with you as opening a UK bank account may take a little while, depending on which bank you choose.

How do I keep in touch with the University during self-isolation?

It's important you keep in touch and we recommend you have a PC, tablet or smartphone so you can access the student portal, download the MySolent app and connect with the University's online learning platform, Solent Online Learning.

If you are in a University student residence, you will have access to the internet, but you need to ensure you have internet access if you are in private accommodation.

Are there any online activities for self-isolating students that I can join?

Quarantine or self-isolation can be really difficult, and you might feel bored and lonely. The Solent Self Isolation Kit will give you tips and support and our Wellbeing Team is here to help you.

You can also access our Get Ready to Learn programme to prepare you for studying at Solent.

You can also join Friends International. This is an organisation based in Southampton which supports international students and organise regular social events

I will be living in Solent's student accommodation. How will the University support me during my self-isolation?

The residence team will support those who are self-isolating by:

  • Ensuring a swift check-in procedure on arrival,
  • Providing a handbook in your room with lots of useful information,
  • Arranging for deliveries and mail to be taken to your room,
  • Residence staff available to call 24 hours a day if assistance is needed.
You can join the Solent student residences Facebook group for the latest news and events across the student residences.

I will be living in the private sector. How will Solent support me during my self-isolation?

You should arrange an international bank account or bank card to be able to make card or online payments for basic necessities such as food shopping or takeaway meals.

You may place and online order for groceries, toiletries or other essential items from one of the following stores and have it delivered to you:

If you have any questions or concerns while you are self-isolating, you can contact the Student Hub by email at student.hub@solent.ac.uk or by phone on 023 8201 5200.

The time will pass very quickly, and you’ll be able to get on with your studies and your new life in Southampton in no time.

Visas and immigration

The visa guidance states I need to collect my biometric card within 10 days of arrival in the UK, but I need to quarantine for 10 days

You will be able to collect your biometric card after you have completed your quarantine or self-isolation.

  • If your visa letter states that you should collect your BRP from Solent University, you will be able to collect your BRP when you enrol, before 27 September enrolment in the Spark. If you enrol after classes have started, please go to the Student Hub to collect your BRP and student card. You should bring your passport and visa letter at enrolment.
  • If your visa letter states that you should collect your BRP from the post office in Southampton but you would rather collect it from a different post office you can do this through the Post Office website.

My visa states that I need to register with the police seven days from my arrival in the UK

You can start your registration online on the Hampshire Police website and book an appointment to go and register in Winchester after your isolation. Please follow the guidelines on the police registration page on the student portal.

If you already have a police registration certificate that needs updating, you should contact your local police station (by phone or email).

My UK visa has expired, or will expire soon, and I'm concerned I cannot travel home

There are two different scenarios that may apply to you:

Tier 4 visa holders needing to extend their visa to complete their course in the UK
If you hold a Tier 4 (General) visa and need to extend your visa to continue your course of study, please complete the CAS request form on the student portal.

Visa holders whose leave expires soon but cannot return home due to Covid-19 restrictions
You are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or regularise your stay in the UK.

If you intend to leave the UK but are not able to do so and your leave expires soon, you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional assurance’. All details are available on a dedicated UK Government website.

The UKVI will make decisions on a case by case basis on the permitted engagements within the leave granted. Once your exceptional assurance leave is granted you may be allowed to apply for a different visa category. But please note you will not be able to apply for a short-term student visa from within the UK.

I have a short-term visitor visa and require treatment for coronavirus. Do I have to pay for NHS treatment?

Government advice is that no charge is made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus. All overseas visitors, including anyone living in the UK without permission, should be aware that:

Who can I contact with further questions regarding my visa?

Students with immigration and visa-related queries can contact the international support team by email: internationalsupport@solent.ac.uk.

In addition, the UK Council for International Students (UKISA) has created a frequently asked questions page, which contains information and guidance for international students.The visa guidance states I need to collect my biometric card within 10 days of arrival in the UK, but I need to quarantine for 14 days

General questions

My classes are starting again on campus, but my travel will be delays or will need to quarantine

If you are unable to start your course on time, the admissions team will contact you to allow you to enrol online. You are expected to make arrangement to arrive as soon as possible. You should contact your course tutors will give as much support as possible online but this may not be practically possible for some courses. 

Covid vaccinations

Students don't need to have been vaccinated to come and study in England, but if you are offered a vaccine in your home country, you are strongly encouraged to take it. If you require a second dose, you will be eligible to receive it once you are in the UK. The NHS has established procedures on ensuring individuals are fully vaccinated, even if their first dose is from a vaccine that is not offered in the UK.

As a student enrolled on a Solent course, you will be entitled to register with a local medical practice and receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

This document will answer all your questions regarding vaccination

I am an international student and cannot book an English test because test centres are closed

We accept other equivalent tests or evidence of English language proficiency. More information on this can be found on our course entry statement.

We currently also accept the following tests:

Duolingo

TOEFL iBT

Financial support for international students

For help with setting up an instalment plan for your tuition fees you should contact the income team on: income.team@solent.ac.uk

If you find yourself in financial hardship the student funding team may be able to help. Please contact them on student.funding@solent.ac.uk explaining your situation and confirming your student ID number, visa type and its expiry date.

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