Welcome to Solent University!
Studying abroad is an exciting adventure. It is important you prepare yourself for your arrival, first days, and weeks in the UK. Take a moment to read through some online booklets from the British Council. First Steps lists helpful pre-departure information, while Safety First covers all you need to know for these first days and weeks in the UK. Additional information that may be of interest to you is also available on the British Council website. Information about visas for studying in the UK can be found on our website, as well as on the UK Council for International Student Affairs web site. The UKCISA pages are also a source of valuable information about the life in the UK.
Sorting out finances
Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) deposit
If you require a CAS for your Student Visa application, you must pay a £3,000 deposit towards your tuition fee before a CAS is issued. Here you will find information about the online services available to make payment.
Paying tuition fees and enrolling on the course
You are obliged to pay 50% of your fees before enrolment on your course. The remaining 50% then needs to be paid within 15 weeks of starting your course. Solent University does not accept cash, cheques or bankers drafts in payment of tuition fees. If you plan to bring money into the UK and you are arriving from a country outside the European Union, you must declare to customs officers any cash equivalent of €10,000 or more.
We recommend you settle payment before coming to the UK, as it may take a couple of weeks to open a UK bank account. The UKCISA website offers a guide on opening a bank account.
Cash during the pandemic
The UK Government's list of countries from which passengers need to self-isolate upon arrival could change shortly before your planned arrival date. We strongly recommend you arrange an international account or bank card to facilitate a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival, even if you are not currently 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 once you arrive in the UK for basic necessities, such as food shopping, takeaway meals, paying tuition fees, etc. Mastercard and Visa cards are widely accepted in the UK.
Solent University does not promote, recommend or endorse any particular bank or establishment, and the text below is for information purposes only.
Some global banks offer an international bank account. Examples of banks which offer such services include HSBC and Bank of China. Alternatively, try speaking to your bank in your home country to see if they offer an account which could meet your needs.
You may be able to arrange a digital banking solution from abroad. Examples are listed below, but there are many options available. Please be aware that some of these may not be available if you live outside the EU or EEA.
Please remember to check the terms and conditions carefully, to make sure that these banking solutions can meet your needs, and they they are regulated by a recognised financial regulatory body (eg, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Arrival and enrolment
It is important you arrive in the UK before any physical classroom based teaching delivered on your hybrid course begins to allow you time to settle in, meet your course team and complete all relevant parts of your course induction. If you are starting your course online you will still need to follow your virtual Welcome timetable and make the most of all online talks and events and engage with the University as well as with the Students' Union. Active engagement with the complete programme of induction and orientation is a key component of setting you up to succeed during your Solent studies.
International support guidance
Once you enrol on your course, you will have access to the international support team who offer advice and guidance. We have prepared two talks that may be relevant to you and should be accessed during your Welcome period.
We will provide you with valuable information during the 'Life as an international student in Southampton' talk. This includes information about our city, Solent University, study support available to you, UK banking, the national healthcare system (NHS) in the UK, working rights, and much more.
All students who arrive to study on a Student visa are required to attend the 'Student route visa compliance and advice' talk. We will explain the regulations that you and the University are required to meet in order to be compliant with Home Office regulations and retain your visa for the duration of your course. We will also look at any errors you may have on your visa and offer guidance on registration with the police.
There's lots more advice and information, as well as links to those videos which will be available on Get Ready for Solent, which will be sent to you once you are pre-enrolled.
English language support
Want to improve your English? Or need help with academic writing in English? We offer workshops throughout the academic year for English language learners to build your skills and confidence in this important area. You will be able to register for individual sessions once you are enrolled on your course - more information is on the Portal.
International students welcome and induction
In addition to your timetabled induction activities organised by your course leader, we have planned a number of special activities for you as an international student to attend as your schedule allows. Information about these activities is available on our Get Ready for Solent site, once you complete online pre-registration.
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