Before you arrive

Prepare for success

Looking to get a head start on your academic journey with us? We’ve designed a free preparation course, delivered virtually before you arrive, in order to give you a competitive advantage in your studies. We’ll introduce you to this new education system before you begin your pathway programme in September. You’ll develop your own personal learning outcomes, as well as discovering the academic skills and confidence you need to succeed. This course is a great way to learn more about the academic structures of a UK university before you arrive.

Confirm your place with us to access to over 100 hours of virtual preparation. We’ll send you an email with instructions on how to access the course once you pay your confirmation fee and the first £6000 of your tuition fees. Once you’ve confirmed your place, you’ll be able to benefit from:

  • Valuable support in preparation for starting your pathway
  • The confidence to become an independent and effective learner
  • A welcoming international community with social meet-ups of fellow students
  • A safe space to practice your English and meet your classmates and teachers
  • Access to high-quality academic and English language materials
  • Personalised feedback from your tutors right at the start of your education journey

Preparing to study at the International Study Centre

To help you plan your journey and make sure you enjoy your time with us, we've prepared some checklists and practical information to support you.

Please contact us if you still have any questions. If you applied directly through our online application form, your Student Enrolment Advisor is available to answer any questions you have about what to expect when you arrive in Surrey. You can ask for advice on anything from what you should pack in your bag, to how to organise airport transfers. We can also provide you with pre-arrival reading and preparation materials so you are fully prepared for your study abroad adventure (available on selected courses and at International Study Centres only).

Pre-arrival checklist

  1. Confirm your offer. Check your fees and pay them to accept your offer and receive a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).
  2. Arrange your visa. Apply for a visa using your CAS. Take the UK visas questionnaire to find out which type of visa you need.
  3. Book your accommodation. Choose from a selection of rooms to suit every budget both on and off campus.
  4. Book your flights to the UK. London Gatwick airport is only about an hour and a half away by public transport. Make sure you are on time for induction.
  5. Complete your pre-arrival form.
  6. Organise your insurance. All international students should have personal insurance throughout their studies in the UK. Get insured with Study Group.

Arriving in February?

Download your induction pack. It guides you through Welcome Week activities and other practical information about being a student at university of Surrey ISC.

What to pack for studying abroad

  • Your passport and visa
  • UKVI decision letter
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Study letter (CAS)
  • Your offer letter
  • IELTS certificate or other original Secure English Language Test result
  • Evidence of funding for your tuition fees and living costs, including sponsor letter (if you are being sponsored)
  • Accommodation documents, including your signed tenancy agreement
  • Four passport-sized photographs
  • Insurance documents
  • Medical certificates (including vaccination records)
  • If you are under the age of 18, a copy of your UK guardian's details
  • Prescription medications, with prescriptions translated into English.
  • Essential toiletries for your first few days, such as toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel. There are shops on campus and in Guildford where you can buy more.
  • Clothing: It is common in the UK for students to dress comfortably and casually throughout the year. The weather can be very changeable so it's important to have lighter clothes for the summer (June to August) and warmer sweaters and a coat for winter (December to February).
  • Electronics: Make sure you have your laptop, phone, and the correct adaptors and chargers. You may also need to bring adaptors for UK plug sockets.
  • Money: You can pay by card in most shops, but it is useful to have some notes and coins too.
  • Bedding: If you will be staying in University residence, please note bedding is not included. A bedding pack can be purchased from the University’s online store.
  • Other items: Feel free to bring photos, books and whatever else will help you feel at home.

Join us online

Access over 100 hours of our virtual preparation course and get a head start on your academic journey.

View our guide

Read our arrival guide to find help for planning your journey, what to pack and what it’s like to live and study in the UK.

Make friends before you arrive

You can meet your classmates at the International Study Centre in advance. Say hello on Facebook and discover student life in Guildford.

When you arrive at the International Study Centre

Your first week

Your first week at the International Study Centre will be busy so it's important that you arrive in the UK in time to take part. The centre staff arrange events and activities as part of your induction programme to help you settle in, meet your new classmates and learn more about your programme. 

Your induction programme will introduce you to living and studying in the UK, the University and the International Study Centre. You will get the chance to explore the campus, get to know Guildford and make new friends.

Other activities during induction week include:

  • Visiting the facilities you will be able to use on campus as part of your studies and in your personal time
  • Take the campus selfie tour and get to know your surroundings
  • Register for a doctor

Discover more about what you'll be doing in your first week.

All students staying in University residences will be required to attend the accommodation welcome talk. 

Begin the student experience of a lifetime

Studying abroad at the International Study Centre is a new and exciting chapter of your life. Find out how to the most of your time as a student with us.

Our friendly staff want to make you feel at home at the International Study Centre. Read our advice on how you can cope when experiencing homesickness.

The United Kingdom is home to people from different countries and cultures around the world. People are friendly and welcoming, and the towns and cities across the country are multicultural and each have their own unique character. It may take you a while to get used to British etiquette and slang, but the staff at the centre will help you get settled. 

The ISC runs events throughout the year to help you meet other students and make new friends. There are also many societies you can join to meet people with similar interests to you.

The UK is a multicultural country and you will find local shops and specialist food shops will sell most things you will need. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, some of the larger supermarkets stock a wider range of international products. There are also a wide range of restaurants available in Guildford that serve different foods from around the world.

Tips for new international students

We asked some of our International Study Centre students to share some of their best tips and tricks to get the best experience while studying abroad.


Campus map

Surrey campus map section image

Download our campus map to help you find your way around when you arrive.

"I always wanted to study abroad – it was one of the things I wanted to achieve in my life. Studying abroad is not just about getting a certificate or a degree – you also understand other cultures."

Omar from United Arab Emirates
Studied International Foundation Year - Engineering, Mathematics and Science


Find out about tuition fees for all International Study Centre programmes, plus accommodation and additional costs. 

How to pay

Students paying their fees online

Viewing and paying your fees is fast, simple and secure. See how you can pay online now.


Three students outside Surrey ISC

Fill out our online application form to apply to study at the the University of Surrey International Study Centre.

We’ll get you to where you want to be – Read our latest guidance for current students, or find out more about online learning.