Before you arrive in the UK

As a new student joining us at the International Study Centre, you may have some questions about what it's like to live and study in the UK, and what you should do before you arrive.

To help you plan your journey and make sure you enjoy yourself here to the fullest, we have prepared some checklists and practical information to guide you.

Please contact us if you still have any questions.

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 rooms for every budget on and around 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 September?

Please check back here for your induction pack closer to your start date. This will be available for download around one week before your start date.

What to pack

  • 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: There is no dress code at the International Study Centre, so bring comfortable clothes for all seasons with you, including a warm coat for winter.
  • Electronics: Make sure you have your laptop, phone, adaptors and chargers.
  • Money: You can pay by card in most shops, but it is useful to have some notes and coins too.
  • Other items: Feel free to bring photos, books or whatever else will help you feel at home.

Arrive on time

If you are starting in September, term starts on Monday 30th September 2019. Please arrive at 9am to start your induction at the International Study Centre.

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. Our staff have prepared events and activities to help you settle in and learn more about your programme – this is called ‘induction’.

Your Induction Programme is a complete introduction to the UK, the University and the International Study Centre. This is why you have to arrive in Surrey on time for it.

Explore campus and learn about your new life:

  • See all the facilities you will be able to use on campus to study and relax
  • Go on a campus tour and get to know your surroundings
  • Register for a doctor.

There is more to do when you arrive – discover what your first week will bring.

Please note that all students staying in University residence will be required to attend a Welcome Accommodation Talk. Please read the full schedule for information about the talks.

Begin the student experience of a lifetime

Studying abroad at the International Study Centre is a new and exciting chapter of your life. Make the most of your time as a student here with some of our tips.

Britain is home to residents from around the world, giving it a vibrant, cosmopolitan feel. You’ll soon be able to adapt to a whole variety of situations, from understanding British etiquette and slang to cooking your own food and going out with your new friends.

It won’t take you long to make friends, but whilst you settle in, we will organise events designed to help you meet your classmates and build new friendships. 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 will sell most things you will need. If you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, some of the larger supermarkets stock a wider range of international products. There are also restaurants serving cuisine from around the world so if you’re looking for something to remind you of home you’ll be able to find just what you want.

Our friendly staff are committed to making you feel at home at the International Study Centre. Feeling homesick is a normal part of studying abroad. Stay happy with our advice on how to overcome homesickness.

Tips for studying in the UK

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Campus map

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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


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

How to pay

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Viewing and paying your fees is fast, simple and secure. Pay online now.


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