Advice for international students

Welcome to the International Student Advice team

As an international student, we appreciate that you may have difficulties at the start of your studies. It may be your first time away from home or it may be your first time in the UK experiencing some rainy weather and a different culture to what you're used to. You may miss home in the early days or you may be very happy to be away from home!

However you are feeling and whatever advice you need, International Student Advice (ISA) is here to give you the support you may need. We offer immigration advice when needed and can help you settle into University life by making friends and having a great experience.

We offer specialist student immigration advice for free. Immigration can be complex so we are here to help you interpret and make decisions on which visa you need to study in the UK and we can also help with your application. We can explain the rules and conditions associated with your visa, including attendance on your course, what part time work you can do and if you can do a placement.

We are authorised by the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner), an independent organisation that monitors immigration advice and services. We operate within the OISC Code of Standards when giving immigration advice to  international students. We are also guided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the Association of International Student Advisers (AISA).

Please read our Client Care Agreement for international students before receiving advice from International Student Advice (ISA).

We liaise directly with the Home Office and our specialist advice includes:

  • The Student visa (previously known as Tier 4)
  • Bringing dependants with you to the UK
  • The EU Settlement Scheme
  • Refusals and Admin Reviews
  • Biometric Residence Permits.

Plus we provide guidance on:

  • Preparing to travel and arriving in the UK
  • Practical help with living in Plymouth (e.g. banking, doctors)
  • Entry at the UK border
  • Short Term Study visa for English courses
  • Visitor visas
  • Inviting friends and family to visit
  • Working during your studies
  • Working after your studies including the Graduate visa
  • Hong Kong BN(O) visa. 

If you are a new student, please look at our online ‘International Student Welcome’ below for arrivals information.

We look forward to welcoming you to the University of Plymouth.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The current coronavirus situation has certainly caused some unforeseen challenges with the way university teaching is delivered and the way travel is restricted across the world.

Before you apply for your student visa and before you travel to the UK, please make sure you understand the current teaching and travel restrictions due to the continuing COVID-19 situation.

Teaching may be restricted to online delivery so you could be learning online from within your UK accommodation until restrictions are eased. The mode of teaching depends on what you are studying.

We have COVID-19 University support available but if you prefer the support of your friends and family, you may wish to continue learning online at home and delay your arrival (if your course permits) until blended or face to face learning can restart.

Although we can offer information on travelling, it is your responsibility to check for up-to-date travel guidance before travelling to the UK. To find out how COVID-19 restrictions may affect you, please read this UK Government guidance Entering the UK and How to self-isolate when you travel to England. The information in this guidance may change so you will need to check regularly for updates and also on the day you travel.

Some international students have been stopped and fined at the border in recent days for not having booked a COVID-19 testing package prior to departing for the UK. These students thought that the asymptomatic testing provision offered by UK Universities was sufficient. It is not. You must pre-book and pay for a travel test package which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantine. Details of how to book this test package are in the link ‘How to self-isolate when you travel to England’ above.

How to contact the ISA team

(we aim to respond to your email within two working days)

Call +44(0)1752 587676

Zoom: Join one of our ‘International Student Advice Zoom sessions Monday to Friday from 09:30–10:30 (UK time) where you can speak with a member of our team face-to-face to ask about anything you need help with. To join a session and speak to an advisor, please open this Zoom link at the times stated above.

Information for students coming to the University of Plymouth

Studying in the UK

There are many things to consider when you move to the UK to study – the difference in the style of teaching, the UK healthcare system as well the general culture shock in moving to a new country.

Discover more of our advice on studying in the UK