International student news and updates

This information will be updated monthly with news and updates for international students.

Any questions, please contact the ISA team:

We are also available for in-person sessions at the Student Hub in the Charles Seale-Hayne Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 09:30–10:30 (no need to book).

Latest news

Ukraine immigration schemes

On 29 March, the UK Government published legislation that brings into force three schemes to support Ukrainian nationals and their families:

  • Ukraine Extension Scheme for people who are already in the UK
  • Homes for Ukraine for people who are outside the UK
  • Family scheme for people inside and outside the UK

Full details on the Ukraine immigration schemes can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website. The University ISA team is unable to offer specific advice on these schemes but will certainly try to guide and support you.

Ukraine-Russia war support space

If you are affected by the events in Ukraine, the University is here for you. The Pastoral and Spiritual Centre is open every day and anyone can drop in for support or a quiet space to reflect. A dedicated Ukraine-Russia war support space will be held for any students or staff affected by the events in Ukraine. This will be available every Thursday morning from 10:30–12:00. You can find the Pastoral and Spiritual Support Centre at 1 Kirkby Terrace (opposite the Jame Street Vaults pub). Free hot and cold drinks will be available.

There is also a dedicated Ukraine-Russia war SharePoint support page for staff and students outlining how you can access support if you have been impacted by events in Ukraine. You can also find out how you can donate and support those impacted via this page.

Vigil and prayers for peace

Recognising the terrible world events currently happening, students are reminded that the University’s Pastoral and Spiritual Support team is here to support anyone directly or indirectly affected. The campus address is: Pastoral and Spiritual Support Building, 1 Kirkby Terrace, Plymouth. Read more information, including how to contact wellbeing services if you need them.

Pastoral and Spiritual Support will be holding a vigil and prayers for peace in the Students’ Union from 1–1.30pm this Thursday 3 March. Everyone is welcome to join us.


Covid: End of legal need to self-isolate in England

All remaining legal Covid restrictions have been removed in England, nearly two years after the first rules were introduced.

While you’re no longer required by law to self-isolate if you have COVID-19, you should still stay at home and avoid contact with other people. This helps reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others.

More guidance is on the NHS webpages.


The Hello project

Dear International Student,

Why not join our fabulous Hello Project?

Meet a more experienced student buddy to help you make new friends and settle into life at the University of Plymouth.

We look forward to hearing from you!

From the English Language Centre

Changes to international travel rules from 11 February 2022

Fully vaccinated – from 11 February

If you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you:

  • will not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to England or after you arrive
  • will not need to quarantine when you arrive

Check if you can follow the rules for people who are fully vaccinated

Not fully vaccinated – from 11 February

If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you will need to:

You will need to book the PCR test before you travel.

You will not need to quarantine, unless the result of the PCR test is positive.

As always, check this Government webpage Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19) for the most up to date information.


Be aware! “Easy Transfer” fraud/ scam

We have received some reports of a Chinese website https://www.easytransfer.com.cn/ that has been used by students to send payments for tuition fees, deposits etc. The site takes a commission fee from the payment, which means full payment is not made to the organisation, leading to students having to pay more when they arrive. DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE. Students should use our authorised payment pathway, which is detailed on the paying-your-fees website.

Immigration health surcharge for EU and Swiss students in the UK: possible refund

From 1 January 2022, EU and Swiss full-time students studying in the UK may be eligible for a reimbursement of the immigration health surcharge (IHS) if all of the following are true:

  • you’re a full-time student in UK higher education
  • your visa started on or after 1 January 2021
  • you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country or Switzerland
  • you do not work or do not intend to work in the UK
      See this webpage for further information: IHS reimbursement for students

Other updates and opportunities

Graduate Visa Zoom information sessions

Are you thinking about working in the UK after you have successfully completed your degree at the University of Plymouth? Do you want to find out more about the Graduate Visa?

If yes, we are running online information sessions which are bookable on My Career through the following links:

‘International Students: Let’s talk about the Graduate Visa’
Zoom session
Friday 17th June 11:00-12:00
Register for free
Join Zoom Meeting

‘International Students: Let’s talk about the Graduate Visa’
Zoom session
Thursday 14th July 11:00-12:00
Register for free
Join Zoom Meeting

Pastoral and spiritual support events

The Pastoral and Spiritual Support team offers support for the whole University community, whether you think of yourself as spiritual, religious, a person of faith or of no faith at all. We are now open every weekday from 10:00–16:00 and have regular pastoral and spiritual support events taking place during the semester.

Do you want to improve your academic English skills or practice your spoken English?

The English Language Centre provides a range of free classroom activities and online resources for students whose first language is not English. These include workshops and tutorials and a wide range of self-study resources and courses.

Visit our DLE site for more information

You can also contact the team at: elc@plymouth.ac.uk.

Make your opinion count in the WhatUni? Choice Awards 2022!

Review your experience as an international student at the University of Plymouth, and be in with a chance of winning a £2,000 voucher!

For more information, and to fill in the survey, please visit www.whatuni.com/reviews

Global Buddies: Group for University international students

Starting University can be a difficult time, especially if you are new to living in the UK. Global Buddies is a group for international students that provides a chance to meet other international students and make social connections.

The group discusses things like life in the UK, stories of people's home countries, university life and how to address any difficulties international students may be facing. The group is facilitated by three of our doctoral students who are excited to meet you all.

We meet every Wednesday from 15:30–17:00 in the Pastoral and Spiritual Support Centre, 1 Kirkby Terrace.

Help us improve university systems

The University has decided to re-design and harmonise existing processes to deliver a simple, flexible student experience and transform the student journey. 

In order for us to achieve this, we need your feedback.

Our current Student Records System (SRS) covers recruitment and enquiries; admissions; enrolment; module selection; timetabling; curriculum; student administration; learning and assessment; progression; student awards; graduation; and finance.

We would really appreciate just 10 minutes of your time to complete the SRS Project Student Survey.

IT Development and Product Delivery
Student Record Systems

University of Plymouth

Coffee with Cops

The University's Community Police Officer will be running a series of Coffee with Cops sessions when students, staff or members of the community are welcome to sit and chat with them. Have a coffee and chat with no pressure or agendas and get some advice with a cop from Devon & Cornwall Police at the University's Reservoir Cafe.

News archive

News archive

When do the clocks change?

The clocks change on the last Sunday of March, moving forward by one hour. There may still be a chill in the air but this marks the beginning of British Summer Time (BST). In 2022 the clocks go forward on 27 March 2022 at 1am so you will have 1 hour less sleep!

Some great news for international students looking to develop their academic English skills!

Experienced English language practitioners from the English Language Centre will be joining the Writing Café this semester (starting Monday 31 January).

  • Monday 13:00 – 15:00 - Anna (online)
  • Tuesday 14:00 – 16:00 - Margaret (Library)
  • Friday 14:00 – 16:00 - Helen (Library)

They will be able to provide writing guidance tailored specifically for non-native English speakers.

The Writing Café takes place in The Library Café, located on the 1st floor of the Charles Seale-Hayne Library

Or you can join online: Join the Digital Writing Café


Free 4-hour leadership workshop for all student leaders and aspiring leaders

Do you want to boost or develop your leadership skills, whilst increasing your employability?

We are offering a free 4-hour leadership workshop from Beyond Equality, an organisation leading the way in creating positive cultural change at universities.  

The workshops explore boundaries & communication, consent culture, inclusion & belonging and support & report.

Certificate provided on completion of the course.

Sign up via the Eventbrite link but be quick as spaces are limited!


Travelling for the Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year begins on Tuesday 1 February 2022 and ends with the Lantern Festival on 15 February 2022. Travellers should be aware of the risk of avian flu when travelling to China during the annual festival. Please see the latest government guidance.


Sexual Violence Prevention

Our University Sexual Violence Prevention Officers are employed as part of a three month project of work to prevent sexual violence, misconduct and harassment at the University funded by the Home Office Safer Streets 3 Fund. The first part of the project is researching student views and experience of sexual violence whilst at university. We'd hugely appreciate it if you could complete this voluntary and anonymous survey, it only takes around 10 minutes. Complete the survey. 

By completing the survey students have a chance to win 1 of 5 £20 eat and drink on campus vouchers. You can also get involved by taking part in focus groups and one to one interviews by emailing the project team.


Winter break activities 2021

We will be closed for the winter break from 24 December 2021 and will be open again on Tuesday 4 January 2022. Have a look at our Winter break activities and support to find information on how to get support if needed or to find something whilst the university is closed. We wish you a relaxed and happy holiday!

From your International Student Advice (ISA) team
Nina, Cath and Anthony.


Are you planning to travel to the UK in January 2022?

Welcome to 2022! We hope you had a good winter break.

Are you planning to travel to the UK in January 2022?

Our International Student Information Day will take place on Thursday 27 January 2022.

Register on Eventbrite and come along to learn more about what you should do during your first few days at University.

Are you planning to arrive at another time and will miss the official welcome day? Do not worry. Please take a look at our 10 important things to do after you arrive in the UK to study.

If you are planning to travel to the UK, the rules have changed again so please refer to the UK Government website for the most up to date information: Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)

December 2021

Arriving as a new student in 2022?

Arriving in the UK for the first time after starting studying online from overseas?

Welcome to the University of Plymouth!

We hope your journey was good and you are well rested.

We realise this may be an overwhelming time for you with mixed emotions. Maybe you are excited, worried, feeling lost, don’t know what to do next? Do not worry, we aim to help with any questions you have to make your life and studies a happy time in Plymouth.

What to do next?

Have a look at 10 important things to do after you arrive in the UK to study

This checklist will guide you on what to do and where to go.

If you have any questions or need extra support, the Student Hub team have dedicated advisers to help you. No issue is too big and no question is too small!
You can contact them:

We look forward to meeting you!


EU Settlement Scheme update: June 2021

Attention all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens students! There is less than one month to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) – the deadline is 30 June 2021.

Important: Do you have a UK permanent residence card? If yes but you do not have EU pre-settled/settled status yet, your card will only be valid until 30 June 2021.

After 30 June 2021, you’ll be able to use your card only once to travel to and enter the UK. To remain in the UK you’ll need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 28 days but we suggest you apply as soon as possible.

Have you already applied for the EU Settlement Scheme?

If you have, that’s great news! You can continue your studies as planned.

If you have not applied for the EU Settlement Scheme but you were resident (living) in the UK before 31 December 2020:

This is also good news. As long as you arrived in the UK before 23.00 on 31 December 2020, you will have until 30 June 2021 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. You can continue your studies in the UK as planned. However, if you have been absent from the UK for more than 6 months, you may not be able to apply.

Come along to one of our June EU Settlement Scheme Zoom sessions to learn about the EUSS and ask questions to an advisor. If you cannot make a EUSS session, you can contact our team in other ways:

Email studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk (we aim to respond to your email within three working days)

  • Phone: +44 1752 587676
  • Zoom: Join one of our morning ‘International Student Advice Zoom sessions’ Monday–Friday from 9:30–10:30 (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, open this Zoom link at the times stated above.
  • From the International Student Advice Team (ISA).


Travel news update May 2021

Before you leave for the UK you’ll need to:

  • provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test
  • complete a passenger locator form

Find out more about what you’ll need to do before you leave for the UK because of COVID-19. From 17 May, the rules for people arriving in England from abroad are changing. What you need to do depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. If you have been in a country or territory on the:

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated. Find out what list the country you’ve been in is on and what you need to do.

Until 17 May, you must follow the current testing and quarantine rules. Please make sure to keep checking the links as the guidance could change. Countries on the watch list could move into a different list at short notice.


Graduate route news March 2021

We have now received more clarification on the Graduate immigration route which will provide international students with the opportunity to stay in the UK to live and work, or to look for work after they graduate.

The main points are:

  • the graduate route will open for applications on 1 July 2021
  • the route is for students who will complete a degree in or after the summer of 2021 and who hold a Tier 4 or Student visa at the time they apply
  • students who began their studies in autumn 2020 now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from the previous date of 6 April 2021) to be eligible for the route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021. For details of this concession, see "Coronavirus (COVID-19): Student sponsors, migrants and short-term students", pages 15–16
  • undergraduate and master's degree students will be able to apply to stay for two years
  • PhD students will be able to apply to stay for three years
  • you do not need to be sponsored by an employer or by your university, but the degree must be awarded by a Higher Education provider that is listed on the Register of Student Sponsors as a "Student Sponsor - Track Record"
  • it will not be possible to extend this type of immigration permission but it will be possible to switch to another route if you meet the requirements
  • there will not be a requirement to show you have a certain amount of money (known as the 'maintenance requirement')
  • there will be an application fee (likely to be £700 for the Standard service) and you will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

We are still waiting for full information on the scheme and will update this page as soon as there are further details.


Travel news update March 2021

Before students think about travelling to the UK, the first step is for a student to talk to their education provider about what date in-person learning will start for their course.

The following information is from England's Department for Education issued on 3 March 2021.

Before arriving, students should:

  • check the latest information about entering the UK
  • note that all inbound UK travel corridors have been temporarily suspended to protect against new international variants of Covid-19
  • all passengers are now required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival
  • note that certain countries are now on a ‘red list’ – students arriving from these countries may need to quarantine in managed quarantine hotels
  • remember to follow the safer travel guidelines and plan ahead to avoid busy times
  • confirm that their course has resumed in-person teaching and learning
  • speak to their travel insurer.
Students must follow the law on international travel, which means that before they travel they should:
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result 3 days before they travel
  • complete a passenger locator form detailing where they will quarantine upon arrival
  • 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
  • be ready to present proof of study documents on arrival to the UK.

British or Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who have been in or passed through a red-list country in the 10 days before their arrival will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, unless they are exempt.  Third country nationals with residence rights include those with student entry clearance (i.e. Student/Tier 4 visas), those with EUSS leave, and those with biometric residence permits, among others. If an individual does not have residence rights, they cannot travel to the UK if they’ve visited or passed through a ‘red-list country’ in the last 10 days. Even those who have not been in or through a ‘red list’ country will need to quarantine in their own accommodation for 10 days if they are travelling to the UK, unless they ‘test to release’ and receive a negative test result

Travel advice may change while individuals are overseas. Everyone intending to travel to the UK is advised to regularly check all relevant guidance pages for www.gov.uk/coronavirus for updates.


Travel news update February 2021

If you decide to travel to the UK, please read the following summary of the latest guidance. Please ensure you also check the UK Government COVID-19 webpages for the latest information which can change on a daily basis.

  • If you have been in or through any of the countries listed on the UK Government ‘red list’ in the last 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK. The red list is here. British and Irish Nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be able to enter the UK. They must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household. They cannot use the Test to Release scheme.
  • The UK Government is set to announce that some travellers coming to England will have to quarantine in hotels amid concerns about new Covid variants. However, a timetable for the new measure has still not been confirmed.
  • Travel corridors were suspended 4am, 18 January 2021. If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
  • From 4am on 15 January 2021, pre-departure testing will be required for all inbound passengers to England until further notice. All international arrivals to England, including UK nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of £500 if they fail to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing.
  • Passengers will still be required to fill in a passenger locator form and be subject to national lockdown restrictions.
If you have any questions about self-isolating please visit our self-isolating and quarantine web page.