International student welcome

If you'll be arriving outside the University's main arrival periods (September and January) you'll find some useful information on arriving in the UK and Plymouth.


International student welcome

For all overseas students arriving at University of Plymouth for the first time.

This year the International Student Welcome will start the week commencing Monday 13th September and we are planning to have this welcome in person on campus. Although it is not mandatory to attend this welcome, we really hope you do! There will be a variety of talks, practical help and social activities laid on especially for you, our international students, to ensure you are well prepared before teaching officially starts. In addition, there will also be a variety of online support.

The International Student Welcome programme of events will be published here by mid-August so check back!

Heathrow coach pick up service:

Coach collection dates and times are as follows:

  • Thursday 2 September 2021: choice of 10am or 12 noon (BST) – Booking deadline is Thursday 26 August 2021. 12 noon (BST)
  • Friday 3 September 2021: choice of 10am or 12 noon (BST) – Booking deadline is Friday 27 August 2021. 12 noon (BST)
  • Monday 13 September 2021: choice of 10am or 12 noon (BST) – Booking deadline is Monday 6 September 2021 12 noon (BST).

Book your seat on one of our coaches above.

The early dates for the meet and greet coach service reflect the requirement for students arriving from amber countries to be able to self-isolate on arrival in Plymouth without missing out on International Student Welcome Week.

All coaches will be collecting students from the arrivals collection point at London Heathrow Terminal 2. Students are advised if flying into other terminals to allocate sufficient time to use the free shuttle service to get to terminal 2.

The coach is £20 and is only available to students (unfortunately not for accompanying family or friends due to limited space).

Once you have booked your seat, further information on where to meet the coach and other information will be sent a week prior to your arrival.

If you prefer to make your own way, then that is fine too. You might find this web page useful travelling to Plymouth from the airport.

The following information aims to answer some of your frequently asked questions.

As of 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.Countries on the watch list could move into a different list at short notice.

This information is subject to change so please always check the UK Government Entering the UK page for the most up to date advice.

If you have any other questions, please email us at

We also hold ‘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.


What to do on arrival in Plymouth

Check into your accommodation and information on self-isolation

If you are moving into University managed accommodation, check with the residence life team at to find out the procedure for you.

If you are moving into private accommodation, contact your landlord/letting agent in advance for any self-isolations procedures they may have in place.

When you arrive in the UK, you may not be allowed to leave the place where you’re staying for the first 10 days unless you are arriving from a green list country. This list changes frequently so check it again just before you travel.

Test to Release

The UK Government has announced that you may be able to end your self-isolation early if you pay for a private coronavirus (COVID-19) test through the 'Test to Release' scheme. You must use a government approved provider and indicate your intention to use this option on the passenger locator form. Find out more about Test to Release.

We are here to help and support you when you are self-isolating in your accommodation, including practical support with food and essentials. Please let us know when you are self-isolating by completing this quick online form: Covid-19 self-isolation form so that support can be put in place for you.

More university information can be found here: Information and guidance for students self-isolating.

The information above is subject to change so please always check the UK Government Entering the UK webpage.

Contact home to let them know you have arrived safely

Make a quick phone call, text or email any friends or family to let them know you have arrived safely.

Complete your right to study check (getting your passport and visa checked)

New students, including those who started online in September and new EU students, should contact the UKVI compliance team at to notify the University you have arrived in the UK and start the right to study check process. Usually you will not be able to enrol online until you have completed the right to study check.

Collect your BRP (if applicable)

Where you collect your BRP will depend on what you requested on your visa application form.

If you applied for your Student visa outside the UK and entered Plymouth Post Office as the delivery address, please go to 73-85 New George St, Plymouth PL1 1RP to collect your BRP with your visa letter and passport. Go to BRP application process for the next steps.

Please check your letter you received with your visa for details of where to collect your BRP.

Complete online enrolment and check your timetable

New students will need to complete online enrolment at the start of the academic year. Completing online enrolment is an essential first step to being officially part of the University of Plymouth and will enable you to gain access to your course timetable for the first time.

Register with a doctor at the University Medical Centre

The University Medical Centre is an on-campus facility dedicated to students. We run a total triage system that means you can contact the surgery at any point during the day via eConsult or phone. We recommend registering with us as soon as you have a Plymouth address; this is via a simple online process through our website selecting the link 'New Patient Registration'. 

We have available appointments 8.30am - 6pm on site, along with video appointments evenings and weekends via Push Doctor, please see our website for details.

We offer a vast amount of digital technology to support your health needs; including the use of NHS App, online services via Patient Access and a very interactive website that has a wealth of information you can easily access.

If you paid the immigration health surcharge as part of your visa application you can access the NHS services. However, if you are in the UK for a short period of less than 6 months on a visitor visa you will need to check if you have health insurance. 

Sign up for a UK bank account

There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing and opening a bank account as an international student in the UK, please have a look at this information on opening a bank account.

You may be able to apply online for a bank account –check the bank’s website to see what options are available. You’ll probably also need to visit a branch of the bank you have chosen and take with you documents that show who you are. You will normally need to show your passport, your visa (BRP), proof of your UK address (e.g. tenancy agreement) and a letter from University of Plymouth confirming your UK study. To get this letter, please email the Student Hub at with your student number, the bank name and your full Plymouth address including room number (if applicable) and post code. Please allow 5 working days for the letter to be produced.

Register with the police

You need to register with the police if you are a national from one of the countries listed in the UK Government Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules and in the UK for more than 6 months. This requirement should also be stated on either the vignette in your passport, your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or in a visa approval letter from the Home Office.

If you need to register, go to Devon & Cornwall Police, Charles Cross Police Station, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8HG (a two-minute walk from the main campus). Opening times: 08:00–18:00 Monday–Saturday.

You must register online within seven days of arriving in the UK if you applied for your visa from outside of the UK, or within seven days of receiving your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you applied to extend your visa from inside of the UK. However, if you need to self-isolate, please do not leave your accommodation to do this. The Police understand that there may be a delay in you registering so only go to the police station once your self-isolation period has finished.

If you have not yet received your BRP, please go to the police station anyway as they will still register you. Once you do receive the BRP you will need to visit the police station again in order to update your police certificate.

Before you go there, please follow these four steps:

1) Download and complete 'Report of Initial Registration of Foreign National’ (Form no.67). Complete in English and use BLOCK LETTERS.

2) Take your completed form to Charles Cross Police Station along with the following documents:

  • Your Biometric Card (where applicable)
  • Your current passport with the necessary visa documentation within it
  • One Passport size photograph
  • £34 registration fee, which MUST be in Bank of England notes and coins
  • Any Home Office/University letter of acceptance, documentation that you have

3) Collect your PRC (Police Registration Certificate) from the Police Station approximately 14 days from providing your details to the Police.

4) Due to COVID-19, access to the police station Enquiry Office will be controlled with a queuing system so you will need to wait, please be patient. Please make sure you have all the items listed above so your wait is not wasted!

After registering, remember that you always need to get your PRC updated at the police station within seven days if you ever:

  • change your address
  • extend your Tier 4 leave
  • change college or university
  • renew your passport
  • get married
  • if any of the other details on your Police Registration Certificate change.

Learn about the services available to you at the University.

Have a look at the videos and online resources.

What social events are happening?

Further information about social events happening in September will be published by August 2021.

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union has a digital events schedule.

Further information

Is there an International student welcome this year?

This year we are planning to run the student welcome face-to-face with some resources available online on this webpage.

Will the University collect me from the airport?

Yes, we have coaches booked to collect you from Heathrow airport on certain days. Please have a look at the dates and book a seat here: book your seat

If you cannot make these coach dates or prefer to make your own way, you might find this web page useful travelling to Plymouth from the airport

Can I start my studies online?

Please contact your programme or Faculty team if you wish to enquire about delivery of your programme.

For more information about what to expect this September, visit our new and returning student welcome page.

I'm worried I can't make it for the start of term, what do I do?

If you are a new student, please contact the Admissions team at for more information about your specific case.

If you are a returning student, contact your programme or faculty team for more information.

How do I pay my tuition fees?

To find out how to pay your fees easily, have a look at this webpage: How to make a payment

For further enquiries about tuition fees, payment methods or refunds, email the Student Accounts Team at or call us on +44 1752 588130.

I want to improve my English skills, how can I do that?

The English Language Centre offers a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills – both before (pre-sessional courses) and during (term-time workshops) your studies. For further information about these courses please email the team at

There is insessional support available for those who do not have English as a first language.  

Here to support you

Your physical and mental wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do and we consider your personal life equally as important as your academic life which is why our Student Hub, offering student support and wellbeing services, is here to support you and allow you to make the most of your time at university.

Our friendly, confidential and impartial Student Hub team will be pleased to help you and no issue is too big and no question is too small. You can email, call +44 1752 587676 or visit the Student Hub in the Library.

To answer some of your questions about what it will be like on campus and living in the UK we have compiled the below information. If you have any other questions, please email:


Life as a student in the UK

How do I travel to Plymouth when I arrive in the UK?

Read about arriving in the UK for the information you need to travel to the University of Plymouth safely.

Do I need to get a Covid-19 test when I arrive in Plymouth?

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. Countries on the watch list could move into a different list at short notice.

This information is subject to change so please always check the UK Government Entering the UK page for the most up to date advice.

All students attending face-to-face learning or accessing university facilities are expected to undertake regular twice-weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at our test centre on the main campus. Find out more and book your test.

How do I get a Covid 19 vaccination in the UK?

  • Are international students eligible for the vaccination?
    Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of nationality or immigration status.
  • Do international students need to pay for the vaccine?
    Nobody in England has to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination, including international students. The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge and does not count as the kind of care that requires payment.
  • Do international students need to be registered with a GP (doctor) to get a vaccination?
    While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, you can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice or the University Medical Centre.
  • How does an international student get an NHS number?
    You can approach your local GP practice or the University Medical Centre, saying you would like to register for the purposes of receiving the vaccine.
  • Are any dependents of international students also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?
    Anyone in England is eligible for the vaccine if they fall within the current eligibility criteria, for example, being 18 years of age and over.
  • How does an international student get a vaccine?
    You should register with a GP and get an NHS number. An NHS number can be found on any letter the NHS has sent you, on a prescription, or by logging in to a GP practice online service. You can also find an NHS number using this tool. It is possible to request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient by approaching a local GP practice or the University Medical Centre. While registration with a GP is encouraged, you can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.
  • If an international student is not registered with a GP, will they still be invited for their vaccination?
    If you are not registered with a GP, you will not be proactively contacted by a local NHS service
  • What should an international student do if they’ve received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad, and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England?
    If you have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for your second dose. Contact a GP to ensure you receive an appropriate vaccine for your second dose.
  • Where can students find more information?
    Go to for more information about the Covid-19 vaccine.

Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

Advice on how to protect yourself and others on campus is shown on the Safety Measures on Campus video. You will need face coverings in some places so make sure you bring some when you travel to the UK.

What shops are good for buying food and household goods?

The city centre is across the street from the campus, making it easy to quickly find your way around Plymouth. Popular supermarkets to look out for would be Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Sainsburys, Coop, Asda and Iceland. M&S Food and Waitrose are also popular although slightly more expensive.

Have a look at our guide on local restaurants and shops selling authentic international food and watch our video on shopping and eating out in Plymouth.

For household goods such as bedding, Wilkinsons and Primark offer reasonably priced items. Bigger supermarkets may also have household items as well.

Are there any clubs and societies I can join?

Our Students' Union holds over 50 clubs and societies from debating and geological to history and photography, there's sure to be something for you. All are started and run by our students, so if you can't find one to join, that's fine, you can always start your own.

Can I get a part-time job?

The University Careers Service is here to help you find work, whether it's part time to fit around your studies or future employment for after you graduate. Working part time is an excellent way of gaining valuable experience, which could help you to stand out from the crowd when you start applying for graduate opportunities.

View hundreds of vacancies on myCareer including part-time work, placements, internships, and graduate vacancies.

If you have a Student (formerly Tier 4) visa, you will be limited on the number of hours you can work and the type of job you can do. Have a read of our 'Working in the UK during your studies with immigration permission' webpage. If you have another type of visa, please contact our team for advice before starting any job.