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

This year, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the International Student Welcome (ISW) will be mostly delivered online.

Although the welcome this year will be different, we promise you will have all the information you need. Whether you will be in the UK to study in person or plan to start your studies online from your home country and travel to the UK at a later date, we are here to help you.

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

This information is subject to change so please always check the UK Government Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) 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 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 will not be allowed to leave the place where you’re staying for the first 10 days unless you are arriving from an exempt country listed here on the Travel Corridor list. 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-isolatinge.

The information above is subject to change so please always check the UK Government Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)

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 (formerly Tier 4 visa) outside the UK and entered the code 2HE747 into the 'Alternative Collection Location' box on your online Student visa application form, UKVI will not deliver your BRP until you have notified us of your arrival in the UK. Go to BRP application process to see how to do this.

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.

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 on-line process through our website clicking on the link 'New Patient Registration.' If you are a student from overseas, the online application form currently states that you will need to come into the surgery to register. Please ignore this, you do not need to visit in person and can do it totally online this year.

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 for free. 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. You can find out more about how the UK’s health system works here.

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 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 here.

What social events are happening?

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

Further information

Is there an International student welcome this year?

Given the circumstances, our welcome for international students will be online this year. This list of frequently asked questions will hopefully help but if you have any other questions, please access our Zoom sessions mentioned in the paragraph above or email us. Please follow the learn about our services link at the top of this page.

What social events are happening?

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union has a digital events schedule. Meet new people and start Freshers' Week early from the comfort of home.

Will the University collect me from the airport?

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are no plans currently in place for airport coach pick ups for new arrivals. 

However, please have a look at our Arriving in the UK information page for details on how to travel to Plymouth.

Can I start my studies online?

Your learning may be delivered as a mix of face-to-face on-campus learning and remote and online learning. This will include live sessions, as well as recorded material and additional resources provided on your digital learning platform. This mix of teaching styles is called blended learning.

Please contact your programme or Faculty team if you wish to enquire about studying totally online.

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 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.

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 emailcall 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?

The UK government now expects that when you return, you either take a Lateral Flow test or self-isolate for 10 days. If you are self-isolating anyway, you do not need to do the test. If you are arriving from an exempt country listed here on the Travel Corridor list you need to do the test. Book your on-campus test: Lateral Flow Testing is available on the main campus from 4 January to 2 February, so please book now if you haven’t already. 

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 on a Tier 4 Visa' webpage. If you another type of visa, please contact our team for advice before starting any job.