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Arriving in the UK

10: What to do when you arrive

Opening a bank account

Opening a bank account may be the easiest way for you to manage your finances in the UK. Once you're registered, our Registry can provide you with a letter confirming your student status, which your bank will need as part of your account application.

It can take a few weeks to open an account, so please ensure you have a way to meet your financial obligations at the beginning of your studies.

If you'll be in the UK for less than six months it will probably not be possible for you to open a UK bank account, so please speak with your bank at home about the best way to access funds.

Registering with the police

Students from some countries need to register with the police upon arrival. Please follow our guide to police registration to see the steps you need to follow. All students on Tier 4 visas will need to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) when they arrive and you will receive instructions for this in your visa letter.

Your phone

You can purchase a pay-as-you-go UK SIM card when you arrive, or speak with your current mobile provider to see if they can offer you a competitive contract while you're in the UK.

Health care

Most medical care in the UK is provided through the National Health Service (NHS). If you're in the UK for longer than six months and have paid the NHS surcharge, or you have a European Health Insurance Card, you will have free access to the NHS. You should register with a primary care doctor (called a general practitioner, or GP) when you arrive. You can register with the Health Centre on campus or with a GP in your local area.


11: International orientation week

As an international student you'll benefit from a special orientation programme, in addition to the St Mary's Welcome Fortnight offered to all students. During this programme, you'll learn more about St Mary's, London and life in the UK.

View orientation schedule

International orientation starts with our free airport pick-up service from London Heathrow on 5th September 2017 and finishes with a day out in London on the 9th September 2017. Your orientation schedule depends on which course you're following and will be posted on our website in August.


12: Follow us on social media

As your start date approaches, you'll be invited to join our closed Facebook groups for study abroad, undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In the meantime, please like our St Mary's Worldwide Facebook page and follow St Mary's Worldwide on Twitter.