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11: 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. 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.

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