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Your St Mary's experience

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.

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.

Term dates

Term dates for 2017/18 are listed below. Some courses - such as our PGCE programmes - have different calendars.

Semester 1 International Orientation 5th September 2017 9th September 2017
Semester 1 Welcome Week 11th September 2017 17th September 2017
Semester 1 Teaching 18th September 2017 15th December 2017
Christmas Break
Semester 1 Examination Period 8th January 2018 19th January 2018
Semester 2 International Orientation (study abroad only) 23rd January 2018 27th January 2018
Semester 2 Teaching Begins 29th January 2018 23rd March 2018
Easter Break
Semester 2 Teaching Continues 9th April 2018 25th May 2018
Semester 2 Examination Period 14th May 2018 25th May 2018

Practical tasks

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.

Social life

The  Students' Union (SU)  organises weekly social events as well as parties and festivals throughout the year - highlights include  SIMMStock  (an on-campus music festival),  West London VarsitySummer Ball  and a  London Boat Party.  They also organise a wide range of  sports clubs and societies  for students to get involved in, ranging from basketball and rugby to the International Society and the Christian Union.

On campus there is a Starbucks, a licensed SU bar (with screens showing sporting events) and an SU shop. There is also a wide range of local bars, restaurants and cafés within walking distance.

International students can purchase the St Mary's Social Programme, a competitively-priced travel package including activities in London and across the UK. The programme varies each semester and details and booking information are sent to students before they arrive at St Mary's.

Global Peer Mentor Scheme

We will match you with a current student who can offer you additional support as you settle into London life. We'll invite you to join the scheme closer to your arrival, but please e-mail with any questions.