Brunel W he re your journe y st arts...
Welco me to Bru n el
We are delighted that you have chosen to study at Brunel University and are looking forward to welcoming you to London at the start of the new academic year!
Brunel University has a very diverse community with students from more than 110 countries. We would like to strongly encourage you to take part in our International Orientation as this is an excellent way to become a part of this thriving student community and settle into the university. You can find out more information on page 16.
We are located in the Russell Building and are here to assist you through every stage of your studies at Brunel University.
The orientation programme is organised by the International Student Services Team at Brunel International who are more than happy to help with all the challenges that you might encounter whilst living and studying in the UK. Brunel International also has dedicated teams that can help you with queries regarding:
• Finance • Admissions • Marketing and Recruitment • English and Modern Foreign Languages
This booklet will give you essential pre-arrival information and guide you through the next steps. It also features useful advice and tips from some of our current students. If you would like any further information about the university, www.brunel.ac.uk is the place to go. Alternatively, you can contact our international team at any time. We are very much looking forward to meeting you soon! The Brunel International Team
Why Brunel? Once you have arrived at Brunel University, you will notice that it has a great student community that is quite unique in London. A lot of London universities are scattered around the city, whereas at Brunel you get the best of both worlds: close proximity to London and a great modern campus that creates a real sense of belonging amongst the students. The university is located in Uxbridge which is part of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The town centre is a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute ride by bus. Here you will find many shops including some big supermarkets and plenty of food outlets. Uxbridge is also at the end of two tube lines (the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines) serving as great transport links into Central London.
Hi, Iâ€™m Anas Darkaoui from Syria studying MA Children Youth and International Development. Uxbridge is a safe and friendly residential area with some beautiful green parks and lakes around. The high street is 5 minutes by bus or a short 15 minutes walk from campus with two shopping malls, a library, supermarkets, many restaurants and bars to choose from, and a multi-screen cinema. Last Christmas we even had an ice rink! Those who like swimming like me can enjoy an Olympic-sized pool at Hillingdon Sport centre only 5 minutes from the high street. The underground station in Uxbridge takes you to Central London in 40 minutes via two different lines and there is a night bus for those who enjoy a night out. Uxbridge is conveniently located close to central London yet still distant enough to allow students to focus on their studies. 3
Interesting Facts about Brunel You are probably aware that Brunel University is renowned for the quality of teaching and research across many different subject areas. You might also have heard of the famous Victorian engineer after whom the university is named. But did you know that he went by the rather unusual first names of Isambard Kingdom? Try to find the statue of him when you arrive on campus. Did you know that Brunel University… • has been used as a location for a number of films and TV shows (including the famous Stanley Kubrick film ‘Clockwork Orange’ and the BBC production ‘Silent Witness’). • has an award-winning Placement and Careers Centre which has helped to ensure that Brunel graduates enjoy the 13th highest starting salaries in the UK (according to the recent Sunday Times Good University Guide). • has recently been visited by famous people such as Her Majesty the Queen and Usain Bolt and will be hosting the South Korean Olympic Team and the Canadian Paralympics’ Team during the 2012 Olympics.
Academic Year 2012/13
3-week Academic English course 15 August 2012 - 14 September 2012 International Student Orientation Programme 20th – 22nd September 2012 Induction week, also known as Freshers’ Week starts on: Sunday 23rd September 2012 Autumn Term First day: 1st October 2012 Last day: 21st December 2012 Spring Term First day: 7th January 2013 Last day: 22nd March 2013 Summer Term First day: 15th April 2013 Last day: 5th July 2013
Contents BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME
ARRIVING IN THE UK
Admissions: Next Steps
Meet all the conditions of your offer (and tell us)
Going through Immigration and Customs
Safety in the Airport
Get your CAS
Do I need a visa to study at Brunel?
Getting to the University on your own
What type of visa do I need?
Applying for a Student Visa
ARRIVING AT BRUNEL
UK Health Services and Insurance
Accommodation – getting your keys 16
Accommodation - Halls of Residence 8
Early Bird Events
Living on campus
International Student Orientation Programme
3-week Academic English course
FINANCE AND BANKING
Registering with the Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO) in London 19
How to make payments to Brunel 11 Information for Sponsored Students 12 Financial Aid Information for US Students
Payment Information for PhD students
Cost of living in the UK
International Student Calculator
Top 3 Tips for Saving Money
Making the Most of Your Stay
Be Part of a Community
International Student Newsletter
Your Students’ Union
Uxbridge, London and the UK – A short guide to living in the UK
A to Z of Services on Campus
Be fore you leave ho me
Admissions: Next Steps
Please keep in touch. We will be sending you important information and possibly queries right up to the time of travel to the UK, so please tell us if your contact details change – and check your emails regularly.
Do I need a visa to study at Brunel?
Meet all the conditions of your offer (and tell us) Undergraduate students who have applied through UCAS: The conditions your offer is based on can be viewed on UCAS Track www.ucas.ac.uk/students/track/ (we do not issue offer letters unless requested). All other students will receive a conditional offer letter which will list the conditions required. As you meet the conditions of your offer, remember to let us know by email, post or in person. If you have problems meeting the conditions of your offer, please do not hesitate to contact our International Admissions Team to discuss alternatives. Once you have met all the conditions of your offer, your offer becomes unconditional. Get your CAS Brunel does not issue unconditional offer letters. Instead, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) statement via email which is required for visa purposes. The information in the CAS email is all you need for the visa application - you do not require a CAS letter. Please notify Brunel International Admissions team if you do not need a CAS and you will be issued with an updated offer email instead. Email: International.Admissions@brunel.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)1895 265519 6
If you are an international student then you will probably need a visa to study at Brunel University. If you are not sure then you can use the ‘Do I need a visa?’ service on the UKBA website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visasimmigration/do-you-need-a-visa for more help. You should make sure that you apply for a visa that covers the full length of your course. If you need more help, the Immigration Office at Brunel International can provide advice via email. What type of visa do I need? For all Undergraduate, Postgraduate and most English Language and Foundation courses at Brunel you should apply for a Tier 4 Student (General) Visa which covers the whole duration of your course. The Points Based System was introduced by the government several years ago, and as a fairly new system, it is often subject to change. You should make sure to consult the most up to date advice listed on the UKBA website. Applying for a Student Visa When should I apply for a student visa? As soon as possible (but not more than 3 months before your course starts). In order to apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number. This is a unique number that we can only send to you after your offer has been made unconditional. We will send your CAS statement by email only - you do not have to request it separately. The first CAS we issue you with is free. However, if you need a different CAS number issued (if, for example, you change your course after being made an
unconditional offer) then a £13 administration fee is charged. A CAS is only valid for six months, so we will not issue one until six months before your course starts. Sponsor Licence Number: 0BT931EY6 This is Brunel’s Sponsor License Number (it begins with a zero). Your Tier 4 Visa must have been issued for Brunel (and for the course for which you obtained an offer with us) to be able to register.
to study at Brunel University before leaving home to start your studies. If you are unsure whether you need a new student visa and to get any further information on how to apply, please visit our immigration website: www.brunel.ac.uk/international/ applying-to-brunel/potential-students You can learn more about the Points Based System by visiting this website:
Please note that it is your responsibility to apply for the correct entry clearance (visa)
UK Health Services
Hillingdon hospital is very close to the campus and has an emergency service open all hours.
If you are here on a student visa for more than six months you will qualify for healthcare from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is a free service which you can use while you are in the UK. Please note that dental care is not included and any dental treatment received in the UK has to be paid for privately. You will need to register with a doctor (a “General Practitioner”) to access NHS services. If you are living on campus, you can register with the Brunel Medical Centre: www.brunel.ac.uk/life/welfare/med/ If you are living off campus and would like to find the doctor closest to you, go to www.nhs.uk/Pages/homepage.aspx or speak to the international team. There is first aid available on campus and
Important: If you are on a course for less than six months, you will not be covered by the NHS and should therefore arrange health insurance in your own country before you travel to the UK. Travel and other insurance It is a good idea to take out travel insurance for your journey to Brunel in case your flight is cancelled or your luggage is lost. Furthermore, you may also want to insure any valuables, such as cameras, luggage and MP3 players before you travel. Alternatively, you can arrange cover cheaply in the UK.
Pre-registration Before you arrive, make sure you are provisionally registered with us. Once you have met all the conditions, Brunel will send you details on how to register online. You need to complete the first stage online (this will give you â€˜provisionally registeredâ€™ status). It is important that this is completed before you arrive as this will speed up and ensure a smoother process of the second part of registration when you arrive. To provisionally register, just log onto the University student portal at: https://evision.brunel.ac.uk/ Enter your username and login details (which will be included in the letter) and fill in the online form. Once you have completed this, please print the registration summary letter and bring it with you to registration. If you need help completing the task you can contact our Student Centre: Phone: +44 (0) 1895 268268 Email: Student.Centre@brunel.ac.uk
Accommodation Halls of Residence Once you have a conditional offer for a course commencing in September you will receive an email from the Accommodation Office with details on how to apply for accommodation on campus. If your course commences at any other time, please contact the Accommodation Office directly. For further information on accommodation please visit: www.brunel.ac.uk/life/accommodation. Living on campus With more than 4500 rooms on campus you will be joining a vibrant campus community. The facilities are very similar across all our halls, and you can indicate in your application for an on-campus room if you prefer a standard or en-suite. All rooms have a free internet connection and a communal kitchen.
What will I find in my room?
What will I find in the communal kitchen?
Pillow and Cover
Duvet and Cover
Desk and chair
Iron and ironing board
Kitchen table and seating
Food storage space
You will need to bring your own crockery and cooking utensils. You can buy them cheaply in Uxbridge town centre.
More details about the facilities and pictures of all the halls can be found here: www.brunel.ac.uk/0/Corporate%20Documents/135587LivingatBrunel20116.pdf
Alternative Accommodation There is plenty of private rented accommodation available close to the University, including individual rooms, houses, flats and flat shares. If you would like further information about off-campus accommodation, please contact our University Housing Office, who will be able to assist you in securing local off-campus accommodation: www.brunel.ac.uk/life/accommodation/ offcampus
3-week Academic English course If you have already met the English requirements for your course but would like to improve your Academic English before you start your studies, you can join our 3-week Academic English course from 15
August to 14 September 2012. This is a great way of getting settled into the university environment and brushing up on your written and spoken English. The course is full-time and you will study academic reading, writing, listening & note-taking, seminar and presentation skills, as well as research skills. The course will enable you to become accustomed to life at Brunel and to be well prepared for your degree course. A fun social programme takes place weekly and includes a day trip at the end of the course. Course fees are ÂŁ800 and include all social events. Please note accommodation and meals are not included in the cost. For further information and the application form have a look at our website: www.brunel.ac.uk/international/iplc/ pre-sessional-english 9
Hi, Iâ€™m Vishal Kumar from India studying MSc Business Systems Integration (SAP Technology). If you would like to find out more about life on campus or get a glimpse of the student experience before you start your course, you really should join the Brunel International facebook page. Brunel University is very active when it comes to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Some students, including me, write blogs about their time at the University and in London. Several people read my blog on the Brunel International page and understand how amazing it is to be at Brunel. As the President of the Six Degrees Society I am always involved in great events! Have a look here at all the blogs: www.brunel.ac.uk/international
F in a nce & Ba nking
How to make payments to Brunel
5. If you have any queries about payment, please contact the Finance Office: Email: email@example.com
Credit/debit card, cheque, direct bank transfer or banker’s draft can be used to make advance payments to Brunel. Where possible, we would suggest you pay by credit/debit card, as the charges are considerably lower. Please do not send cash through the mail under any circumstances. Quote your Brunel student number as reference in all correspondence and transactions. 1. If you wish to pay by credit/debit card please ring +44 1895 265519 between 10am and 4pm UK time or visit the Brunel International website. You will need to quote your student number and card details. 2. All students who wish to pay by direct bank transfers are advised to complete the process by Monday 10th September 2012; a delay could result in late registration for your course. It takes about one week for international transfers to be concluded. 3. Cheques and banker’s drafts drawn on a UK bank account (sterling) can be sent to:
Telephone number: +44 (0) 1895 265519 Fax number: +44 (0) 1895 269700
Brunel University Bank Details Bank name: HSBC Bank address: PO Box 41, High Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK, UB8 1BY Sort code: 4Ø-45-Ø8 Account number: Ø147823Ø Swift code: MIDLGB21Ø9L Iban number: GB16MIDL4Ø45Ø8Ø147823Ø
Cheques should be made payable to “Brunel University”. The student number should be written on the back of the cheque. Preparing Funds for Your Arrival When transferring funds to Brunel University, do not include your personal living expenses. Separate arrangements should be made to transfer your personal expenses.
Finance Office Brunel International Brunel University Uxbridge Middlesex UB8 3PH 4. Payments may be made electronically by credit/debit card through the Brunel website: www.brunel.ac.uk/about/pay. From the main website go to ‘International students’, then follow the instructions. 11
Information for Sponsored Students The University understands a sponsor to be a company, organisation or charitable trust (including Brunel University Bursaries/Scholarships) who will meet either the full or partial cost of your course fees. Please ensure you review the section entitled “Sponsored Students” under the Brunel International Finance Policy for further information www.brunel.ac.uk/international/ fees-and-funding/financial-sponsorship Parents, guardians, family members or friends are not acceptable as sponsors. You should check the terms of your sponsorship carefully: it may be necessary for you to pay accommodation and other deposits should your sponsorship arrangements not cover these.
Financial Aid Information for US Students Applicants from the USA can access a range of federal loans from the US Department of Education to study at Brunel. Detailed and up-to-date information can be found on our website. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact our Finance Office: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment Information for PhD students Students following a PhD programme can start on the first day of any month. As the academic year for PhD students at Brunel University runs from October to September, the payment schedule varies according to the start date of each student. For further information please go to: www.brunel.ac.uk/courses/pg/ postgraduate-fees 12
Cash/travellers’ cheques If you are planning to open a bank account in the UK, be aware that this can take up to 10 working days, and bank drafts will take up to two weeks to clear. We recommend you bring some cash for the first few weeks. You should bring £150 in cash to cover your first few days (bus fares, refreshments, etc.) and a further £500 in travellers’ cheques (or a widely accepted credit card) to cover the first four weeks. For further information on bank accounts have a look at the website of the British Banker’s Association: www.bba.org.uk
Cost of living in the UK Coming to the UK to study is an incredible experience and for many students a real adventure. However, we are sure you want to avoid any big surprises when it comes to your personal finances. While tuition fees and accommodation costs are clearly laid out and can be budgeted for relatively easily, general living costs can vary greatly. Costs may not only differ significantly from those in your home country, they also largely depend on your lifestyle. International Student Calculator The best way to get an idea of how much you will be likely to spend on living costs is to make use of the International Student Calculator. It will also allow you to come up with an approximate budget, which could prove to be a key factor in making sure that your time at Brunel University is a success. The website is packed with advice for International students, such as a sample shopping list with price indications, current student profiles and their experiences as well as lots of useful tips on how not to spend too much when socialising. To use the calculator go to: www.studentcalculator.org.uk/ international/
Top 3 Tips for Saving Money 1. Always carry your student ID with you. Lots of high street shops and restaurants give students a 10% discount on production of a valid Student ID card. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask if you are unsure whether they give student discounts! 2. Products offered in supermarkets can vary greatly in price! However, all supermarkets offer their own value ranges which are often significantly cheaper than branded products. Look out for them when you go shopping! 3. Make the most of the internet! Websites such as www.studentbeans.com, www.moneysavingexpert.com and www.vouchercodes.co.uk often publicise very good deals for shops and restaurants.
Arriving in the U K
Going through Immigration and Customs
During your flight to the UK the flight crew will hand out Landing Cards. The information you need for this card is: Personal details such as:
• Occupation, in your case this would be ‘student’
You will need to clear Immigration before you reclaim your luggage, so pack your passport, visa, money and University documents in your hand luggage and keep this safe at all times.
• Arrival flight details: you can find these on your ticket
Safety on Arrival
Once you arrive in the UK you will need to go through the UK Border Control, also known as Immigration and Customs. Please make sure you have the following documents ready for the Immigration Officer:
After a long journey you may be tired. The UK is generally a friendly place, but if you have just arrived it is a good idea to take some extra care, especially around the airports.
Completed Landing Card (if you
• Keep a close eye on your bags and make sure you have them with you at all times
• Name and date of birth • Your address in the UK
forgot to do this on the plane you can fill it in while you queue for immigration) Admissions/Offer Letter Pre-Departure Clearance Certificate
Or Chinese Certificate of Health booklet Bank Statements/Evidence of funds
The Immigration Officers may ask you a few questions. Remember they are only doing their job and are in general very friendly and helpful. For further arrival information please have a look at the UK Border Agency website: http://ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/
• Keep valuables such as wallets and phones out of sight • Use only public transport, black cabs or our free Airport Welcome Service For more information on personal safety for international students go to: www.educationuk.org/UK/Life-in-the-UK
Airport Welcome On Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th September, we will be running a free Airport Welcome Service at Heathrow for new international students who are attending our International Student Orientation Programme. We will then be running an additional service on the 23rd September for new international students who are not attending the International Student Orientation Programme.
Getting to the University on your own If you are arriving outside the hours of our Airport Welcome Service, you will need to make your own way to the campus. We recommend you use buses where possible, as taxis can be expensive (approximately £25 to £30 from Heathrow to campus and much more from other airports). From Heathrow Airport
The Airport Welcome Service will consist of our friendly Student Helpers meeting you at Arrivals and accompanying you to the campus using public transport between 7am and 7pm. Just look out for the people in red Brunel University T-Shirts! They will also be able to help you with your luggage. If a number of international students are arriving in quick succession, we might wait a little while so that you can all go together. The bus ride itself will be short and travel expenses will be covered.
Go to Heathrow Central Bus Station and take the U3 bus directly to the campus. The bus station is clearly signposted and is within walking distance of Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
To book this service, please go to: www.brunel.ac.uk/international/ whatnext
From Gatwick Airport
If you arrive at Terminals 4 or 5 look for the signs to the transit area or ask at the information desk. From Stansted Airport We recommend you take the Jetlink 737 coach to Heathrow Airport’s Central Bus Station and then follow the instructions above.
Take the Jetlink 797 coach from Gatwick South Terminal to Heathrow Airport’s Central Bus Station and then follow the instructions above. 15
Arriving at Bru n el
International Student Orientation Programme
Make sure not to miss one of the most exciting events of the year: Brunel International is hosting a 3-day Orientation programme for all international and EU students prior to the start of the academic year.
If you have been allocated a room on campus please let our accommodation team know you will be arriving early, by going to: www.brunel.ac.uk/life/accommodation. There will be a small extra charge for your additional nightsâ€™ stay. To book your place on the orientation programme and to find out more about the events please go to: www.brunel.ac.uk/ international/applying-to-brunel/ unconditional-offer/orientation
The event starts on Thursday 20th September and is free for international fee paying students and ÂŁ95 for EU and exchange students. It will give you a chance to familiarise yourself with the campus and Uxbridge before starting your course. Above all it is a great opportunity to make a lot of friends and enrol onto your course before all other students arrive. You will be able to attend information sessions on banking and immigration and find out about the various free services offered on campus and by the Union of Brunel Students.
Our International Student Orientation Programme officially starts on Thursday 20th September, but many students will be arriving one or two days before. Therefore, there will be a Welcome Lounge for everyone who arrives on Tuesday 18th or Wednesday 19th September.
Activities during these three days will include a day trip, a campus and Uxbridge walking tour and lots of social events. Meals are also included which means you donâ€™t have to worry about cooking during the programme.
No matter what country you are travelling from, getting to the UK can be a rather tiring experience. Once you have been given your room keys and have dropped your luggage off in your accommodation, why not join us and your new fellow
Hi, my name is Neha Nunkoo from Mauritius studying MMath Financial Mathematics. On the first day of Orientation we were welcomed by the Pro-Vice Chancellor. He told us that during our time at Brunel University, we would not just make friends but friends for life. And this is exactly what happened to me in the first three days. I met two of my best friends; the orientation programme gives you the opportunity to mingle with everyone. You have the chance to explore the campus and the town centre which seem huge for the first few days until you feel familiar with the surroundings. Social events organised are amazing and entertaining. The mentors are helpful and friendly throughout the programme and the disco in the evening was a great way to relax So, enrol for the orientation and I can assure you that it will be just like a roller coaster ride, full of joy, cheer and thrill!
students in the Welcome Lounge where you will find some free drinks and snacks! This is a great opportunity to relax, get to know some of the people who will be attending the International Student Orientation Programme with you and ask us any questions you might have. Where: Newton Room (Hamilton Centre) - just ask one of our friendly Student Helpers for directions! When: Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th from 10am to 5pm
Early Bird Events Can’t wait for the International Student Orientation Programme to start? Don’t miss our Early Bird events: Movie Night We are going to watch a comedy – come and join us if you are not feeling too jetlagged! Where: The Academy, Hamilton Centre – our Student Helpers can direct you. When: Tuesday 18th at 7pm 17
British Tea Party
Phone: +44 (0)1895 267900
Tea, scones, jam and cream - Join us for this quintessentially British tradition. This is a great opportunity to try some British food and meet some fellow orientation attendees!
Where: Brunel International (Russell Building) – ask our Student Helpers if you’re not sure where it is. When: Wednesday 19th at 5pm
Accommodation – getting your keys If you have a room on campus, please email our accommodation team in advance to tell them the date and time you will be arriving on campus. Remember, it will probably take you two hours to clear customs and make your way to campus after you have landed at Heathrow Airport - allow an extra hour and a half from Gatwick or Stansted airports. From 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, you can get your keys from the appropriate Residence Office. If you are scheduled to arrive at any other time, we will leave your keys in our Security Office on campus.
Freshers’ Week Freshers’ Week starts on Sunday 23rd September 2012. This is an induction for all first year students and is designed to help everybody find their way around the university and get settled in. You should certainly plan to attend your School’s induction events, as a lot of these will be about your timetable, study facilities, meeting your lecturers and getting the right study materials. There will also be a fayre for all new students called Freshers’ Fayre which is organised by the Union of Brunel Students’ (UBS). Here you can meet people with similar interests, make new friends and join a sports team, a social club or an international students’ group. Throughout the week in the evenings, the Students’ Union organises parties, gigs, a trip to central London and much more. By the end of the week, you will know a lot more about the University campus and will have met a lot of new people!
• Original Academic Certificates (unless we have already seen them). If in doubt, bring them along. • Original English Language Certificates (unless we have already seen them). If in doubt, bring them along. • Sponsorship Letters (applicable only to students receiving external sponsorship). • Documents to complete Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Social Work students only- you will have been sent details of what to bring if the check is not yet complete). • Receipts of any payments made If you are joining a Professional Course you must also bring:
• ID documents to complete a CRB check. • Your Criminal Conviction Disclaimer.
This is the last hurdle you have to take before you are a fully registered student. If you sign up for the International Student Orientation Programme, you will be able to register on Friday 21st September as part of the programme. All other students are able to register from Sunday 23rd September until Wednesday 26th September in the Sports Hall. After this date you can go to the Student Centre in the Bannerman Centre to complete your registration. Here are some of the things you MUST bring to register successfully we cannot enrol you otherwise: • Passport. • Visa: You should make sure that you have a visa that covers the full length of your course. • Your Brunel Offer Letter or another document containing your seven-digit Student Number (usually starting 11). • Your Registration Summary Letter (you can print this once you have completed the online registration task).
• Your Medical Questionnaire. • Your Immunisation Card (for physiotherapy and occupational therapy students). • Your GTC Suitability Questionnaire (for PGCert or teacher training courses). Information about your enrolment will be sent to you separately.
Registering with the Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO) in London Some nationalities will have to register with the police within 7 days of arrival. Check your visa, if you are unsure please come to Brunel International - we can help you and give you the information you need including a map and directions to OVRO. Please note that if you are required to register with the police it is very important that you do so within 7 days of your arrival. 19
Experience Bru n el
Coming to Brunel is a great decision and we are sure you are very keen to experience life in the UK. The Student Services team at Brunel International are here to make sure you get lots of opportunities to experience British culture and also to share your own culture with your fellow students. Throughout the year, the team organises many different social events. In the past these have included Lunar New Year celebrations, formal dinners, food fayres and much more. Read the newsletter for more information.
International Student Newsletter We know student life can get very busy with lots of lectures, assignments and exams. However, it is important to strike a balance between your work and social life. To ensure that you don’t miss out on what’s happening on and around campus as well as in London, we will send you a regular newsletter. In it we will also attempt to explain the weird and wonderful traditions of the British culture such as Pancake Day
Hello, I’m Meganne Torkelson from the USA and I am studying MSc Cross-Cultural Psychology. I am the Vice President for the Six Degrees Society. The Society aims to bridge the gap between local and international students to create one large community. We run regular events and also participate in the cultural festivities at Brunel. Joining Six Degrees is an excellent way to make new friends, explore different cultures, and have a lot of fun! Last year, the society organized a wide range of events including an intercultural Movie Night, a Wine and Cheese tasting event, Bake Sales and participated in One World Week. We also had a great time hosting cultural events including Holi – The festival of colours and St. Patricks Day. We’re always looking for new ideas for activities and would love to see you at an event!
Hi, my name is Daeun Shim and I’m from South Korea studying MA Design Strategy and Innovation. Doing a Masters doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to study all the time. If you want a little break from the library and would like to experience British culture, stay tuned with Brunel International activities. Joining their activities actually helped me relax and adjust to my new life in the UK. Brunel International also organises a number of exciting day trips throughout the year, which are not only fun but also a great opportunity to make a lot of good friends from all over the world. So make sure to sign up for the newsletter.
and why Brits talk so much about the weather. It’s definitely a must-read for all new international students!
Be Part of a Community As an international student you will automatically be a member of our international student society ‘Six Degrees’.
You will get the chance to apply for a voluntary post in the Six Degrees committee and can get involved in shaping social events for the academic year. You can find Six Degrees on facebook and check out what they have been up to so far by typing ‘Six Degrees Society’ into the search box. 21
Your Students’ Union The Students’ Union exists to represent the interests of every Brunel University student. It has its own building on campus, the Hamilton Centre, housing shops, bars, cafeterias and spaces for parties or performances. In addition, the Union provides student welfare services and advice on everything from finance to housing. It also represents student interests to the University’s policy makers and managers. The Union is run by a president and management team. These
positions are elected by the University’s students and are mostly students themselves, although there is a small team of permanent staff. You can get involved by either becoming a School Rep, joining the Brunel Media team as a Radio DJ, writing for the students newspaper Le Nurb (Brunel spelt backwards) or joining many of the activities throughout the academic year. Union membership is free and you will be enrolled automatically unless you state otherwise. For more information have a look at the UBS website: www.brunelstudents.com/
Hi, I’m Paulina Lara Franco from Mexico studying MA Contemporary Performance Making. I applied to have a show on Radio Brunel at the Students Union; as I offered a Rock in Spanish programme using a bilingual style, they said yes! It was fantastic to have the chance to share a bit about Hispanic and Latin music with Brunel students. Also, I worked in one of the restaurants of the UBS, combining my studies and earning some experience in catering assistance. All these contributed to my degree, where I met amazing people from different countries and backgrounds. Coming to London was an amazing life decision.
Uxbridge, London and the UK – A Short Guide to Living in the UK When it comes to British people and customs, there are a few things to bear in mind:• British people are generally quite reserved, but this does not mean they are unfriendly. • You must wait in line when there is a queue. British people will get quite upset if you push to the front. • Police officers in Britain are generally friendly and helpful, so do not be afraid to approach them if, for example, you are lost! Have a look on facebook and find our very own Brunel Bobby who works on campus. • You do not have to drink alcohol if you visit a British pub. Many people do not. • Smoking is forbidden in public places, including bars, shops and railway stations. • British people really do talk about the weather quite a lot!
The weather It can rain at any time of year in the UK and it generally does! However, spring and summer can also be warm and sunny, whilst winter can see some very cold temperatures. Being an island climate, the weather can change quickly in the course of a day. British food Fish and chips, roast dinners, Ploughman’s lunches, great Full English breakfasts! These are some of the delicacies waiting for you, but do not worry: there is plenty more on the menu. Most restaurants for example will have vegetarian dishes on the menu and it is actually quite easy to find Halal or Kosher food in the London and Uxbridge areas. Uxbridge Uxbridge town centre is a short walk from campus and has everything you need, from banks to mobile phone shops; from Halal supermarkets to departments stores. With two shopping centres, and its very own cinema, lots of pubs and restaurants, Uxbridge is a charming place where you can go to relax, shop and socialise with friends. 23
Central London Central London is about 40 minutes away. It is an amazing place full of history, culture and something new to discover every day of the week. Virtually every nation, culture and cuisine is represented in London, so if you ever miss home comforts, you wonâ€™t struggle to find a taste of home. Of course, London also has excellent transport links, so exploring the rest of the UK or mainland Europe is easy. Getting around Travelling by train or coach is good value for money, especially if you buy a student travel card. This gives you generous
discounts and is especially cheap if you travel outside peak times. You can board coaches to many destinations from Victoria Coach Station in London or more locally here in Uxbridge. For trains to different regions of the UK, it is best to travel into London. As in many cities, there are different rail terminals serving different parts of the country. Check before you travel to see which terminal you will need by going to www.tfl.gov.uk If you wish to travel a greater distance, say to Europe or Scotland, there are some excellent deals to be had from low cost airlines, such as Ryanair and Easyjet. Check their websites for details.
Anything else? If you should have any further questions or would like to find out more about your arrival in the UK and life at Brunel University, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing email@example.com. 24
A to Z of Services on Ca mpu s Hi, I’m Ane Ogbe from Nigeria and I am doing my PhD in Biological Sciences Research. Studying at Brunel University is one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had. The multicultural nature of the student community makes university life even more interesting. The fact that it is one central campus means that I get to interact with students studying a wide range of courses which I must say is very enlightening. Student life and living on campus is very active and eventful with social events almost every other week. The campus has also got a number of places where students can relax after a hard day of studying like Bar Zest, Loco’s, the Academy, Café Rococo or the gym.
Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) The ARC is part of the Brunel Student Union and thus independent from Brunel University. The ARC team gives FREE advice to all Brunel students regarding many different issues such as money and debt, housing, and academic issues.
Academic Skills (ASK) Based in the library, ASK support you in developing essential skills for university study. Courses range from how to make the most of lectures, time management and effective communication to how to think critically, academic writing and using
maths, numeracy and statistics. They offer lots of study skills resources and many different workshops as well as drop-in advice sessions.
Brunel International Travel Club Brunel International runs a Travel Club for all Brunel University students. We go to interesting places such as Cambridge, Stonehenge and Bath. Tickets usually include travel and admission to one major attraction and are very reasonably priced. Day trips are advertised in the International Student Newsletter and you can also be kept up-to-date by joining the ‘Brunel International Travel Club’ group on facebook. 25
Hi my name is Xiaolei Guo, I’m from China studying Master of Business Administration. The MBA program is a very challenging and busy programme. Effective time management is my secret weapon to keep the balance between university and family life. I believe that studying abroad is a wonderful experience and sharing this with my wife and daughter makes it a real family adventure. The Brunel Family Club organises regular events including kids’ parties, Easter egg hunts and summer picnics. It was great to meet other students with families and my daughter got to see that my “workplace” can also be fun.
Brunel Volunteers Brunel Volunteers gives students and staff the opportunity to give up some of their free time to do voluntary work in the local area. They have an office on campus and also advertise vacancies on their website www.brunelvolunteers.com. It’s an excellent way to meet new people, give back to society and improve your CV at the same time.
Chaplaincy The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy on campus is a place for students to unwind and explore their faith and spirituality. A variety of religious services and social activities take place on a regular basis. The Meeting House strives to be a ‘home from home’ for you, somewhere where you can meet, make a hot drink, chat to one of the chaplains (Christian, Muslim and Hindu) or play the piano! The Chaplaincy has information about and contacts with local Christian churches of different denominations, as well as places of worship for other faith communities.
Counselling All students who come to university face enormous changes. For international 26
students, the adjustment to university life can be even greater as there is also a new culture to absorb. Professionally qualified counsellors offer both individual and group counselling services as well as workshops. The Brunel Counselling Service is entirely confidential.
Disability and Dyslexia Service The Disability and Dyslexia Service provides confidential advice to disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties and mental health needs. The team is dedicated to offering information and assessments and also liaises with academic and service departments about the needs of individuals. They can assist with applications for Disabled Students Allowances and organize additional support for disabled students.
Families at Brunel If you are planning to come to the UK with your family, there are a few things you have to consider, such as immigration, childcare or local schools as well as the welfare of your family while in the UK. Immigration In general, you can apply for a dependants’
visa for your partner and children. However, for some short term courses this may not be possible. For further details and guidance through the application process, please check the Home Office Website for the latest information: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent /applicationforms/pbs/dependants Schools Under British law all children between five and 16 years of age have to attend school. Once you have moved to the UK and have a new home address, you can go to the local council to obtain a list of all schools near your home. You will then be able to contact each school and choose the right one for you and your family. For more information on schools in the Hillingdon area please see the Hillingdon council website: www.hillingdon.gov.uk
the Brunel Family Club, which offers support and social events throughout the year. This includes information sessions on finding local nurseries and schools as well as events for children. It is also a good opportunity for parents to network, share experiences and to show your family the campus. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate School The Graduate School supports all Brunel Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers through the provision of a comprehensive skills development programme, workshops and networking events, research prizes and 24/7 study and social facilities. They also run Coffee Mornings which are great for networking and provide special facilities such as a Common Room that only postgraduate students have access to.
Family accommodation Apart from the regular student accommodation, the University also offers accommodation for couples. For further information please have a look at the links below: www.brunel.ac.uk/services/ accommodation The University does not offer housing for students with children. Students with family will need to find their own off-campus accommodation. There is plenty of private rented accommodation available close to the University. If you would like further information about off-campus accommodation, please contact our University Housing Office by email (email@example.com) or telephone (+44 1895 266187). They will be able to assist you in securing local off-campus accommodation. Brunel Family Club If you are coming to Brunel with your partner or family, then make sure to join 27
International Pathways and Language Centre (IPLC) IPLC is located in the Russell Building and offers some very useful courses to Brunel students: In-Sessional English Courses Once you have started your degree programme, to help you improve your academic English as you study at Brunel, we provide free In-sessional English support. You have the opportunity to attend a variety of classes in presentation skills, writing, reading and listening, and English pronunciation and grammar, all of which should help make your studies at Brunel even more successful. You can also book one-to-one academic consultations with a tutor to discuss your writing and to give you support when trying to structure your academic work. For further information on In-sessional English support, please go to: www.brunel.ac.uk/international/ englishcourses/currentstudents
Modern Foreign Languages Brunel International Pathways and Language Centre (IPLC) offers a range of free Modern Foreign Language courses at a variety of levels. The classes develop key linguistic skills and are all taught by qualified, native speakers who promote a fun and stimulating learning environment. Foreign language skills can enhance your work, study and travel experiences, improve your career prospects and develop cultural awareness. You will make new friends as you meet students from different countries with different native languages. We currently have courses in Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish. For further information on IPLC language courses, please go to: www.brunel.ac.uk/international/ foreignlanguages
Hi, Iâ€™m Xiaocan Wang from China studying MA Design and Branding Strategy. The in-sessional English courses helped me gain confidence in my academic work and with all the assignments and the dissertation it was great to get some extra help. The lecturers are friendly and very knowledgeable and you can ask them any questions. In the class, you also meet students from other subject areas which is always a bonus. Make sure you get the timetable for the term in late September so that you donâ€™t miss out.
Hi, I’m Andrew Chin Chuan Chong from Malaysia studying MA Design and Branding Strategy. I love to stay up late in the library, the total study environment is awesome and I really got into ‘combat mode’ while studying there. In addition, the Graduate School and Library provide an exclusive environment for postgraduate students, which really defined the quality of the post graduate study environment. A coffee from Rococo’s keeps me going.
Library The university library is an academic library containing a large stock of books and journals for your studies. It also has some videos, DVDs and CDs, many of which can be borrowed. Help is available when using the library – please feel free to ask at the Enquiry Desk. Weekdays during term time the library is open 24 hours.
Placement and Careers Centre
• Student enrolment & registration
The Placement & Careers Centre supports all Brunel students. If you visit early in your programme of study, they can advise on what employers expect from graduates and provide ideas for developing your experience and professional skills. Their services also include special events for International students, consultations with a careers advisor for your subject, regular workshops, help with CV writing and presentations by employers.
• Student records and general administration enquiries
• Transport for London discounts
The Student Centre provides a range of administrative support services and deals with enquiries and offers guidance throughout your time at Brunel. The team are able to help with a wide variety of issues and associated administration including:
• Student access ID cards
• Fees, finance and payment information • Student Loan Funding enquiries and information • Access to Learning Fund and Emergency Loan enquiries • Student letters (including Council tax, bank or student status letters) • Visa ‘extension’ applications
• Student eVision & VLE enquiries For more information about the services available to students, please have a look at: www.brunel.ac.uk/life
We hope this booklet has helped you prepare for your arrival at Brunel University and answered most of the questions you might have had. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us should you have any further queries (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Free Term Planner To make sure you are up-to-date with Brunel Internationalâ€™s year-round services such as day trips, social events, free English courses and immigration advice we have created a Term Planner for you. Come to Brunel International in the Russell Building during Freshersâ€™ Week to collect your free copy. The first 20 students to collect their term planner will also receive a small surprise! We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Brunel University soon. Have a safe journey here! The Team at Brunel International
Brunel International Russell Building Kingston Lane, Uxbridge Middlesex UB8 3PH Phone: +44 (0) 1895 265519 Fax: +44 (0) 1895 269700 Email: email@example.com