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International Pre-arrival Guide April 2013



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Welcome to the University Pre-departure checklist Your visa Money and living costs Travel insurance Accommodation Travelling to the UK Travelling to Luton Travelling to Bedford Orientation and registration Airport pick-up Luton campus Orientation and registration schedule April 2013

20 Luton campus map

If your question is about‌


Telephone or email

Admissions or visas

The specialist admissions team for your area

Direct debits or advance payments


+44 (0)1582 743807/51/52

Accommodation at the Luton campus

Accommodation Office

+44 (0)1582 743921

Accommodation at the Bedford campus

Accommodation Office

+44 (0)1234 793118

Student support

International Student Support team

+44 (0)1582 743498

Welcome to the University of Bedfordshire


May I take this opportunity to offer you a warm welcome to the University of Bedfordshire. We are one of the most modern universities in the United Kingdom and we have an enviable reputation for attracting students from all over the world to come and live and study with us. With more than 4,000 overseas students from more than 100 different countries, we are proud to be a truly diverse international institution. We understand that it is not always easy to find your way around in a new environment, and living and studying away from home in a foreign culture can be as challenging as it is rewarding. There’s no need to worry though, as we have all the support and advice you will need to ensure you settle in quickly and really enjoy your time in Bedfordshire. We are also keen for you to feel comfortable, as well as stimulated, in your new surroundings, and this information booklet has been designed to help you prepare for arrival in the UK and make the most of your university life. Welcome to Bedfordshire – I am confident that you will have an enjoyable time here.

Professor Ashraf Jawaid Deputy Vice Chancellor – OBE

Before you leave home don’t forget…


Print out and keep our handy pre-departure checklist ✔

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Make sure you read this guide, as well any communication you may receive from your faculty, very carefully and contact us if you have any questions If you have applied for University accommodation, make sure you have had your place confirmed and remember to bring your contract with you* Check that you have a valid, in-date passport Apply for your student visa for the period of your stay in the UK Take a photocopy of your passport (the personal details page and the visa page)* Book flights, ensure you have received your travel tickets in plenty of time and make sure your family and friends know the flight details so that they can check you have arrived safely Carry a copy of your CAS letter and all five pages of your unconditional offer letter when you travel* Make a list of the contents of your luggage (in case you need to make an insurance claim)* Weigh your baggage to avoid any excess baggage costs Check whether you need a tuberculosis certificate (see page 5, step 4) and carry any vaccination certificates with you* Ensure you have originals and copies of your birth certificate, your marriage certificate (and an authorised translation if it is not in English)* Bring proof of your home address and documents to show you have sufficient funds to support you throughout your study* Carry your travel insurance documents with you* Make sure you have at least one month’s supply of any medication you are taking and a letter (in English) from your doctor explaining what they are Bring a short medical history, if possible, as this will help when you register with a doctor in the UK Bring your credit card, if you have one, as this will help with credit checks in the UK Ensure you have your money in the form of traveller’s cheques and that you have enough for your first few days and weeks here* Bring your driving licence if you plan to drive during your stay in the UK

* It is best to carry these items in your hand luggage

Your visa


Your visa

Guide to obtaining entry clearance

As an international student you will need to obtain permission from the British Embassy or High Commission in your country before you travel to the UK. This process is known as obtaining ‘entry clearance’. We advise you to apply to the British Embassy/High Commission three months prior to the start of your studies. Please note that you must not apply for your visa nor use your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number more than three months in advance of your studies. Your visa will be granted for up to one month before your studies begin.

Step 1 Complete the application form VAF9 – PBS Migrant and PBS Appendix 8 (General) Student

If you have any questions about the kind of visa you need and how to apply for it, please contact your local embassy or the University of Bedfordshire’s agent in your country. For more information, check out the UK Border Agency website: adult-students/apply-outside-uk/

The points-based system You will need to obtain 40 points to qualify for a student visa. • 30 points = providing a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number to the UKBA which contains details of your studies with us. We will provide you with a CAS letter, sent by email, containing this number

Download it from: /visas/vaf9.pdf /visas/vaf9-app81.pdf

Step 2 Make sure you have the CAS number for your course, which you should have received with your CAS letter (sent by email). If you have a conditional offer letter, you will need to meet the conditions before we can send you a CAS letter, and so you will have to wait to apply for entry clearance.

Step 3 Provide financial statements to show you have enough money to cover tuition fees and living costs. The statement will need to be for a period of 28 days, and show that the amount needed has been in the account for all of those 28 days. The statement cannot be more than one month old. Please see page 6 for more information about the minimum amount of money you will need for tuition fees and living costs.

• 10 points = providing evidence of your finances that show you can cover maintenance costs

Step 4 You may need to provide a Health Certificate with your application; check the UK visas website to see if your country is on the screening list:

Visa tips!

Step 5 You will also need to submit any other documents you used as evidence to get the CAS letter from the University of Bedfordshire.

• Check the conditions and length of your visa to make sure they are correct • Check that your visa does not say ‘work prohibited’ • If you think there is a mistake on your visa stamp, contact the British Embassy in your country

Step 6 If you are coming to study a Master’s by Research degree, you may need to provide an ATAS clearance certificate (if this is required it will be stated on your CAS letter).

• If your visa application is refused, you can apply for an Administrative Review within 28 days of the refusal notice and your application will be looked at by another Entry Clearance Officer

Step 7 Submit all of the above to the British Embassy/High Commission. Make sure you include your passport, a recent passport sized photograph and the fee of £255.


Money and living costs

Paying your tuition fees Before you travel to the UK it is vital to ensure that you have enough money to cover living expenses and fees. You should not expect that a part-time job will cover these costs. Your unconditional offer letter will outline the total amount you need to pay in tuition fees, and all students are required to pay a minimum of 65% of their tuition fees before or at registration. It may be useful to know that if you pay the total amount before or at registration, you may be eligible to receive a substantial fee discount scholarship of between £600 and £1,500. To find out more about how to pay your fees, visit our website: You can pay your fees in cash (in person only), and by bankers draft, debit card, credit card (excluding American Express and Diners Club) or bank transfer. If your fees are to be paid using a parent or guardian’s credit or debit card, you will need the cardholder to sign an authorisation form. Bank transfers should be sent directly to the University’s bank account: Bank Name



63 George Street, LUTON Bedfordshire, LU1 2AP, UK

Sort Code


Account Name

University of Bedfordshire

Account Number


IBAN Number


Swift Code


For more information or advice, please contact the University’s Finance Office: Tel: +44 (0)1582 743807/51/52 Fax: +44 (0)1582 743330 Email:

How much money do I need for living costs? The currency in Britain is the pound sterling (£) and there are 100 pence (p) in £1. For visa purposes, you will be required to provide documentary evidence that you have sufficient funding for living costs as follows: • If your course is less than nine months in duration, you must show you have £800 for each month of your course • If you are studying on a course that is nine months or longer, you will need to show evidence that you have funds in your personal bank account to pay your tuition fees. You will also need to show that you have living costs of at least £800 per month for nine months or more, ie a minimum of £7,200. There is further information about the cost of living in the UK at the British council and educationuk websites: These figures include accommodation, books, clothing, travel, food and bills, but do not include tuition fees. Luton and Bedford are both relatively low cost towns in comparison to London, despite their close proximity to the capital. There’s no limit on the amount of money you can bring in to the UK from a non-EU country. However, by European Union law, if you are carrying 10,000 Euros or more (or the equivalent in any other currencies) you will be required to declare the cash to the Customs Officer. It is also wise to check if there are any regulations placed upon the amount of money you can take out of your home country.

Useful links Accommodation: Fees: Living costs: Currency converter:

The first few days...

If you are staying in University accommodation, you should apply for a place and pay your rent well in advance of your arrival in the UK. Check out for more information about your options. If you are not planning on staying in University accommodation, you should bring at least £850 with you to cover your needs in the first couple of days as you secure private accommodation. It is not advisable to carry large amounts of cash. Please consider using traveller’s cheques or pre-paid cards instead.

Money tips! • Check with your bank at home whether your current credit or debit card will allow you to withdraw money from UK cash machines (ATMs) • Calling your home country on a mobile phone can be very expensive, so buy an international phone card from a newsagents instead


Travel insurance Before you travel to the UK it is a good idea to take out travel insurance which covers your journey and belongings. You can either do this through your travel agent or an insurance company in your home country. This will give you the peace of mind that, if you have any problems during your journey such as lost or damaged luggage, you can make a claim for compensation and recover some of the costs. If your luggage does get lost or damaged on the journey, please note that it is vital that you report it at the airport before leaving to come to Bedfordshire. We would advise you not to bring expensive items, such as valuable jewellery, with you. However, if for some reason you do need to bring items of high value, it is important that you take out extra insurance to cover the cost. After you arrive in the UK, please feel free to come and speak to one of our dedicated International Student Advisers, who will be able to help you with taking out personal possessions insurance in the UK.

• Use your free University email account to stay in touch with family and friends rather than running up a big phone bill • Take time to look around any potential accommodation and do not sign a contract without having it checked by the Students’ Union Advice Centre, Accommodation Office or Citizens Advice centre beforehand • Consider renting a room from a local family – contact the International Support team for more information on homestay accommodation (see page 8 for more details) • Ensure you choose accommodation close to where the majority of your classes will be held – for example, if your course is taught at Bedford, it will be much more expensive to live in Luton and travel • Buy second-hand text books from other students rather than brand new ones • Cycle or walk to the University – it's free and will help you keep fit, too!



Your first few days and weeks in the UK will be much easier and more enjoyable if you have arranged your accommodation well in advance of your arrival at the University of Bedfordshire.

Student Village, University of Bedfordshire A new £40m state-of-the-art accommodation complex opened in September 2011 in Luton. Fitzroy Court has 579 rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. Both studio apartments and multi-bed flats are available. There will be numerous common areas on the ground floor all with WiFi internet access. 2013 will see stage 2 of the project reach completion, with 279 additional rooms opening at Manor Road. All of this accommodation is within walking distance of the University.

University of Bedfordshire Halls of Residence Living in University Halls can be a great way to truly experience British culture and make lifelong friends from all walks of life. At the Student Village at the Luton campus, there are a number of Halls to choose from, including the new Fitzroy Court and at the smaller Bedford campus you can pick between the new £20m Liberty Living en-suite complex and the more traditional University Halls. If you wish to stay in University accommodation, you must apply well in advance of your arrival in the UK via our websites. We regret that we are unable to place students who have not applied in advance. To find out more and view details of all the available University accommodation, visit:

Luton host families Choosing to stay with a host family will give you a great introduction to life in the UK. There are several good reasons to consider living with a host family. You will be able to perfect your English language skills as you will largely communicate with your family in English. A host family may well help you deal with feelings of homesickness or culture shock, and they will also give you an excellent insight into British customs and traditions. For a list of families or more information about this scheme, please email: or call: +44 (0)1582 743498.

Private rented accommodation This option offers more flexibility than the previous two, but if you choose to rent in the private sector you will have to wait until you arrive in the UK and then find a place to stay. This means that you will need to be prepared to stay in a hotel or a bed and breakfast (B&B), possibly for a week, until you find a permanent place. Please be aware that this could be expensive and unfortunately the University is unable to provide emergency accommodation, as all of our rooms are usually fully booked by the start of term.

Useful links To apply: Bedford campus accommodation – Luton campus acccommodation – For more information on University accommodation email: Bedford campus – Luton campus – Host families –


Picture below: Luton campus accommodation – Fitzroy Court


Travelling to the UK

The journey from your home country

Passport control and going through Customs

Setting off on the journey to your new life in the UK is an exciting, but daunting, step. This guide is designed to help make that journey pass as smoothly as possible!

When you arrive in the UK it is very important that you have all the necessary documents to hand, so that you can pass through passport control without any problems.

You should reserve a flight to a London airport. The main London airports are London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport.

Please keep the following documents in your hand luggage as you will need to show all or some of them at Immigration:

It will make things much more enjoyable (and affordable) for you if you book your flights well in advance. Please ensure that you are at the airport in plenty of time (usually at least two or three hours before take-off) and that you know when your flight is due to land in London. It is best, where possible, to try and arrive between 9.00am and 5.00pm, as this will ensure you have an easier journey up to Bedfordshire. It is compulsory to arrive in time for the start of Orientation Week, which is specially designed to help you settle in to life at the University. Orientation Week will start on Monday 5 April 2013 for all courses.

What to pack! As you may know, the weather in the UK can be quite variable and often changes quickly! Temperatures range from 30 degrees centigrade in the summer months to -5 degrees centigrade in the winter. It would be best to bring different types of clothes in preparation for all weather types and an umbrella is definitely a good idea! You can buy bulky winter clothing locally at reasonable prices, so there is no need to worry about exceeding the luggage allowance with heavy coats and jumpers! You might also like to bring your national dress, as we invite all our new international students to wear this on occasions such as the Welcome Party early on in the term. If you regularly take any medication, please bring at least one month’s supply with you.

• Passport and a current valid visa • Your unconditional offer letter/Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from the University of Bedfordshire • A bank statement or similar document (your own or from your sponsor) that demonstrates you are able to cover tuition fees and living expenses • Your TB health certificate and any chest x-rays if these have been required for your visa The Immigration Officer should be convinced that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies, so make sure you have a clear idea of your career plans after you leave the UK. Don’t worry if the Immigration Officer asks you questions about your reasons for coming to the UK or the length of your course. Just answer clearly and don’t be nervous. It is best to try and arrive during UK office hours (Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm) so that if the Immigration Officer wants confirmation of your student status, he or she can contact us easily.

Going through Customs in the UK After passport control, you should collect your luggage, and then proceed through Customs. If you are not carrying more than the permitted allowance of tax-free goods, you can pass through the green channel. If you have goods that must be declared to Customs, take the red channel. You may be asked to undergo tuberculosis (TB) screening at the airport, which is standard policy. Don’t worry, just co-operate fully with the staff. You may have already taken a test in your home country and have the certificate with you. If this is the case, just show this to the Officer.


Travelling to Luton Please make sure you have checked whether your course is based in Luton or based in Bedford, as the campuses are around 20 miles apart and students usually live at the campus their course is taught at, as it saves money and time spent on travelling.

Travelling to Bedford From London Heathrow Airport to Bedford

You can confirm where your course is taught by looking it up on our website, and checking the ‘Location’ line.

• By train – an underground service is available from Terminals 1– 3 (Terminals 4 and 5 have their own separate underground station). Take a train on the Picadilly Line to St Pancras International. From there take a First Capital Connect train to Bedford

From London Heathrow Airport to Luton

From London Gatwick Airport to Bedford

• By coach – the National Express coach is the most convenient way of travelling from Heathrow to Luton. It departs from the central bus station between Terminals 1, 2 and 3. You should ask for a one-way, adult ticket to Luton, which should cost around £20 • By train – an underground service is available from Terminals 1 – 3 (Terminals 4 and 5 have their own separate underground station). Take a train on the Picadilly Line to St Pancras International. From there take a First Capital Connect train to Luton, which will cost around £30

• By train – take the First Capital Connect train service direct to Bedford

Useful links National Express coaches: National Express coaches disabled persons helpline: +44 (0)871 7818179 National Rail enquiries:

From London Gatwick Airport to Luton • By train – take the First Capital Connect train directly to Luton, which will cost up to £30


Orientation and registration

IT IS COMPULSORY FOR YOU TO ATTEND ORIENTATION WEEK AS IT IS PART OF YOUR REQUIREMENT TO COMPLY WITH UKBA REGULATIONS. NOTE: ALL STUDENTS MUST ALSO ATTEND THEIR ACADEMIC INDUCTIONS. The UKBA have granted you a visa on the condition you and the University, as your sponsor meet certain expectations throughout your studies. These expectations will be explained to you during Orientation week. The Orientation week is designed to welcome and introduce new international students to the University and the Bedfordshire area. It will help you settle in to life at the University and introduce you gently to life in the UK. There will be social events where you will be able to meet University staff and students. It is essential for all new international students to attend International Orientation week, as they will need to register with the University doctor, and register with the police (if required). It is also the best time to open bank accounts. Representatives from the International Office, the faculties, the Students’ Union and a number of the national banks will be on hand to provide assistance and advice.

Your work will include reading, writing, listening and discussion tasks and you will receive regular feedback from your tutors. You will receive a certificate on successful completion of the programme, which makes a fantastic addition to your portfolio for future job interviews and visa applications. You must register your place on your communication skills classes either by emailing: or by visiting the Language Centre, third floor, J block, Vicarage Street building (accessible through the Campus Centre).

Registration Registration commences on Monday 4 January for all courses. The offer letter or the CAS you have received will confirm this. Please ensure that, when you come to the University to register, you remember to bring: a) your original academic qualification certificates, and b) your current passport and valid visa It is also necessary for you to have paid 65% of the first year’s tuition fees in order to be eligible to register with the University.

Communication skills


Comprehensive communication... Communication skills classes are part of the essential curriculum for international students. The University has created a core programme of English language communication skills, which all international students must attend. For further information, contact the Language Centre at: or call: +44 (0)1582 489032. The programme will be tailored to your needs and your communication skills tutors will work with your course tutors to set you English language communication activities that are relevant to your degree subject. You will attend communication skills classes for two, four, or six hours per week depending on your individual requirements. You will also be expected to undertake some independent study outside of classes. Our comprehensive approach means you have an excellent foundation on which to build for success in your studies. Classes are organised in subject specific groups so you will be studying with students from similar courses so the sessions will support your learning in a number of key areas: • Language and grammar • Vocabulary development • Study skills • Assignment preparation • Presentation skills We also provide teaching on intercultural communication to give you the flexibility to adapt your communication and presentations skills for living and working in different cultures. Better communication skills will mean your learning will improve, you will have a better experience and your prospects will be stronger because good communication skills make you more employable.

Luton campus International student orientation and registration April 2013




Luton campus – International student orientation and registration April 2013

• •

This schedule shows the compulsory international student orientation and academic study skills lectures from 22 to 26 April 2013. All international students must complete an ATTENDANCE CARD and get it stamped at the end of each compulsory Orientation and Academic Study Skills classes.

Classes and Teaching start on Monday 29th April 2013.

9.00am – 10.00am

10.00am – 11.00am

11.00am – 12.00pm

12.00pm – 1.00pm

1.00pm – 2.00pm

2.00pm – 3.00pm


3.00pm – 4.00pm

4.00pm – 5.00pm

5.00pm onwards

UNIVERSITY REGISTRATION – SiD desk, Level 1, Campus Centre – Please register on your course at the allocated time for your course as shown below Please bring the following with you: 1. Your Passport 2. Your Offer Letter 3. Your Payment 4. Original Qualifications

Academic Inductions – It is very important for all students to attend their Academic Induction as well as Orientation Monday 22 April

Tuesday 23 April

Welcome to the University and International Student Support Lecture Theatre G101

Tour of the University Meet at Park Square reception, 10.00am

Academic Study Skills Compulsory Lecture 1: Studying in the UK Lecture Theatre G101

9.00am – 11.00am Doctors Registration Level 1, Campus Centre This is for students who live in Luton only. You must register with the University first. Please bring the following with you: 1. Records of vaccinations/ meningitis vaccinations 2. Details of current medication /any allergies.

Registration for: International Business and Management SiD Level 1 – 9.00am

Registration for: Business and Management SiD Level 1 – 11.00am

Registration for: MBA Students SiD Level 1 12-noon

Registration for: Computer Networking students SiD Level 1 1.00pm

Registration for: Finance and Business Management Students SiD Level 1 2:30pm

Tour of Luton town Meet at Park Square reception, 12.00pm

Welcome Lunch at Jimmy’s World Kitchen for all new International Students Free for all April 2013 arriving students Meet Park Square Reception Tickets from International Office

Academic Study Skills Compulsory Lecture 2: Reading and Note Taking Room C201

6.00pm – 9.00pm Welcome to the Student Union World Music, Games Student Union Lounge, Mezzanine level, Campus Centre

Registration for: Marketing and Business Management SiD Level 1 – 1.00pm


Luton campus – International student orientation and registration April 2013 9.00am – 10.00am

10.00am – 11.00am

11.00am – 12.00pm

12.00pm – 1.00pm

1.00pm – 2.00pm

2.00pm – 3.00pm

University Library and Computing Facilities Lecture Theatre G101

Academic Study Skills Lecture 3: Referencing and Avoiding Plaigiarism Lecture Theatre G101

Registration for: MBA (Brand Management) SiD Level 1 – 12.00pm

Registration for: Engineering Management SiD Level 1 – 1.00pm

Registration for: Human Resource Management SiD Level 1 – 2.00pm

Safety and Security keeping Safe Tips Lecture Theatre G101

Registration for: MBA Business Administration SiD Level 1 – 1.00pm

Wednesday 24 April

Registration for: MBA (Finance) (15 month) SiD Level 1 – 9.00am Thursday 25 April

Academic Study Skills Lecture 4: Writing Good Assignments Lecture Theatre G101

Registration for: MBA (Marketing) (15 month) SiD Level 1 – 10.00am Finding Employment and Internship Scheme Lecture Theatre G101


3.00pm – 4.00pm

4.00pm – 5.00pm

5.00pm onwards

Tips with Finding Accommodation Lecture Theatre G101

Academic Induction:

Academic Induction:

Finance and Business Management MSc

MBA (Finance) – 15 month

Business Management MSc

MBA (Brand Management) – 15 month

Marketing and Business Management MSc

Registration for: Academic Induction Computer Networking Room C110

Human Resource Management Engineering Management Room JM03 1.00pm-5.00pm

Friday 26 April

Saturday 27 April

Welcome to the University and International Student Support (Repeat) Lecture Theatre G101

Academic Induction: International Business and Management Surnames N-Z Room P305

Academic Study Skills Lecture 5: Presentation Skills Lecture Theatre G101

International Student Tour – London Eye and Cruise on the River Thames See London from the top of the London Eye ferris wheel, then cruise along the River Thames to Tower Bridge, seeing the sights of London along the way. £27 Tickets from International Office. Ticket price includes all transport from Luton to and from London, entrance to London Eye and Thames River cruise.

NOTES: Room Locations: Room C204 is on the 2nd floor of the main Park Square building. Room G101 is the lecture theatre in the Campus Centre. Doctor’s Registration: This is for students who live in Luton only. You must register with the University first. Please bring the following with you. 1. Records of vaccinations/ meningitis vaccinations 2. Details of any current medication /any allergies.

Tickets for all Social events will be available from the International Office the Library (Learning Resource Centre) in the Park Square building. For more information about our calendar of social events for the whole academic year, in addition to visa and immigration information and studying at the University of Bedfordshire and living in the UK, please see the international support webpage at:

Police registration: If you need to register with the Police it will be stated in your visa for the UK


Luton campus map


Campus Centre Recruitment Services, Careers, Restaurant, SID and Students’ Union



Park Square A and B Block



Park Square C, D and E Blocks Main Reception Fairview House Admissions (UK) Finance

Business School H and J Block

Centre d CPD PG an Centre d CPD PG an

Tree House Fitzroy Court Accommodation complex

Postgraduate and Continuing Development Centre (now open)

Learning Resources Centre (LRC) and Interntional Office

International Student Support Office – Luton F100, First floor Learning Resources Centre University of Bedfordshire Park Square Luton Bedfordshire LU1 3JU Email: Tel: +44 (0)1582 743498 Fax: +44 (0)1582 743469 International Student Support Office – Bedford Student Information Desk Polhill Avenue Bedford MK41 9EA Email: Tel: +44 (0)1234 793131

Tom Rouvray Senior International Student Advisor Tel: +44 (0)1582 743498 Nurun Khatun International Student Advisor Tel: +44 (0)1582 743421 Syeda Sultana International Student Advisor Tel: +44 (0)1582 489129 Sumana Vejjajiva International Student Advisor (Bedford campus) Tel: +44 (0)1234 793131

Pre-arrival information for international students  

Information for international students starting at the University of Bedfordshire in April 2013

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