Page 1



International Student Pre-Departure Guide July 2011

Congratulations on being offered a place on a course at UWIC! We are sure you are very excited about coming to the UK and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff is very much looking forward to welcoming you! In this guide you will find lots of useful information which has been designed to help international students (from outside the EU) who are preparing to come to the UK to study.

them to us and we will be pleased to pass your enquiry to the course director. This pre-departure information will assist you with your preparations before you reach Cardiff. Then, when you arrive at UWIC, you will be given a special International Student Induction which will help you to settle in, adjust culturally and will help you make lots of new friends very quickly.

This guide contains some very important sections that you should pay attention to, particularly immigration procedures and money matters. These will help you with your arrangements before you start your studies. The International Office is very pleased to support and help you before you arrive at UWIC, so if you have any questions about any aspect of studying in the UK, you are most welcome to contact us and we will be very pleased to help you.

During your first week you will also receive a course specific induction programme from your course director and academic staff. So, for now, all you need to do is read this guide carefully and follow the booking instructions and return them to the International Office.

Your course information will be given to you during your induction week when you will find out about your timetable, course outline, book list etc. If you have any questions in the meantime, please send

We are very much looking forward to meeting you soon and we wish you the best of luck with your arrangements for coming to Cardiff!

Kind regards from the International Office: tel: +44

29 2041 6045 29 2041 6928 e-mail: fax: +44

Contents 2 Immigration 6 Travelling to the UK 7 UWIC's Free Airport Welcome Service July 2011 12 Check List - What to bring with you 13 International Student Induction Programme July 2011 16 Money Matters 18 Accommodation 27 Council Tax 27 Health 28 Religion 29 Part-time Work 29 Weather and Climate 32 The International Office 35 Contact Details 36 Term Dates and Holidays




Below you will find an outline of your immigration obligations once you reach the UK. • You must arrive in the UK and enrol on your nominated course before the prescribed enrolment deadline stated on your offer letter. If you do not enrol on your course before the deadline, your details will be forwarded to the UK Immigration Authorities. • Once you have enrolled on your course, UWIC will be required to keep a copy of your passport, visa and biometric identity card. This information will be stored securely and will be retained by UWIC for 2 years after you have graduated. UWIC will need to produce this information to the UK Immigration Authorities if requested. • Your attendance on your course at UWIC will be monitored as we are legally required to advise the UK Immigration Authorities if you do not attend. When you arrive at UWIC, you will be advised on how we will be monitoring your attendance on your course to ensure that you comply with the immigration regulations. • You will be required to inform UWIC of your UK contact details (address and telephone number). It is an immigration regulation to also ensure that you provide UWIC with up to date contact details if you move addresses. Failure to provide this information could result in deportation. This information has been provided to advise you of some of the main requirements of the new UK immigration system; it is not an exhaustive list. The International Office will invite you to an immigration briefing session during your enrolment week at UWIC. This session will help you to understand and comply with the new immigration regulations. These sessions will be compulsory and will clearly outline your responsibilities to UWIC in line with the new regulations. For the latest developments on the UK’s new Points Based Migration System, please visit the UK Border Agency website:


Do I need to obtain 'entry clearance' before travelling to the UK?

If you are from a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), you will need to obtain entry clearance at a British High Commission, British Embassy or British Diplomatic Mission in the country you are living. For further information about applying for visas, you can access the following websites:

How is an application for entry clearance made? Visit the following website:\En\howtoapply\where to apply You should make an application for a Tier 4 student visa rather than a visitor’s visa or student visitor visa when you are coming to study in the UK because these visas would only allow you to enter the UK for up to 6 months and you would not be able to extend these types of visas or switch into a student visa once you have entered the UK, nor would you be permitted to take up part-time work. It is compulsory for some nationalities to carry a medical certificate or chest x-ray results in their hand luggage when passing through immigration in the UK, so please check before you travel by asking the British High Commission where you will be making your application. Please note that people who do not bring appropriate documentation may be refused entry into the UK. They will certainly be delayed in immigration for some time, often causing them to miss their onward travel connections. If you have applied to UWIC via an official agent or representative, you can also seek advice from them about these matters. We advise students to contact their local doctor for advice on vaccinations against MMR and Meningitis C before coming to study in the UK.


Travelling to the UK

What is UWIC’s Airport Welcome Service?

Which UK airport should I fly into?

FREE Airport Welcome Service for Students arriving In July 2011 from Cardiff Airport We can arrange a free Airport Welcome Service for students arriving at Cardiff International Airport during arrival week 27th June - 1st July 2011 providing that a booking form is sent to the International Office in advance to make a reservation. For further information about Cardiff airport and flights you can access the following website: 7

Arriving at London Heathrow Airport in July 2011 We are also pleased to offer the free Airport Welcome Service to students who will be arriving at London Heathrow Airport. This airport is about 3 hours away from Cardiff by bus, so to make this journey as trouble-free as possible, UWIC representatives will await your arrival at the airport and show you to your transport. Unfortunately, flight delays are unavoidable and if this happens, you may be required to wait at the airport for a period of time until the next bus to your accommodation is available. We will be very pleased to send you more detailed instructions about the meeting point and relevant information closer to your arrival. There are 5 terminals in Heathrow Airport. You may be required to move from one terminal to another to meet our UWIC representatives. Please do not worry about this as it is easy to get from terminal to terminal by a free Heathrow Express Train Service. Just follow the signs or ask someone if you are unsure where to find the train. For further information on London airports and Heathrow Airport, visit the following websites: or airports/europe/LHR. Please note that the welcome service from Heathrow Airport is only available on the Friday before course enrolment Friday 1st July 2011.


How do I book my free Airport Welcome? There is a form which you can download from our website. Please go to the following link: Please print the form, complete it and return it to us by email or fax. Our contact details can be found on the bottom of the form. Please ensure that you return the form by the date outlined on the bottom of the form so that arrangements can be made for you. Please note that confirmation of your airport transfer will be sent to you by email about a week before you are due to arrive. Therefore, please print your email address clearly on the booking form. If you do not inform the International Office of your arrival details, there will be NO arrangements made for you. Please contact the International Office if you have any queries:

What if I can’t arrive on the selected date given for July 2011? If you are unable to arrive on the dates given on the Airport Welcome Booking Form there is a bus which travels directly to Cardiff Bus Station from Heathrow airport which is called National Express. If you would like more information on this service you can access the following website: where you will see timetables, ticket booking information and general information about luggage allowance. (Please note that National Express will only carry two medium suitcases at 23kg each and one piece of hand luggage per person). If you travel by National Express, you will need to get off the coach at Cardiff Central Bus Station in the city centre and take a taxi to your accommodation. A one-way National Express bus ticket will cost approximately £43.00. Taxi fare is calculated according to the distance travelled, however, an extra amount may be added for luggage. Therefore, it is advisable to keep £10-£15.00 aside for your journey within the Cardiff area.


What if I arrive at a different airport to Heathrow or Cardiff International Airport? You will be able to get a National Express Coach which travels directly to Cardiff bus station from any airport in the UK. Please visit for timetables, ticket booking information and general information.

Checklist of Documents to bring to the UK You may be asked to produce certain documents when you pass through immigration at the airport. The following is a checklist of useful items that we recommend you carry in your hand luggage: Valid passport with student visa or entry clearance Travel tickets Money - some cash in British Pounds (sterling) PLUS travellers cheques or a credit card for use on arrival until you can open a bank account X-ray report/medical certificate (ask the British Council in your home country if you require this) Vaccination certificates if required Any prescription drugs that you are taking as well as a letter from your doctor explaining what they are UWIC letter which states that you have accepted a place on a course Documents showing money to fund your studies in the UK (e.g. recent bank statements, proof of sponsorship) Originals (or certified true copies) of any degree certificates/qualifications English language test scores Detail of onward travel arrangements in UK Address where you will be staying Warm items of clothing to wear on arrival. 12

Howard Gardens Campus

Llandaff Campus

Other items that we recommend to bring with you and pack in your case are: • Photocopy of your passport and back up copies of all essential documents • A record of the serial numbers of your travellers cheques • A bilingual English dictionary if your first language is not English • References from previous employers/academic institutions for part-time work • International driving licence (if applicable).

Cardiff School of Management

Cyncoed Campus

International Student Induction Programme During your first few days at UWIC, you will receive a free International Student Induction Programme. This has been designed to provide you with the essential information that you will need before you start student life at UWIC and to help you settle in to your new lifestyle. For students joining us in July 2011, the induction programme led by the International Office staff will take place on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd July 2011. Below is a brief outline of what the induction period will involve, however, the final arrangements will be forwarded to you via e-mail nearer to these dates.


During your first weekend in Cardiff, you will receive an Induction Programme which will include: • A welcome and introduction by members of the International Office team • Information about studying in UWIC and its facilities • Enrolment instructions • Information about opening a bank account • Details of your social programme • Tour of Cardiff • An accommodation event to assist you in finding accommodation in the private sector • A question and answer session • A meal with your fellow students and International Office staff. The exact programme, venue and times, will be sent to you before you arrive in the UK when arrangements have been confirmed. We strongly recommend that you arrive in Cardiff in time to attend the International Student Induction Weekend. Students who have attended in the past have said that it was an excellent time to meet their new classmates, explore Cardiff, learn how to find accommodation in the private sector and get all of their questions answered before they started their studies.


Enrolment • Enrolment for students joining UWIC in July 2011 will be the week beginning Monday 4th July 2011. Instructions about when and where to go to enrol on your course will be given to you during the International Student Induction weekend. During enrolment week, you will receive your course induction.

What if I don't have enough money to pay for my academic fees? It is essential that you have enough funds to pay for your fees and your living expenses for the whole of your course at UWIC. The cost of living in Cardiff is not as expensive as living in many other large cities in Britain. UWIC advises the figure of £5,500 to £6,000 per year as an approximate guide to living costs. Please note: you will be unable to receive any money from UWIC or any other UK organisations once you arrive. It is important that you arrange your finances before you arrive to ensure that you are able to make payments on time. Late payments will incur an additional fee. As with other UK universities, UWIC has a regulation that all academic fees and accommodation fees must be paid in full whilst you are studying at UWIC. If you do not do this you will not be able to graduate from your course and gain a certificate for your academic achievements. This is a very important matter and you should be aware of this before coming to the UK to study. If you are looking for further funding we suggest you contact the British Council in your home country who will have details of any funding available.

How shall I bring my money to the UK? When considering how to bring your money to the UK, it is important that you take security into consideration. • It is not advisable to carry large amounts of cash • You should ensure that you bring enough cash to pay for any incidentals until you are able to open a bank account or are able to access your funds. An example of incidentals you may need to purchase are; food, taxi fares, bus fares, accommodation and a calling card to call home • Carry money in a secure form such as sterling travellers cheques.

In order to enrol you will need the following: • Before you enrol we will need to check your passport and Entry Clearance. We are only permitted to enrol students with valid entry clearance Please note: Your Tier 4 student visa must display UWIC’s sponsor licence number. We are not permitted to enrol students whose Tier 4 visa displays the sponsor licence number of another educational institution. Please ensure that you bring your passport and visa to enrolment. You will not be permitted to enrol until we have checked your passport and visa. • For sponsored students; a sponsorship letter to prove that an organisation has agreed to pay your fees. If you have paid your tuition fees in advance, you will need to bring with you confirmation of this payment • Your full tuition fees or 60% of the fee if you are opting to pay using the instalment method (60%/40% plus 5% administration charge) • Original academic certificates and copies • Copy of your UWIC offer and acceptance letter

During enrolment week you will: • Meet your tutors • Meet your classmates • Pay your fees • Enrol on your course • Receive your course timetable • Receive your UWIC identification card which will give you access to the library and computers. • Begin your studies


Money Matters

When can I pay my fees?

Outlined below is some important information about how to pay your academic fees as well as additional information which you may find useful.

2. Payment in full at enrolment - You can pay your fees in full at the time of enrolment.

Academic Fee Payments It is a university regulation that academic fees must be paid at or before your course enrolment. Course enrolment will be on a specific date depending on your course (you will be advised when to enrol during your induction weekend).

1. Payment in advance - You can pay your fees anytime before you enrol.

3. Payment in two instalments - You can pay 60% of your fees before arrival or at enrolment and then the second instalment of 40% plus an administration charge of 5% of the remaining 40% balance.

If you choose to pay your fees in two instalments, please note the following scales: • If you are starting your course in July 2011, you will need to pay 60% of your fees either before or at enrolment, the remaining 40% (plus a 5% administration charge) must be paid before the end of November 2011.


For example: If your academic fees are £10,000 per year: You pay 60% before or at enrolment = £10,000 x 60% = £6,000 Therefore, you have 40% (£4,000) left to pay, plus a 5% administration charge £4,000 x 5% = £200. Therefore, the total balance to be paid in November 2011 (if you start in July 2011) Total fee paid = £10,200

How can I pay my fees? 1. Make a money order payable to 'UWIC' and send it to: International Office, UWIC, PO Box 377, Western Avenue, Cardiff. CF5 2YB. Please ensure that your name, course and date of birth is clearly written on the back of your cheque/draft. 2. Do a bank transfer. Payment can be made directly to UWIC's bank account using the following details: National Westminster Bank, 26 Park Place, Cardiff CF1 3QH Account name: UWIC Exchequer Account Exchequer Account Sort code: 01 01 55 Account number: 01 04 38 38 IBAN: GB73NWBK01015501043838 Swift Number: NWBKGB2122T

How do I find out if UWIC has received the payment I made by bank transfer? If you wish to have confirmation that money has been received by bank transfer into UWIC's account, you will need to give the following information to the International Office via email to: Please note, confirmation cannot be given without this information: • Your name • Your date of birth • The exact amount of the transfer • The date the transfer was made in GBP • The name given as a reference

Important: • Use your name and date of birth as a reference for the bank transfer. • It is your responsibility to pay any bank charges deducted from the payment received into UWIC's bank account. In order to avoid underpayments you can arrange for the bank charges to be paid at the time of transfer from your own bank account.

3. Sterling travellers cheques 4. Visa, Access, MasterCard (for enrolment or for balance fees only). To help you manage your money effectively whilst you are in the UK, you may wish to use this international student calculator


Bank Accounts When you arrive in the UK you will probably want to open a bank account. This is a simple process. During the International Student Induction Day you will be advised how you can do this. Opening a bank account in the UK will enable you to have funds transferred from your home country directly to you, and will enable you to keep your money in a safe place whilst you are studying in the UK.

Important It may take up to three weeks to open a bank account in the UK, therefore you should ensure you have access to enough funds to pay for your living expenses before your bank account has been opened. We advise you to bring a small amount of cash with you for the initial few days in Cardiff, but recommend that you either bring most of your funds in the form of travellers cheques or ensure that you have access to a credit card.

The major banks in Cardiff who offer bank accounts to International Students: • National Westminster • HSBC • Barclays Bank • Lloyds TSB (If you have any of these banks in your home country, you may wish to contact them to enquire whether you could open a UK account before you leave home. This may save you time when you arrive in the UK).

Accommodation How to book and what to choose. The International Office is very pleased to help you arrange your accommodation in Cardiff. Before you make your choice of where to live, you are advised to consider carefully the type of accommodation you wish to live in when you come to Cardiff. There are two types of accommodation available for students: 1. UWIC Halls of Residence 2. Privately rented accommodation - Privately owned Halls of Residence - Privately rented houses/flats/rooms


UWIC Halls of Residence Unfortunately, UWIC Halls of Residence are not suitable accommodation for students living with children and family members. However, the International Office will offer help to find privately rented accommodation. There are two Halls of Residence at UWIC, they are both conveniently located to all campuses of study.

You will be allocated a room in Halls of Residence as follows: 1. Plas Gwyn Halls of Residence are allocated to: • Students studying Art & Design courses at Howard Gardens campus • Students studying at Llandaff campus (courses in Applied Sciences, Health and Social Science, Product Design and Engineering, Business Management, Hospitality and Tourism courses). 2. Cyncoed Halls of Residence are allocated to: Students studying in the following subjects: • Any student studying Education • Any student studying Sport • Students studying at ELTC.


What are UWIC Halls of Residence like? You will have a bedroom with its own private bathroom, which includes a toilet, sink and shower for personal use. The bedroom has a desk, chair, shelves, wardrobe and bed. All rooms in UWIC Halls of Residence also have internet access capability, the cost of which is included in the rent. Each self catered Halls of Residence has a flat of eight private bedrooms with a well equipped kitchen which you share with your flatmates. Each kitchen contains a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, cooker and sink. You will need to provide your own cooking utensils, plates, cups etc. These can be easily and inexpensively purchased from a supermarket when you arrive in Cardiff. You do not need to bring bedding with you, you can purchase this from your Halls of Residence (for approximately ÂŁ22) when you arrive. The package will include a pillow and duvet with covers and bed sheets. Alternatively, you can purchase these items from the supermarket when you arrive in Cardiff.


Students arriving in July 2011 In order to book a room in Halls of Residence it is absolutely essential that you pay a deposit of £500 and return your accommodation booking form before the closing date (24th June 2011).Without this we will not be able to book a room for you in Halls of Residence. Due to the limited availability of Halls of Residence rooms, please note that all rooms will be allocated on a ‘first come first served basis’. Therefore, if you do want a room in university Halls of Residence, we would advise you to send your booking form and deposit to us as early as possible to avoid disappointment. If you apply late, we cannot guarantee that you will be allocated Halls of Residence accommodation. You will need to download the UWIC Halls of Residence accommodation booking form from our website: You will need to complete the form and return it to us with your deposit of £500 before the booking deadline.

Accommodation Deposits • The accommodation deposit of £500 is non-refundable and non-transferable unless: 1) You have been declined a study visa, and; 2) Will not be attending UWIC, and;

• If we are unable to offer you a room in Halls of Residence, your deposit will of course be returned to you.

Contracts • We are pleased to offer our international students a unique opportunity to secure a short term contract at our UWIC Halls of Residence for an initial 9 weeks (1st July 2011 – 2nd September 2011). If you are happy with your accommodation once your 9 week contract comes to an end, you will have the opportunity of securing your room for a further 40 weeks (September 2011 – June 2012) without having to re-apply for your room. • When you arrive at the university Halls of Residence, you will be requested to sign a legally binding contract with the Accommodation Office which will guarantee you a room for the first 9 weeks. If you wish to then extend your contract for a further 40 weeks (September 2011 – June 2012) you will be required to sign a new accommodation contract in order to secure your room. • Please note that if you wish to extend your contract for another 40 weeks you will need to inform us by 12th August 2011 at the latest. You will be contacted during the first week of August to confirm whether you wish to extend your contract until June 2012. • Once you have agreed to live in Halls of Residence you are then committed to this accommodation for the entirety of your contract and will be required to pay rent for the full duration of your contract. • Please note that if you do not wish to extend your Halls of Residence contract after 2nd September 2011 and you would like to find accommodation in the private sector, the International Office can assist you in finding a suitable place to live.

3) You notify us of this fact, and; 4) You send us a copy of your official visa rejection letter as soon as possible and no later than 1st July 2011. If you notify us of this after 1st July 2011 you will not qualify for a refund of your deposit.


• The deposit of £500 will not be deducted from the total cost of your accom modation for the year, but will be used as a bond and will be returned to you at the end of your accommodation contract providing your accommo dation is left clean, tidy, undamaged and all rent has been paid.

When do I pay for my accommodation in Halls of Residence? • Payment for your accommodation for the initial 9 weeks must be paid in full upon arrival: £783 (9 week contract) – Equates to £87 Per week. • Please note: Accommodation fees can be paid by credit card, demand draft or bank transfer. For security reasons, we are not able to accept cash.

When should I book my accommodation? You should book your accommodation as early as possible. If you require Halls of Residence accommodation you will need to send your accommodation booking form and deposit of £500 so that it is received by the International Office before the deadline 24th June 2011. Rooms in Halls of Residence are dependent on availability and are limited and will be allocated on a 'first come first served basis'. If we are unable to offer you a room in Halls of Residence, we will assist you in finding suitable privately rented accommodation close to your campus of study.

Payments for your deposit can be made as follows: There are three methods of payment1. Make a money order/demand draft payable to 'UWIC' and send it together with your accommodation booking form. Please note: photocopies of money orders/demand drafts will not be accepted as deposits. Only when the original money order/demand draft is received before the closing date will a room be booked in Halls of Residence. 2. By credit card. Please supply us with the following details: Type of card: Visa/MasterCard (we are unable to accept American Express), card number, expiry date, last 3 digits of the security number on reverse of the card (if applicable) and the name as it appears on the card. If you wish to

pay your deposit by credit card, please complete the credit card section on your accommodation booking form and return the form. If you are paying by credit card, please let your credit card company know that a payment will be made in the UK. 3. By bank transfer. Please complete the relevant section on your accommodation booking form once the bank transfer has been completed. You can find UWIC’s bank details on page 19 of this booklet. Please return your completed booking form and deposit to: International office, UWIC, PO Box 377, Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2SG. UK. email: When we have received your accommodation booking form and deposit of £500 you will be sent an email confirming that we have received your booking and we will give you more detailed information. Therefore, please ensure that you print your email address clearly and correctly on your booking form otherwise, we will not be able to send you the confirmation and extra details about the accommodation. It is very important that you book your accommodation before you arrive in Cardiff. Please ensure that your booking form and deposit are sent to at the International Office. Please do not send your booking form to the Accommodation Office directly.

When do I pay for my accommodaton in halls of residence? Payment details are stated on the accommodation booking form.


When can I move into UWIC Halls of Residence? Students arriving in July 2011: Rooms will be available from Friday 1st July 2011.

Private Accommodation This category of accommodation can be subdivided into the following: • Privately owned Halls of Residence • Privately rented room/flat/house in the private sector

Privately owned Halls of Residence There are a variety of privately owned Halls of Residence located within Cardiff. All are of a high standard and conveniently located close to or within the city centre.

Living in the private sector Living in the private sector means that you will rent a room in a house, or rent a flat/house from a landlord who owns the property. This type of accommodation is not owned or run by the university. The International Office has lists of rooms, flats and houses available to rent. This list will be made available to you on your arrival. The International Office is pleased to offer you support and advice if you want to live in the private sector. If you require private accommodation you should indicate this when completing your Accommodation Booking Form


The average cost of private accommodation, depending on the type of property, ranges from approximately £180-£500+ per month. The average student pays approximately £200 per month (excluding energy bills, these are usually paid separately). If you choose to live in privately rented accommodation you will be invited to an accommodation event which is hosted by the International Office during the induction weekend. At the event you will be able to talk to International Office staff who can advise you on finding private accommodation. There will be many new International Students at the event, so you will be able to make new friends and visit properties together if you wish. When you have found a property that you like, you will probably be required to sign a contract/tenancy agreement with the landlord of the property. This is usual practice in the UK. You will also be required to pay a 'bond' and your first month's rent in advance. You should therefore ensure that you have access to sufficient funds to do this when you arrive, as it may take up to 3 weeks to open a bank account and you may not be able to move into your new accommodation until you have paid these costs. Please note: A bond is usually equal to one month's rent and will be returned to you at the end of your tenancy or contract providing you leave the accommodation clean, tidy, undamaged and there are no outstanding bills to be paid.

Where can I live whilst looking for private accommodation? You will need to live in temporary accommodation whilst looking for accommodation that you can rent. Please indicate on your Accommodation Booking Form that you require temporary accommodation. The International Office will be pleased to book this accommodation for you. When your Accommodation Booking Form is received by the International Office, you will be sent an email confirming this. Due to many international sporting and cultural events that take place in Cardiff, hotel accommodation is in short supply at certain times of the year, therefore it is essential to advise us that you require temporary accommodation so that we can ensure you have somewhere to stay when you arrive in Cardiff. You can download a Temporary Accommodation Booking from our website:

The cost of this accommodation will be confirmed at a later date, but will be approximately £30 per person, per night for a shared room. Please note: We are only able to book temporary accommodation for you when we have received your confirmed arrival date, time and flight number. When we have received your confirmed arrival details we will book temporary accommodation for you and send you an email confirming the booking.

Important points to note: • Unfortunately UWIC is not able to arrange private rented accommodation for you prior to your arrival in Cardiff. However, we will be happy to book temporary accommodation for your arrival and assist you to find private accommodation when you arrive. • When completing your Accommodation Booking Form, please ensure that you print your email address clearly and correctly on your form so that we can send confirmation of your booking to you as soon as possible. • You should ensure that you bring sufficient funds with you to pay for your accommodation for the first few nights.


Should I choose to live in Halls of Residence or privately rented accommodation?


Who should I contact if I have any questions or queries about accommodation before I arrive in the UK?



If you are coming to UWIC on your own, Halls of Residence will be suitable for you.

If your family are coming to live with you whilst you are studying in UWIC you will be able to find very suitable accommodation in the private sector.

If you have any questions or are worried about anything you have read above, please do not hesitate to contact:

You will have the security of pre-booking your accommodation for the year before you arrive in Cardiff.

You may be coming to Cardiff with a group of your friends and you all want to live together.

All rooms are of a high standard and have their own bathroom.

There is a wide variety of private accommodation to suit all.

The International Office, Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YB. email: fax: 00 44 2920 416928

The rent is fixed for the year and includes all energy bills and internet connection.

You can find private accommodation to suit all budgets.

Council Tax


Most adults living in the UK pay Council Tax which is a tax calculated according to the value of the property they are living in. This Tax pays for local services such as refuse collection, police services, fire brigade etc. If you live in halls of residence accommodation, you will not need to pay this tax. If you live in private accommodation you will not need to pay council tax during the taught elements of your course if you are a full time student and everyone in your house is either a full time student or your dependants.

National Health Service (NHS)

Post graduate students and PhD students will be required to pay some council tax during the dissertation/writing up phase of their course when they are not attending classes on a full time basis. You will need to consider this additional charge when you are budgeting for your stay in the UK. As the amount of tax you pay depends on the value of the house you are to be living in, it is difficult to advise exactly how much the charge will be per student however it may be as much as ÂŁ600-ÂŁ800 per house for a year.

All International Students who come to the UK to study on a course which is six months or longer are eligible for full free health care under the National Health Service (NHS) on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK. This includes hospital treatment as an in-patient, treatment of any pre-existing conditions you may have, as well as registering with a General Practitioner (Doctor). You will have to pay for eye tests and dental treatment as these are not covered by the National Health Service.

UWIC Doctor and Nurses When you arrive at UWIC we advise you to register with a doctor as soon as you can and this is a very easy process. During the first week of your studies, you will meet one of UWIC's nurses and she will tell you all about UWIC's health service and will give you lots of useful advice about registering with a doctor. You will be pleased to know that there is a nurse available on each campus during term time. You will be able to call and see them if you have any problems and they will be happy to help you. Please check the availability of the nurse on your campus as their office opening times do differ. UWIC also has a doctor who visits Cyncoed campus daily. Students living on or near Cyncoed Campus will be welcome to register with our doctor. All other students can contact the NHS Business centre directly once your accommodation arrangements have been finalised and you you will be allocated to a surgery located close to your accommodation . When registering with a doctor it will be necessary to take with you your passport and proof that you are a student of UWIC. Most doctors' surgeries have male and female doctors. You will receive a medical card with an NHS number once you are accepted as a patient.


Religion What about my religious needs? You will be pleased to know Cardiff is home to many different cultures and religions. Students can be introduced to local religious groups such as the Christian Union, the local Islamic Community, the Sikh or Hindu Community and others. There are a large variety of places to worship in Cardiff no matter what faith you follow. We also have a Spiritual Advisor at UWIC, who will be very pleased to answer any questions you may have in this area. Prayer rooms at UWIC – we also have male and female prayer rooms which are available to all students.

Part-time work Most International students coming to the UK to study on courses of 6 months in length or longer, will be permitted to work during their studies. If you are to study on a course which is degree level or above, you should be permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during term time. However students coming to study on a course below degree level (excluding foundation courses) will only be permitted to work up to 10 hours per week during term time. Permission to work should be printed on your student visa or stamped in your passport. If you would like more information about employment regulations which are relevant to International Students studying in the UK, please look at the following webpage for more detailed information:


How will I find part-time work? UWIC offers a service which assists students in finding part-time work in Cardiff. This is called the Job Shop and is part of UWIC’s Careers Service. Once you have enrolled at UWIC you will be able to register for this service on the internet and your skills will be matched with available work. Alternatively there are a large number of recruitment agencies available in the city centre that are always looking to recruit. Part-time work that students have found in the past has been in the catering industry, hotels, clerical work, elderly care, shop work and call centres. Part-time wages will vary depending on the job but this type of work will allow you to meet new people, get some practical experience and earn some extra spending money. You cannot rely on this money to fund your studies or pay for fees. If you are eligible to work in the UK, it will be useful to bring references from your previous employer or academic institution, including their contact e-mail addresses.

Weather and Climate

How will I find part-time

The weather in the UK can vary a great deal from one area to another. In Cardiff the climate is milder than in other parts of the UK such as the northern regions. There are four seasons in the UK which all bring different weather. You will find that warm and waterproof clothing is very important in the UK as the climate will probably be different from what you are used to, especially if you come from a tropical or equatorial climate. In the same way that buildings may be air-conditioned in your home country, in the UK buildings are heated which will stop you from being cold. I am sure you look forward to experiencing the varied British weather and despite any stereotypes you might have heard - it is not all rain! Whilst you are in the UK and indeed Cardiff, you will experience a full range of weather throughout the year. The following will give you a very general idea of what type of weather to expect in the UK: December - February - coldest months and occasionally we see some snow. March - May - often mild but rainy. June - September - temperatures gradually increase. September -November - temperatures gradually decrease and we see more rain.


Clothing Whilst you are in the UK, you will need to have warm waterproof clothing and it is advisable that you pack some warm clothes in your hand luggage to put on when you arrive. There are many shops in Cardiff where you can purchase a wide variety of different clothing and we will be able to advise you where you can buy affordable items. Students dress very casually for university in jeans and jumpers. It is not necessary for you to wear any formal attire such as shirts, ties etc. However you may want to consider bringing an outfit in your national dress or a smart suit for formal events. You will be invited to social evenings organised by the International Office and quite often students wear their national dress to celebrate! Due to the changeable weather conditions in the UK, we recommend that you wear a few layers of thin clothing that you can put on and take off when you are hot/cold rather than one extremely warm piece of clothing.

Mobile Phones There are two main options: 1. Pay as you go - You can buy a handset and SIM card and ‘top up’ the credit on your phone so that you pay for your calls and text messages when you use your phone. 2. Contract - You sign a contract with a telecommunications company for a certain time period e.g 12 months. You pay an amount every month towards your phone and calls/texts. Generally calls/texts are cheaper on contract however this can take some time to arrange after you have arrived. You can purchase ‘pay as you go’ phones from most supermarkets and mobile phone shops and you can start using it straight away. If you have a mobile phone in your home country, it may be worth bringing the handset with you as you may be able to purchase a ‘pay as you go’ SIM card that will be compatible with your current handset so that you can stay in touch with your friends and family until you can arrange a contract. 30



We recommend that you arrange travel insurance before leaving your home country as a precaution. Also, on arrival it is a good idea to insure your personal items with a UK insurance company. You can speak to one of the International Student Welfare Officers for advice about insurance companies in the UK or access the following website for quotes on insurance for student possessions:

You may decide that you would like your husband/wife and children to join you in the UK during your studies. When thinking about bringing your family to the UK it is advisable to consider whether you have the funds to support your family in the UK and whether you have the required documents to apply for their dependant visas. It is likely that your husband/wife will receive a stamp in their passport which will permit them to work in the UK, however by doing so, you may need to calculate costs for child care if the children are below school age, which can be quite expensive.

Luggage Please make sure that you check with the airline you are flying with about the luggage weight allowance before departing, as excess baggage charges can be very expensive. When packing both your main luggage and hand luggage, it is recommended to label the bags both inside and outside with your full name and the address of your accommodation or the university address, to allow you to identify it easily.

Cash It will take approximately 2-3 weeks for you to open a bank account after you have enrolled on your course. You will therefore need to bring sufficient sterling cash with you to cover your living expenses for your first few weeks in the UK. To ensure that your money is safe we recommend that you carry with you no more than £500 cash. The rest of your money should be in the form of travellers cheques, a demand draft/Banker’s draft in your own name which you can put into your bank account when you open it in the UK or in the form of a credit card. Although Cardiff is a safe city, we do recommend that you keep your cash safe and hidden at all times and carry the remainder of your money in a safe form as detailed above.

Schooling for your Children If your children are between the ages of 5 and 16, they will need to attend school in the UK. You will be able to arrange this on arrival as you will need to have secured permanent accommodation for you and your family, prior to making an application for the children to be enrolled in a school. If your children are of pre-school age, you may wish them to attend a nursery to allow them to make some friends. Private nursery fees can be quite expensive, however it may be possible for you to find a place for your child at primary school nurseries for pre-school children. It is often very beneficial for both mother and child to attend social groups together to allow the mother to get to know other parents whilst their children play together. These groups are called Mother and Toddler Clubs and are often free of charge. You can speak to an International Student Welfare Officer on arrival for advice about local schools and nurseries and enrolment procedures.

Smoking Since 2007, all smoking has been banned from public places in Wales and England. This means that you will not be allowed to smoke in bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and indoor communal and public areas. This includes all UWIC campuses and Halls of Residences. The ban however, does not extend to private homes and outdoor areas.


The International Office Who are the International Office staff? What kind of support can I expect from the International Office? You will be pleased to know that we have a dedicated team which can help you with every aspect of your student life at UWIC. You will be able to take advantage of the following services:

Free English Language and Study Skills Support for International Students. Although you will have lots of experience of writing assignments and taking examinations in your home country, you may find that the academic skills required for success at UK institutions are slightly different to what you have previously experienced. Therefore the International Office is pleased to offer you free academic support during your studies at UWIC to assist you with any concerns and to help you achieve success. You can request individual appointments or you can form a small group with friends if you would like to take a class together.


What type of support is on offer? Free tuition is available on the following topics: • English Grammar • Academic writing skills • Effective reading skills • Harvard referencing • Presentation skills • Assignment planning

Louise Macphail International Student Support Tutor

Michelle Grimes Assistant International Student Support Tutor

When is support available? Appointments for English language and study skills support are available between Monday - Friday on every UWIC Campus. Please book your appointments in advance to avoid disappointment.

Who should I contact? In order to arrange an appointment please contact:

Louise Macphail International Student Support Tutor email:, telephone: 02920 416406

During your first few weeks in the UK, you will be very busy joining your course, settling in to your accommodation and making new friends. If English is not your first language, you should make every effort to speak, read and listen to English as much as possible in this time. This will help you adapt to your new environment and feel confident in your communication skills. Talk to your new friends in English, read local newspapers, watch British television shows on the BBC website’s free ‘iPlayer’ service. It’s a good idea to take advantage of these resources before you become very busy with your assignments. We wish you good luck in your studies and look forward to welcoming you to UWIC very soon! With best wishes, Louise Macphail International Student Support Tutor Michelle Grimes Assistant International Student Support Tutor

Michelle Grimes Assistant International Student Support Tutor email:, telephone: 02920 416045 or call into the International Office at Llandaff campus.


Dedicated Welfare Support The Welfare Team within the International Office at Llandaff Campus are available throughout the year to help you if you are experiencing any problems. Specialist advice is on offer for international students who need advice about procedures or practices in the UK that they may not be familiar with, such as visa extension applications, help with arranging bank accounts, accommodation issues, arranging schooling, or just generally if you need a friend to talk to. International students may have different welfare issues to UK students and these can be solved by specialist support from the dedicated International Office team.

Continuation of Studies When you have finished one course of study you may want to proceed to a further course. If you need any advice about this you can contact the International Office for guidance.


Does the International Office provide a social programme for international students? The answer to this is yes! The International Office team has a busy social calendar and give you the opportunity to join in with a number of activities throughout the academic year. We hold social evenings and parties for international students and we also run a series of excursions throughout the year which will give you the opportunity to explore Wales and experience its rich cultural heritage, see its beautiful coastline and countryside as well as enjoy its market towns and historic landmarks. You will also have the chance to visit other parts of the UK with city tours to places such as London and Bath. All of these events are very popular and are an excellent way to get to know other international students and the International Office staff.

Contact details For admissions related enquiries: Kathryn Wheeler International Admissions Officer Tel: +44 29 2041 6168 Email:

Jael Rav-On International Admissions Support Officer Tel: +44 29 2041 5748 Email:

Biju Nair International Administrative Assistant Tel: +44 29 2041 6423 Email:

For arrival related enquiries: Natalie Buckland International Student Welfare Officer Tel: +44 29 2041 7319 Email:

Laura Evans Assistant International Student Welfare Officer Tel: +44 29 2041 6409 Email:

Nicola Keen Assistant International Student Welfare Officer/ Administrator

For payment related enquires:

Tel: +44 29 2041 6494 Email:

Teresa Kedward International Finance & Projects Officer

Hannah Welbourn Administrative Assistant - International Student Welfare

Tel: +44 29 2041 6028 Email:

Tel: +44 29 2041 6418 Email:

For immigration related enquiries: Helen Plunkett Immigration Support Officer Tel: +44 29 2041 6408 Email:


Term dates and holidays Airport Welcome - July 2011 Friday 1/07/11

International Student Induction Saturday 2/07/11 - Sunday 3/07/11

Course Enrolment/Induction Week Monday 4/07/11 - Friday 8/07/11

Checklist Apply for entry clearance Send the accommodation booking form and deposit (if applicable) Book flight Send the airport welcome service booking form Arrange vaccinations, medical certificate and/x-ray if applicable Arrange travellers cheques/demand draft/sterling cash Gather certificates, references, documentation for travel to the UK





International Students - Pre Departure Guide  

July 2011 Pre Departure Guide