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International and EU Welcome

The University of Suffolk would like to extend a very warm welcome to all of our students who will be travelling to Suffolk from overseas. We understand that this can be quite a daunting experience, and for many of you it will be your first time coming to the UK. To help you settle in we have put together some information which will smoothen the transtition. We will be updating this page regularly, so check back to keep up-to-date with our posts. 

Contact the International Team: international@uos.ac.uk

 

Article 1: Accommodation and Arriving

Arriving to Ipswich

If you are planning to arrive by air, the closest airport to Ipswich is London Stansted. Once you have landed at London Stansted Airport you can take a National Express bus directly from the airport to Ipswich, which takes approximately 90 minutes - this can be pre-booked, or you can purchase your ticket from the airport. Once your bus arrives to Ipswich, the University and Athena Hall accommodation are a short 14-minute walk away.

If you are arriving to another London airport, such as London Heathrow or Gatwick, we suggest that you travel by train from the airport to London Liverpool Street station. From here, you should take a direct train to Ipswich Rail Station, which takes approximately one hour. From Ipswich Rail Station you can then take a taxi to the University or to your accommodation.  

For more information on rail travel, please visit the National Rail website.  

 

Booking your Accommodation

The Infozone can provide information about recommended accommodation throughout your studies at the University of Suffolk. You will find information about on-campus and off-campus accommodation on our website, and can contact the landlords of the properties via links in these pages to ask any questions about a property before you choose which room to book.

 

The on-campus halls of residence, Athena Hall, is popular with students new to the University of Suffolk. Off-campus, you will find a mixture of halls-style accommodation and shared houses.  To see the accommodation we recommend off-campus please visit www.suffolkstudentpad.co.uk; the password for the property search is FindARoom.

 

Arriving at your Accommodation

If you have booked accommodation in Athena Hall, you tenancy agreement will start from 8 September, therefore we recommend that you arrive during the weekend of 8-9 September. Athena Hall will contact you directly with information about your check-in; however, we would advise you to book a flight that will allow you to arrive in Ipswich during the daytime.

If you have booked your accommodation elsewhere, please contact the property owner to confirm when your tenancy agreement starts. We would still encourage you to arrive on the weekend of 8-9 September in time for Fresher’s Week!

 

Fresher’s Week and Induction

Fresher’s Week is your opportunity to meet your fellow students and learn more about what the area has to offer! Fresher’s Week is organised by the University of Suffolk Students’ Union, so we would recommend following them on Facebook to keep up-to-date with plans for Fresher’s Week as they unfold.

Fresher’s Week usually runs from 10 September, with the majority of our courses starting Induction from 17 September. Make sure you check the Induction Dates page on the Applicant Area to find out when your Induction starts!

 

Tell us your plans!

We know that starting at university and moving to another country can be exciting but daunting, so if you need any advice or guidance about arriving in the UK or Ipswich, or information about when your course starts, please contact us: international@uos.ac.uk

Article 2: Introduction to Student Services

Suffolk Life Mentoring Scheme:

Our Student Services Team will always be on hand to help but we think it would be a good idea to tap into the expertise of your fellow students. By joining the Suffolk Life Mentor scheme  you will be assigned one of our volunteer students (a Suffolk Life Mentor) who are in their second or third year here at Suffolk. They know what it is like to start university, and can introduce you to the University of Suffolk, and the town of Ipswich.

Your Suffolk Life Mentor can answer questions you may have about university life, and provide you with helpful information. Our Suffolk Life Mentors also organise activities to help students meet new people, and learn more about university life.

The first step is to pair you up with one of our mentors. To be assigned a mentor, please click here to sign-up

Student Services

Of course our support doesn’t stop once you’ve arrived, we have a dedicated Student Services - team to support your endeavours at the University of Suffolk. Our team is here for you and acts as your first point of contact through the Infozone, to receive friendly, professional and efficient advice and guidance on a range of topics from Careers and Employability to Study Skills support. The team are committed to offering a free, confidential, impartial and experienced service, and is on hand to provide one-to-one advice and guidance which will help you get the very most out of your time at Suffolk. 

UniKitOut

We know it can be stressful trying to figure out what you’ll need for your accommodation-not to mention trying to pack all this into your suitcases! We've partnered with UniKitOut who provide bespoke student packages from kitchen to bedding packs and all the extras you might need for your new home at discounted rates.

You can order everything you need for your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom now and UniKitOut will ensure that everything is ready and waiting for you when you arrive in September. If you’re planning to arrive for the start of Welcome Week (September 8/9) make sure you order by September 4 so that our team can deliver your kits on time.

To get started click here

When ordering please use the delivery address below:

Long Street

University of Suffolk

Neptune Marina

Ipswich

IP4 8AH

Before purchasing your UniKitOut pack make sure to check the details of your tenancy to find out what’s already provided and whether any items are prohibited in your accommodation. We also strongly recommend that you take out insurance to cover your belongings in case they get broken or stolen.

Article 3: What to pack

If possible, we recommend limiting your luggage to two suitcases. Not only is it difficult to carry more but the National Express coaches from the airports to Ipswich have restrictions on the amount of luggage they allow. When thinking about what to pack, you should consider the follwing: 

Pack lots of layers and warm clothes! Weather is very changeable in the UK so it’s good to have a variety of clothing suitable for all weather. There is no formal dress code at University of Suffolk, most students dress informally, for example in jeans, trousers, or a skirt with a jumper or T-shirt.

Pack some personal belongings (such as photographs, postcards and ornaments) to make your accommodation feel more familiar.

If you're bringing electrical applicances remember to pack the relevant converters and chargers (the UK uses 230 volts). Remember to check with your accommodation provider about which applicances are allowed in your room. 

If you haven't already provided copies of your certificates and transcripts, make sure you bring these with you as they may be needed at your induction.  

Kitchen, bedding & bathroom-We’d recommend waiting until you have arrived in the UK or even better order your kitchen, bathroom and bedding packs with UniKitOut. All you need to do is click here, choose the items you want, confirm and pay for your goods and they can be delivered to your accommodation in time for your arrival.  Please refer to article two for further information on the UniKitOut process or contact international@uos.ac.uk  

 

Article 4: Guide to Customs and Immigration

Once you land in the UK, you will proceed to one of two queues: one for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, and one for everyone else. For students in the first category just proceed towards the gates-you shouldn’t be subject to any special checks.

For students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you may be subject to slightly stricter controls. A Border Force Officer will look at your passport and check your visa/entry clearance and landing card, which your airline should have given you to complete.

When you enter the UK on a Tier 4 visa, the Border Force Officer must check that you speak English at the required level, without needing an interpreter. They will ask questions about your arrival in the UK but there is no test involved.

We recommend keeping the following in your hand luggage just in case:

  • Passport (containing your student visa) and ID card if applicable
  • Offer letter from University of Suffolk
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) documentation
  • Evidence of your funding – sponsor letter or bank statement used to obtain your visa
  • Details of your accommodation, including address
  • IELTS/English Language qualification certificate (if applicable).

After you have collected your luggage you must go through customs control and join the appropriate queue:

Green channel - if you have nothing to declare

Red channel - if you have items to declare

Blue channel - if you have arrived from an airport within the European Union (EU) where you have already cleared all your baggage through Customs Control.

Now, all you have to do is make your way to Ipswich. Follow our guide to getting here in Article 1 for further guidance!

Article 5: Welcome week and moving in

If you’ve booked your accommodation at Athena Hall, you should be able to move in from Saturday September 8. However, before you make any travel plans it’s essential that you complete your online induction and book a check-in slot on your Fresh Student Living portal. You will also need to have made the first instalment of your rent payments. Please be aware that you won’t be able to move in to your room unless you have completed check-in. If you’ve already made travel arrangements and find that there are no check-in times available for the day you arrive please contact us at international@uos.ac.uk

If you plan on arriving later that’s fine but you will need to be here in time for your course induction start date which you can find here. If you cannot attend some or all of the Induction for your course, please contact the Infozone  as soon as possible to discuss options for you to attend a catch-up session. The Infozone will also be happy to help if you have any other questions about Induction, what to expect, and what to bring with you, as well as your University experience more generally.

We've arranged a special Welcome Talk and Induction for all our EU and International students which will help you settle in and give you all the information you need. Come along to room 3.10 in our main Waterfron Building on Monday September 10 at 10 am. 

We have a range of social events organised for you by our Students Union. Check out what’s happening and book your tickets here You’re free to pick and choose what events you want to attend but we think that FreshFest on Sunday September 9 and our brunch Networking Event on Monday September 10 will be a great way to mix with your fellow students and make new friends.

Remember, we’d love to hear about your travel plans. Let us know when you’re arriving and we’ll do our best to be there to greet you!

Article 6: Opening a bank account and financial advice

If you are looking to open a bank account here in Ipswich, there is a wide array of choice as an EU or international student. To view a non-exhaustive list of the banks based in Ipswich, and the eligibility requirements to open an account, please view the information we’ve prepared here Banks highlighted in green offer International Student accounts. Other banks listed offer accounts that may or may not be applicable to your personal circumstances.

Once you’re here our Student Services Team offer a range of money-advice services that will help you manage your finances. Our team offer a free, impartial and confidential service with one-to-one appointments with a dedicated advisor. If you’d like to book a session, you can do so here 

We’re also partnered with Blackbullion which offers financial advice on their online platform. All Suffolk students can access Balckbullion for free, and it’s a great aid for students in all things related to student finance and budgeting. Blackbullion has specific modules and advice for international students so you should find this really useful.

For any further financial advice, you can contact moneyadvice@uos.ac.uk.

The University of Suffolk is pleased to offer scholarships to the value of £1,500 to all EU nationals who enrol onto an undergraduate degree in 2018/19. The scholarship will be paid across the first and second year of study.  The scholarship is usually available to all our EU students but take a look at our webpage to ensure you’re eligible. The application process is quick and simple so make sure you’ve submitted by 12 October in order to receive your first instalment by the end of the month.

EU scholarship

If you’re an EU national, it’s not too late to claim your Travel bursary. You’ll need to fill out a form available here and attach your receipts. We’ll do our best to reimburse you as soon as we can.

If you’re an international student, the scholarship process is slightly different. You’re entitled to a scholarship to the value of £1,500 but you should have already been awarded the first part of your scholarship as a tuition fee discount. However, please follow the link below and complete the form to ensure that you receive the second part of your scholarship when you study with us in Year 2.

International Scholarship