Insurance and health
We strongly recommend that students obtain the right medical and travel insurance before they arrive in case of an accident, loss or theft of property, course cancellation or travel expenses.
Non-EEA nationals coming to the UK to study for a time-limited period of more than 6 months will be required to pay a health surcharge as part of their visa application.
Payment of the surcharge will be a mandatory requirement and will be paid as part of the immigration process. Applicants MUST make sure they have completed their immigration application and have paid the surcharge for the duration of their visa.
The standard surcharge fee for students is £150 per year. The surcharge is a compulsory requirement as part of a visa application to enter or remain in the UK for more than 6 months. If an application is refused or rejected you will be automatically refunded.
Non-EEA nationals coming to study in the UK for less than 6 months are required to obtain health insurance from their own country and provide evidence of this as part of the immigration process.
At present, all EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are entitled to the full range of NHS services.
Rose of York can arrange for a transfer service to greet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation.
We can also advise you on public transport if you ask us before you arrive.
Money and Living Expenses
We advise you to bring some Sterling Traveller’s Cheques or cash for the first few days, but we recommend that you do not carry large amounts of cash with you as, unfortunately, pickpockets do operate in London.
You can change money at banks, bureaux de change and Post Offices, ask in reception for more details.
According to the Home Office, students are required to have a budget of approximately £1,200 per month for living expenses in London, in addition to tuition fees.
Average rent for students is approximately £150 per week but there are cheaper options.
The government estimates that, in addition to your rent, you will need approximately £104 per week for living costs, but this may vary.
Personal Safety and Valuables
The UK is generally a safe place with low levels of crime but, whenever you travel to a new country, it is vital that you look after yourself.
In an emergency, call 999 to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance. This call is free of charge from any UK phone but should only be used in an emergency. If you need to report a crime or an incident that is not an emergency, dial 101, or ask someone at your school or accommodation to contact your local police station for you.
As an international student coming to the UK, it is a good idea to make sure you’ve learnt as much as you can about your school and the local area before you arrive. Use the internet to familiarise yourself with UK customs, British manners and relevant laws. This will help you to be more aware of crime or fraud risks and less likely to become a victim.
International Students can be specifically targeted by criminals because they assume you won’t know the area and will have lots of valuable items. Important: if it’s not necessary, don’t bring it. Some valuables are safer left at home.
Making friends with students who know the area and can show you around or give you advice on the best areas to live in would be a good.
The Police in the UK are friendly and approachable, don’t be intimidated by them.
5 top tips for international student safety
Make sure you know where you will be living, making your way around and how to get to and from your accommodation and Rose of York. If in doubt, ask a flatmate or host to help direct you!
Don’t carry huge amounts of cash with you when in the UK, £50 is the most you would realistically want to have with you. Just use a credit or debit card to pay for things.
Make sure you have travel and property insurance that covers you abroad. Check to see if you need medical insurance too. Keep a photocopy of your travel documents and passport’s data page and any visa information in a safe place.
Keep the telephone number of the school accessible, in case you need to call for help. Our emergency phone number is +44 (0)7551 484563.
Our landline is +44 (0) 20 7580 9888 and the email address [email protected]
Young people and the law
Young people that are aged 18 or above are treated as an adult by the law.
If they are sent to prison, they will be sent to a place that holds 18 to 25-year-old’s, not a full adult prison.
Licensing laws in the UK
The laws in the UK may be different from those in your home country.
This especially applies to the use of tobacco, alcohol and weapons.
You must not carry drugs with you (unless prescribed by a doctor) or use any illegal drugs, including cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, ‘legal highs’ or amphetamines.
You may be charged with possessing an illegal substance if you are caught with drugs, whether they are yours or not. The penalties depend on which drug you are caught with, the amount you have, and whether you are also dealing or producing the drug. The most severe penalty can be an unlimited fine and life in prison.
You can be stopped, fined or arrested by police if you are under 18 and drinking alcohol in public.
If you are under 18, it is against the law:
- For someone to sell you alcohol
- To buy or try to buy alcohol
- For an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for you
- To drink alcohol in licenced premises (e.g. a pub or restaurant)
If you are 16 or under, you may be able to go to a pub (or premises primarily used to sell alcohol) if you are accompanied by an adult. However, this isn’t always the case. It depends on the specific conditions of that premises.
It is illegal to carry any sort of weapon, including knives, self-defence chemical sprays, guns or stun guns.
You must be 18 or over to buy tobacco.