group of mixed students talking on the concourse on the College Road campus

International students

We're delighted that you have chosen to study with us. Once you have arrived at the University, you will be able to participate in a range of events and activities designed to help you settle in, enrol, and find your way around.

When you first arrive

Please be aware that your accommodation provider may not allow you to collect your keys until you have enrolled and collected your BRP. If this is the case, please ensure that you have arranged temporary accommodation for yourself until you are able to move in.

Getting here

We understand that as a new international student, there are many things to think about. To help you prepare, we have gathered some useful information for you to read and complete before you enrol.

Weather and climate

The UK climate is notorious for being dull, cold and rainy but it is actually very warm compared to what it could be. The Gulf Stream helps keep the British Isles warmer than other countries located at a similar latitude in the winter with daily winter temperatures in England rarely dipping below 0° C (32° F) and more commonly sitting between 1° and 6°C (34°-43° F). Of course, our summers are also fairly mild with average summer temperatures between 11° and 20° C (53°-69° F)

While the temperatures are generally comfortable, we do sometimes have cold fronts or heat waves that take us by surprise and the polar front jet stream can make British weather especially difficult to predict.

You may have heard some rumors about weather in the UK. The UK has a reputation for being a cold, rainy and gloomy country but is it really true? Whenever you come to a new country it can be difficult to know what to expect from the weather and what you should bring in order to keep yourself comfortable. That's why we've put together this handy document to help you prepare for your new, exciting and occasionally rainy adventure.

Weather conditions

Is it really always rainy? Well....kind of but maybe not how you expect. While it is often rainy, the rain is normally not very heavy. We don't regularly have big thunderstorms that shake the earth and cause floods(though they do happen) and more often than not the days will be cloudy with light rain.

That doesn't mean it's never sunny! It just means that it's not always sunny and we really appreciate the sunshine when it's here.

You might also be surprised to know that contrary to what you see in some films, it doesn't snow very often in most parts of England. Every year we can expect some snow which may affect transport and allow you to have a snowball fight or build a snowman but as the temperatures are normally above 0°C (32°F) the snow doesn't normally last very long.

One thing that we do have more of than some other countries is hail. This is when little balls of ice fall from the sky, sometimes accompanied by a thunderstorm. Hail storms come and go very quickly and are normally a surprise to everyone.


In the UK we have four seasons which come with changes in temperature and weather. Again, the weather in the UK can be both mild and unpredictable so just because we say weather for a given season is typical, you can still have snow in May or sun in December.

pink cherry blossom trees

Spring is from March to May. Spring is normally cool and gets gradually warmer and sunnier as the weeks past. In March and April you can expect a lot of rain with the weather getting sunnier as the days get longer. Any gardeners will appreciate the beautiful spring flowers as they start to bloom.

If you are going out walking in Spring, make sure to be prepared for rain with layers you can remove in case it gets warm.

beach houses on the sand

Summer lasts from June to August and is normally the warmest and sunniest season. That being said, while there are normally several days above 27°C (81°F) every summer, we never know how many we will get or whether they will come in June or August. For this reason, Brits celebrate a warm day whenever possible by going to the beach or sitting at the pub. You will notice, however, that most Brits are not comfortable in weather above 21°C and might complain about the heat. Because it doesn't get very hot very often, most buildings do not have air-conditioning or "aircon" so it can get very warm and humid if you need to be inside on a hot day.

Another thing to note about British summer is that the days are very long. In the height of summer, I will still be light at 9 or even 10pm so it's perfect for sitting outside and having a chat with friends.

autumn trees with orange leaves

Autumn is the UK lasts from September to November and it is the time days start to get shorter and cooler. Autumn can be very unpredictable with some October days feeling like the middle of summer and others feeling like the winter has already come. While going out in autumn can be a gamble(Will it rain? Will it snow? Will I get too warm?) it is well worth visiting any place with deciduous trees such as alder, beech and oak as these will change colours before shedding their leaves for winter.

Snowy fields

Winter in the UK lasts from December through February. As previously mentioned, it does not get as cold as many other countries but it does get very wet and windy which makes it seems colder than it is. Winter is the rainiest season so you must always be prepared to stay dry when you leave the house and bundle up in hats, gloves and scarves to protect yourself from the bitter winds.

While it doesn't snow too often, it does snow at least a few times every year and you should be prepared with sturdy shoes for walking on ice. Though it snows every year, the UK isn't always well prepared for a storm so you should expect delays with public transport and local traffic on snowy days and leave plenty of time to safely get where you need to go.

Just as our summer days are very long, our winter days are very short. For this reason it is especially important to keep and eye on the mental health of you and those around you. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is very common and nothing to be ashamed of. If you feel like the poor weather(or anything else) is causing you to have a low mood, talk to your GP or the Wellbeing Team.


What happens at the border

When you reach border control, you’ll need to show:

  • your passport or identity card

You must:

  • have your passport or identity card ready - remove it from a holder or wallet if you use one
  • remove your face covering or sunglasses, if you’re wearing them
  • move through passport control together if you’re in a family
  • You should also have any documents for your visa prepared in case you are asked. This includes evidence of your English qualifications and your academic certificates as well as a copy of your CAS and your offer letter.
  • Make sure you have the address where you are staying
If you’re from an EEA country or Switzerland

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

You can use the UK/EEA channel to get your passport or identity card checked - this is usually faster than the other channels.

Your passport or identity card should be registered on your UK Visas and Immigration account if any of the following are true:

  • you have settled or pre-settled status
  • you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document when applying for a visa

You may be delayed at the border if your passport or identity card is not registered on your UK Visas and Immigration account.

You can use automatic ePassport gates at some airports if your passport has a ‘chip’ on it and you’re 12 or over. If you’re between 12 and 17, you must be accompanied by an adult.

These gates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport.

You must tell a Border Force officer if you haven’t applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but are planning to apply.

If you’re from a non-EEA country

Your passport (and visa if you have one) will be checked at border control. You’ll usually be asked why you’re coming to the UK. Keep all information relating to your visa to the UK in your hand luggage so you have everything to hand to show if requested (such as your offer letter, proof of accommodation etc).

We do not recommend that you use the ePassport gates if you hold a Student Visa as you need to have your visa in your passport stamped to be allowed to carry out the activities you came to the UK to do.

To read more about what happens on arrival go to: border-control

After border control

After you have passed through Border Control you will then collect your luggage. Once you have all your luggage you will pass through custom control and make your way to the arrivals lounge. If you have pre-booked a taxi your driver will be waiting to meet you in the arrival lounge. Otherwise you will continue with your onward journey to your accommodation.



If you haven't already completed online enrolment, we would encourage you to do this before you arrive. However, don’t worry if you can’t as you'll be able to do so when you arrive on campus. You'll need your bank account details and a digital copy of a passport-style photo for this.  You can upload your photo when you arrive on campus, but it will be quicker if you do this in advance.

Face-to-face enrolment

During international enrolment, you will be required to present your passport and BRP (Biometric Residence Permit)/Visa (or collect your BRP from us if you have requested it is delivered to the University), as well as the certificates listed in your CAS and offer letter. You won't be able to complete your face to face enrolment until 

EU students will also need to complete face-to-face enrolment to present their documents/share code.

If you are a european student, you will still be required to do face-to-face enrolment. You will need to bring your passport and your boarding pass (from when you arrived in the UK) which will form part of your enrolment check, plus one other form of ID. Once your enrolment is fully completed,you will be issued with your student ID card.

Once your online enrolment is completed, we will send you a link to book a time slot to complete your face-to-face enrolment.

Your Student ID Card

All international students’ cards are valid for one year. In order to renew your card, you are required at the start of each academic year to undertake a right to study check. This involves you bringing your passport and visa to a specified point for verification by our Student Support and Experience team. Once this check has been completed, you will receive your new student card. Please note that this check must be completed within four weeks of the start of term.

Life in the UK

Banking and finance


Everyday life


We strongly recommend that any students who bring their family with them arrive as early as possible and get settled before their children join them. This is because there is a lot to arrange and it will be easier for everyone if some of the practical things are in place before the children come to the UK. There are many things consider and students should make sure the fully understand the visa regulations relating to dependents before they plan to bring over a partner and children.

Family Accommodation

Unfortunately, the university is unable to provide accommodation for your family in our onsite accommodation as it is for students only but there are housing options with private landlords near the university campus.

Before trying anywhere else, check out Greenpad which is run by the Students' Union. They aren't always able to find family accommodation but always contact them first an as soon as possible to see what is available.

If Greenpad doesn't have anything suitable, the best option is to search and contact different housing agents and landlords around the university to find the most suitable house for you and your family. Remember to have a thorough read of the contract before signing it and if you need any help with going through a contact, you can go to the students union office based on campus for advice.

Some property search websites include:

These sites represent many letting agencies and landlords. You might need to contact several to find the best match.

It is also very important to register your child with a GP so that they can receive the appropriate and fast treatment they may require. You can find more information about Healthcare in our Guide to Healthcare in the UK.

Enrolling your child into a school/nursery

Most children start school full-time in the September after their fourth birthday. This means they’ll turn 5 during their first school year.

Before starting full-time school, you can enrol your child in nursery (under 5 year old) which may help you manage your time as a student parent. The university campus has a new nursery facility, which started in 2022. Find out more here. You can also search to find more options in your areas.

If you need to to enrol your child into a school or nursery(not on campus), the stoke council website allows you to search the schools near where you live and gives you instructions on how to apply. You can find the details on here: https://

Unfortunately, International students are not eligible for free childcare hours as this counts as 'public funds'.

Registered childminders can be contacted for the paid care of your child/children whilst you study.

Family planning

While you are studying, there you may want to access services that help you with family planning. There is free support available if you need any help with family planning or sexual health support as part of the NHS. Services include:

  • Sexual health clinics and advice
  • Contraception information
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Free Condoms
  • Unplanned pregnancy information and support
  • Abortion (Pregnancy termination)
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) services

There are different centres providing different types of care according to your needs. Most require appointments but also provide walk in or emergency services for some concerns.

  • You can get contraception free of charge from sexual health clinics around you.
  • It can be a bit daunting sometimes to engage in a conversation around contraception but remember the staff in these clinics and very supportive, confidential and happy to help!
Emergency contraception
  • It is possible to get the emergency contractive pill (Morning after pill) or the IUD (intrauterine device) for free from contraception clinics, some pharmacies, most sexual health clinics, most GP surgeries and some hospital (A&E) departments.
  • You might have to share your experience and details to get your free morning after pill but if you are not very comfortable with that, you can also pay to buy the pills from most pharmacies which cost around £25-£35.

There are also options available to terminate the pregnancy if you chose to do so. Abortions can only be carried out under the care of an NHS hospital or a licensed clinic and are usually free of charge. There are 3 main ways to get an abortion on the NHS:

    • You can self-refer by contacting an abortion provider directly
    • speak to a GP and ask for a referral to an abortion
    • contact a sexual health clinic

You can also choose to pay for an abortion privately( not on the NHS) if you prefer. The costs vary depending on the stage of pregnancy and method of the procedure.

Having a baby

If you decide/ happen to get pregnant during the course of your degree, there are options and support available to you depending on how you choose to proceed.

The NHS website has a lot of important information and can guide you through your pregnancy 

There is a Staffordshire University student pregnancy and maternity policy which outlines all the guidance and support to help you plan your next steps including, childcare facilities, adoptions, absences for health reasons etc. You can find the details here.

You are welcome to contact the international student support team if you want to discuss your pregnancy and get some guidance. We advise you read through the Maternity policy.

If you are a student studying healthcare related courses where you access the laboratories (i.e, Nursing, Biomedical Science etc.) you should contact your course leader informing them of your situation for health and safety reasons.

It is also recommended to get some private legal advice if you decide to go through with the pregnancy which will allow you to understand the legal responsibilities you will have as an international parent in the UK.

You will need to Register the Birth of your new baby and you will also need to make sure your baby has appropriate Immigration permission. Children born in the UK are not automatically British citizens. Check out UKCISA for more information.

Working in the UK

Many of you may wish to work whilst you are in the UK. If you are in the UK on a visa, then you may have work restrictions attached to your visa. This does not always mean you can't work, but you may have restrictions on the work you can do. Each visa type is different, for example, if you are in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa you will have no work rights. If you are in the UK on a Student Visa, then your work rights are restricted. You will need to check how your visa may affect your ability to work in the UK.

If you decide to work in the UK then you will need a National Insurance number. Your National Insurance number (NINo) is a unique personal number which is used to record your National Insurance contributions. You do not need to have a NINo before starting work, but you must obtain one when you get a job. You can't apply before you arrive in the UK, but you can once you are here. To find out more and how you can apply for a National Insurance number, check out the following visit the UK CISA website.

Finding work

At Staffordshire University, our Unitemps team focus on sourcing high-quality work experience for our students and graduates. Internships, part-time roles or full-time roles will provide valuable sector and job role-specific experience putting your academic knowledge and skills into practice. We work with national and regional employers in areas such as digital, marketing, design and so on to get you best possible industry experience.

A part-time job will not only help you support yourself financially, it will also look great on your CV showing future employers that you are dedicated and hard working. Plus, many students and graduates secured permanent roles beyond their temporary roles during their studies.

Get in touch with our team to discuss your desired job role.

Why register with Unitemps?
  • Be aware of the latest job opportunities available to students and graduates
  • Apply your knowledge and skills in real-life setting
  • Develop your 'soft skills' such as communication and working as part of the team
  • Gain and improve your commercial acumen
  • Build up your network and contacts and fast-track your professional career
  • Get paid!
How to register with Unitemps

To register with Unitemps visit, select ‘Register’ and fill in all of your relevant personal information.

Make sure to keep your details up to date as it will allow us to better match you with the perfect employer and job role.

Finding jobs and job prospects through LinkedIn

A lot of university lecturers will encourage you to look into LinkedIn, you don't necessarily need it to find a job but it's more of an opportunity to get your name out there for future job prospects as you can connect with your lecturers and industry experts as you can upload your work and treat it as your online portfolio for you to show off, it will help future employees look into your work and what skills you have to offer, if you sign up with your student email you will also get access into thousands of online skills classes for the knowledge you might need in the industry that you are looking to go into.

Student visa holders

The rules and regulations can be tricky to understand sometimes. Below we have broken down the most important information for you so you know what to expect.

  • As a student visa holder at Staffordshire University, you can work up to 20 hours per week during team time.
  • Term time is the time when the university is open and teaching, exams or other academic activities are taking place.
  • You are allowed to work more outside of term time and during designated vacation periods like Christmas and Easter.
  • Not all student have a summer holiday. If you are completing your dissertation, this is still term time and you cannot work more than 20 hours per week.
  • Just because you don't have classes, that doesn't mean it's not term time.
  • The Student Connect Team can help you with a letter for your employer but it is your employers responsibility to check your visa status.
  • You cannot work as a professional sports person, sports coach, entertainer(musician, actor, performer) and you cannot be self-employed or engage in business activity.
  • Work includes unpaid work but not volunteering

You can find more details about working on UKCISA's blog A Working Definition

Visitor visa holders

If you are here on a visitor visa, you cannot work. Work includes:

  • Working for an organisation or business in the UK;
  • Conducting business activities in the UK. This includes running or setting up a business as a self-employed person;
  • Doing a work placement or internship (including as part of a course of study);
  • Providing goods and services;
  • Direct selling to the public.

Students and can volunteer while they are studying. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while gaining valuable skills. International students, however must be sure they are volunteering and not doing unpaid or voluntary work. Voluntary work is distinct from volunteering.

A student can do voluntary work if they are permitted to work, but this work and any paid work must not exceed the total number of hours they are permitted to work during term time. For example, if a student is permitted to work 20 hours a week during term-time and has paid work of 15 hours a week, they cannot do more than 5 hours voluntary work. If they are not permitted to work, they cannot do voluntary work. Factors to take into account when considering whether a particular activity constitutes voluntary work or volunteering are:

  • voluntary workers will usually have contractual obligations to perform the work(for example to attend at particular times and carry out specific tasks) with the employer being contractually required to provide the work – the contract does not have to be written - the worker is usually remunerated in kind
  • volunteers do not have a contract - they must not be a substitute for an employee, and they must not be doing unpaid work – for example, receiving payment in kind (although they are sometimes reimbursed for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses)
  • volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation

Charities in the UK normally have a registered charity number. Always look out for this if you are volunteering with an organisation.

If you are looking for somewhere to volunteer, check out the National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Completing a work placement

A work placement is a great way to get real world experience before you event graduate. Many students who complete work placements are able to find jobs before they graduate as a direct result of their time on their placement.

International students are allowed to undertake a work placement as part of their course which they can get paid for full-time. You would normally do this between your 2nd and 3rd year if you are an Undergraduate and between your 2nd and 3rd semesters if you are doing a Master's degree. Most placements are 12 months for international students as this works well with coming back to your course.

If you are interested in doing a work placement, talk to your course leader to see if it's an option before getting in touch with the Careers team.

Keep an eye out for our scheduled workshops with the careers team so you can be ready to start your search for a placement!

After your studies

Wanting to stay in the UK after your studies?

If you need more information about life after university the UKCISA website will be able to guide you.

The first thing international students will have to put in place if they wish to work in the UK after graduation is to change there visa from a student Visa to a visa that allows them to work full time. Most people who apply in the UK to switch from Tier 4/Student route to either the Graduate Route or the Skilled Worker route.

In order to apply under the Skilled Worker route you need sponsorship by a licensed employer to do a specific job that meets minimum levels of skill and salary. If you are switching to the Skilled Worker Route, your employer should support you with this as they will become your Sponsor.

The Graduate Route is open to all students who have successfully completed degrees at an approved UK Higher Education provider. For those who have completed a, UG or Master's degree, they can stay in the UK for 2 years and those who have completed a PhD can stay for 3. This is not a sponsored route and there are very few restrictions on the work you can do.

You can submit your application once you have successfully completed your degree and the university will report that you you've met the requirements. It's that simple.

Please note the university will not report students for the graduate route if they have outstanding debt to the university.

What's on

The International Team will be available in the Science Centre 2pm- 4pm every day from 18th January through the 30th January to answer all your questions. You can find more details about these drop-in sessions and other welcome activities on the What's On page.


Please do get in touch with the team if you have any specific questions by emailing


in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021