Arriving in the UK
Here’s a list of useful things to bring to the UK:
- Enrolment documents.
- Details of your accommodation/the family where you are staying.
- Credit cards/ travellers’ cheques.
- For European citizens: EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).
- Relevant documents if you have arranged your own insurance.
- Mobile phone – and charger!
- An adaptor for non-British plugs – we use three-pin plugs and the power is 240 volts in the UK. You can buy these adaptors at the airport or in Nottingham.
- A laptop/tablet computer – especially if your course will cover making presentations, etc.
- An internationally recognized student card if you have one.
- Your driving licence in case you wish to hire a car. Please note that you have to be aged over 23 and have held a (clean) license for a minimum of 2 years. If your own license is not in a West European language or if an authorized translation into English is not provided, you may need to get an International Driving Licence.
- A good bilingual dictionary. Monolingual dictionaries are available at the school.
- Some passport-sized photographs, for student cards, travel passes etc.
- Face covering, disinfecting wipes and/or hand gel.
Globally, the Trinity CertTESOL has a very high pass rate – but it should be noted that this is not 100%. However, we would suggest that the fact that success is not automatically guaranteed is by itself a powerful statement of the quality of these courses. But don’t worry – our tutors are highly experienced, and will give you a great deal of support throughout the course, and our interview procedure is very stringent, so we won’t accept your money if we don’t think you are ready for the course yet.
The cost of living in the UK depends on your location. We recommend the following external pages for checking up-to-date information on the cost of living:
We are also happy to help and advise if you are arranging accommodation for yourself.
Renting private accommodation
Here is some advice on arranging your own accommodation. There are lots of different types of apartments (or “flats” as we often call them in the UK) and houses available to rent in Nottingham, from flat shares (a room in a shared house or apartment), studios (where everything, including the kitchen, is in the same room, the bathroom is separate), one-bedroom flats (with a living room, bedroom, kitchen and a bathroom), to large apartments and houses.
The https://www.rightmove.co.uk/ website is useful for finding somewhere to rent. If you are looking for a flat share, you can try https://www.moveflat.co.uk/ (Nottingham only) or https://www.spareroom.co.uk/ (all the UK).
Most accommodation in Nottingham will ask you for a month’s rent and a month’s deposit in advance (although if you are looking for something for less than a year, they might ask you for more). It can be common to pay six months in advance if you are taking a short-let). A deposit is asked to cover any costs of damage you may make to the accommodation.
Before you give anybody any money, make sure you sign a contract (called a tenancy agreement). These are usually standard and will tell you what is required of you in the accommodation. Make sure you get a receipt of anything you pay too.
Most contracts will be for one year, with an option to increase the contract if everything is OK. Please remember that if you want to leave before the end of your contract, some places may make you find someone to replace you in the accommodation. Some places may not allow you to leave before the end of the contract. You should definitely make sure you understand what is required if you want to leave the contract early.
Some types of accommodation may ask you for personal references too. We can help you with this.
If you are happy to do so, it can be very helpful if you put your name on a utility account (like gas, electricity or water). This will give you a proof of UK address and will make it easier for you to open bank accounts, etc. Remember to take your name off the bill if you move out!
If you have rented (or bought) an apartment or house in the UK, you will need to pay council tax. The local government charges council tax to pay for the maintenance of the local area (e.g. keeping the streets clean, maintaining the parks). If you are living in private accommodation, you will receive a letter asking you to pay.
Fortunately, you are able to claim a student discount. We can provide a letter confirming you are a student. You will either receive a full discount or a twenty-five per cent discount, depending on which council area you are living in. Please read this link for more information: https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/ctdiscounts
Bank opening hours
Most banks are open from 09.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday; some banks are open on Saturday from 09.30 – 12.30.
In the UK, we call them Cash Points, or Cash Machines, but most people will understand if you call them ATMs.
It is easy to withdraw cash from cash machines in the UK using your credit or debit card. You can find them outside banks, and often inside supermarkets and in other shopping areas. Please take care when using an ATM, as you would in any city, and don’t take a large amount of cash out in one go. We would recommend taking cash out ‘little and often’; if you want to make a large withdrawal go into the bank, rather than using an external ATM.
Paying for things
Credit cards are widely accepted for ordinary shopping in the UK, in addition to cash. If you need to exchange foreign currency we recommend that you do this in a bank, at the Post Office or at a currency exchange place. Be aware that exchange shops that stay open for long hours can be more expensive.
Tipping is not as common in England as it is in some countries. If you want to give someone a tip, this is normally 10-12.5%. You may want to leave a tip for:
A waitress or waiter in a restaurant – but check your receipt to see if a service charge has already been included in the bill; it’s not necessary to tip if so.
A taxi driver if she or he has been very helpful – but this isn’t necessary as part of the homestay accommodation or airport transfer services.
You do not need to leave a tip in an English pub.
Opening a bank account in the UK
Opening a bank account can be difficult in the UK, It is probably only worth doing if you are going to be in the UK for several months.
There are a number of factors you should consider when opening a bank account or building society account as an international student in the UK.
If you are coming from outside the European Union, you must have at least six months on your UK visa. If your visa is for less than six months, you will not be able to open a bank account (even if you have five months and twenty-nine days left on your visa, it is still not long enough: It must be at least six months.) If your visa is for less than six months, it is illegal for banks to open an account for you.
If you are from the European Union, then it is much easier to open an account.
Banks will need to see your ID, proof of your address and also your address in your home country. For your UK address, it is much better if your proof of address is something like a gas or electricity bill, or a council tax bill. If you are unable to provide these, then we can give you a document to help (but there’s no guarantee your application will be successful).
One other thing to think about is that most banks will make you sign up for at least a year with them (and pay a monthly fee). Most ‘high street’ banks will offer customers the option to use a ‘basic bank account’. It is usually free to open and use. It allows you to receive money and pay bills but does not allow you to have an ‘overdraft’ facility. Many banks will also offer an account specifically designed for international students. This will often be, or be similar to, a basic bank account. Here’s some more information https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/basic-bank-accounts
An alternative is to open an account with an online bank (and which is much easier than trying to open an account with a regular bank). We can help you applying for an online bank account.
You can buy tickets online: https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/heathrow-airport-to-nottingham Make sure to check your arrival time, and the train leaving times.
Every airport terminal has clearly signposted taxi ranks.
You can buy your ticket online: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en
Please see our find us page for information about getting to our centre.
7.1.-Getting around Nottingham
Nottingham has many public transport options, including buses, taxis and trams. Most places are very well connected, and you can travel round quickly and conveniently. You can find more information on the official Transport Nottingham website, including ticket prices, and route options: https://www.transportnottingham.com
7.3.- General safety
The UK is generally a very safe place, but with a population of over 66 million people it is always good to think about your personal safety. The British Council has produced a useful guide to help you understand the laws in the UK and how to keep yourself safe at all times. http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb34b99001/d3f40133-5034-486b-886b-760a87dfb0bb.pdf
Before you arrive in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out insurance for your own financial and personal security.
Before you arrive in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out insurance for your own financial and personal security.
It is usually safe to walk around UK cities at night, but you should still be careful. It’s important to check the buses, and public transport timetable before you travel.
There are plenty of taxis available. In Nottingham, you can catch a Black Cab in the street, or book a minicab by going into a booking office (you can find these on high streets), calling a taxi company, or using an app, e.g. Uber. Always book your minicab and do not catch an un-booked minicab in the street because these may not be official taxis.
The emergency phone number in the UK is 999 (you can also use the Europe-wide emergency number, 112). This number is for ALL emergency services, including the Police, Ambulance Service (for medical emergencies) and Fire Brigade.
If you need to get medical help and it is not an emergency, call 111.
If you need to speak to the Police and it is not an emergency, call 101.
If you are involved in an incident that involves the police or if you are arrested, please call us on our emergency phone number as soon as possible: +44 7583194017
If are arrested and you have difficulties understanding what the police say, or understanding written information that they give you, you can ask them for an interpreter who speaks your native language.
13.1.- Medical emergencies
If there is a serious emergency and you need urgent medical help, call 999 or the Europe-wide emergency number 112. This is free from any telephone, including mobile phones. You will be asked which service you require: Fire, Ambulance or Police. For medical emergencies, ask for Ambulance.
3.2.- All other medical issues
Call 111 to get help and advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call 111 if:
- You urgently need medical help fast or advice, but it is not a life-threatening situation 999 emergency
- You think you need to go to A & E (Accident and Emergency) or need another NHS urgent care service
- You do not know who to call or you do not have a GP (General Practitioner – this is the doctor you see in the UK for all non-emergency health problems).
- You need health information or reassurance about what to do next
- Medical treatment for common and minor illnesses
If you need medicine for common illnesses (colds, headaches etc.) or medical supplies (e.g. plasters, bandages), you can go to a pharmacist. Most high streets in the UK have one or more pharmacies, including the national chains Boots. Pharmacists can also give you medical advice on common and minor illnesses.
14.2.- City Hospital
Phone: 0115 969 1169
14.3.- Ropewalk House
113 The Ropewalk
We cannot apply for visas on behalf of students. However, the school can supply you with all the documentation you need to support your visa application.
If you are studying in the UK for over 11 months, you will receive a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that you need to submit to the UK embassy along with your General Student Visa application. Students who have successfully booked a language course and have paid their fees will receive a CAS from LTN. Please note that UK law states that a CAS can only be issued to students who intend to pursue English language studies for over 11 months.
If you are studying in the UK for 11 months or less, you have to apply for a special visitor visa called a Student Visitor Visa. As a student visitor, you will not be able to work part-time while studying. If you plan to study in the UK for 11 months or less, a letter of acceptance will be sent to your email address or home address by regular mail at no charge to you.There are two categories of Student Visitors Visa: Up to 6 months
Adult Student Visitor: for adults ages 18 and older who want to study for up to 6 months
Child Student Visitor: for children under 18 who want to study in the UK for up to 6 months. LTN do not offer courses for under 18.
If you have a student visitor visa, you will not be able to switch and apply for a General Student Visa while you are in the United Kingdom as a student visitor. If you want to apply for a General Student Visa, you must apply from the country you live in. Not sure if you need a visa to study in the UK? https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y
Please note that this information is intended as a guide only. As visa rules and regulations are often subject to change, Language Tuition Nottingham cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or inaccuracies. We would advise you to visit the UK Border Agency website (https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/student-visas ) or local visa application post for the most up-to-date information.
Learn more about how to get a visa: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa