Welcome to

Coventry University

2010

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

Contents
Welcome Arriving at Coventry University
Before you travel – obtaining ‘entry clearance’ Applying for entry clearance Health checks before your arrival in the UK

02 03
03 04 06

Travelling to the UK
When should I arrive? How do I get to the UK? How to get to Coventry

09
09 11 12

Money Matters
Cost of Living Opening a UK bank account Transferring money Insurance

13
13 14 14 16

Living in the UK
Map Coping with culture shock Visit a UK family with HOST Accommodation Health Police Registration Working in the UK

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17 18 19 21 23 24 25

Support to International Students International Welcome Week International Induction
Enrolment

27 31 33
34

02

Welcome
As an international or EU student planning to begin your studies at Coventry you have most probably already been in contact with the International Office: maybe you have met one of our International Officers at an exhibition, been in contact with our admissions team about your application, or spoken to our welfare team for visa advice to get you to the UK. This is just the beginning of our relationship with you.
Coming to the UK as a student can open up a whole new world, full of unique opportunities, memorable moments and life-changing experiences. It can also be a challenge trying to understand how the UK education system works, learning how British people interact and communicate with each other, and adapting to life in the UK whilst away from family, friends and familiar surroundings. The International team is made up of multi-lingual staff, many of whom have experience of living and studying abroad. Based in the purpose built Student Centre, our job is to make sure that your time in Coventry is as problem free as possible. It is our intention to support you throughout your time here - we’ll be there from picking you up at the airport, right through to graduation! On behalf of my team I look forward to welcoming you to Coventry!

Rob Atkinson Director of International Development

International Student Welfare Team Left to right: James Moran, Hazel English, Michelle Allden Laura Wright, Kavita Cassidy.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

03

Arriving at Coventry University
This section will help you arrange your travel to the UK, whether this is just a case of arranging a flight or applying for a student visa, we hope that this information will help.

Before you travel – obtaining ‘entry clearance’
Visa nationals:
All non EEA nationals must apply for entry clearance before travelling to the UK if coming for a course lasting more than 6 months. You can find more information at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/adult-students

EEA, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Swiss nationals:
You do not need entry clearance to enter the UK to study. There

If you feel confused about anything you read in this document or are unsure of your next steps remember we are here to help. You can always contact one of our International Student Advisers at: welfare.io@coventry.ac.uk

may be a brief passport/ID check when you arrive in the UK for security purposes.

Nationals of Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovak Republic:
As your country is part of the European Union you no longer need to apply for entry clearance to come to the UK to study. However, you may have to register as a worker if you have a job while you are studying.

04

Applying for entry clearance
If you do need a visa we understand that this can be an intimidating prospect. Just remember that we are always here to help with any queries that you may have about the process. We want to make sure that your application is successful so please do not hesitate to contact us about your application.

Your finances:
The UKBA has specified the amount of money that you will need to show before they grant you the 10 points for this section:
Length of course 9 months or less More than 9 months Funds needed Course fees AND £600 for each month of the course First year of course fees AND £5,400 to cover 9 months in the UK

You can apply for your visa within 3 months of your intended course start date. However, you should make sure that you meet all of the requirements in advance to prevent any problems arising. You should contact your nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission to find out how early you can submit your application, or check the UK visas website www.ukvisas.gov.uk
To be granted leave to enter the UK as a full time student, you must pass a points based assessment and score 40 points to be issued with a visa. The points are broken down like this: • 30 points for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from Coventry University, which includes a valid CAS reference number. • 10 points for showing that you have enough money to cover the cost of your course, and your monthly living expenses in the UK for up to 12 months.

The UKBA will ask to see proof of the above in the form of bank statements, a letter from your bank or a passbook showing amounts held on your bank account. This account must be in your name or your parents/legal guardian’s name and funds must have been in your account for 28 days. If using your parents/ legal guardians account, you need to show evidence that you are related to them and that you have permission to use their money, e.g an original birth certificate
The statement or letter should be dated no more than 28 days before the date of application. If you have already been studying in the UK on a course of more than 6 months and this course ended no more than 4 months ago you have an established presence for studying in the UK and are only required to show £600 for 2 months, totalling £1200.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
Coventry University hold a licence that allows us to sponsor people who want to come to the UK to study. We will issue a CAS statement with a CAS number to confirm we are sponsoring you to study in the UK. The CAS number provided must be used in your visa application.

Calculating Overseas Money:
If you are using overseas currency, you will be expected to show (write on the document) the closing balance in pounds sterling. The UKBA use the official exchange rate on the OANDA website, which can be found at www.oanda.com/currency/converter

How do you obtain a CAS?
Once you have met all of the conditions of your offer including deposit/proof of financial sponsorship, we will confirm our Tier 4 visa sponsorship to the UKBA through an online system. You will then be given a CAS reference. We will issue you with a CAS statement confirming your CAS reference so that you can use this to make your student visa application. NB - Obtaining a CAS is no guarentee that you will be granted a visa, this is just one element of the procedure.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

05

The letter must confirm if the parent(s) or legal guardian has

Visa application document checklist:
Here is a full list of documents that you will need to provide when you make your application at the High Commission or Embassy in your home country:

custody or sole responsibility for the child. If they have sole custody they must sign the letter. If they do not, the letter must confirm that each parent or legal guardian agrees to the contents of the letter and must be signed by each parent or legal guardian.

 Passport  CAS statement from Coventry University  Proof of finances  Documents assessed by Coventry University
when issuing your CAS (Academic and English qualifications)

Other types of visas
Prospective student visa:
If you have not yet decided whether to accept your offer of studies, or need to attend an interview before your offer is made unconditional, you can apply to come to the UK on a prospective student visa. This visa will be issued for a maximum of 6 months. If you do decide to accept your offer during this time you can change your visa to a full student visa while you are in the UK. To apply for this visa you will need to make an application to your nearest British High Commission or Embassy. You can get more information from the UK visas website: www.ukvisas.gov.uk

 Your biometric details; your fingerprints and
full face photos will be taken at the High Commission or Embassy

 Fee for application

Additional documents required for under 18 year olds: Letter of parental consent
A 16 and 17 year old student has the legal right to live independently in the United Kingdom, and so may make their own arrangements for accommodation. However, he/she requires the consent of his/her parent(s)/legal guardian to do this and to travel to the United Kingdom (if they are applying from overseas). Students who are 16 or 17 years old and living independently must provide: A letter from their parent(s) or legal guardian, confirming: 1. the relationship between the parent(s) or legal guardian and the child; 2. that the parent(s) or legal guardian have given their consent to the application; 3. that the parent(s) or legal guardian have given their consent to the child student living independently in the United Kingdom; 4. that the parent(s) or legal guardian have given their consent to the child student’s independent travel to the United Kingdom.

If you do obtain a prospective student visa please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can meet with you when you are in the UK to discuss the courses we have available and give you a tour of our University and accommodation.

Student visitor visa:
If you are coming to the UK to study a course for less than 6 months and do not need to work whilst in the UK you should apply for this visa. This visa cannot be extended and you must leave the UK when this visa expires. It is unlikely that this is the correct visa for you if you are going to apply to study an undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UK.

06

Health checks before your arrival in the UK
As a part of your visa application you may be asked to take part in a medical examination. As such it may be wise to be aware of the following information:

Other Immunisations:
The Department of Health has recommended vaccination against Meningitis C following outbreaks of the strain in university students in the UK. This has resulted in a dramatic reduction of the disease. The best time to have this vaccination is before coming to university to allow enough time for immunity to develop. You should approach your doctor at least two weeks, ideally one month, before you are due to arrive. It is important to note that this vaccination does not provide protection against other strains of Meningitis. If you choose to have the vaccination you should bring your vaccination certificate or card with you. If you are unable to have this done before you arrive you will be able to obtain the vaccination here, when you have registered with a doctor. Any questions you have about the vaccine are best discussed with your family doctor. Usually by the time UK students have reached the age of 16 they will also have completed their immunisation against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and tuberculosis. It is best that you check your immunisation status against these diseases before arrival.

Tuberculosis:
If you are coming to study in the UK for more than 6 months and you are from a country where there is a high incident of TB infection, and you have not had a vaccination, you should have a medical health check prior to entering the UK. You should bring a doctor’s letter, and if required, a recent chest x-ray with you when you travel.

Embassies in:
• • • Bangladesh Ghana (which also takes applications from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Niger). Kenya (which also takes applications from residents of Eritrea, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda (visitor applications) and Tanzania) • • • Pakistan Sudan, and Thailand (which also takes applications from Cambodia and Laos). are already screening applicants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months. If you are tested and are free from TB you will be issued with a visa confirming the same.

If you have any medical notes that your doctor considers relevant e.g. cervical screening, relevant past or family history, you may want to bring these with you to give to your new doctor. This will be confidential between you and your doctor.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

07

Successful visa applications
Congratulations! If your application has been successful
you will be a given a certificate stamped in your passport giving you permission to enter and stay in the UK. This will include the type of stay granted (ie ‘student’), the length of stay, and any restrictions. It should include the wording ‘Work (and any changes) must be authorised’ this gives you permission to work subject to the restrictions applicable for students (see section on Working in the UK on Page 25).

You should ensure that you are given the correct entry clearance as a ‘student’. If you are bringing family with you they should be given clearance as ‘dependants’. You should also ensure that you are given the correct length of stay according to the immigration rules: 1. 2. If your course is 12 months or more you should be granted 12 months + 4 months on your visa. If your course is less than 12 months but more than 6 months you should be granted 12 months + 2 months on your visa 3. If your course is less than 6 months but a preparatory course for further study you should be granted 6 months + 1 month on your visa. 4. If your course is less than 6 months and is not in preparation for further study you should be granted 6 months + 7 days on your visa.

If you have an offer to study at the University and have successfully obtained your visa congratulations! If you complete your undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any subject in the UK you will be entitled to apply for a 2 year ‘Post Study Work’ visa. This will give you a great start to your career. For more information see page 26.

08

Unsuccessful visa applications
Do not travel to the UK if you have been refused entry clearance, as you will almost certainly not be allowed to enter.
Unfortunately after the launch of Tier 4 in April 2009 there are no longer appeal rights against the refusal of a student visa. Any appeal rights have been replaced by a right to ‘administrative review’, which means that your case will be looked at by another Entry Clearance Officer. It is unlikely that any decision will be overturned, unless the entry clearance officer has made an obvious error.

Families
It is important to plan well ahead if you are bringing your family with you to the UK. You need to make sure that you have organised: • Dependant visa’s for your family members • Accommodation for you and your family • Nursery/school places for your children If you would like any advice or information about these issues please contact an International Student Adviser by email on welfare.io@coventry.ac.uk

If you are refused and you have a CAS issued from us, the refusal is likely to be based on your available funds. We strongly advise that if you decide to apply for another visa that you assess your available funds, and ensure you have enough, to meet the requirements of the UKBA as set out in the table on page 4.
In the unlikely event your application is refused, please scan or fax a copy of your written refusal notice with the reasons you think the decision was wrong, to the International Office for the attention of the International Student Adviser: Email: welfare.io@coventry.ac.uk Fax: +44 (0)24 7615 2175 Please ensure you have included your full name, course, applicant number and contact details (email is preferable) so that we can respond to you as soon as possible.

Getting further help:
If you feel you need further assistance you could approach: • A lawyer in your home country with specific knowledge of the UK immigration system • The British Council in your home country: www.britishcouncil.org • Your representative/agent • A solicitor in the UK by looking at the Law Society website: www.lawsociety.org.uk/home.law, go to ‘Choosing a solicitor’

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

09

Travelling to the UK
When should I arrive?
When you know that you have a student visa to study at Coventry University you need to make your travel arrangements as soon as possible. Please aim to arrive in the UK before 1200 hours. This will give you time to travel to Coventry, meet us and settle in before the University offices close at 1700 hours. If you have no choice and have to arrive in Coventry after 1700 hours we advise that you organise a stay overnight at a hotel or guest house in Coventry. However if you have not had a chance to do this or your arrival to the UK has been delayed please do not worry we are here to help. You can contact university staff after 1700 hours on: 024 7688 7688.
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Students starting in September
International Welcome Week
Monday 20th September – Friday 24th September If you are a new student starting your course in September you are invited to arrive by Saturday 18th September 2010 to attend International Welcome Week which takes place from the 20th – 24th September 2010. We hope you can attend as it will be a great opportunity for you to meet with fellow students, learn more about the University campus and the city and settle in before term starts. We strongly recommend students starting Masters programmes in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences book a place on Welcome Week as these courses have an earlier induction date of Tuesday 21st September. We advise that you book University accommodation for International Welcome Week so that you are staying with all the other new students. We will be able to assist you in getting from your UK arrival airport to Coventry if you arrive on this day.

Students starting at other times of the year:
For students who start their courses in January or February 2011, you should arrive at the date given in your offer letter so that you can complete the Orientation and Induction programme. Certain courses begin at other times of the year. If this applies to you, please ensure that you apply for University accommodation as soon as you receive your University offer letter. If you are successful in obtaining University accommodation, you should report to Accommodation Services at Singer Hall.

Late Arrival:
If you are delayed and will arrive after your expected start date, please contact us as soon as you can: Welfare Team: welfare.io@coventry.ac.uk South East Asia Team: seasia.io@coventry.ac.uk Europe Team: europeanapplications.io@coventry.ac.uk Rest of the World Team: row.io@coventry.ac.uk East Asia Team: eastasia.io@coventry.ac.uk South Asia Team: southasia.io@coventry.ac.uk Africa/Middle East Team: africameast.io@coventry.ac.uk If you have an offer of University accommodation and have paid your £300 deposit, you must inform the Student Accommodation Office that you will be late and ask them to reserve a room for you (accomm.ss@coventry.ac.uk). Or let the International Office know so that we can contact Student Accommodation on your behalf.

If you intend to arrive before the 18th September we strongly recommend that you organise to stay in a hotel or guest house for the nights prior to the 18th.
Your induction programme will be incorporated with your faculty’s induction programme. More details can be found on page 33.

Students starting on Monday 27th September
If you are unable to attend Welcome Week you must arrive in time for Induction Week starting 27th September 2010 as this is when you will complete your enrolment formalities and officially join the University. You will receive details of where you are to report to on Monday 27th September at the end of August. If you have booked University accommodation, you can move into your room on either Saturday 25th or Sunday 26th September. Your room information pack will tell you where to collect your key, but when you arrive there will be staff to help you find your way to your room. If you need any assistance in the meantime the contact details for Accommodation and Residences are: Student Accommodation Singer Hall Canterbury Street Coventry CV1 5NR Tel: +44 (0)24 7688 7304 Fax: +44 (0)24 7688 7361 Email: accomm.ss@coventry.ac.uk

Airport Pick Ups:
We will be operating an airport pick up service to Coventry from Heathrow or Birmingham International Airport on Saturday 18th September and Sunday 19th for students attending Welcome Week. To book your place visit the Coventry University website, go to the online store and select International Students.

Pre-Sessional English Language Students:
Students arriving to attend Pre-Sessional English Language courses will be contacted directly with arrival, induction and enrolment details.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

11

How do I get to the UK?
If you are going to fly to the UK you can choose one of London’s international airports, Heathrow or Gatwick. Alternatively you can fly to Birmingham International airport, which is a 15-minute train journey from Coventry.

When you arrive at the airport you will go through certain procedures before you can leave and travel to Coventry. You should follow these instructions carefully (it might be useful for you to have a copy of this document when you arrive in the UK):

1
Have your passport, entry clearance document (if required) and any necessary visa/health documents ready for inspection by an Immigration Officer.

The best airport to choose would be Birmingham Airport. This is because it is close to Coventry and will take less time and cost less to get to us! Most major airlines now fly to Birmingham – why not ask at the travel agency or check online for flights to Birmingham.

2
There will be two queues to go through passport control, one for EU passport holders, one for all others.

If the Immigration Officer refuses you entry, you may be removed immediately or given a very short period of temporary admission. If this happens you can telephone the International Student Adviser in the International Office on +44 (0)24 7615 2152. If they are not available telephone +44 (0)24 7688 7688.

3
If you are from a country outside the EU, when you have shown your passport you will be asked to show proof that you have been offered a place at Coventry University. Show them your offer letter.

If you are unsure about what you can or cannot bring into the UK, you should check with your local British Embassy or High Commission before you begin your journey or the UK Customs & Excise website (www.hmce.gov.uk - select ‘Travel Information’ and then ‘Banned and Restricted Goods’). Please note that it is illegal to bring drugs (other than those prescribed by a doctor) or animals into the country. The penalties for attempting to do so are very severe.

4
After passport control you can collect your luggage. The luggage will be unloaded onto several carousel systems; wait at the carousel that displays your flight number and departure airport.

5
When you have retrieved your luggage you must pass through customs. If you are from a country outside the EU you will either have to pass through the green channel (nothing to declare) or the red channel (goods to declare). If you are from the EU you will pass through the blue channel as you do not have to declare anything. The Customs Officer may ask you to open your luggage for checking. In this situation cooperate with the Customs Officer.

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How to get to Coventry
Arrival Airport: Birmingham Airport. Travel to Coventry by: Local Bus service – ‘Number 900’ Cost: £1.70 Time to Coventry: 1 hour Further details: www.travelwm.co.uk

The closest well served airport to Coventry. We strongly recommend arrival at this airport.

Train from ‘Birmingham International’ station

£1.90

20 minutes on express service

www.nationalrail.co.uk To get to the train station from the main airport terminal you should use ‘skytrain’. Ask for directions from the information desk or student helpers there during Welcome Week. We do not recommend taking a taxi unless you arrive at an unsociable hour. www.nationalexpress.com www.nationalrail.co.uk www.nationalexpress.com

Taxi

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Heathrow Airport.

‘National Express’ coach service. Train

£29.30 From £50.00 £34 £5-8

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Gatwick Airport. Coventry Train station.

‘National Express’ coach service. Taxi

Via Central London:
We do not recommend that you try and get to Coventry via central London especially if you have a large amount of luggage. You will have plenty of opportunities later to visit the capital, without your luggage.

Coventry is well-served by public transport therefore we do not recommend that you use a taxi to get to Coventry from Heathrow or Gatwick as this will cost about £250 from Heathrow airport and about £350 from Gatwick airport.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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Money Matters
As well as booking your accommodation, you will also need to arrange your finances before you arrive at University. It is vital that you have sufficient funding in place before commencing a course of study, this will need to cover your tuition fees, accommodation, books, stationary, food and of course social costs. You will find lots of helpful advice and important information in this section so please read it carefully.

Cost of Living
Below is an approximate guide to the minimum amount you should expect for living expenses in the UK. For your stay in the UK you will need approximately £600 per month to cover these costs but remember that this is only a guide. These costs are for one person only and students with children and dependants should keep this in mind when working out a budget.

Accommodation in halls of residence Private accommodation Bills (Electric/Gas/Water) Food/Housekeeping TV Licence (mandatory with TV) Mobile/Landline phone Clothes/Shoes Leisure/Sport Books/Stationery Socialising Travel/Transport ‘Coventry Student Faresaver Travelcard’ Childcare

Take a look at your Student Accommodation Brochure for more details. £200-£300 per month £30-£50 per month £150-£200 per month (if not included) £142.50 per year £30 per month £31 per month £21 per month £21 per month £103 per month £195.00 for 3 terms £78.00 per term £38.00 summer special £500 per month

Preventing Hardship: You should not travel to the UK or begin a course without making sure that you have enough money to cover all your academic fees and living expenses. It is very difficult to make arrangements for financial support after you have left your own country. You should not rely on a part-time job in the UK to pay for your tuition fees.

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Opening a UK Bank Account
Whilst in the UK you will need to have a bank account to ensure that your money is kept safely and so that you can transfer money in and out, write cheques, pay bills by standing order or direct debit and use a cash card to buy goods or take money out from an ATM (Automated Teller Machine).

Transferring Money
If you are travelling from outside the EU you will need to declare any sums of money of 10,000 Euros (or equivalent) or more to HM customs. If your country restricts the amount of money you can bring out, then you will need to begin the arrangements for transferring money several months before your course begins.

Most major banks have branches in Coventry, many of them are located on the High Street in the city centre, just a short walk from Campus.
Here are some steps you can take to make opening a bank account in the UK easier: • Before you leave home, find out if your bank has links with banks in the UK or open an account with a bank that has branches or links in the UK. If your bank has links in the UK you may be able to use your home account in the UK rather than having to open a brand new account. • Make sure that you have evidence of your full overseas address with you in the form of official letters or bank statements (PO Box addresses are not acceptable). Also ensure that you have full proof of your identity, your passport or national ID card should be sufficient. You will also need proof that you have been accepted to study at Coventry University, so don’t forget your acceptance letter! • Start the process of opening an account as soon as you arrive because it can take up to four weeks for your account to be opened fully. • Remember Visa and Mastercards are widely acceptable in the UK and can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs, you can check with your bank whether you can use these cards in the UK before you leave home. For further information about opening a bank account The British Bankers Association (BBA) has produced a leaflet called ‘International students: Opening a UK bank account.’ Which can be found by clicking on ‘publications’ then ‘leaflets’ on their website www.bba.org.uk

Please note that British banks will usually make a handling charge (allow up to £20) for receiving incoming money from overseas, so the amount you receive may not be the same as the amount that was sent. Also, you should allow at least five working days for money sent from outside the UK to be received at the University.

If money has to be received at the University on or before a certain date in order to qualify for a discount, check how long it will take to arrive to ensure that we will receive it on time. We cannot extend deadlines for discounts under any circumstances. In addition, eligibility for a discount depends on the full sum being received at the University so please take bank charges into account. You can transfer money direct to the University’s bank account for tuition fees, accommodation, and the Pre-sessional English course.

Any transfer of money to the University MUST be accompanied by full details of who the money is for (name, application reference number, course and year), and what it is intended to pay for. Details to: tuition.io@coventry.ac.uk

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

15

Bank transfers can be sent direct from your bank to Coventry University’s bank account, details are as follows: Coventry University NATWEST 24 Broadgate Coventry CV1 1ZZ United Kingdom Account Number: 30688159 Sort Code: Swift code: IBAN No: 56-00-45 NWBKGB2L GB35NWBK56004530688159

To make a payment by electronic transfer:
1) At your own bank, provide details of the account number and address given above. 2) In ‘Bank to Bank information’ section, nominate the currency; should be sterling. 3) In ‘Payment details’ section, give your name, application number and what the money is for. This information will be sent to the University. 4) You may be charged for this transaction by your bank. You will also be charged by the UK bank.

If paying for your accommodation, tuition and living expenses in the UK by bankers draft, please ensure you have one draft for accommodation and tuition made payable to ‘Coventry University’ and one draft for living expenses made payable to yourself to deposit in your own account in the UK after arrival. Do not bring one draft made payable to yourself for all above the expenses as you will not be able to cash it in the University and will therefore not be able to enrol here.

For further information contact: Finance Office Email: tuition.io@coventry.ac.uk Tel: +44 2476 152255 Fax: +44 2476 152276

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Bringing Money to the UK
EU cash declaration rules:
A person entering an EU country (from a non-EU country) with over 10,000 Euros (or equivalent) will need to declare this to HM Customs upon arrival. These new declaration rules not only cover cash but will also apply to those carrying bankers’ drafts and cheques. You should not encounter any problems as long as you can justify the need to carry this much cash, you can explain that your funds are for university payments with proof such as your offer letter available. We recommend that because of these new rules you would be advised to carry a bankers draft or cheque rather than cash upon entry to the UK.

Insurance
We strongly advise you to insure your personal belongings against damage or loss, particularly electronic equipment. You will be able to obtain further advice from the Students’ Union Advice Centre when you get here.

Please remember: It may take up to four weeks before you can fully use your bank account, so it’s best to ensure that you have enough money for your personal needs for the first few weeks of term.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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Living in the UK
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Culture Shock
Coping with Culture Shock:
Coming to study in a different country with a different education system is a big challenge. At times this can be both exciting and difficult, but hopefully it will ultimately be a rewarding experience. Our culture is our way of understanding our world. It is informed by our religion, food we eat, family, political and economic background, gender and many other factors. When we step outside the world that we are used to, it can make us uncomfortable and tired – we call this culture shock. Signs of Culture Shock: • feeling upset and emotional • feeling angry • finding it hard to concentrate

Do not worry if you think you are experiencing culture shock. The International Student Advisers can help. Tell them how you are feeling. To help yourself, stay in touch with family and friends and try to get involved in University life, for example join a society or club or attend a social programme trip or event.

Many international students experience culture shock when they first move to the UK and this is completely normal. In order to help you adapt to living in the UK it is useful to have an understanding of UK culture and your own cultural identity.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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Visit a UK family with HOST:
HOST is an organisation which puts international students in contact with British families. With HOST you may spend a weekend, or longer, as the guest in a British home. The main purpose of HOST is to encourage friendship between different cultures by enabling international students to experience life in Britain from a different perspective. The families who participate in HOST are volunteers who are interested in meeting students from different cultural backgrounds.

To learn more about HOST and read accounts of HOST visits from other students please visit www.hostuk.org In addition, you can attend our HOST social event (details of which are to be confirmed) when a HOST representative will come to talk about the scheme and answer your questions.

More about living in the UK – websites and further reading:
For further information about living in the UK and British culture, please refer to the following websites: www.ukcisa.org.uk www.educationuk.org www.ukstudentlife.com www.visitcoventry.co.uk www.visitbritain.com www.enjoyengland.com The following books are also very useful on UK culture and life: Lonely Planet: Great Britain David Else et al. (2007) Lonely Planet Publications The Rough Guide to Britain 7 Robert Andrews et al. (2008) Rough Guides Ltd Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour Kate Fox (2008) Hodder and Stoughton The English: A Portrait of a People Jeremy Paxman (2001) Penguin Books Notes from a Small Island Bill Bryson (1997) Black Swan

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University Accommodation
There is a wide variety of student accommodation in Coventry with choice of University owned and managed halls and houses, private halls, houses and flats. Living in University accommodation is a great way to meet new friends and gain a new-found independence. For most of our students this will be their first time away from home, and we will do our utmost to ensure that the move is as easy as possible. Our friendly student accommodation team at Coventry University is here to help to find the right ‘new home’ for you. Visit www.coventry.ac.uk/accommodation and look through the accommodation choices available and details on how to apply.

Thefuturelets:

‘Thefuturelets’ is the University’s very own lettings agency which is responsible for placing students into private accommodation. They have a variety of properties to suit everyone’s needs and you can secure a property through them prior to your arrival if you wish. Visit www.thefuturelets.org.uk to view properties on-line. Alternatively you can contact the team to arrange viewings of properties within the first few days of your arrival. You only have to pay an administration charge of £58.75 when they place you into accommodation.

Please remember: If you have signed a University accommodation contract or agreed to the terms and conditions on-line you cannot opt out of this contract. If you decide to leave your University accommodation you will still be bound by the contract unless you find someone else who will agree to take your room.

To find out more please contact: Tel: +44 (0)24 7679 5273 email: lettings@thefuturelets.org.uk

Private Accommodation
If you are not staying in University accommodation and you choose to rent accommodation from the private sector, it can seem quite daunting when you have just arrived in the UK. We hope that we can give you some guidance before you arrive so you know what to do when you get here. In order to be able to find private accommodation before term starts, you should aim to arrive in Coventry 1-2 weeks before term. You can even start searching for accommodation on the internet before you arrive in Coventry or contact ‘thefuturelets’, but we would not recommend that you book any accommodation before you have had a chance to see it.

You will need to submit an on-line application form to apply for University accommodation. You will need to have been offered an unconditional or conditional place of study and have made Coventry your first choice. To be able to apply online you will need the student ID number that is shown on your academic offer letter. Student Accommodation will not process your accommodation application until all the conditions of the academic offer have been met and you have successfully obtained a relevant VISA to study in the UK. When you have obtained your VISA you MUST scan and email it to accom-visa.ss@coventry.ac.uk or fax a copy to +44 (0) 24 7688 7311 so your accommodation application can be processed. Once you have been offered accommodation you will have 3 days to accept the offer and pay the required £300 Advance Licence Fee. If you do not have access to the Internet please contact Student Accommodation: Tel: +44 (0)24 7688 7304 Email: accomm.ss@coventry.ac.uk

Pre-Sessional English Language Students:
For students taking Pre-Sessional English Language courses prior to their degree programme we are able to offer a limited choice of short term University accommodation to cover the length of your English course. You need to submit an on-line application form to apply for accommodation for the 12, 8 and 4 week courses. To be able to apply on-line you will need the student ID number shown in your academic offer letter.

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You may choose to rent a room in a house with other students, or rent a small flat with one bedroom. There are also options to lodge within a family home or rent a bedsit (a single room with sleeping, living and cooking facilities). The price of the accommodation that you choose depends on the size and location of the property. If you have decided to rent in the private sector it is best to ensure that you get a chance to look around properties that you are interested in before you sign any tenancy agreement. We recommend that you take a look at a few properties before you choose. Coventry City Council operates a Landlord Accreditation Scheme. This is to ensure that properties meet a standard set by Coventry Here is a checklist of points to remember when renting out private accommodation: • Ensure you have documents ready. • Landlords often require references or guarantors, often these will have to be UK residents. 3 months bank statements are also often required. Bank details to set up a direct debit for rent payment. • Make sure you have enough money to cover the deposit. The deposit amount is usually one month’s rent, remember that in addition you will usually be asked to pay for the first month’s rent, at the same time. So your first payment will be 2 months’ rent altogether. Your deposit will be held to cover the landlord against any damage to the property whilst you are resident. Your landlord must protect your deposit by putting it into an authorised tenancy deposit scheme. Make sure you ask your landlord about this. If you are not sure contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre (SUAC). • Check your tenancy agreement. Make sure you understand the document before you sign it. If in doubt you can check the document with an adviser at the Students Union or the International Office. This is very important because a housing contract is a legal document. You will be held liable for the rent even if you decide later that you do not want to live there. • Check the length of your agreement. Most tenancy agreements last 6 months. You must check your agreement to ensure that you do not sign for more than the length of your course. • Check your inventory. Often an ‘inventory’ or list of items in the accommodation is provided. You should make sure that you inform the landlord if anything on the list is not included when you arrive. If you do not inform your landlord of missing items you may be liable to cover the cost of its replacement at the end of your stay. You can use this to make sure the property that you choose is safe and secure. City Council. We recommend that you chose to rent a property that adheres to this scheme. For more information about the Landlord Accreditation scheme call +44 (0)24 7683 1812.

Think very carefully before you give a landlord or an agent any money!

If you do not have University accommodation, please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time to find somewhere to live in the private sector. You will need to book a room in a hotel or guest house whilst you are looking.

We highly recommend that you take a look at ‘Saferstudents’ guidelines. They provide a ‘Housing security checklist’ at:
www.safer-students.co.uk

Remember that if you ever have any queries about private accommodation you can contact either Coventry University Students Union or the International Office for further assistance.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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Council Tax
Council Tax is a government tax that pays for local services such as rubbish collection, police, and the fire brigade. You will not have to pay Council Tax if you live in an exempt dwelling such as University Halls of residence or a dwelling that is occupied only by full-time students. However, if you share a dwelling with non-full-time students, the household will be liable for Council Tax. As soon as your course ends you become liable to pay council tax.

Health
We know that it can be a very busy time for you when you first arrive in the UK but don’t forget to look after yourself and your health. Here’s a brief guide that we hope will help: The National Health Service, or NHS as it’s more commonly known, is the UK state health service. The NHS provides medical treatment and services for UK residents. Some services are free whilst there are others that you will have to pay for. If your course lasts for six months or more you, and your

For further guidance please see the UKCISA guidance note ‘Council tax and international students’ which can be found at: www.ukcisa.org.uk (click on ‘Advice for International Students’ then ‘Complete List of Information Sheets’ then look under ‘Financial Support’).

dependants, up to 16 years of age or 19 if in full time education, are entitled to government funded medical treatment on the same basis as UK residents. This includes free emergency treatment and free consultation with a Doctor. You will pay a subsidised amount for medical prescriptions (£7.20 in March 2010), dental treatment and opticians. Dental treatment can be quite expensive so you should ensure that you are treated as an NHS patient.

EEA nationals:
If you are a European Economic Area national studying in the UK for less than six months, you and your family should fill out form E128 in your country of residence, or bring your European Health insurance card with you to the UK. This form entitles you and your family to full NHS treatment on the same basis as students who are studying for more than six months.

Please remember: It is important that you register with a doctor as soon as you arrive in the UK. You will have an opportunity to register at our campus Medical Centre on your arrival.

The NHS direct website (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk) is an excellent resource to locate doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists in the UK. The site also offers a self help guide to suggest what to do if you do become unwell. The NHS direct helpline (0845 46 47) offers a 24 hrs health advice line. While in the UK the number for all emergency services is 999 or 112.

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Police Registration
You may receive a stamp in your passport requiring you to ‘Register with the Police within 7 days of arrival’. There is no police registration office in Coventry. The nearest office is in Birmingham. It is a legal requirement that you register if you are told to do so. Failure to register is a criminal offence and could lead to prosecution so please be aware that it is a very important matter. Any family members who have the requirement to register stamped in their passport must also personally register with the police. The International Office can give you directions to enable you to get there yourself. If there are more than 50 students needing to register with the Police, the International Office can arrange for West Midlands Police to come to the campus to register students. Further details will be given at enrolment. To register you will need:

     

Your passport The fee – £34 cash (March 2010). A one off payment (unless you lose your certificate) The appropriate registration form (available from the International Office) Two recent colour passport sized photographs Proof of UK address Proof that you are a student (offer or enrolment letter)

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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Working in the UK
Students who needed entry clearance:
If you had to obtain entry clearance before you arrived in the UK your visa stamp will include the words ‘work (and any changes) must be authorised’, this means you can work up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during your vacation period. You can not be self-employed, work as a sports person or entertainer, or pursue a career by taking a permanent full-time vacancy. You may take up a ‘sandwich’ (work) placement if it is a requirement of your course. If you are coming to the UK on a Tier 4 (General) visa to study a course below degee level and it is not a Foundation degree, the maximum you can work during term time is for 10 hours per week.

Countries who joined the EU May 2004:
Nationals from the following new member states: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic:
In order to work you need to register with the Home Office under the new ‘Worker Registration Scheme’. You can obtain further details of this scheme from the following link: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/eea/wrs For more information on the work rules for international students you can find a guidance note called ‘Working in the UK during your studies’ on the UKCISA website: www.ukcisa.org.uk or the Home Office website: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk

Finding part-time work in the UK:

EEA, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Swiss nationals:
You are free to work in the UK without having to request permission. But please remember that your studies should come first! Try not to work too many hours so that you can concentrate on your course! Coventry University’s ‘thefutureworks’ based at the Students Union provides all students with help finding work. For part-time work you can also find advertisements in local newspapers such as The Coventry Evening Telegraph and The Coventry Citizen and at the Job Centre which is close to campus in the city centre. For more information please ask at the International Office for further advice once you have settled into the city and the University. Visit the website for more information: www.thefutureworks.org.uk

Countries who joined the EU January 2007:
Nationals of Romania and Bulgaria: Yellow Registration Certificate (BR1 Form)
You will need to apply for permission to work in the UK while you are studying. To do this you need to complete a form that must be sent to the Home Office. You will then be granted permission to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during the vacation period. You will also be able to take up a work placement if you are on a sandwich course. To find out more about how you need to register please go to: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/eea/ bulgariaromania

Can my spouse/civil partner work or study?
If your spouse/Civil partner is here as your dependant they can study full-time OR part-time unlike you. They will be subject to the same fee assessment rules as you. Provided you have been given permission to remain in the UK

Please Remember: Although part-time work can assist you with living costs, you cannot depend on these earnings to pay your tuition fees. Furthermore you will not be able to obtain a student visa by basing your income on work that you do in the UK.

for at least 12 months your dependant spouse will be allowed to work. You should ensure that they do not receive any restrictions (a ‘prohibition’) on employment in their passport stamp.

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Working after your Studies:
All International graduates are able to apply for 2 years further leave to stay in the UK to work. This scheme is called the ‘Post-Study Work’ scheme and will benefit you greatly. If you successfully complete your course of study in the UK you will then have the opportunity to use your skills, gain experience and earn money at a company or organisation in the UK. This 2 year period is your chance to make an impression at your company. Before the end of the 2 years you will be able to ask the company whether they would like to keep you on under the UK Work Permit scheme.

The Welfare team at the International Office can give you more advice about the Post Study Work scheme when you arrive in the UK. You will also have an opportunity to meet with a member of our careers team who can give you more information about how and where to find work in the UK. In the meantime you can find out more about the scheme by going to the Home Office website and finding the Post-Study Work scheme page under: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/poststudy If you have any queries please contact our International Student Advisers at: welfare.io@coventry.ac.uk

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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Support to International Students
The International Welfare team, located in the student centre helps over 100 international students a week.
The welfare team is based in the International Office located in the Student Centre, open throughout the year from Monday to Friday. The normal office hours are 9:00am-4:30pm except on Wednesdays when the Centre is open 11:00pm-4:30pm. We are devoted solely to international students and have met many students with problems or questions similar to yours. Throughout your time at Coventry the welfare team is here to help you. Whether you just want to chat, have questions about employment regulations, accommodation, immigration, finance or travel, we are here to help.

They help international students with:
• UK visas and immigration • Police registration • Advice working in the UK during and after studies • Social programme and trips • Tuition fees payment plans • Referral to other support services within the University • And any other problems that you may have

International Office social programme:
The International Office offers a very popular social programme. These activities are a great way to meet new people and a cost effective way to see other parts of the UK. While you are in the UK most of your time will be taken up with studying, however, it is important not to become isolated in your bedroom with your books! The aim is to take you to parts of the country that are of interest or show British culture. You’ll be able to find out more about these trips when you arrive through our free “trips” booklet or through the student portal (an online community for students).

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Kavita Cassidy Head of International Student Support “I lead the Welfare Team at the International Office and have worked in the team since January 2006. I manage the team to ensure that we work together to assist international students before their arrival, during their studies and after they graduate. I previously worked as an immigration solicitor. My experience of working in the welfare team and meeting international students for the last 3 ½ years, has given me a wealth of knowledge about what an international student needs to have an exceptional experience of life in the UK during their time at Coventry University.” James Moran International Student Adviser “I have a background in immigration law and joined the welfare team at the end of September 2009. Within my role I help international students with any problems they may have in regard to visas, finance and many other areas. I studied History and Chinese Studies at the Universities of Nottingham and Sheffield and am able to speak a bit of Mandarin Chinese. Since I started at Coventry I have met many international students from as far apart as China and Bulgaria and have very much enjoyed the experience so far!”

Contact us: Email: welfare.io@coventry.ac.uk Visit us: We are based in the Student Centre

Laura Wright International Student Co-ordinator “I joined the welfare team as the International Student Co-ordinator in September 2009, just in time for the September enrolment. Since this time I have learnt a lot about Coventry University and its international students. My job is very varied, which I really enjoy. I organise the social programme for our international students which includes day trips to cities around the UK and wednesday trips to places which are closer to Coventry. In the next term we will be visiting Edinburgh, Oxford and Alton Towers to name just a few. Please see the trips booklet for more information. I also see students about welfare needs relating to post-study work applications, visa extensions, general queries and tier 4 visa compliance. I hope that you make the most of your time in the UK and I hope to see you on one of the trips!”

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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As well as the International Office you will be supported by a range of expert services at the University. Below is an outline of just a few of these services and how to contact them:

Support for international students at the Lanchester Library:
The Library offers a rolling programme of three sessions to international students: a library induction, an introduction to the library catalogue and an introduction to electronic resources. In addition, one-to-one support is available via the relevant subject librarian or the librarian with responsibility for international students. Students arriving to study English before their degree are offered similar support. For more information go to www.coventry.ac.uk/cu/library

Careers & Enterprise Service:
The Careers Service has a team of advisers who are available to help all students on a wide range of issues. These issues include: Choosing the right course and understanding the career implications of your choice, understanding the local job market and strategies for getting a part time job, finding a short term or ‘sandwich’ year placement, deciding which careers might suit you and be available to you and developing an action plan, understanding the national and international graduate jobs market and what employers are looking for, developing a high quality CV, completing application forms and preparing for interviews. Contact: Tel: +44 (0)24 7615 2030 Email: careers.ss@coventry.ac.uk

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The Centre for Academic Writing:
The Centre for Academic Writing (CAW) offers workshops, one-toone tutorials, and a range of useful resources to support student writers. Call in to CAW when you arrive at Coventry, or visit us virtually at www.coventry.ac.uk/caw. Once at Coventry, you can also download materials or book a session at CAW via the student Portal. We promote strategies for enhancing your writing by offering you new techniques for researching, planning, and revising your academic texts.

The Counselling Service:
Counselling is an opportunity to work with someone professionally trained who will help you explore the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are causing you difficulties. No matter how small or big you think the problem is you may share your burden with a counsellor who will help you move forward. For more information please go to: www.coventry.ac.uk/counselling

The Spirituality and Faith Centre:
It is a space for social gathering, hospitality and quiet reflection serviced by a team of chaplains from a variety of chaplains from a variety of faiths and traditions. For more information please go to: www.coventry.ac.uk/cu/health/spirituality

Welfare and Disability Support:
Coventry University welcomes students with disabilities. Our disability office is based in Priory Halls of Residence and has a team of 12 staff with various specialisms including Mental Health, Dyslexia and Physical and Sensory Disabilities. For more information email dissoff.ss@coventry.ac.uk

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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International Welcome Week - £160
The first few days and weeks in a new place can be an exciting period of adjustment. It is important to get yourself off to a good start. The International Office runs a 5 day residential orientation programme called International Welcome Week. This is the best way to adjust to your new life at Coventry University. The student feedback from previous Welcome Week programmes shows that students enjoyed the week immensely and they would recommend it to their friends. There is a mix of information, social events opportunities for you to get to know other international students, the University and City before the UK students arrive. For example, you will also be able to register with the doctor and have an introduction to the library. There will be talks from departments such as the Students’ Union and Student Services, to give you an insight into University life and how to make the most of your time here. Equally as important are the numerous social events at which you will be able to meet many other new international students. There are events during the day, such as the City Quiz, 5-a-side football competitions and day trips. In addition, on each night throughout International Welcome Week there will be activities such as, the Barn Dance, Karaoke and the ever popular International Party. • • • • • • • •

Orientation Programme, 20th – 24th September 2010
International Welcome Week costs £160 and includes: Six nights accommodation (Saturday – Thursday nights inclusive) in Priory Hall Breakfast from Sunday to Friday Evening meals from Monday to Thursday A complimentary bedding pack consisting of a pillow, single duvet and bed sheet, which you may keep after Welcome Week Enrolment and collection of ID cards Day trip to Birmingham All sports and social events during the week All presentations, workshops and tours

Places for Welcome Week are limited and they will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis. There is no temporary University accommodation available before Saturday 18th September so you should avoid arriving before that date. If however, your arrival before that date is unavoidable, then you should contact the Coventry Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 0044 (0)24 7622 7264/7266. They provide a free service to book rooms. To book your place you need to visit our website and book online.

All these events are a great way to learn about the University, find your way around Coventry and make new friends. The new UK students do not arrive until the following week, so for the duration on International Welcome Week you will have exclusive use of all of Coventry University’s facilities. Your application must be received by Friday 27th August 2010. Any questions, please email welcome.io@coventry.ac.uk

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Airport pick up service from Heathrow and Birmingham
Coventry University offers airport pick up services from Heathrow and Birmingham International Airports for international students on the weekend of Saturday 25th September and Sunday 26th September. Coaches collect newly arrived students and their luggage, from the airports and transport them to the University. Staff and student helpers will be at the Meeting Point to greet students on arrival – look out for their Coventry University student ambassador t-shirts and the Coventry University banner. For details of costs and how to book please visit the Coventry University website, go to the online store and select international students. Please note that for students who are taking part in International Welcome Week the cost of the airport pick up is included in the overall Welcome Week cost.

Students starting in September
To reserve a place please fill in your full flight details online. Online bookings will be available from Summer 2010.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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International Induction
Exact details for the induction period are still to be confirmed but are likely to consist of airport pick-ups, social events, tours of the city and campus and information and accommodation talks and fairs.

Induction
The majority of new students will be arriving over the weekend of Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September. Information desks will be manned by second and third year students who will be easily identifiable by their brightly coloured t-shirts. You will find information about the services the University has to offer and about the local attractions, shops and entertainment on offer in Coventry. To help you get your bearings, we will be running campus tours which last approx 30 minutes. You will need to sign up at one of

Student feedback:
In my view Welcome Week was a key moment for starting the term at Coventry Uni, since it was a great opportunity for me to meet loads of news students who were in the same situation as me (which is good if you are looking for housemates). In the same way if you do not know anything about life in this marvellous city or about Coventry University, it is a very good way to catch up. Welcome Week will enable the international students to get familiar not only with the environment but will also help them to meet people from different countries & of different origins. This get-together will boost the morale of the international students & the feeling of self- confidence is generated. [Staff are] Friendly and kind, they keep smiling…and made people feel warm when they saw them.

the information desks.

Pre-Sessional English Language Students:
For students arriving to attend Pre-Sessional English Language courses you will be contacted directly with arrival, induction and enrolment details.

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If your course does not start on 27th September 2010 your induction programme will vary. You will be sent details of when and where you need to report separately. A comprehensive Induction is provided for all new students, international and UK. It gives you the opportunity to get settled in and familiarise yourself with the campus, your School and your course before our existing students return and term begins properly. If your course starts in September you will attend a week-long programme beginning on Monday 27th September 2010. On the first day you will meet your course tutor and be given a timetable for the week. Make sure you attend all the activities on your timetable and to get the best out of the week and ensure you receive all of the necessary information. You will also be given your Student Diary which will be full of useful information about the University to help you throughout your time here.

Enrolment
This year overseas enrolment will be a combination of manual and online enrolment. Further details will be sent to you by email nearer the time. It is therefore imperative that you have given us an email address and that it is correct and working. Please note that at enrolment manual checks by International Office staff will be made on your passport, visa, original qualifications and whether 66% or full fees have been paid.

Please note: It is very important that you pay 66% of your fees before you enrol. You will not be enrolled until 66% of your full fee amount has been paid.

February Orientation and Induction Programme:
Our induction for January/February 2011 has not yet been fully planned. However do not worry! You will be sent further information about your arrival in the UK closer to the time.

www.coventry.ac.uk/international

International Office Coventry University Priory Street Coventry CV1 5FB, United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0) 24 7615 2152 Fax: +44 (0) 24 7615 2175 Website: www.coventry.ac.uk/international

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