Additional information for international students
Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.
When you've arrived in Cardiff, we want you to settle into your new life here in the UK as quickly as possible. In this section, you will find some help, advice and things you need to do.
Guidance for international students who have requested to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the University.
Initially, you will be issued with a 30-day visa vignette in your passport which will allow you to enter the UK during this period.
You will also be given a letter referred to as the 'BRP letter' which will confirm conditions of your visa, as well as where and when to collect your BRP.
Collecting your BRP
You'll be notified by email when your BRP is ready for collection. Please don't attempt to collect it before you receive this email.
You will be able to pick up your BRP from the Students' Union between 17 September and 4 October 2018 from the 4th floor of the Students' Union. You will need to collect it within 10 days of your arrival in the UK, or within 10 days of the BRP becoming available from the University, whichever is latest.
Once you've done that, you can collect your Cardiff University student card.
When you come to collect your BRP, you must bring your original passport – the passport number must match that on vignette. You must also bring your original BRP letter stating Cardiff University as the collection point.
There must be a valid UK entry officer's arrival landing stamp endorsed in the passport. The photograph on the passport and the vignette must closely resemble you.
If you're collecting a dependant BRP, you'll need to bring the original passport of the dependant and their BRP letter. The photo on the BRP must resemble the photo on the vignette and passport of the dependant.
If any of these identity verification points fail, or you haven't collected your BRP within the 10-day timescale, then we won't be able to issue a BRP without first checking with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
If you are under 18
If you are under 18 years old and need to collect your BRP from the Post Office, you will need to be accompanied by an adult. If you do not have a parent or guardian to accompany you, Cardiff University staff will available to help.
Please come to the Student Support Office on the 3rd floor of the Students' Union at the following times and our staff will accompany you to the Post Office:
- Monday 23 September at 14:00
- Monday 30 September at 14:00
There is no need to book an appointment in advance—just turn up at the times listed above.
If you require medical or dental treatment then you need to ensure you register with a doctor or a dentist.
Register with a doctor
In the UK, medical non-emergencies are dealt with in a surgery by a doctor, otherwise known as a General Practitioner (GP).
You need to register with a doctor before you are treated. You must do this within the first week of your arrival in the UK.
For names and addresses of doctors, you should email the University Health Centre.
There will also be opportunities to register with a doctor at University Halls of Residence.
Women can see a female doctor.
Appointments are short - only five to ten minutes, but your doctor will refer you to a consultant – an expert - if you need extra or special treatment, like an operation.
Register with a dentist
You can choose which NHS dentist you want to be registered with (it does not need to be the dental practice closest to your residence), but you need to be registered with a dentist before you receive treatment from them.
NHS registered dentists are considerable cheaper than private dentists.
Organ donation in Wales
On 1 December 2015 the law around organ donation in Wales changed. This will apply to everyone who is resident in Wales for more than 12 months - including international students.
To find out more and to register your decision to opt in or opt out visit Organ Donation Wales.
You can get health advice and information by calling NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, a free service that is available 24 hours a day. You can speak to a nurse who can assess you over the telephone.
You can also learn how to look after your health, with a little help by visiting the NHS Direct Wales website.
Likewise, you can find a doctor, dentist or sexual health clinic in your area by using our Local Services Search.
If you are feeling unwell with dental pain, a cough/cold, vomiting and more you can use our symptom checkers.
You can also Ask us a Health Question online.
You can also follow NHS Direct on Twitter @NHSDirectWales and on Facebook.
As an international student, certain employment restrictions apply depending on the type of visa you have.
If you have entered the UK on a Tier 4 student visa for more than six months and your passport sticker says 'Work (and any changes) must be authorised' or 'Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State' or 'Restricted work in term-time', you are allowed to work.
EEA and Swiss nationals can currently enter the UK freely and work without restrictions.
Hours per week you can work
A restriction means you can work without obtaining permission for a restricted number of hours a week during term-time. The number of hours you can work during term-time varies depending on whether you are studying at degree or below degree level:
- If you have a Tier 4 student visa and are studying at degree level (for example an undergraduate or postgraduate degree), then you're allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during term-time, and full-time during your holidays, at a work placement or an internship.
- If you have a Tier 4 student visa and you are studying below degree level, (for example, an English language course or International Foundation Programme) then you are only allowed to work up to 10 hours a week during term-time and full-time during the holidays.
'No work' restrictions
If your passport sticker or identity card says 'No work', you must not work in the UK. This would be a breach of your immigration conditions, which is a criminal offence.
If you have entered the UK as a student visitor, you're not allowed to work in the UK (paid or unpaid) or do any work placement as part of your course.
If you have a Tier 4 student visa, you can work full-time on a work placement as long as the work placement is less than 50% of the length of the course – unless the law states that you must spend more than half of your course doing work placements (this applies to Postgraduate Certificate in Education).
Your work placement must be an assessed part of your course, and it can take place at any point in your studies.
As a visa holder, you can do most kinds of work, but you must not:
- be self-employed
- be employed as a professional sportsperson or sports coach
- be employed as an entertainer
- take a permanent full-time job.
It is important to be realistic about the job opportunities available. In the UK, generally students obtain part-time relatively low-paid casual work, paid at the National Minimum Wage. Typically this kind of work includes working in a shop, a restaurant or bar, as a cleaner or as a computer data entry clerk.
You cannot rely on securing a part-time job to pay your fees or living expenses.
The Jobshop operates as a temporary student employment agency providing part-time jobs with the Students’ Union, University and outside companies.It is a free service for all Cardiff University students.
All vacancies that are advertised pay at least at the adult National Minimum Wage (currently £6.70 per hour) for workers aged 21 and over, while positions within Cardiff University will usually be paid at the Living Wage – currently £8.25 per hour (all wages correct as of January 2016).
Once you arrive in Cardiff, you can register by calling into the Jobshop in the Students’ Union building with your student ID card and passport.
Voluntary work is unpaid work for charities and other organisations such as schools or youth centres. It gives you will have a great opportunity to develop new skills, meet local people and be involved in something worthwhile in Cardiff.
Potential employers are always interested in hearing about any voluntary work that you have been involved in and it can potentially enhance your CV.
Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) offers a variety of voluntary work placements which will develop communication and team skills, increase work experience (and improve CVs) and help you experience different aspects of British culture. It will also help you to improve your English.
Certificate of Good Conduct
If you're considering volunteering you may need a Certificate of Good Conduct from your country as there are some regulations for volunteers working in the UK, especially when working with children. If you don't have one, don’t worry – some placements don’t require one.
Working in the UK after your studies
If you have successfully completed and been awarded your degree, you can apply to stay and work in the UK as a skilled worker on a Tier 2 visa.
You will need to have secured a graduate level job offer with an employer who is a UKVI registered Tier 2 sponsor. You must obtain this job offer before your current student visa expires and you have to leave in the UK.
We have a dedicated Careers Service, which offers advice and support on searching for work, obtaining work experience, choosing a career, employer information and further study.
If you're uncertain of the meaning of the statement placed in your passport regarding permission to work, please check when you arrive in Cardiff with the International Student Advisory Team in the Student Support Centre. The Education UK website also has guidance about working while you study.
You may find the pace and level of academic work higher than you have been used to when you start your course, but support is available to help you improve your study skills.
Your personal tutor should be your first point of contact. This is a member of teaching staff within your School who will be able to help you if you have any academic, personal or health concerns that are affecting your studies. They may also refer you to one of the other University advice staff if they feel you would benefit from speaking to a specialist. Your personal tutor should arrange to see you at least three times each year, but you can also arrange a meeting with them.
Differences studying in the UK
Prepare for success is a free interactive website for international students that provides examples of what it is like to study at a UK university.
You are likely to find that there are some things that are similar but many things are going to be different. Many people find that studying at university is a new challenge, and they need to find different ways of working and studying effectively. As with all aspects of life in a new country and culture it is important to keep an open mind and be flexible. If you are unsure about anything, ask your personal tutor, or someone in your School.
In the UK students often work independently, studying on their own for long periods of time. To get the greatest benefit from your course you need to organise your time carefully, as simply attending lectures will not be enough for you to pass your degree.
At the start of your course you should know how much work you are expected to do and the important dates for completing it. Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students are given a School Course Handbook which will outline what is expected of you. It will give information on:
- the course content.
- how the course is going to be taught, e.g. by lectures, seminars, group work etc.
- how you will be assessed, e.g. by examination and/or written work and what proportion of your overall mark a piece of work or examination represents.
- when the assessments will take place and what marks you need to obtain to pass the course.
English language support
We offer a variety of Insessional English language and study skills courses specially designed to help international students succeed. If English is not your first language, you may find you need extra support understanding lectures, seminars and completing assignments.
Some Schools have their own programmes of language and study skills support for international students which are specifically developed to meet the needs of a particular course or subject area.