12 Top Tips for studying at USW

1. Accommodation

Make sure that you have arranged your accommodation as soon as possible. If you have not done this yet, contact Accommodation Services. Friendly and helpful staff can help you find a place to live that will make you feel at home. 

If you are planning on living off campus and need to open a bank account before you can access your money, you should bring enough money (in travellers cheques) to cover 2 months rent for the bond and the first month.

2. Visas and immigration

It is very important to check whether you need a visa to enter the UK. If you do, make sure you have got one or have applied for one. See our immigration web pages


for more information.

3. Fees

Pay particular attention to the information under the fees and scholarships webpage. It explains how and when you can pay your tuition fees. Non-EU students must ensure that the minimum payment is made.

4. Money

To make sure you have enough money until you open a bank account, we recommend you bring with you:

  • At least £200 in cash
  • Enough traveller’s cheques to cover initial living costs- we suggest between £400 and £600
  • Credit and/ or debit cards from your country

If you are bringing a cheque or bankers draft to cover your living expenses then this should be addressed to you. Only cheques and bankers drafts to pay for Fees or University accommodation should be made payable to the University.

If you are planning on living off campus and need to open a bank account before you can access your money, you should bring enough money (in travellers cheques) to cover 2 months rent for the bond and the first month.

5. Photographs

You will need photographs to use for your library card and other identification, so bring eight passport-sized photographs with you. These should be on a light, preferably white, background and be 45×35mm.

6. Health

Check that you have obtained all the necessary health checks, immunisations, X-rays and documents. You should bring all relevant health certificates and documents with you.

7. Documents

Bring all correspondence or documentation that you have received from the University, plus original copies of your academic certificates or transcripts. You will need this for future immigration applications that you may make in the UK. 

You should also bring two photocopies of your passport details page and (if applicable) your UK visa in the form of either a sticker in your passport or a biometric identity card. This will help you when opening a bank account and during enrolment.

8. Insurance

Before you leave your country to travel to the University, it is essential you get travel insurance to cover you on your journey to Wales. This should cover delays and medical emergencies on your journey, as well as the cost of replacing any belongings that may be lost while you are travelling.

You are strongly advised to insure your personal possessions against loss or theft as soon as possible after you arrive. Banks and other insurance companies provide insurance for personal possessions and computers. It is useful to approach several insurers to compare the different premiums on offer.

9. Forms

Make sure that all forms to do with Arrival Services, International Welcome Programme and Accommodation bookings are completed and within time. Some services require plenty of notice, so make sure that you are applying for these early.

10. International Welcome Programme

The International Welcome Programme is an excellent opportunity for you to make friends and find your way around the local area. Remember that you must register before Friday 27th August to take part in events.

11. Unilife and Getting Started

The Unilife portal has all the information you will need as a student at the University. It’s a gateway to your learning resources, your university email account, your personal calendar, your student profile, and a wealth of reference information. 

The announcements, news and events will help you to stay up to date with what’s going on around campus. To make the most of your student life, log in regularly and ensure you’re not missing out on anything important.

The Getting Started site has vital information for new students. It will help you get the most out of your first few weeks at the University. Browse through the site to make sure you’re well prepared before you arrive on campus.

12. Ask us!

If you have any questions at all, there are plenty of people who can help you. Look on the University website or ask someone on campus.

If you have an enquiry about immigration, arrival services, international welcome week or any other non-academic issue then please contact the Immigration & International Student Advice Team.

If you have an enquiry about the application process then please contact Enquiries and Admissions.

Further information and guidance

The British Council has useful information about living and studying in the UK on their website which includes practical information on Health, Safety and Welfare in the UK and Essential Contacts.

UKCISA: the Council for International Student Affairs

has a range of information sheets for international students, including:

  • Accommodation
  • Arriving in the UK
  • Driving in the UK: a guide for international students
  • International students and culture shock
  • Making a student immigration application in your own country
  • Making a student immigration application in the UK
  • Working during your studies
  • Working in the UK after your studies
  • Council tax and international students
  • Tuition fees: Will I pay the ‘home’ or ‘overseas’ rate?
  • Student support: applying in Wales
  • Sources of funding for international students
  • Study methods used in the UK