Chichester International Advice (topics)

On this page:

Accommodation advice for International Students

It can be confusing to find a place to live in a new country. To try to help you consider the different options, we have put together some advice for international students on our website. You should also read the Rent Guarantor Scheme information below.


Check our Moodle page for more information on how to open a bank account in the UK. In order to open a bank account you will need a letter of introduction and you can print this via Chiview or request it directly from the International Advice team email:


Culture Shock

It is good to be prepared for you time in the UK by researching the UK culture, customs, history, weather, food etc. beforehand.  

Britain is a diverse multicultural country with regional differences. Customs and the way English is spoken can vary depending on where in the UK you will be. How you experience your new surroundings will depend on your own background and personality as well as on how well you are prepared for your time abroad. The most important thing is to be open-minded and to be prepared to accept that things will be different. Different does not mean good or bad – it is just different and getting used to different things can be exciting as well as confusing.  

When adjusting to a new environment you may experience something called “culture shock”. This is a normal part of an adjustment process and it has different stages to it. Check the UKCISA website to read more about the stages, symptoms and how to cope with the shock. Just remember that we are here to support you throughout your studies. You can contact the International Student Advisers or the Uinmind Mental Health Team if you need support with adjusting to your new surroundings. Other international students who are going through the same experiences as you can also be a great source of support.  

Driving in the UK

Can I drive in the UK using my international driving licence?

It is often possible to drive in the UK using your international driving licence. You should check this by using this UK government online tool to see if your licence can be used and for how long. More information on driving in the UK can be found here.

How can I get a UK driving licence?

If you do not have a valid licence to drive, you will need to apply for a provisional UK licence and take driving/theory lessons in order to get a UK licence. For more information please visit the UKCISA website.

Employment - Can I work while studying?

Please check our website on the following topics:

Working while studying

Tier 4 / Student visa and employment rules

Note: EU/EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled/settled status are allowed to work without restrictions. Anyone arriving in the UK after  31st December 2020 will need an immigration permission and working rights will be restricted (see above).

Note: Students using the visitor route to enter the UK for short periods of study are not allowed to work. 

EU Students' FAQs - Changes for EU students in the UK

See the UUK document for the latest information on fees, finance, visas and healthcare.

EU Settlement Scheme

We recommend that all EU/EEA/Swiss national students who are in the UK by 31 December 2020, apply for an immigration permission under the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020. More information on the application process and eligibility criteria please visit our website.

Please note that if you are a new student and started your studies with us online at the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021 and have not yet arrived in the UK, you must travel to the UK by 11 pm on 31st December 2020 to be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. If you arrive after the cut off point, you will need to apply for a Student Visa.

If you are a continuing student (i.e. started before 2020/2021) and have been studying and living outside the UK (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme as long as you are able to prove that you are still continuously resident in the UK. You must have not been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in any 12-month period, except for a single absence of no more than 12 months for an important reason, for example studying outside the UK due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please check the UKCISA COVID-19 Information for International Students section to find out how study outside the UK for COVID-19-related reasons is regarded in the rules: 

Contact if you need advice on the EU Settlement Scheme. 


Fees- home or international?

The new eligibility rules for home fee status and support for students starting their studies in 2021, is available on the UK government website. 

The guidance covers students belonging to these different categories:

  • Settled status
  • Pre-settled status
  • UK nationals living in the EEA, Switzerland and EU Overseas Territories
  • Children of Swiss nationals
  • Children of Turkish Workers
  • The Common Travel Arrangement with Ireland
  • UK and EU nationals resident in Gibraltar 
  • UK nationals resident in other UK Overseas Territories.

We are currently waiting for further analysis from UKCISA on the above categories. 

Graduation visa advice

If you are a Tier 4/ Student Visa holder and your previous study related visa expires before your graduation ceremony you will need to apply for a permit to come to the UK as a visitor. Check our "Graduation Visa Advice" guidance for more information on how to apply for a visitor visa.

International Academic & Language support (IALs)

This service is for any student whose first or main language is not English. It is available at no extra cost. The service can support you on any of the University’s programmes, and offers you special help with the development of your English language skills.

For further information contact 

Hardship Fund for International Students 

We have two hardship funds available for international students . These funds are available until 31 March 2021, so please apply as soon as possible. Please find the full details on our Moodle page. 

Immigration advice 

Chichester International Advice is here to help and advice you with immigration related matters. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding visas, working conditions, health charges, visa extensions, working visas etc.

Please note that confidentiality of immigration advice cannot be maintained if you disclose information which requires action by the University due to our obligations as a Points Based System Sponsor.

For more information on visas and Tier 4/Student Visa requirements please visit our webpages

We are authorised to provide immigration advice and services by an order made under section 84(4) (d) of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (Part V Exemption: Education Institutions and Health Sector Bodies) Order 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001 no. 1403)


Please check details and guidance on the University's Visa and Immigration webpage, or contact the International Student Advisory Service (ISAS)

Also have a look at the UK government's Visas and Immigration website.

International Arrivals

Inviting family and friends to visit

Your relative may need to apply for permission to come to the UK as a visitor. Check our FAQ section on the website to find out how to apply for a Visitor Visa. To help you write an invitation letter please see our 'Sample Invitation' template in the documents section below.  Note: non-visa nationals do not need to apply for this visa in advance (e.g. US, Canadian, Japanese, EU/EEA nationals).


Bank letter:  See above for more information on bank letters

Council tax exemption letter (students who live outside Chichester/Bognor Regis): Contact 

Student Status letters (September starters) - log in to Chiview and print your letter via "printable documents"

Student Status letters (January/Summer starters) - Contact 

Schengen visa letter: email 

Letter to prove that you can work full-time during university vacations (visa holders):  Contact 


National Insurance Number

National Insurance Number explained

Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number. It is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  Every person who works in the UK is assessed for the amount of national insurance they have to pay.  The amount depends on how much you earn. 

If you are an International or EEA student and you have the right to work in the UK you will need a National Insurance number so that you can be assessed correctly.  It is quite likely that you will not have to pay any contributions, because students do not usually earn enough when working part-time.  But, if you do not have a National Insurance number, you may be charged anyway and then you have to claim the money back at the end of the tax year.  This can take a long time!

Do I need a National Insurance (NI) Number before I start work?

No, you can apply for a job and even start working before you have a NI number.  However, once you have got a job, you should apply for a NI number.  If you have not yet got one, explain to your employer that you will apply for one and that you need your employer to provide proof of your employment.


How do I get a National Insurance (NI) Number?

More information can be found at website.

National Health Service (NHS) for EU and International Students

While you are studying in the UK it is very important that you look after your health. You need to be aware of the resources available to you and how to access them. The University has a Student Health Centre on each campus where you can access information. You can visit the Nurse Health Adviser there if you have any health concerns. Visit our website for opening hours (term time only).

Note relating to Brexit: 

During the transition period, European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will still be valid for accessing medical treatment in the UK and EU. This will change from 2021, so you are advised to check UKCISA for updates regularly. 

If you are an EU student and you started your degree programme at Chichester before 31st January 2020, the UK government has confirmed that you will be able to receive free healthcare in the UK using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for the full duration of your studies, even if your courses finishes after 2020. Check the latest information here. If you are an EU/EEA national (or a family member) and have applied to stay in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme you will continue to have free access to the NHS services.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after 31st December 2021, must either pay an immigration surcharge payment (£470 per year) as part of their visa application or arrange a private medical insurance (short visits).

If you are a non-EU/EEA student you are not entitled to free NHS care. If you are studying on a course less than 6 months you must arrange for a private medical insurance before coming to the UK. If you are on a course longer than 6 months you would have paid an Immigration Surcharge payment (£470 per year) as part of your visa application, which entitles you to access the National Health Service provision in the UK.

International students' health booklet.

NHS 111

Information on how to register with a doctor is available on our Moodle page.


Information for new international students on our welcome arrangements can be found on our website. 

Places of Worship

For a list of local places of worship (Christian and non-Christian) please find our "Places of Worship" document on our Moodle page (FAQs section)  or contact the Chaplain directly via email 


Pre-Arrival Guide 

Our Pre-Arrival Guide is aimed to help international students prepare for their studies in the UK.

Rent Guarantee Scheme

The University of Chichester Rent Guarantee Scheme is open to applications for tenancy agreements in the 2019/2020 academic year.

The Rent Guarantee Scheme enables continuing students to rent shared private sector accommodation that requires a UK based rent guarantor.

Please note that students who are new to the University are not normally eligible to apply.

The scheme is primarily open to continuing overseas and EU students (including those on a 2+1 programme undertaking their year in the UK). In exceptional circumstances we may also accept applications from UK students, for example, from care leavers, or in other situations where there are no alternative options.

To apply to the Rent Guarantee Scheme, please:

1.       Read the Rent Guarantee Scheme Information for Students, available from the Accommodation Office on either site before making your application.

2.       Complete and submit the Rent Guarantee Scheme Application Form;

3.       Submit all required documentation by email to or hand it in to either Accommodation Office.

On receipt of your application, we will contact you to confirm receipt and request any additional information or documentation if required. If you meet the selection criteria, we will notify you and we will then work with you and with your landlord to arrange the rent guarantee on your behalf. We will keep you updated as to the progress of the guarantee and let you know when you are able to move in.

There is a £30 administration charge payable if the University provides a guarantee.

Safety Advice for International Students

It is rare for one of our students to experience a dangerous situation, but it may be useful to you to have some information on what to do, just in case you need it.

Personal Safety:

  • Plan ahead—know where you need to go.
  • Walk Confidently.
  • After dark, try to keep to well-lit roads.
  • If it is late, consider using a taxi.
  • Walk with a friend, if possible.
  • Tell your Host Family or a friend where you are going and when to expect you back.
  • Only carry a small amount of money.
  • Keep your passport somewhere safe in your room— you normally do not need to carry it with you.
  • Never leave your bag unattended.
  • Do not give any personal details to a person you have only just met. If you go on a date, take a friend. Don’t go home with a new date and don’t accept a lift in their car.
  • If someone tries to steal your bag, do not fight. Your safety is more important than your property.
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • If someone is drunk, they will not listen to reason. Walk away from them.

An emergency is a situation that is dangerous and needs immediate attention. In an emergency call: 999

999 calls are free and can be made on any phone. You can ask for the Police, Fire Service, Ambulance or Coastguard.

For emergencies on-campus, such as First Aid, Lift Break Down, Security Threat, there is a 24 hour emergency number:  01243 816363

What if I need help but it is not an emergency?

Do not suffer in silence!

Please use the local advice and support services  (ask at the SIZ or look online), as well as the services available at the University.

For non-emergency calls  to the Local Police, call: 101

Please tell a member of staff at the University if you are experiencing any problems. Staff are available during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.


If you or another person is targeted because of their race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or another minority status, this is illegal. Do not feel intimidated to speak out. Harassment can be anything from name calling to threatening behaviour or physical abuse.

There are laws to protect you and the police will take this very seriously.

Always report harassment, either directly to the Police or to the University first—we can help you take it further.

What if something happens?

If you need help while you are out, go to a shop or any public building and ask for help. Any person can help you call the emergency services. Trust your instincts and, if you feel you need help, ask for it

Schengen Visa

If you are a non- EU/EEA national and wish to visit other European countries while you are a student in the UK, you may need to apply for a “Schengen” visa.  To check whether this requirement is relevant for you please visit the European Commission official website

For more information on Schengen visa application process please see our Schengen visa website for information. 

Please read our Staying safe in the Schengen area before your holiday!

Student Visa / Tier 4

Visit our website and Moodle page for information related to Student Visa / Tier 4. We cover visa extension advice; resit/repeat/ responsibilities; BRP replacement; BRP collection; Resit/repeat/change or course advice; post-study work visa; dependants; studying on a visitor visa etc.

US Federal Aid

We administer the US Federal Aid at the University.Please check our website for more information.

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

UKCISA is an organisation which looks after the interests of international students in the UK. You can find a lot of useful information and advice relating to immigration, living in the UK, health, working in the UK etc. on their wonderful website . If you need independent advice you can contact UKCISA's student advice line.  Subscribe to their useful newsletters here

Visitor Route

University of Chichester students are permitted to use the Visitor Route to study in these circumstances:

  • Undertake a short course of study up 6 months in duration
  • Study abroad programme /exchange less than 6 months long
  • Undertake period of research or receive research tuition
  • Sit an entrance exam
  • Re-sit or retake a module
  • Take an oral (viva) examination
  • Distance Learning (occasional visits)

Please see the full details and the full list of permitted study under this route on the UKCISA website.

If you are not sure if the type of study you are planning to undertake meets the criteria, please email for advice.


International Student Advisory Service at the University

More information: International Student Support section on the University's website

More information: Chichester International Advice on Moodle


Still need help?