First Week in the UK

Is this your first week as a student? Are you aware of the things that you should do during your first week in the UK as a student? Regardless, ensure that you focus on getting these done during your first week in the UK as a student.

1: Enrolment at the University

Now, the first thing you need to be worried about is your enrolment. Do you have it done? If yes, good if not then get it sorted the first morning in your new city. No one in the UK knows why you are there apart from your university so if at all you get in any sort of problem only they will be able to help you out. Do not take the enrolment lightly! Get it done the moment you step foot in the UK.

2: Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

The second thing that you need is your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit). The BRP is the only genuine Identity card that you have in the UK. It is proof that you have been permitted to live in the UK by the government and hence no one can ever get wrong with it. If you got your enrolment done in the morning, head to the local post office (you will get this information in your visa letter) during the afternoon and collect your BRP. You need the following three documents for the same:

  • Your Visa letter which you received along with your visa application
  • Your passport, which has your entry clearance vignette
  • Visa (in your passport, this is the vignette)

3: Registration for Modules

Have you registered the modules that you are taking? If not, you should get this done during your first week in the UK as a student! I am sure that this is something that you must have already completed before coming to the UK. If you have done it, then do not worry. If you have not get in touch with your department and ask how you can register for the same. Do not rush, though, take time to select your modules. If you can try and get hold of a professor or a senior who can tell you more about the different modules.

4: When is your department’s orientation? First class?

Look up when are the orientation sessions at your college/university. Make sure that you actively participate in the Welcome Week of your university. It is like a Fresher’s Welcome fair where you as a new student get to know everything there is to know about that university, meet its current students, interact with students who are in some societies or anything and in general form new friendships. The only reason why I say that is important for you is because it helps you establish that initial connection with the university.

Now, if you are shy and introverted, you are probably not going to be very comfortable in simply putting yourself out there and doing things that you have probably not done before. To all those people, I would encourage them to refer to this guide. This will help you battle your initial thoughts.

5: Getting a University Letter

It is always good to get this done during your first week in the UK as a student. Get a University Letter, that explicitly states that you are a student of that particular university during the time frame that you are going to live in the UK. This will help you in opening a bank account.

6: Bank Account

I am sure you must be carrying an international travel card, or an international debit card. If you are then most probably you do not need to open a bank account urgently. However, if you are using a Travelcard from any of the international banks in India, then you would most probably need to open a bank account in the UK.

It would be best if you would be able to book an appointment with any of the banks in the UK in your first week itself. This is because due to an influx of international students, your bank of choice will only be able to offer you an appointment any sooner. Act quickly. If you are confused which bank you should pick, then here is my review of Barclay’s zero-balance student account that you can refer to.

7: Getting a duvet

If you have followed my Moving guide then you probably did not purchase a duvet already. What month is it? September? January? Does not matter. Get a duvet because you would need it in the cold weather. It is okay to be a little more warm in the night than to sleep in cold. Because there has been a change of weather for you chances are that your body needs time to cope with it and if you ensure that you are sleeping comfortably and well then there will be no problem in that.

8: Student Oyster Card

Apply for the student oyster card: In case you are unable to process this during the first week, do it immediately after. The Oyster is a travel card that is used across all public transportation in London. The best thing about having one is that you can recharge it online and then use it anywhere you want. Also, if you are a student, you will get discounted prices. The discounts can be as much as £50 in some instances, hence it is crucial that you get it issued. Here is my review of using the Oyster card and both benefits and challenges of having one.

9: Register with a GP

In order to avail the medical services basis the Immigration Health Surcharge that you had paid during your application, you will need to register with a GP. The best way to do is to look up your local GPs here. You will then be asked to fill out an online application form. Once you fill that out, you can take it to your local GP and get yourself registered.

What next?

My First Month in the UK Checklist.