International Arrivals Guide

Life in the UK

We realise that moving away from home and to a different country can be a big change. Follow our Arrivals Guide to ensure you've done everything you need to do, and to get the most out of your university experience.

For further advice and information on how to make your stay in the UK safe and enjoyable read the British Council's Student Life guide.

Making New Friends

A great way to make new friends is to join one of the many sports clubs and societies run by the Students’ Union. These are helpful for forming friendships with people outside your usual social circles, accommodation, or home country. Some clubs are competitive, and some are just for fun.

The University's Students' Union has a dedicated International Vice President who oversees activities including cultural events, such as Lunar New Year and Diwali, as well as monthly coach trips to places such as Blackpool, Oxford, Cambridge, and London.

The University of Lincoln Multi-Faith Chaplaincy offers meditation sessions, cultural and religious celebrations, weekly faith meetings, and arranges coach trips for staff and students at the University of Lincoln. 

You can also start making friends before you arrive in Lincoln by joining our Friends for Life scheme.

Student Support Services

When you arrive at the University of Lincoln, you join a friendly and welcoming academic community of staff and students, and have access to a range of support services throughout your time here.

Located on the ground floor of the University’s Minerva Building, the Student Support Centre is a central point of contact that can link you with our support services, including the Student Wellbeing Centre and Health Service. More information is available on our Student Support pages.

All EU and international students enrolled at the University can also access English language support services, including classes and one-to-one consultations. Visit the In-Sessional Support page for further information.

How to Connect to Wi-Fi

The University provides free unlimited Wi-Fi across campus and in our accommodation, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family without the need for an expensive mobile phone contract.

You will need to be enrolled at the University and have a student ID to access the Wi-Fi system. You can find out more about this process on our enrolment pages.

Once you have enrolled, search on your phone for the “eduroam” network. Next, enter your username in the following format: 01234567@students.lincoln.ac.uk (where “01234567” is your student ID).

If you are not yet enrolled, then many restuarants, coffee shops, and bars close to the University have free Wi-Fi access. Ask one of our friendly student ambassadors for directions.

Where to Shop

As the University of Lincoln is based in the heart of the city, it is close to many supermarkets including Morrisons, Aldi, and Tesco. Convenience stores such as Spar and Tesco Express – as well as independent general stores - are also close to the campus and are often open later than the major supermarkets.

Lincoln also has two small supermarkets which stock Asian produce. These are the Golden Leaf Oriental Supermarket on Portland Street, and the Morning Sun Supermarket on the High Street.

Students who wish to buy halal produce can use the Al Madinah Halal Butchery on the High Street.

Just a short walk away from the University is the city's bustling high street, where you will find a number of retail stores selling clothes, entertainment, health and beauty products, and much more. 

Useful Information

Once you arrive in Lincoln it is a good idea to know where to find important places such as the doctors and police station. Useful information about local services is provided in the sections below.

Opening a Bank Account in the UK

We have provided some general guidance below to help you with opening a bank account in the UK. Detailed information about opening a bank account in the UK is available in the International Students: Opening a UK bank account leaflet produced by the British Bankers’ Association.

How to Apply for a UK Bank Account

The documents you need to open a bank account may vary depending on which bank you decide to open an account with, however usually you will be expected to provide:

  • your passport
  • your visa (if relevant)
  • proof of address in the UK and in your home country
  • a bank letter from the University of Lincoln confirming you are a student

How to get a Bank Letter

Download and complete the letter request form and take this to the Student Support Centre. After you have submitted your form, your bank letter should be ready to collect within a few days. Please be aware that during September it may take longer as there are a large number of letter requests to process.

Banks in Lincoln         

There are a variety of banks in the UK to choose from, each offering a range of services. Before you apply for a bank account use the internet to check:

  • which UK banks have branches in Lincoln
  • which bank account will be most suitable for you
  • which banks can produce statements in the format required by the Home Office – not all banks do this and you will need these if you plan to extend your visa. If you need advice regarding bank statements that are required when extending your visa contact the International Advice Team in the Student Support Centre.

Banking Terminology

Here are a few banking terms and their definitions to help you:

  • ID – Identity
  • Cash Card – allows you to access your money 24 hours a day using a cashpoint
  • Debit Card – allows you to withdraw cash from your account as well as use your card to pay in shops, restaurants and online
  • Standing Order – an instruction by a bank’s customer to the bank, to pay an amount of money regularly to another account (for example, you may be asked to set up a standing order to pay your rent)
  • Direct Debit – a payment arranged by the organisation which leaves the account with the express agreement of the account holder
  • Automated Credit Transfer – a direct payment into your bank account, instead of by cash or cheque
  • Overdraft – an agreed extension of credit when your account reaches zero

Collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP - Your Visa)

You must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the post office you selected on your visa application form. If you do not collect your BRP you may have to pay a fine and/or your visa may be cancelled. Your letter from the Home Office should tell you when your BRP will be ready for collection. 

You should collect your BRP:

  • before your vignette expires or
  • within 10 days of arriving in the UK

whichever is later.

Go to the Post Office website and enter the postcode. You do not have to make an appointment to collect your BRP. If you arrive at the University in September there will be student ambassadors who can guide you to the Post Office in Lincoln.

For more information, including a list of the documents you will need to take when collecting your BRP from the post office, visit the GOV.uk website.

If you have a question about the BRP or any other immigration issues, contact the International Advice Team (The International Advice Team are based in the Student Support Centre). 

Healthcare in the UK

Registering with a Doctor

After arriving in the UK, you should register with a local doctor (known as a 'GP' or General Practitioner) as soon as you can, do not wait until you are ill.

Students have a choice of several different GP surgeries within Lincoln city centre, however many students choose to register at the on-campus Health Centre.

When registering with a GP surgery, you should take the following documents with you:

  • Personal Identification (passport)
  • Immigration documents
  • Proof of address with your name and term-time address on it (a household bill or tenancy agreement)
  • Medical card (if you have one)
  • List of current medications
  • A Confirmation of Study Letter (if you are registering with an off-campus doctor)

GP surgeries with online registration may ask you to produce these documents before they can complete your registration.

After registering, you may be asked to see a doctor or nurse practitioner straight away. This is an initial health check and a chance for you to meet your GP or Nurse Practitioner. This is a good time to discuss any medical conditions you have or any current medication you are taking. 

For further information about the health services available to international students, visit UKCISA.

The Immigration Health Surcharge

People from non-EEA countries are now required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in order to be eligible for healthcare in the UK. This is done as part of the visa application form. If you are unsure if you are eligible for healthcare in the UK, contact the International Advice Team and they will help you.

Dental Care (Teeth)

Once you have registered with a GP you can also register with an NHS dentist. Visit the UKCISA website for information about dental treatment in the UK.

Optical Care (Eyes) 

In the UK, eye care is provided by opticians. To purchase spectacles or contact lenses you will need a British prescription, which you get from the optician following a sight test. Sight tests can be arranged by contacting the optician directly. The cost of frames, lenses and contact lenses varies.  Visit the UKCISA website for information about eye tests and eye care provided in the UK. 

Health Care Mobile App

You may find it helpful to download the ‘ESC (Expert Self Care) Student’ health app to your mobile. This app has developed by medical doctors, together with students. You can find answers to questions about:

  • Emergencies – learning the truth about life-threatening illnesses and how to give basic first aid
  • General ill health – how to deal with sleep problems, feeling stressed, and constant fatigue
  • Mental health – finding out what to do when feeling low or anxious, self-harming or worried about drinking too much alcohol
  • Common ailments – headaches, finding out how to treat spots, and managing common aches and pains
  • Navigating health services – what to do next and when to see a pharmacist, nurse or doctor.

Travelling around Lincoln

Most facilities and places of interest in Lincoln are within walking distance of the University campus and most University accommodation sites. If you need to get somewhere quickly or further away, you may prefer to cycle, take the bus, or order a taxi.

Cycling

Hire Bike is a company that offers people the opportunity to rent bicycles or ‘bikes’ for a short period such as 1 or 2 hours, or for the full day. After you have paid online, you can unlock a bike from any of the Hire Bike stations around Lincoln. The University has two Hire Bike stations on campus, one in front of the Minerva Building and one by Sparkhouse. There is a discounted annual membership for students. For annual membership and part/full day rental prices see Lincoln Hirebike.

Visit Lincoln have recommended some cycling routes to help people explore Lincoln by bike.

Buses

Lincoln’s Transport Hub houses Lincoln’s new bus station on St Mary’s street. For bus timetables, visit the Lincs Bus Info website.

Taxis

Taxis can be an expensive form of transport, however, they can be useful for transporting shopping from the supermarket if you don’t have a car. Always use a licensed taxi company. It is also wise to tell someone you trust where you are going and when you expect to arrive at your destination. Some taxi firms will send you a text when they arrive so you know which car has been assigned for your journey. Visit Lincoln provide telephone numbers for local taxi firms.

Driving

Before driving any vehicle (car, motorbike, van etc.) in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), you should check that you:

(a) meet all of the legal requirements that apply to the driver and to the vehicle

(b) are aware of the correct procedures, which may be very different from your home country.

There is lots of important information you should be aware of before you choose to drive in the United Kingdom.  We advise you to read the information provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) about driving in the United Kingdom. In addition, you should read the relevant sections of the Highway Code.

If you need help to understand the rules of driving in the UK the Advice Team (based in the Student Support Centre) can help you.

Registering with the Police

Who is required to register with the police?

The condition to register with the police is given to people of certain nationalities, who come to the UK for more than six months. To find out if you should register with the police, check the list of countries whose nationals need to register in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules.

If you have the police registration condition printed in your passport but your nationality is not listed this might be an error by the Home Office staff who issued your visa. Contact the International Advice Team for advice (internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk).

If you are required to register with the police, you must do so within 7 days of your arrival in the UK.

Required documents for registration

Find out how to register with the police and which documents you will need, visit the GOV.uk website.

Remember, you need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) first, then register with the police. The police cannot register you without your BRP card.

If you fail to register with the police, or to tell them about any changes, the Home Office can refuse future immigration applications, or remove you from the UK. You might be barred from returning to the UK for a certain period.

How to register with the Police

You should make an appointment to register with the police by calling +44(0)1522 885212. The address of Lincoln police station, where you can register, is:

Lincoln Police Station
West Parade
Lincoln
LN1 1YP

How to get there

The police station is within walking distance of the University (about 10 – 15 minutes’ walk). The Student Support Centre have provided walking directions and a video of the journey to the Lincoln police station on the 'Useful Information' page of the Student Services website.

Keep your information up-to-date

If any of the information you have provided to the police changes during your time in the UK you must tell the police within 7 days. You will need to take proof of the change. There should be no charge for these updates.

If you lose your police registration certificate you must report it as soon as possible and get a replacement which you will be charged for.

If you have any problems registering with the police, contact the International Advice Team for advice.

Protecting Your Visa and Visa Compliance

The University of Lincoln holds Tier 4 visa Sponsor Licence, which means that we can sponsor international students to obtain a Tier 4 visa to study with us. The Tier 4 Sponsor Licence is granted by the Home Office and in order to maintain it we have to ensure that we fully comply with the Home Office sponsorship guidance. The Tier 4 Compliance Team within Student Administration is responsible for ensuring that a range of areas relating to the University’s Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and conditions are met.

If you are studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, it is very important that you protect your visa; ensure that you understand and follow the rules and conditions set by the Home Office. Each Tier 4 student is responsible for complying with the conditions of their visa. Failure to comply with the conditions of your visa is a criminal offence.

In addition to complying with the conditions of your Tier 4 visa, you also have a responsibility to co-operate with the University in fulfilling its Tier 4 Sponsor licence duties.

The University will support students by providing information and guidance but will have no choice but withdraw sponsorship of the Tier 4 visa if there has been a breach in the visa conditions (broken the rules). If you have breached the conditions of your visa, the Home Office can remove you from the UK, refuse future immigration applications, or you may be barred from returning to the UK for a certain period of time.

Further information about the conditions attached to your visa and your responsibilities is available on the Home Office website and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

Also, the University of Lincoln Tier 4 Compliance team have created a series of videos about Tier 4 Compliance to help you:

Tier 4 Visa Pre-Arrival & Enrolment Information

Tier 4 Visa General Compliance Information

Tier 4 Visa – Postgraduate Study

The Tier 4 Compliance team are here to help with any problems or queries you have regarding the responsibilities of your visa and how to remain compliant. If you have any queries, please email the Tier 4 Compliance Team at tier4visa@lincoln.ac.uk.

Top Tips to Comply with Your Visa

1. Make sure that you arrive in the UK and enrol on time. Your course start date is noted in your CAS statement sent by the International Admissions team which you needed to make a Tier 4 visa application. If you are delayed and know that you will miss the start of your course this may impact your Tier 4 visa, please contact tier4visa@lincoln.ac.uk so that the Tier 4 Compliance team can help you.

2. Check your University email account regularly. The University will contact you via email with information or important matters so make sure you check your email on a regular basis.

3. Update your contact details using Blackboard – this includes your email address, telephone number or term-time address. If you had to register with the Police at the start of term you will also need to update the Police if you move term-time address.

4. Know the conditions of your visa such as your working rights. This should be on your visa but if you are not sure, ask the International Advice team at Internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk before working. Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the International advice team by attending the drop-in session every weekday from 12pm to 2pm at the Student Support Centre.

5. Bring any new immigration documents to the Student Support Centre. If you receive any correspondence from the Home Office relating to your visa, or you have a new passport, please let the University have a copy of this as we will need to update your record.

6. Attend all your classes on your own timetable and sign the register at each session. If you have to be absent during term time, you will need to apply for Authorised Absence (if possible this should be in advance) and provide evidence if you can of why you cannot attend. If you need to leave the UK during term time, you should apply and wait for a decision before you stop attending and especially if you need to book flight tickets to travel.

7. You should use the same signature each time you sign your name on the attendance registers and do not allow other students to sign your name on the register on your behalf.

8. Complete the Tier 4 Census Check form. You will be sent an email mid-way through your academic year inviting you to check the contact details the University hold for you. This is an opportunity for the University to check that all contact details, passport, and visa information held is still current and up to date. You will be sent an email to your university email account about this.

9. Attend all meeting requests. If you are invited to a meeting by the School, or the Tier 4 Compliance team, or any other University department it is very important that you attend the meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting then you need to inform the person you are meeting so that this can be rearranged.

10. Request a CAS to extend your leave early if your current visa does not cover the end of your course. You can apply for a CAS 4 months before your current visa expires by completing the CAS request form for Current/Continuing Students. The International Advice team hold regular visa workshops every Tuesday (excluding when the University is closed) to help support you in completing your visa application. For more information, visit the Advice Service Website. You should attend a workshops as soon as possible to make sure you have time to get all your documents ready.

11. Inform the Tier 4 Compliance team, in advance, if you are undertaking a work placement or attending a conference in the UK or overseas by completing the Change of Circumstances form.

12. Visit the Tier 4 Compliance blackboard page regularly for compliance information and updates. Once you have enrolled with the University, you will have access to the University’s Blackboard site which includes the Tier 4 Compliance Community site. This will contain important information on Tier 4 Compliance.