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Arriving in the UK

Arriving in the UK

This information will help with the transition to life in Bournemouth and in the UK and ensure you know exactly what to do when you arrive.

If you need a Student Route visa to study in the UK and you have been issued a travel vignette (Entry Clearance) in your passport, you'll need to collect your BRP card from a local Post Office within 15 days of arriving in the UK. When you're issued with your 90-day Entry Clearance vignette in your passport, you'll also receive a letter confirming your visa and telling you which Post Office you'll need to collect your BRP card from. Please keep your BRP safe, it is an important part of your visa.

If your course finishes later than 31 December 2024, your BRP will likely experience before the end of the course. Don’t worry, this isn't a mistake; UKVI are gradually switching to digital visas, and you'll have digital permission to cover the rest of your stay in the UK.

In the video below, our Compliance Officer explains in more detail what you need to do when arriving in the UK.

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When you apply to open a bank account in the UK, you'll be asked to provide a letter to prove that you're a student at AUB. Once you've fully enrolled, you can download a 'bank letter' for your application. You won't be able to download the letter until you've completed your enrolment at AUB. It's a good idea to shop around for banks as some offer good deals, while others have very high charges for international students.

You can find a list of the major UK banks and their websites below:

There's been an increase in mobile-only banking services over the past few years. These banks offer traditional banking services but are purely app-based and don't have high street branches. This could be a good, alternative option for international students who may not wish to open a traditional bank account. One advantage of these types of accounts is that they may not require as much documentation as traditional banks, including a letter proving you're a student at AUB, or your address in the UK. You may not be required to prove how long you're staying in the UK either. Many online banks also have very good exchange rates and are convenient when transferring money from and to a different country.

It's important to note that some of these mobile banking services set monthly or daily limit on cash withdrawals and payments before applying a charge. Therefore, it's vital to go through the terms and conditions before you decide to open an account.

It's also important to check whether a digital bank is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that its conduct is monitored and controlled, and whether it's protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which could entitle you to a compensation of up to £85,000 if the digital bank goes out of business.

AUB doesn't endorse any particular service, but if you wish to consider opening an account with one of the online options mentioned, below is some information about the accounts offered and documentation required.

You can find a list of the major online banks and their websites below:

The Arts University Bournemouth Students’ Union (AUBSU) organises Freshers, which'll take place during the first two weeks of your course. Freshers includes a Fresher’s Fair on the AUB Campus, themed events and socials, all designed to help you settle into AUB life and its community.

You may also like to think about joining an AUBSU club or society, where you can meet with other students who share an interest in your hobby or sport.

GPs are fully trained doctors (Dr) who work at a local Medical Centres or Surgeries and can diagnose a range of illnesses and conditions or make referrals to other specialist services. Appointments with a GP under the NHS are usually free. AUB’s Student Services work in partnership with the local Village Surgery to provide dedicated medical surgeries each week. The GP and Nurse Practitioner hold surgeries on campus during term times.

For appointments at AUB, or at the Village Surgery, please contact the Village Surgery directly on 01202 525252. You will need to register with the surgery at least 24 hours before your appointment.

We strongly encourage you to register with a local GP as soon as you start your studies with us to make sure that you can see a doctor quickly if you fall ill or need routine medical care during the course of your studies.

There are many options when it comes to organising a mobile phone in the UK. Many students will arrive with a mobile phone from their own country which is not attached to a particular network and can accept a SIM card from any network. SIM cards are readily available in the UK from airports, supermarkets and high street shops. It will definitely be cheaper for you to use a SIM card bought in the UK instead of using a service from your home country. Please explore the following options:

1. Pay Monthly

With this option, you can take out an agreement with usually a 12-month minimum, but it can be anything up to two years. The agreement (contract) will state how many minutes, texts and data you can use per month (allowance), and you will pay a set monthly fee(this is often referred to as a ‘plan’). If you go over your allowance, you must pay extra. You will also be provided with a phone as part of the contract – sometimes you will need to pay an extra amount at the beginning of the contract for your phone, depending on the handset and plan you choose.

2. Pay Monthly (SIM only)

This option is the same as above, except a phone is not included in the contract. This would be a good option if you also have a phone that you would like to continue using, as these plans are usually much cheaper. You will need to make sure your phone is ‘unlocked’ or ‘network free’, so you can use it with the new SIM card.

3. Pay as you Go

This option does not involve signing a contract and does not usually include a phone. You will need to regularly ‘top up’ your SIM, so you have enough credit for calls, texts and data. Most providers offer Pay as you Go plans. In some cases, if you top up £10 each month, you will receive a certain amount of minutes, texts and data to use each month. This works a little like Pay Monthly, except there is no contract, and you can stop at any time.

The most popular networks in the UK are:

You will also find that some supermarkets offer phone plans too.

Bournemouth is well-connected by public transport, which makes it easy to explore some of the South Coast’s highlights, as well as to travel to AUB from different parts of the town.

There's so much to do and discover in both Bournemouth and the surrounding area. Explore more in our guide to Bournemouth.

Also, if you're planning to look for a part-time job while studying in Bournemouth, please read our guide on navigating the UK job market.

Watch the videos below to hear from the Student Services team and find out more about their support and advice, and also from our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) lecturers as they explain what help and support they can offer.

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