You will feel safe and welcome as an international student living in the UK. As a Lancaster student, you will live and study on a safe and beautiful University campus in the English countryside. It is three miles outside of the small and vibrant city of Lancaster. The city has museums, cafés, cinemas, boutiques, shops, a great music scene and an ancient castle.
What you need to know before coming to the UK.
If you need to see a doctor or have hospital treatment while you are studying at
Lancaster, you can use the NHS (National Health Service). This is the UK’s public
healthcare system. You can also arrange private (non-NHS) healthcare, but it can be
EEA (European Economic Area) nationals
If you are a resident of an EEA country or Switzerland, you’ll receive free access to the NHS when you are in the UK. To use this service, you need a valid EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card).
As an international student from non-EEA country, you need to pay a ‘health surcharge’ to use the NHS. This system applies if you are studying in the UK for more than 6 months. You will be asked to pay this charge when your application to Lancaster is accepted.
As an international student, you must have personal insurance while in the UK. To cover you as a student at the International Study Centre, you can purchase our Study Care insurance. This policy covers:
• Loss of personal possessions
• Travel delay
• Medical emergencies.
You can purchase Study Care insurance as part of your application process. If you prefer not to take out this insurance, you must provide proof of alternative adequate insurance cover.
The UK currency is the Pound Sterling (£/GBP).
Debit and credit cards
If you have a debit or credit card you won’t need to carry large amounts of cash. Cards are used widely in most shops, bars and restaurants in the UK. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted cards. You can also use American Express in many places.
Cash machines (ATMs)
You can take money from cash machines (also called ATMs) 24 hours a day in the UK. You need a debit or credit card and a four-digit ‘pin’ (code). Cash machines are located in cities like Lancaster, towns, airports, university campuses and many other places.
It will be much easier to manage your money if you set up a UK bank account. You can do this when you arrive or before you get here, by joining a bank in your home country that has branches in the UK.
Anyone who breaks the law in the UK must face legal consequences. This applies to international students as well as UK citizens. If you are a victim of crime, you should report it to the police.
Emergency services – 999
Call this number in an emergency. You will have the option to connect to the police, fire brigade, ambulance services and coastguard.
Local police – 101
This is the number to call to report a crime.
Most students who live outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland need a visa to enter the UK and study here. It’s quick and easy to check if you need a visa:
British culture is famous around the world. To make sure you're prepared to act like a true Briton, here are some starters:
Sunday roast – A roast is an oven cooked dinner typically eaten on Sundays. It includes roast meat, roast potatoes, gravy and vegetables.
Queuing – The British are known for being very good at queuing and it is considered rude to ignore a queue. You should always join at the end, even if there is only one or two people.
Drinking tea – The British drink a lot of tea. It can be drunk with milk (called white tea) or without (called black tea).
Be prepared for different types of weather during the four seasons in the UK. The weather here is not as extreme as in some countries, but it can be unpredictable. Always keep a coat close by, as rain can fall at any time of year.
The weather varies, depending on where you are in the UK. Lancaster is in Northwest England, where the weather can be colder and wetter than on the south coast. But it tends to be warmer than Scotland, where snow falls in the Highlands most winters.
Summer – June to August
Typically, these are the warmest, sunniest and driest months. Average temperatures of around 14-22°C
Autumn – September to November
After summer, the weather gets colder and windier. Rain is more frequent. Average temperatures of around 8-14°C
Winter – December to February
Usually the coldest and wettest months, with frost and ice. Snow sometimes falls. Average temperatures of around 2-6°C
Spring – March to May
After winter, the weather is sunnier and warmer but can still be wet and windy. Average temperatures of around 6-13°C