If you are an International Student you can access further support by attending the weekly Global Café every Wednesday in the Fusion building. You can also make new connections by joining Friends International which offer events, meetings and friendship to students from overseas.



It is important to remember to look after yourself when you are in the UK and to find out how to obtain medical treatment if you need it. The National Health Service (NHS) is the healthcare system in the UK and is primarily funded through general taxation rather than requiring insurance payments


The Student Medical Centre is ideal as it is based on Talbot Campus. If you would like to register with them then please complete the NHS Family Doctor Services Registration form (pdf - 42kb) and the New Patient Questionnaire (pdf - 97kb) and then bring it to the Student Medical Centre along with your Student ID Card. The Medical Centre is open to all students and daily appointments are available. Open 8.45am-5pm, Monday-Friday, term-time only. There is also provision for out of hours and emergency support


Settling into life in the UK

As an international student we understand that moving to the UK to study can be exciting and scary at the same time. SUBU Advice is here to help you with any issues you may face, except for visa's. SUBU Advice cannot support you with a visa application, this can only be done via AskBU.


British Culture

When you first arrive in Bournemouth, it will likely take some time to feel settled and to get used to your surroundings. British culture may be very different to that of your home country and you will need some time to adapt to various aspects of life in the UK. This is completely normal and can happen even if you have carried out extensive preparations before your arrival or you have travelled a lot previously. 

During your first few weeks, you will notice differences between the way things are done in the UK and what you are used to at home. With this in mind, GB Mag has put together a handy guide to British etiquette to help you feel at home as quickly as possible. 


Culture Shock

'Culture shock', moving from a familiar culture to one you are unfamiliar with, can affect anyone and is quite normal. 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides information on common ways that culture shock may affect you and what you can do to help yourself adjust to your new life in the UK. 

If you are experiencing culture shock, there are various things that you can do to try to minimise the effects and a range of support services you can access. Please see the suggestions below:

  • Reassure yourself that what you are experiencing is normal.

  • Ensure that you keep in touch with your friends and family back at home.

  • Have familiar things around you that have personal meaning, such as photographs or ornaments.

  • Try to find a supplier of familiar food if you can and eat a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Learn to factor regular exercise into your everyday routine.

  • Links with a faith community can be helpful to some students. BU has Faith and Reflection and students of all faiths or none are welcomed for pastoral and social activities.

  • Maintain contact with your own ethnic group and also with local students if possible.

  • Be prepared to take the first step and find activities which will give you a common interest with UK students.

  • Check out what is going on at the BU Students' Union (SUBU) and its societies. 

  • Take time to find out what services the University offers, for example, your personal tutor, Global Buddies ( , information/support from International Student Support team, hall wardens,  and other support services. Even if at home you wouldn’t consider such steps, in the UK it is normal and may be of help when familiar support is missing.

  • If you feel upset, look for help. There is always someone or some service available to help you.


Staying safe in the UK

Education UK (the official website from the British Council for international students studying in the UK.) have creating two guides to help international students settle into life and study in the UK.


Hate Crime

Hate crimes are those which are targeted at people because of hostility or prejudice towards their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. SUBU Advice is a third party reporting centre and as such we will listen to you, hear what you have to say and support you to report, if you wish. We can also report incidents anonymously so if you decide you don't wish to report, but would like the police to be aware, we can do this on your behalf. See our Crime page for more information.


Support available at BU

SUBU Advice is here to help and can point you in the right direction for specialist advice and support. We can also advise you on relevant SUBU and BU Policies and Procedures, e.g. exceptional circumstances, formally known as mitigating circumstances. BU provides a Wellbeing service and staff in the Chaplaincy are also qualified to provide students with emotional support. You can also speak to your GP, friends, family and/or the Samaritans. Each Faculty also has a Student Support and Engagement Team who can provide you with advice and support. Contact the service/s you feel most comfortable approaching.


ike any other student, international students need a UK bank account. Choosing the right account for you can save you money and time.

Opening a UK bank account

To open a bank account you will need to request a letter to confirm you are a student from AskBU. This can be issued once you have completed your enrolment. Opening a UK bank account is by far the safest and most effective way of managing your money as an international student. However, the process can often be quite long and complicated so it is important that you are patient and prepared.


Keep the following points in mind prior to setting up a bank account:

  • You may be able to set up your UK account from your home country. Ask you current bank if they can help.
  • If you are on a programme of 6 months or less, it may not be possible to open a bank account in the UK.
  • The bank will want to verify your identity which means you will need to attend in person to apply.
  • You may need to visit the bank more than once to set up your account, and once you have set up the account, you may have to wait around 10 days for your bank card to arrive.


Be prepared

Opening a UK bank account can be a lengthy process. With this in mind, it is important that you bring sufficient funds to cover initial expenses for your first month in the UK. For safety reasons, it is not a good idea to bring large sums of cash, and there may be restrictions on the amount of cash you can bring with you to the UK. You may want to consider alternative options such as using Travellers Cheques or pre-paid cash cards and paying tuition fees online.


Which are the main banks in the UK?

Some of the main banks in the UK are: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Santander. These banks normally open accounts for international students if the appropriate documentation is provided and meets their requirements. Opening procedures and requirements can vary depending on the branch you visit.


SUBU does not endorse any particular bank  and the information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge but may be subject to change.


Double Taxation agreements

Some double-taxation agreements mean you don’t pay UK tax on your income if you work while you’re a student.You can find more information here.