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Before you arrive Information for new students

Information for new students

If you are a new student coming to Bellerbys College, you may have some questions about what it's like to live and study in the UK. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a useful guide with information on what to do once you have confirmed your place, what to pack and much more.

Download your pre-arrival guide

Moving to another country to study is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, so it is understandable that you may feel a mixture of nerves and excitement.

It is normal to feel some homesickness to begin with while you adjust to your new life, but remember everyone is in the same situation. We have a team of friendly counsellors and Student Services staff who are here to make sure you are safe and happy.

Tips on studying in the UK 

What to pack

Essential items to bring with you include:

  • Passport
  • Visa/Home Office letter
  • CAS
  • Offer letter
  • Qualifications certificates
  • Passport style photographs
  • Accommodation documents
  • Towel
  • Essential toiletries and medications
  • Photographs of family and friends to make you feel at home 

Living in the UK

Life in Britain will almost certainly be different from what you are used to but it won't take you long to settle in. The British Council has created 'Education UK' with useful tips on studying in the UK. 

British etiquette

The British are known to be reserved in manners, dress and speech. Britain is famous for politeness, self-discipline and the ‘ironic’ sense of humour. Basic politeness (please, thank you and excuse me) is expected. Here are a few tips on British manners:

  • In England people form orderly queues (stand in line) and wait patiently for their turn, for example when boarding a bus.
  • Put your litter in the bin - dropping rubbish in the street is illegal and damaging to the environment
  • Do try to be considerate about noise, especially at night when people are sleeping
  • Smoking in all indoor public places (this includes platforms at train stations) in the UK is illegal
  • British people may call you terms of endearment, such as “mate” or “love”. Do not be offended, they are just being friendly!


Although Britain has traditional dishes such as fish and chips or English breakfast, food in Britain is considered to be very multicultural.

Bellerbys College caters for most diets, including halal and vegetarian. For breakfast you can choose from fresh fruit and juices, croissants, cold meats and cheeses, yoghurt, cereal and toast. Hungry students can experience a full English breakfast!

Lunch and dinner varies every day. There is always a choice of two meat dishes, one fish and one vegetarian dish. This is served with a noodles, rice, potatoes and vegetables. We also have a good selection of salads, sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt and juices.


It is illegal to attempt to buy or consume alcohol if you are under 18. It’s perfectly acceptable for adults to drink alcohol in moderate amounts. For many British people, drinking is an established part of social life – ‘going out for a drink’ is how they relax or spend time with friends. This doesn’t mean that you have to drink alcohol. If you don’t want to you can always ask for a non-alcoholic drink instead.


Many people in Britain smoke but it is not allowed in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Smoking is not allowed in many public places including buses and the London Underground. If you are eating or drinking with friends – especially at someone else’s house – it is polite to ask before you light your cigarette.

Safety advice

  • Use only licensed taxis with official council plates on the back
  • Don’t go out alone at night – bring a friend with you, or if you have to be alone make sure someone knows where you are at all times
  • Look both ways before you cross a road – remember the traffic travels on the left in the UK
  • Be careful when sunbathing – use a high factor sun protection cream and don’t stay out in the sun too long


Bellerbys College is committed to equality and to ensuring that you do not face discrimination whilst you are studying. Although we hope you do not encounter any racism in the UK, unfortunately no society is perfect. Remember it is your right to feel comfortable in the country you are living in and if anyone behaves in an abusive or intimidating way towards you, you must report it to a member of staff or the police.

Find us on Facebook

Check out our Facebook pages where you can speak to other new students. Our main Bellerbys page has updates from all four of our colleges, or visit our location Facebook pages:


You will need to budget for your your living costs, which includes accommodation, clothes, transport, books, food and entertainment. The cost of living varies depending on where you live and your lifestyle but Numbeo Cost of Living is a useful calculator. 

If you are coming to the UK for at least one academic year, we recommend you open a bank account. The College will help you with this when you arrive.


All our campuses are in the south of England, which tends to be milder than other parts of the UK.

  • Autumn (September to November): The weather in autumn is mild yet unpredictable. You might get a few warm sunny days but be prepared for rain too. You’ll need warm jackets, jumpers and an umbrella.
  • Winter (December to February): These are the coldest months. Make sure you pack jumpers, warm coats, boots, a rain coat and umbrella.
  • Spring (March to May): Lots of sunny days, but evenings can be cooler.
  • Summer (June to August): Summer is the UK's warmest season with long sunny days. It can rain in summer too though.