Can’t find the answer to your question here or through our other pages? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help you and get back to you as soon as we can. There is no such thing as stupid questions.
Is tap water in the UK safe to drink?
Tap water here in the UK is clean and safe to drink. You may find that water in every region will taste slightly different, this is due to the source of water being more mineralised than others.
Can I work in the UK?
This will depend on the type of visa you have. You can work in the UK if your visa states you can, but your visa may restrict the number of hours you can work each week. If you look at your BRP, it will state how many hours you can week per week, this includes paid and unpaid work and volunteering hours. If you work, you will need to get a NI number.
How can I get the National Insurance Number?
When you apply for a job you would need the NI number (National insurance number). However, you can start working without a NI number, but you must let your employer know your NI number as soon as you receive it. The NI number is free; therefore, you do not need to pay for anything unless you are paying an agency to do it for you. You can also apply for an NI number before getting a job. To apply you can liaise with the Job centre directly through 0345 600 0643 or through the Gov website.
Can I drive in the UK?
You can drive with your current licence in the UK if you are:
If you are an EU national or from a European Economic Area and have a driver licence from an EU/EEA country, you can drive in the UK for as long as your licence is valid. If you don’t have a licence yet, you can apply for a provisional licence. The driving test can be applied for and taken once you have been studying in the UK for at least 185 days.
If you are from one of the following designated countries:
Designated Country are: Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe. You can apply to exchange it for a UK licence that last up to 5 years after becoming a British resident. You can drive in the UK for 12 months with your current licence and then exchange it for a UK licence.
If you do not have a licence already, you can apply for the UK provisional licence then take the driving test. Once you have been in the UK for 6 months and passed your test, you can apply for a full UK driver licence
Not from a designated country:
You can drive in the UK for up to 12 months with your foreign licence.
After 12 months you will need to apply for a UK provisional licence and take the theory test. Once you have your provisional licence and passed your theory test, then you can do the driving test. If you pass your driving test, you can apply for the full UK driver licence.
Find out more.
Can I hire a car?
You can hire cars through car rental companies, however their policy and age range may differ. Check the company’s policy before attempting to hire a car.
Co- Wheel car Club
Through Co-Wheel car club you can hire a car by the hour, when you sign up to be a member of their club. For students and staff there is a special discount and FREE membership, they currently have one of their cars parked up by Park Group Halls (Dunsden Crescent), which you can book online and have keyless access to. Join the club click here.
I lost my BRP what should I do?
Losing your BRP is a serious matter and should be dealt with as soon as possible. If lost outside the UK, this will prevent you from traveling back into the UK, which can affect your studies. Click on the link to see what your next steps are. If lost in the UK, please contact the International Student Advisory team for advice or visit the Website
Can I get a visit visa for my family and friends?
It is always wonderful when family and friends come to visit you, although it is important they apply for the visitor visa (if required) and follow the correct procedure. Please be mindful that visitors are not entitled to use the NHS services, therefore we recommend you inform your guest that they should consider purchasing insurance before travelling. If they do not and the worst situation was to happen, hospital treatment would be charged at 150% of the actual cost. Failure to pay for the costs incurred would result in your visitor’s visa applications being subject to refusal in the future.
Can I bring a Tier 4 Dependant?
Whether you can bring a Tier 4 dependant will depend on your course and the duration of your course here in the UK. To see if you qualify to have a dependant, click here for further information.
Can I receive any scholarships, bursaries or funding?
Every department has their own scholarships and bursaries. It is best to contact your school directly to identify what options are available to you.
The Hardship fund is generated by the generosity of alumni donations, to help any student who unexpectedly find themselves in financial crisis. If you are experiencing unexpected financial hardship you can attend a drop-in meeting with The Student Financial Support Team to discuss your situation, they will be able to advise you on your options and process for applying to the Hardship Fund if appropriate.
The Chevening Scholarship is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partnered organisation, to develop global leaders. These scholarships are only available for taught Master’s degrees. For more information and how to apply for the Chevening Scholarship click here.
Note: To apply for the Chevening Scholarship you must be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country.
I want to live in private accommodation, but I don’t have a UK Guarantor what should I do?
If you don’t have a UK guarantor, the landlord or letting agency may ask students to pay 6 to 12 months’ rent upfront. This situation may not be feasible for all students. The University and RUSU have created a partnership with ‘YourGuarantor’, where they will act as your UK guarantor. To see if you are eligible for this scheme or want to apply, please click here.
Do I need to pay council tax?
The property is exempt from council tax when it is wholly occupied by full time students, however, the council may ask you to provide a letter confirming you are a full-time student as evident. You will get a Council Tax bill by post if someone is living in your house who isn’t a full-time student, however they may qualify for a discount. Children under the age of 18 do not need to pay for council tax. For more information on who are exempt from paying council tax, click here.
How do I pay my accommodation bills?
Check in your contract first if bills (water, gas, electric) and internet are included, if so there is nothing to worry about other than paying your rent on time.
If bills are not included in your contract you would need to check if the house/flat is gas or electric or both. For water and internet, you should check what is available in your building/ area before purchasing a package. You can ask the agency or landlord to find out who the providers were for the previous tenants, or you can find your own. You can do this by looking at providers website or through comparison website such as comparethemarket.com or moneysupermarket.com. Before you purchase a package from a provider, check if the company is reliable and legitimate by looking at reviews or asking people you know if they have used the provider.
Do I need to pay for a TV licence?
Regardless if you have a TV or not in your accommodation, you would need to pay for a TV licence if you are using your laptop/tablet/ game console/ mobile phone/ other devices if you:
- Watch or record live TV programmes from any channel
- Download or watch BBC programmes on iplayer
If you do use these services and have not paid for a TV licence, you risk being prosecuted and given a penalty up to £1000 with additional charges such as legal cost or compensation. For more information click here.
What is Gift Aid?
Often museums or charities will ask if you would like to Gift Aid, Gift Aid means charities or CASCs (Community Amateur Sports Clubs) can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. To qualify to Gift Aid, you must have paid the same amount or more in Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax. Follow by making a Gift Aid declaration (normally an application form), so the charity can claim your Gift Aid.