Some specific questions you might have as an international student:
Can I continue studying remotely?
All students are encouraged to study remotely until at least 22 February, subject to confirmation from government that face-to-face teaching can resume then. The only exceptions are for Education (Initial Teacher Training), Physician Associates, Speech & Language Therapy and Pharmacy programmes where face-to-face teaching continues to be allowed.
We encourage students to stay at your current address if you can, and only return if it is absolutely necessary, for example:
• international students who cannot amend their travel plans;
• if you do not have facilities to re-commence your studies online at your vacation address;
• for health and safety reasons;
• to continue to access specialist medical or mental health services.
I hold a Tier 4 student visa, will my visa be stopped if I am studying remotely?
UK Visas and Immigration have introduced a concession for the academic year 2020/21, whereby students holding Tier 4 visas can continue to be sponsored where they are unable to return for the start of the academic year due to COVID-19 related reasons. The University can maintain sponsorship for the Tier 4 visa, providing the student is enrolled and engaging with their programme. You must intend to transition to the UK campus for face-to-face learning as soon as it is possible to do so. Students who withdraw from their programme or suspend for the academic year, or fail to re-enrol, will be subject to normal sponsorship rules, whereby Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn.
I am interested in the Graduate Post Study work visa which is launching in summer 2021, if some of my programme is delivered through blended learning, can I still qualify for the Graduate Post Study work visa?
UK Visas and Immigration have confirmed that students will normally be expected to undertake their studies in the UK to be eligible for the Graduate route. However, if students are required to either continue their current studies or commence a new course by distance or blended learning due to COVID-19, they will still be eligible to switch into the Graduate route on a concessionary basis if they spent some time studying outside the UK. Students will benefit from this concession if they enter the UK before 6 April 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK. Such students will still need to have extant leave as a Tier 4 student or Student when the new route launches in 2021 and meet other eligibility criteria to be eligible for the route.
What do I need to do before I travel to Reading from overseas?
Before you arrive in the UK you will be asked to complete an online public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you are due to arrive in the UK. This will be provided by your travel company. If you do not complete the form before you arrive in the UK, it might take you longer to enter the UK. This is a free UK Government service and you do not need to pay another website or business to provide your contact details for you.
When you arrive at the UK border, you will need to show either:
•a printed copy of the document attached to your confirmation email;
or •the document attached to the confirmation email on your phone.
Border Force officers will use the QR code at the top of the document to check you have completed the form successfully. The government will use the information you give to contact you if you or someone you have travelled with develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.
From 18 January, all travellers must also provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. For further information, please see the FCDO website.
If you do not complete the form before you arrive in the UK, it might take you longer to enter the UK.More information or how to complete the form is provided on the UK Government COVID-19 guidance website.
Do I need to self-isolate when I arrive in the UK after travelling from overseas?
The UK government requires everyone who is entering the country to self-isolate (also known as being ‘in quarantine’) for 10 days. Even though you have provided a negative test for entering the country, you must follow the rules for self-isolating when you arrive in England.
You can use the ‘Test to release’ scheme by paying privately for a COVID-19 test to reduce the length of time you need to self-isolate. This is optional and travellers may still choose to self-isolate for the full 10 days rather than pay for a test. If you wish to opt in, you can do this when you complete the Passenger Locator Form prior to travelling to the UK. More information or how to complete the form is provided on the UK government COVID-19 guidance website.
Please note that the previous ‘travel corridors’ (for countries with an exemption to the requirement to self-isolate) have been suspended. This means everyone travelling to the UK from overseas must self-isolate for 10 days or use the ‘Test to release’ scheme as well as have a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 3 days.
If you are required to self-isolate on arrival we will support students living in Halls with practical arrangements so you can self-isolate safely without the need to visit shops (which is not permitted).
What if I develop COVID-19 symptoms on my way to the UK/Reading?
Do not travel to Reading if you have symptoms.
If you develop coronavirus symptoms when you’re travelling to the UK, you should tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They’ll let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do next when you arrive.
In most cases you will not need to go to hospital if you contract COVID-19. If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you will receive medical advice from the NHS and you must also notify the University. If you are finding it difficult to manage your symptoms, you should contact NHS 111 for advice.
If you do need specific medical treatment, the costs for this will be covered by the NHS. If you choose to be treated privately then you will need to cover these costs yourself.
There is currently a travel ban to the UK from my country, what should I do?