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International Students

Steps for New Students

Step 1 - Confirm Attendance & RSVP for Orientation
Step 2 - Student Visa Preparation
Step 3 - Find accommodation 
Step 4 - Prepare for Arrival
Step 5 - Attend Study Abroad and Exchange Students Orientation

Step 1 - Confirm Attendance & RSVP for Orientation

To accept your offer and RSVP for the mandatory orientation (beginning on Monday 21 September 2015) please go to Study Abroad/Exchange Orientation RSVP September 2015 

Step 2 - Student Visa Preparation

Do you require a visa to enter the UK for study? If you are a:  

  • National of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland then you do not need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to enter the UK.
  • Citizen or national of a country outside of the European Economic Area (e.g. USA, Japan, Korea, China, India etc) you are subject to immigration control in the UK and require either a Tier 4 or Student Visitor Visa.

It is very important that you check your visa requirements and allow enough time for the application procedure as it can take several weeks.  Do not book a non-refundable air-ticket until you know you have your visa and passport and make sure you have everything you need to show in your hand luggage with you when you travel.  

At SOAS, staff in the Students’ Services Team can provide information and advice on immigration matters: welfare@soas.ac.uk

Tier 4 General Student

If you are subject to immigration control in the UK and are coming to the US for longer than 6 months, you will require a Tier 4 visa. If you are coming for less than 6 months, but would like to have the opportunity to paid or unpaid work, then you may request a Tier 4 visa. 

  • The Tier 4 General visa allows you to work, part-time, paid or unpaid.  
  • You may enter the UK 7 days before the start of term.
  • No matter your country of origin, you will need to apply for the Tier 4 General Student visa at your local embassy.  
  • To request a Tier 4 visa, please begin by requesting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number using the Study Abroad/Exchange CAS Request Form. The SOAS Admissions Team will then ask you to complete and return the CAS form.  You will then need to provide the UK Border Agency with a number of documents, please follow the instructions on the UKBA website
  • Only request a CAS number from SOAS if you are certain you are going to apply for the Tier 4 visa

Student Visitor Visa

If you are coming to the UK to study for less than 6 months, you can choose to come on either a Tier 4 General Student or under the Student Visitor Visa.  

  • The Student Visitor Visa means that you cannot work, paid or unpaid.  
  • You can arrive at any time.  However, remember that you must complete your whole period of study (i.e. Term 1 or Terms 2&3) within 6 months of your arrival date and you cannot extend your stay.  
  • You do not need a CAS number for the Student Visitor Visa category.
  • To apply, you will need a copy of your Offer Letter (emailed to you as an attachment) and Financial Documents.  More information can be found on UKCISA Student Visitor Visa
  • NB: If you are a visa national, you will need to apply for the Student Visitor Visa at your local embassy. More information can be found on the UKVI website.


Step 3 - Find accommodation 

SOAS student residence is offered by Sanctuary Students and includes Dinwiddy House for undergraduate students and Paul Robeson House for postgraduate students.  Both are adjacent to the Vernon Square campus and a 15 minute walk from the main campus at Russell Square.  Costs are set by Sanctuary Students but, compared to other central London residences, these options are very affordable. 


Dinwiddy House - 500 undergraduate student spaces
  • Single en-suite rooms
  • Six or seven rooms clustered around shared kitchen and dining facilities
  • Access to telephones and broadband internet
  • On-site laundry
  • Bike storage
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure spaces
Paul Robeson House - 250 postgraduate student spaces
  • Single en-suite rooms, double en-suite rooms or a one-bedroom flat option for student couples
  • Five to seven rooms clustered around shared kitchen and dining facilities
  • Access to telephones and broadband internet
  • On-site laundry
  • Bike storage
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure spaces
 
Sanctuary Student Information: 
  • International students are given priority for housing; however, since it is offered on a rolling basis, you should apply as soon as possible to make sure you are guaranteed a place.
  • Please ensure you give an e-mail address you check regularly, as this is what Sanctuary Students will use to contact you with important information.
  • If you have any further queries, please contact student@sanctuary-students.com
 
Intercollegiate Halls - 170 places allocated to SOAS students 

As a SOAS student, you will also be entitled to apply for a place in one of the seven intercollegiate residences owned and maintained by the University of London. This offers a valuable opportunity to mix with students from other colleges of the University. All provide catering, offering breakfast and evening meals on weekdays and all meals at weekends.

Additional Options

If you would like further information about additional accommodation options, please look at the SOAS Accommodation website. 

Step 4 - Prepare for Arrival 

More information here soon. 

Step 5 - Attend Study Abroad/Exchange Orientation

All Study Abroad and Exchange students have a special orientation during Welcome Week.   This year Welcome Week will take place between Monday 21 September and Friday 25 September 2015. Don't forget to RSVP to the Orientation! Study Abroad/Exchange Orientation RSVP September 2015 

During Welcome Week there will be special orientation events run by the Study Abroad Coordinator specifically for Study Abroad and Exchange students. You will also meet your Faculty Points of Contact and your Academic Advisors.  You will be provided information about: 

  • How to enrol and register for classes
  • Assessment for Study Abroad and Exchange students
  • Your SOAS email account and IT services
  • Welfare services
  • Employment and Careers
  • Clubs and Societies
  • The Students’ Union and sports and leisure facilities

 

Specific date/time and location details to be confirmed.