Study Abroad FAQs
Below are some of the answers to the most common queries that we receive about the study abroad programme. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m not studying at a U.S. university – can I still apply?
I’m not a U.S. citizen – can I still apply?
I’m not in my junior year – can I still apply?
I’m a postgraduate student – can I apply?
I don’t meet the academic entry requirements – will you still consider my application?
I don’t qualify for the study abroad programme. Are there any other ways to study at SOAS?
The Application Process
Visas and Immigration
Arriving in London
Costs and Fees
The Academic Programme
Where can I find course descriptions?
How many courses do I take?
How many credits do I get for my study at SOAS?
Can I take less or more than the required course load?
How do I know which level of language class I should take?
How do I apply for accommodation?
Where is my SOAS student reference number?
How will I be notified if I am offered accommodation?
How do I accept an offer of accommodation?
How do I pay for accommodation?
Can I pay in instalments?
When can I move in to my accommodation?
When do I have to move out of my accommodation?
Will I need to buy kitchen utensils for my flat?
Will I need to buy bedding?
Do I need to take out insurance to cover my possessions?
Yes. It is possible for students from all over the world to apply to study abroad at SOAS.
However, if you are currently studying in Europe then please check the Socrates / Erasmus pages to see whether or not your home institution already has an agreement with SOAS. If there is a link between your university and SOAS, you must apply through this link. Your university will provide you with the information about how to do this. If there is not, you are welcome to apply for the Study Abroad programme.
Yes! Your nationality has no relevance to your application.
Yes, students in any year can apply, provided you have the permission of your home institution to study abroad.
Yes. The Study Abroad programme can accommodate postgraduate students yes, although applicants must be studying a postgraduate degree at another institution and meet the entry requirements for the Masters programmes at SOAS. Please contact email@example.com for further details.
Undergraduate students are not permitted to take postgraduate level courses at SOAS, even if they are in their final year of undergraduate study.
Yes, we will still consider your application. The academic requirement (for example current GPA or current overall grade) is only one part of our assessment and we would encourage anyone who is interested in the programme to apply. We do not ask for a personal statement but if you wish to submit one, or if there are any extenuating circumstances which have affected your grades, then we will take these into consideration.
The deadlines are as follows:
Full Year (September-June) – 30th June
Term 1 Only (September-December) - 30th June
Terms 2 and 3 Only (January-June) – 30th October
We aim to respond to students within one month of receiving their complete application materials.
Yes. If, for example, you will be studying abroad during the time when applications are being made or it will be difficult to contact you, we can process your application early. However, please make sure that you state clearly on your application when you wish to study abroad.
Along with your application form you should submit two references. One should be an academic reference. This should be written by a professor who knows you well, but it does not have to be a professor who is teaching courses related to your studies at SOAS or your major.
The other reference should come from your Dean of Students/Academic Dean. However, if this is not the procedure at your home institution, we are happy to accept a recommendation from your Study Abroad Advisor/ International Office instead.
Visas and Immigration
Yes, you are entitled to work provided that you obtain the proper entry clearance before you arrive in the U.K. Full-time international students on the correct visa are entitled to work for up to 20 hours during term time, and full time during university holidays. For further information please contact our immigration advisors (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This will depend on your nationality and the length of time you plan to study at SOAS. Please refer to www.ukvisas.gov.uk for further information.
Again, this will depend on your personal circumstances. Please refer to www.ukvisas.gov.uk for further information.
Arriving in London
Unfortunately the Study Abroad staff cannot meet students at the airport, but we will provide you with comprehensive information about travelling to your accommodation from the London airports one month before your departure.
We will provide you with comprehensive information about travelling to your accommodation from the London airports one month before your departure.
The reception desk is open from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. If you are arriving outside these hours, you must email Dinwiddy House, email@example.com and they will arrange for your keys to be left with the night porter for you to collect when you arrive.
For check in you will need to bring some form of ID with you, such as a passport, and a copy of your offer letter/e-mail or payment receipt (don't forget that you have to pay your first housing instalment before you can check in).
You can pick up your keys from the reception desk at Dinwiddy House when you check-in to your accommodation.
The reception desk at Dinwiddy House is only open from 9am-5pm. If you are arriving outside this time you MUST call Dinwiddy and let them know that you will be arriving late so that they can arrange for your keys to be left with the night porter. If you have been delayed for more than 24hours, you must also inform Study Abroad staff, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Costs and Fees (see the Accommodation section for housing fees)
Tuition fees are listed on the fees and expenses pages.
For information about how you can pay your fees, please visit the tuition fees section.
No. All tuition fees must be paid in full before enrolment.
Yes. Study Abroad students currently registered at a US or Canadian University are eligible to apply for the Butex scholarship. For more information please see www.butex.ac.uk
Yes. You should be eligible for a “basic bank account” with a number of different banks. You normally need to be physically present in the UK to open a UK bank account. You will need to take with you your passport, SOAS acceptance letter and your housing contract. The SOAS Welfare Office will be able to provide you with more information.
Term dates for next year are available on the programme of study pages.
The exam timetable is usually published at the end of Term 2, which is usually around the end of March, depending on term dates.
You should plan to arrive in London at least one day before orientation. Orientation is compulsory for all Study Abroad Students because there is a lot of very important academic/health/financial information that you will need, but it’s also a great way to meet people.
The Academic Programme
All of the course descriptions are detailed in the course lists.
All students should take four courses at all times while studying at SOAS.
Four courses will transfer back as a full course load at your home school. Each course that you take at SOAS has an equal credit value.
You cannot take more than the required course load. You may, with the permission of the course convener, audit a class, but you will not submit coursework or receive credit.
You can take less than the required course load with the written permission of your home school, but this will not alter the programme fee.
Unless you are beginning a language from scratch, you will take a short placement test. This usually involves a conversation in the foreign language and, in some cases, a short written test. This test is not a formal examination. It is just to make sure that you are placed in a class which will challenge you, without being overwhelming.
This information has been taken from www.smsstudent.co.uk. This is the website of Sanctuary Management Services, the company responsible for the SOAS undergraduate residence, Dinwiddy House.
Accommodation applications are separate from the Study Abroad programme application. You should make an application for housing at the SOAS undergraduate residence, Dinwiddy House, online at www.smsstudent.co.uk/soas.asp as soon as you have received your acceptance letter from SOAS.
Your SOAS student reference number is at the top of your offer letter. It is 6 digits long.
All offers are sent to the email address that you give on your accommodation application form. Therefore please make sure that you check your mail regularly.
You can accept an offer of accommodation at Dinwiddy House and pay your deposit online at login.smsstudent.co.uk
A booking fee is required to reserve a place in Dinwiddy House. The booking fee is payable online and most debit and credit cards are accepted. Receipt of payment and confirmation of your acceptance will automatically be sent to you by email.
When you receive an offer you will be given access to a user area of the website www.smsstudent.co.uk where you can make online payments and view your account details, payment schedule, and Tenancy Agreement.
Students are encouraged to use the secure online payment system. You can use most credit and debit cards to pay your booking fee and accommodation fees instalments.
Yes, it is possible to pay in instalments. Fees are divided into three instalments which are made across the academic year.
Usually students move into accommodation 3-4 days before the beginning of term. If you are arriving in September it is usually possible to move in earlier than this if you need to, at an additional cost. The exact dates will be on your tenancy agreement.
Term 1 Only students can stay in their accommodation until the end of December or early January, depending on the academic calendar.
Terms 2&3 and Full Year students can stay in their accommodation until the day after the last day of Term 3. It is usually possible to stay on in Dinwiddy house after the end of term 3 at an additional cost if you wish to stay in London.
Residences are self-catering so you will need to bring your own cooking utensils, plates, cutlery, pans etc. Some students wait until they move in and then buy items such as a kettle or toaster together with other students sharing their kitchen.
Yes. This is available for purchase at Dinwiddy House or there are several places locally where you can buy bedding.
A basic insurance policy is included in the rent. More expensive items such as bicycles and computers can be insured through Dinwiddy House for an additional fee.
SOAS has a whole range of summer programmes. For more information please visit the summer school pages.
Yes. We send all students a link to the SOAS Study Abroad Facebook group. Students who choose to join the group can use it to get in touch with other students.
Yes, we are happy to proctor exams if you need us to. Please get in touch with us if you need to make these arrangements.