SOAS University of London

Study Abroad / Exchange Programme at SOAS

Steps for new Study Abroad/Exchange Students

Step 1 - Accept Your Offer

September 2022 Starters: Once you have recieved your Study Abroad/ Exchange offer letter, please accept or reject your offer as soon as possible. 

Step 2 - Student Visa preparation

Unless you already hold a UK immigration permission that allows study, you’ll need to successfully apply for a Student visa or Standard Visitor visa to enrol and study at SOAS. Each of these visa routes have distinct eligibility criteria, costs and conditions attached to your stay. It’s important to read the FAQs to ensure you obtain the correct visa type for your needs.

Visit the Student Visa and Immigration Page for more information or contact the SOAS Student Advice Team ( who can provide prospective Study Abroad and Exchange students with impartial advice and guidance on immigration matters.

You should not book non-refundable travel until you have received your visa, passport and any other documents required upon arrival to the UK.

Step 3 - Find accommodation 

Most Study Abroad and Exchange students stay in local student residences, however students are also welcome to find their own housing.

Once you have accepted your offer to study at SOAS, further guidance about accommodation and how to apply will be sent out to you.

Please do not apply for SOAS housing until you have received specific instructions from the Study Abroad Team.

Step 4 - Prepare for arrival 

Book your travel

September Starters: We recommend that you arrive on either by the Saturday or Sunday before term starts to be ready to enjoy Welcome Week. Welcome week is for all SOAS students but there will be a specific mandatory session for Study Abroad/Exchange students.

January Starters: We recommend that you arrive (at the latest!) on the Saturday before term starts, to be ready to attend the mandatory orientation on the Sunday before term starts. 

Study Abroad financial sponsor letter

If tuition fees are being paid by a students' Home Institution or Study Abroad Provider, then this institution should use the Financial Sponsorship Form (msword; 13kb) , adjust the highlighted sections, save as 'Name of your Institution, Study Abroad Financial Sponsor' and email it to The institution will then be directly invoiced by the SOAS Fees team for tuition fees. We require this every year, even if an institution is regular partner. Exchange students do not complete this form.

Step 5 - Packing

Linens (bedding and towels) 

In most cases you will be responsible for your own linens, so check with your accommodation provider whether they provide bedding (duvet, sheets, pillows, and so on) or if you are able to order these in advance (at an extra cost). If you decide to buy your bedding when you arrive, be mindful of the time you arrive in London as not all the shops will be open late at night.  

Hand luggage tips:
  • Passport (containing visa if applicable)
  • SOAS offer letter and/or CAS
  • Financial evidence
  • Address of UK accommodation and confirmation of contract.
Hold luggage tips:
  • Label your luggage with your details in English
  • Check your baggage allowance, exceeding this could be extremely costly
  • Photocopies of all your important documents: passport, visa, SOAS offer letter, accommodation confirmation, etc.
  • Clothes! You don't need to bring your whole wardrobe as we have lots of shops in London
  • Electrical items, including several travel adaptors. Make sure you check the voltage as it may be different to your home country.