SOAS University of London

Study Abroad / Exchange Programme at SOAS

Steps for New Study Abroad/Exchange Students

Step 1 - Confirm Attendance & RSVP for Orientation
Step 2 - Student Visa Preparation
Step 3 - Find accommodation 
Step 4 - Prepare for Arrival
Step 5 - Packing 

Step 1 - Confirm attendance & RSVP for orientation

September Starters 2021: To accept your offer and RSVP for the mandatory orientation day which will take place on week beginning 27 September 2021, please go to Study Abroad/Exchange Orientation RSVP September 2021. Note that the above links refer to Study Abroad/Exchange students only, not SOAS degree students.

Step 2 - Student Visa preparation

Non-UK nationals may require a visa or entry clearance to study in the UK. If you are unsure, please use the UKVI Visa Checker tool and consult the UKVI website for current advice and regulations.

Visit the Student Visas and immigration page for more information or contact the SOAS Advice Service 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.

If you do need a Tier 4 Student Visa, please begin by requesting a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number via the Study Abroad/ Exchange CAS Request Form on the righthand side of the webpage. 

If you will be attending a pre-sessional English programme, please ensure that you have paid for your course before submitting a CAS request.


Step 3 - Find accommodation 

Most Study Abroad and Exchange students stay in SOAS accommodation, however students are also welcome to find their own housing.  All options are close to SOAS by foot or a short Tube ride away, with excellent facilities.  Most student residences are self-catered (no meals provided) and many have en-suite bathrooms.  

All SOAS accommodation options can be found on our Accommodation webpages, and more detailed instructions on how to apply will be sent out once your offer has been accepted.  Please note that Dinwiddy House is the only SOAS housing that provides a term 1 only or terms 2/3 only contract.  If you choose to stay elsewhere, you may be required to take out a full year contract and then find another student to take over your room. If you have any questions, please contact

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. Check the term dates prior to arrival.

Students flying into London via Dublin

Avoid booking flights that arrive in the UK via Dublin as you will not go through UK immigration when you arrive and therefore will not receive the correct student stamp in your passport.  This means that we cannot enrol you as a student at SOAS and will require you to leave the UK and return (not via Eurostar) to ensure you have the right to remain in the UK as a short term student.

Finalise Erasmus Learning Agreements

Erasmus students will need to finalise their Learning Agreement for Studies first with their home university (Sending Institution) and then with SOAS (Receiving Institution). Please contact your home university for any questions about your Learning Agreement. 

  1. Complete the relevant sections of the Learning Agreement in coordination with your home university/Erasmus Office.
  2. Make sure you have used the correct ECTS points value.
  3. Scan and and e-mail the completed Learning Agreement directly to 
  4. The Study Abroad team will review this document, sign and return it to you.    

Please note that modules listed on the Learning Agreement are still subject to availability.

Study Abroad Financial Sponsor Letter

If tuition fees are being paid for 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 send via e-mail 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 or Erasmus 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 please check with your accommodation provider to see if they provide bedding (duvet, sheets, pillows etc) or if you are able to order these in advance (at an extra cost).  If you decide to buy your bedding when you arrive, please 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.