Welcome Week: 18th - 22nd September 2023



Hello,International Students

Hello, we’re your Guild of Students. We’re the Students’ Union at the University of Birmingham, and it’s our job to support you and represent you throughout your time at Birmingham.

We also host lots of events and create opportunities for you to make friends, settle into life in the UK and have fun while at University.

We know you must have a lot of questions, so we’ve compiled this Welcome page filled with useful information for international and exchange students.

If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for below, you can learn more by viewing our Welcome homepage and looking at the University’s Welcome pages for more updates.


Image promoting the Joe's Big Quiz featuring two students in humorous thinking poses, with images such as lightbulbs and question marks around them on a blue background. Joe's Big Quiz
28th September 7pm - 10pm
Joe's Bar - Guild of Students
£5 per team £12 Pitcher and a Pizza £8 Pitchers
Joe's Karaoke Night
29th September 7pm - 2am
Joe's Bar - Guild of Students
FREE Entry £2 Drinks

All of our Welcome events are open to all students. Use our search function to look for specific events!

View All Events


Alice International Officer

Hi, I’m Alice, your International Officer.

I'm here to represent our international students as well as students on a year abroad and those studying at our international campuses. I want to welcome you to the University of Birmingham, celebrate our diverse international student groups and build our wonderful international community.

So if you have ideas, questions or just want to talk, get in contact below:

  Officer Blog

Your Year At University

document vector

You can view term dates for the upcoming academic year via the University’s website.

Please note, in line with your visa requirements, you’ll need to check in regularly throughout the year. So, it’s key that you make a note of when term starts and ends, so you know when you’re required on campus – this may vary based on course type.

FrequentlyAsked Questions

If your question isn't answered below, please message us on our social medias and we'll be happy to help!

Are you preparing to travel to the UK? Here’s some key information to help you plan your journey:

When do I have to arrive in the UK?

If you’re moving into university or partner accommodation, our official moving in weekend is 16th and 17th September, so many of you will need to arrive during this period or just before, depending on travel arrangements.

Please note, if you’ll be moving into student accommodation you’ll need to complete your accommodation pass and book your timeslot with the University, so you’ll know exactly when to arrive. You can always contact the accommodation team, your hall’s receptions or landlords for more information about this.

If you will be moving into private housing or accommodation you will need to arrange your arrival with your accommodation provider or landlord.

View the University’s website for more information about moving into accommodation.

I’m confused about Covid Testing

As per the current guidelines, you don’t need to take a Covid test before arriving in the UK. View the Gov.uk website to learn more.

If you have any further questions about travel and quarantine guidelines, please email Alice for support.

I need help with travel arrangements

For advice and guidance on booking your travel, providing your journey details and being collected from the airport, please visit the University’s travel web pages.

What should I pack?

As well as your clothes - there are a number of essential items that you need to bring, including:

  • Your passport and visa
  • All relevant travel documents
  • Confirmation of your arrival date / time
  • Some cash (but please do not to carry large amounts of money with you, you can access your bank later)
  • Directions to your accommodation
  • Bedding and towels
  • A face covering (please note this is not a legal requirement in the UK)
  • Medication and medical information

Keep these items safe and store all essential documents in your hand luggage so you can easily access them. Remember not to leave your baggage unattended during your journey.

These are just a few essentials, but be sure to check the University’s website for a full list of items to bring.

Once you’ve arrived the UK, there are a number of things you will need to do. Here are some key actions to get you started:

BRP and Right to Study

You will need to collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit), when you arrive in the UK. You may need to collect it from the University, or even a local Post Office – please check your Visa application for instructions and details.

Furthermore, all international students, who require visas or immigration permissions to be in the UK, are required to complete a Right to Study check. This demonstrates you have the ‘right to study’ in the UK and to complete this process you will need to upload certain documents.

View all information about the Right to Study check and the documents that you will need to upload based on your visa.

Register with a Doctor

It’s important to register with a local GP (General Practitioner), so you can receive healthcare whenever you need to. GPs provide support with both mental and physical health, so it’s important to get registered so you can access the National Health Service (NHS)

You can find a local GP using the NHS’s ‘Find a GP’ tool. Some Doctors Surgeries only accept people who live in certain areas and can be full – so you may have to try more than one.

Learn more about registering with a Doctor.

View a full list of tasks to complete before you start university.

What are the average monthly living costs?

Take a look at the Gov.uk website to get an idea of the average costs when living as a student or researcher in the UK.

During your time at University, you may find yourself in need a little bit of support, whether this is relating to your studies, finances or to your general wellbeing. Explore support options below:

I need support with my visa

You can speak to the International Students’ Team (IST) at the University. They provide specialist visa support and can help with issues like immigration and adapting to life at university.

I’m nervous about life in the UK

Moving to another country can be daunting, the new surroundings and unfamiliar customs can lead to a feeling of culture shock1, which can be very confusing and frustrating. So, if you start to experience culture shock1 or feel homesick2 and want someone to talk to, get in touch with Guild Advice for a confidential3 one-to-one chat.

If you’re living in halls, you can also speak to your Student Mentors - they are a team of current students and who have been through it all themselves and will be happy to help!

I need academic advice

If ever you’re struggling and need some academic support, Guild Advice are here to help. They offer confidential3 one-to-one advice on a range of subjects including: workload, revision tips, plagiarism, appeals and extenuating circumstances4.

Housing and contracts

If you’re worried about housing and need some support with contracts and the moving process, speak to Guild Advice. They’ll do their best to help you or point you in the right direction.

Keeping yourselves safe on campus

The University has a Community Safety Hub on campus to provide support if you need it. From advice on any issues, to information about relevant support services and even free bike locks and personal alarms, the team are here to help.

Key contact information should you need it:

  • In cases of an emergency you can call 999
  • For non-emergencies you can call the West Midlands Police on 101
  • For medical non-emergencies you can call 111 for NHS Support

Getting a part-time job

If you’re looking for a part-time job during your studies the Guild offers various student staff roles throughout the year. Plus, you can always get in touch with Worklink for various opportunities on campus.

Please note, depending on your course type and visa there may be certain restrictions on how many hours you can work during term time, for example Undergraduates will often be capped at 20 hours per week. So, we encourage you to look into this.

A fantastic part of University life is making new friends and learning new skills! And a great way of doing this is by joining a student group.

International Students’ Association (ISA)

The International Students’ Association is a student-led association at the Guild that represents and supports all International students at Birmingham. The ISA organises lots of social events, campaigns and is a great place to meet other international students.

Cultural Student Groups

From Bulgarian Society to Japan Soc, there are many cultural student groups representing countries all around the world. Explore our student groups today and get ready to meet your international student community.

Alongside our cultural groups, we also have a range of other societies and associations which explore a range of interests and hobbies. From art, to movies and even ballroom dance, there are so many groups to join.

Groups for Exchange Students

As an exchange student you can join the Exchange Society to socialise and stay connected with your student community. You can also contact your Wellbeing Officer or head to the Student Hub in the Aston Webb building should you need any support.

What is Welcome 2023?

Each September we welcome students to Birmingham, by hosting a variety of fun events and activities including our AMAZING Welcome Wristband! This allows you the chance to get to know your fellow students, the campus and the Guild.

What events are planned for Welcome?

We’re excited to be hosting a range of events giving you the opportunity to meet your student community, get to know campus and have fun! A few key events which we’re really excited about are: our Welcome Fair, Societies Fair and Welcome club nights.

But it doesn’t stop there, we have so much more planned which will be posted right here on our welcome site and our social media.

How many events will there be?

There will be a full programme of events, from small scale socials to fabulous parties. You won't want to miss out, so make sure you explore them all on our events page.

Are any club nights planned for Welcome?

Yes! We have a fantastic range of club nights, including our Welcome Party, UV Full Moon Party, Glitter Ball and our infamous Fab Nights! All of these events are available to purchase within our Welcome Wristband, giving you priority access from just £25! Our events are very popular, so get your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!

Fab is our weekly student club night which takes place each Saturday right here at the Guild, featuring various fantastic DJs, live acts and themes across the year, this night out is a MUST.

When does Welcome start?

Welcome Week starts on 18th September!

How can I buy official tickets?

Welcome Stamp

We have noticed lots of unofficial events, Facebook groups and Whatsapp chats popping up across social media asking you to part with your money. Please be aware that these groups are not associated with the Guild or University, in any way!

We can guarantee that all events hosted by us are tailored for University of Birmingham students, and will be held either at the Guild, or at Guild approved venues.

So, we ask you to only purchase tickets for official events available through our website. To make things easier we’ve added an official stamp to all of our events, so you know they’re legit!

Will student groups be running events?

They will! The best way to find out about their upcoming events is to explore our student groups and check out their social media.

1 Culture shock

Culture shock is usually temporary, but is quite common among international students. When moving to another country you will notice differences in the way that things are done, this might be the food that’s eaten, the way people speak, the way you’re taught and many other aspects of life. While it might be difficult at first to process these changes, it’s important to remember that culture shock is normal and that you will learn these new ‘rules’ and ‘customs’ in time. Learn more about dealing with culture shock.

2 Home sickness

Home sickness is a strong feeling of missing home. This is not a nice feeling, but by getting to know your new home, making friends, getting involved in the many activities at the University of Birmingham and seeking support when you need it - you can manage these feelings.

3 Confidential

Conversations will be private and won’t be shared with anyone else.

4 Extenuating Circumstances

Serious factors outside of your control which may affect your performance during your studies.