Clearing 2021

International students

Support for international students' health and wellbeing in light of COVID-19

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Minister for Universities Michelle Donelan MP has written a letter to all international students studying at UK universities explaining the support available to them and what international students should expect from their institutions.

You can find all the information on our services on this page and if you have any further questions please email

Social events and schemes

There are several events and schemes you may be interested in taking part in whilst you are in the UK studying. Here are some of them.

Our Students’ Union

There are so many events and trips for you to choose from. Have a look at the SU website to find out ‘What’s on’ at Essex.

International Students Association (ISA)

Chaired by the VP International, an elected Sabbatical Officer, the ISA aims to represent our international students and hopes to bring you together by organising various events and trips throughout the year.


The SU have many societies. If you can’t find one that interests you, you can start a new one.

HOST Scheme

HOST UK is a charitable organisation, they have a network of volunteers ‘hosts’ all over Britain who welcome students (and their adult partners) into their homes for a weekend or a day, throughout the year including Christmas and Easter.

To be eligible you will need to be:

  • over the age of 18 and;
  • studying a full time course for more than 3 months long

What you have to pay

Your travel costs and an application fee.

Various organisations give funding to HOST which may mean you won’t have to pay the application fee. You’ll find out what the application costs when you apply.

Visit the HOST website to find more about the scheme and to apply.

If you have any questions about the scheme you can contact HOST by email or telephone.

International Students' House

International Students’ House (ISH) is an accommodation and entertainment centre in the heart of London, near Regent’s Park. It is open all year and offers comfortable, inexpensive accommodation and a warm friendly atmosphere.

ISH has a special programme for international students at Christmas time. If you decide to stay at ISH it is best to make your reservation well in advance, as demand is bound to be high, you can even book in October.

Friends International Colchester

Friends International Colchester (FIC) is a local group representing Christians from churches in the Colchester area. FIC gives you the opportunity to visit an English home, attend a traditional Christmas party, Easter outing or summer event or just practise your English.

Rotary International

Rotary International is a global network of volunteers, they sometimes run local events for international students. Essex students will be emailed with information about any up-coming events in your local area.

Rotaract in Colchester was started by University of Essex students. Contact them if you are interested in finding out more about the young persons' division of Rotary and getting involved.

Advice from the British Council

British Council's Creating Confidence booklet (.pdf) is designed to help international students prepare for their time in the UK. It highlights some safety and security issues that international students should be aware of and lists helpful contact information.

Further information

Student Services Hub
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.