study abroad at essex

Whilst you are here

You're officially Essex

There is lots of information to take in when you get to Essex but we're here to help. From first arriving to saying goodbye, we've put together some useful information for the duration of your studies at Essex. 

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What to expect from Essex


Settling in to a new environment can seem daunting, especially when you're far from home. Your first few days will be busy, with lots of new information and loads of new faces.

Orientation is an essential introduction to life as an exchange student at Essex. It's really important you attend so you don't miss out on important information.

The full orientation programme will be shared with you around one month before your start date, but it usually includes:

  • Welcome talk
  • Registration
  • Campus tour
  • Module changing period
  • Introduction to academic integrity and studying in the UK
  • English language assessment
  • Social events

 The Students' Union also host events and activities for you to get involved with.

Keeping in touch

After orientation, we'll keep in touch with you through a regular newsletter to your Essex account and events organised by the Essex Abroad team. If you need to contact us, our working hours are Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm and we are always here for you whether in person, via email or zoom. 

Academics at Essex

You’re expected to attend all of your lectures, seminars, labs and other sessions on your timetable while studying at Essex.

We monitor your engagement with your studies and your attendance as displayed on your LEAP (Learner Engagement Activity Portal). We use engagement data to help identify students who may be experiencing problems so that we can offer support and advice. You must “tap in” to your classes using your student card or log in to online classes with the Zoom links provided. If you have missed or will miss one or more teaching events or tests, you must report you absence in your MyEssex portal. Familiarise yourself with our attendance page, and find out more about our attendance policies.

As a Student Visa sponsor, our University is required to monitor the attendance, engagement and progress on their course for all our Student Visa students and report those who do not attend or engage as required. Therefore, even if an absence is authorised, you could be required to attend a meeting with the International Services Team. If your attendance, engagement or progress is not satisfactory you may be withdrawn from your course. For more information about your responsibilities as a Student Visa student can be found within our immigration information.

Help and support

We know that being far away from home isn't easy, we've been in your shoes before. Essex will be different to your home university, and it takes time to adjust to a new environment. We all experience some form of culture shock no matter how big or small. You might be able to overcome the differences and adapt to your new life without the need of our help, but if you find yourself struggling we're here.

We have a range of help and support services available to help whatever the circumstances and your first port of call is us, Essex Abroad. We are available Monday - Friday and we'll try our best to help you with whatever your issue is, if we're not able to help we'll point you in the direction of those who can. You can contact us in person, via email or via Zoom.

Other support on campus

Our professional advice teams within your Student Services Hub and the Students' Union are here at every turn. We have professionals who provide support on issues concerning mental and emotional health, including assessment and referral for counselling or mentoring, as well as specialist disability advisers to provide you with advice and guidance on a range of disability support services.

Residence Life

We have a network of support on-hand to help all new students get settled in and feel part of the community. This includes Residence Life whose Residents’ Assistants (RAs) are student staff living in campus accommodation. The RAs will be a welcoming face from day one, in addition to their experience as returning students, they are also trained to offer support, advice and signposting.

Who to contact


If you have questions about your modules, timetable, credit load, or have a query related to your stay at Essex, contact Essex Abroad.

If you have questions specific to your assignments or class content, the teaching staff for the module is the best person to speak to.

Immigration or visa questions

Please contact the International Services Team.

The International Services Team is located in the Student Services Hub at the Colchester Campus.

Immigration advice and services are regulated by the UK Government. The Essex Abroad team are unable to provide visa and immigration advice.

In an emergency

Make sure you read the below thoroughly, and add any contact information to your phone.

999 is the number of the emergency services in the UK.

If you are on campus, please call the emergency numbers for the campus you are on. Do not call 999 yourself - Patrol Officers, who are trained first aiders, are available 24 hours. They will assess the situation and arrange attendance of emergency services where required. Campus Patrol or Security Officers will direct the emergency services to the exact site of the emergency without delay.

Finishing your studies at Essex


For students who study with us during the Autumn term only, your exams will usually take place in the first week of Christmas vacation period in December.

For students who study with us for the full academic year, or for Spring and Summer terms only, your exams will take place between mid May and early June.

Re-sits are not available to exchange and study abroad students.

Extenuating Circumstances

If there are circumstances out of your control which affect your performance on assessed work (coursework or exam), you may wish to consider applying for extenuating circumstances.

Results and transcripts

All coursework and exam marks are ratified by a Board of Examiners. Shortly after marks have been ratified, your results will be available on your MyEssex portal. Your transcript will then be sent to you electronically; please advise us if you wish for it also to be sent to your home University.

If you studied with us in the Autumn term only, you will receive your results and transcript in mid February.

If you studied with us for the full year, or Spring and Summer terms only, you will receive your results and transcript in mid July.

Find out more about exams
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Need some help?
Essex Abroad You can visit us in person at our office on Square 2, Colchester campus. Opening hours are below. If you are based at Southend campus or want to chat to us outside of these times, then book a remote call using the link below.
Monday - 11.00am to 1.00pm, Tuesday - 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2pm to 3pm, Wednesday - CLOSED, Thursday 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2pm to 3pm, Fridays -11.00am to 1.00pm and 2pm to 3pm.