2020 applicants
Welcome new students

New international students

Welcome to our global family

Whether you are able to start with us on campus in October or are studying remotely until you're able to join us, a warm welcome awaits you at Essex.

At Essex you really will find the world in one place on our campuses. But we know global citizenship goes beyond being amongst an international community of staff and students.

We will follow all national and international guidance on the reintroduction of more students and staff to our campuses. Social distancing measures will be clear and easy to understand across our campuses. This will include markings on the ground to ensure queues remain distanced to screens and dividers in study areas to ensure everyone can keep apart safely. We will also reduce class sizes and organise classrooms and lecture halls so you can stay socially distanced while you learn.

If restrictions are in place which mean you are required to self-isolate on arrival in the UK, and you’re contracted to stay in university accommodation, we will supply up to two weeks of accommodation to new students, free-of-charge.

Read all the guidance and publications carefully, watch our videos and check out our social media so you don't miss out on anything!

Arrivals day airport transfer

To safely transport our students from airports to the university, we're running a coach transfer service for new students arriving from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Luton airports.

Book a place now

Key information


If you aren’t able to arrive in time for the start of the Autumn term here are a few things you need to be aware of:

New Immigration Rules 

Please be aware that the UK’s Immigration Rules are changing and there will be a new system from 1 January 2021. If you aren’t able to apply for a visa or arrive by 31 December 2020, the new rules may apply to you. We expect the new rules to be launched in the Autumn of 2020.

European and Swiss students

If you don’t already have settlement in the UK, we recommend you arrive to live in the UK no later than 31 December 2020. You’ll then be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and won’t need to apply for a visa to study. If you plan to arrive on or after 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a visa to study with us under the UK’s new Immigration Rules.

Tier 4 students

The Home Office introduced temporary Covid-19 concessions to the Tier 4 rules which enable Tier 4 sponsored students to study via blended learning in 2020/2021. Students can also start their course by distance learning if necessary, provided they intend to come to the UK and study on campus as soon as it is possible to do so. Whether you are distance learning overseas initially or studying on campus via blended learning, we are required to monitor your engagement and attendance and withdraw our Tier 4 sponsorship if you aren’t engaging with your studies. 

If you are in the final year of your course or are coming to study a new course that will finish in 2021, you will need to arrive in the UK to study on campus by 6 April 2021. If you are unable to come to the UK by then we won’t be able to sponsor you and you’ll have to complete your course via distance learning overseas if this is possible. If you have been issued with a Tier 4 visa it will be cancelled by the Home Office. If you are interested in applying to the new Graduate route when you complete your course, please be aware that you must be in the UK studying by 6 April 2021.

Other UK Immigration Permission

If you are from outside the European Economic Area/Switzerland you will need to hold UK immigration permission that allows you to study your course with us when you arrive on campus and for the duration of your course. You’ll be able to register for the 2020/2021 academic year online from 1 September.

If you are starting a new course or, continuing a course but your immigration documents have expired, we will need to see your immigration documents before you can start the 2020/2021 academic year.

Further information

Read our immigration pages for information about applying for a visa to study with us and our news page for updates and FAQ’s which we are currently updating.

Money matters

Before travelling overseas, it is important to notify your bank that you will be using your debit or credit card abroad to make payments. This reduces the likelihood of your bank card being blocked which could delay your registration process. If you are paying your own tuition fees, you should also ensure that you have sufficient funds to pay your first terms fees. 



We strongly recommend you arrange travel insurance before you leave your home country to cover you throughout your studies in the UK. Make sure your insurance covers repatriation of you and any dependants to your home country, should it become necessary, this will not be covered by the UK’s National Health Service in any circumstances and is expensive.

Lots of students choose to visit other countries during University vacations or as part of their studies, make sure your travel insurance covers you for worldwide travel and for the things you want to do whilst you are there.

Personal belongings

It is important that you take out insurance against the loss or theft of personal belongings including any cash funds.

If you will be living in University accommodation standard contents cover has been arranged for you with Endsleigh Insurance that will cover your belongings whilst they are in your room. We recommend you check the policy details including what’s covered, you will be able to increase the cover if you would like to.

Insurance companies

There are many different insurance providers in the UK who offer various types of policies. Before taking out insurance make sure the company is regulated by checking the Financial Services Register. Check the policy wording and make sure it offers you the cover you require.

Endsleigh Insurance was originally set up by the National Union of Students. They offer many different types of insurance policies for students including one for international students studying in the UK that may be of interest to you.


There are some services and treatments that are carried out at an NHS hospital that are exempt from charges and are free to everyone, including temporary visitors to the UK.

EEA (European Economic Area) students are required to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI); you must arrange this in your home country, before you travel to the UK. An EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) will give you the same entitlement as UK nationals to NHS care and, if your stay in the UK is not intended to be permanent (i.e. you are only here to study a course), it is accepted as evidence of CSI. You must obtain your EHIC before you leave your home country to travel to the UK. This may change when the UK has left the EU, we will update our information when we know more.

Non-EEA full time students are considered to be ordinarily resident in England whilst they are studying with us and will have access to NHS (National Health Service) care in the same way UK nationals do.

Make sure you know what you are entitled to and arrange private health insurance to cover treatment you may have to pay for. Read the NHS information about moving to England for more information.

Our University provides advice and guidance about your health and wellbeing and you will have access to many support services whilst you are studying with us. After your arrival in the UK you will need to register with a local doctor, also known as a GP (General Practitioner), they will provide you with your NHS number.

Safety and security

  • Health and safety information and advice
  • Advice from the British Council - The British Council has created a downloadable guide 'Creating Confidence' 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.

Download Creating Confidence by The British Council

Support with your English skills

If your first language isn’t English, our Skills for Success team will invite you to a short English language assessment during Welcome Week. Don’t worry, this is not a pass or fail test and doesn’t affect your place. Like most British universities, having our own test provides us with a single, consistent measure of English language proficiency across the whole of our international student body. The assessment is short and informal, and lets us know what further support would be helpful during your studies, and helps us register you to the right support classes.

Your department will in touch with you ahead of Welcome week with further details.

Prepare to study and live in the UK - online course

The British Council has an online course designed to benefit international students who have been accepted to study at a UK university. The course will provide you with helpful information, support, and study skills for higher education, whilst giving you a taste of life in the UK.