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Things to do after arrival in the UK

This section provides advice about things you can do to become organised as soon as you arrive in the UK. Being organised from the start can save you a lot of time and money.

Airport

If this is the first time to travel abroad or to the UK, you may want to arrange for someone to welcome you at the airport. If you have a school or university, ask if they can arrange this and what extra charge you have to pay for this service. There are also private companies which can provide this kind of service. If you are staying with a host family, they may offer to come to the airport to make sure that you reach their house safely.

Accommodation

If possible, you should try to arrange your initial accommodation (at least for the first week) before you arrive. This may be easier to arrange if you have a credit card. For information about finding cheap short-term accommodation.

Goods for living

Once you have found accommodation, you will probably need to buy some goods for daily life. Most basic things such as cutlery (knives, forks and spoons), plates, glasses and pans can be bought individually as well as in sets. Think about what you need and how much storage space you have. If you will only be in the UK for a short time, you may not want to pay for high-quality goods that are designed to last for a long time. If you need to save money, you may be able to buy some things cheaply from someone who is about to leave the UK. Below are some items that you may need, together with instructions about how to buy them online (it may be easier to find things online, you can avoid having to carry heavy items, and the total cost is often lower this way).

Transport

A local street map can be bought from most bookshops and newsagents, or online from amazon.co.uk (as a search term, use the town's name followed by "street map" or "street atlas"). Free online street maps are available at http://multimap.com  or http://www.streetmap.co.uk .

You should obtain information about local transport.
- Ask for local transport maps at bus/underground/rail stations.
- Find out the cost of ordinary tickets and season tickets, and whether there are student discounts.
- Find the times of the first and last buses and trains, and (if available) the nearest night bus route.
You can find more information about local transport from the Travel/Transport/Coach, Travel/Transport/Train and Travel/Transport/Bicycle sections of this website.

If you are in London, details about bus, underground and other services are given in the section: Travel/Transport/London.

Embassy

Although many international students register with their country's Embassy, unfortunately there is no such rules exist for Nepalese students. Nepal Embassy seems to be unaware of how many Nepalese students or Nepalese people live in the UK. Obviously this sort of news bring disappointment to every new comer who come to UK and think Embassy could be their home outside home. Though it is not compulsory, we recommend every Nepalese students to visit Nepal Embassy once arrived in the UK.


School/Colleges/University

Many schools (or colleges or universities) offer an induction programme to new international students. This will give useful information about the school and about living in the UK.

Find out if your school has someone whose job is to provide support to international students. A welfare officer may be able to provide information on a wide range of practical subjects (for example: accommodation, immigration, opening a bank account), and can give you advice if you have serious financial or personal problems.

Check your school's website - there is often useful information there for international students.

If you are at a UK university check if there is a way of buying textbooks or other things you need from other students at the university. A student-led organisation which you may want to use is Boso ("buy or sell online"): http://www.boso.com  
If you are studying in London and need to use public transport regularly, ask your school if they can issue you with a Student Photocard. With this card you will be able to get a discount of 30% on bus and underground travel. For details, see: Travel/Transport/London.

Police

Registering with police no longer required for Nepalese students. However, If your passport stamp says something like "the holder is required to register at once with the police", you will need to take your passport and two passport photos to the police registration office within 7 days of your arrival. There is a fee to be paid (in 2002, this was usually about 35).

If you are staying in central London (the Metropolitan Police Area), you need to go to the Overseas Visitor Records Office, 180 Borough High Street, London SE1 (near the underground stations called Borough on the Northern line; click here for a map) between 9.00am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. If you are not staying in the Metropolitan Police Area (central London), contact your local police for the address and opening hours of your nearest police registration office.

Money and Documents

Write down the numbers of travellers cheques and credit cards in case of loss or theft. To reduce the chance of having your money stolen, read the advice in the Personal/Safety section. See Life/Money for information about opening a bank account, money exchange or transfer and other financial matters.

Organise your documents. Keep your bank statements, water/gas/electricity/telephone bills, rental agreements, as well as any correspondence with your school, bank or immigration authorities. You may need these documents, for example to open a bank account or to apply for an extension to stay as a student in the UK.

Make some passport photos. Photo booths are located in many train or underground stations, and in some shopping centres. They are also sometimes found on a university campus (often near shops, banks or travel agents). Passport photos are useful for student cards, travel passes, job applications and immigration forms. The picture on a British passport photo is about 4.5cm high and 3.5cm wide.

PostCode/Post Office and Directories

Find out your postcode (US English: zip code) by asking your landlord. You can also find the postcode from your address by using the Royal Mail's "Postcodes Online" service at http://pol.royalmail.com or http://www.royalmail.co.uk/quick_tools/postcodes. It may also be useful to make a note of the postcode of your school or workplace.

As well as helping your post to be delivered to you more quickly, your postcode is also very useful for finding out about local services on the internet. Websites which use postcodes include UpMyStreet ( http://www.upmystreet.com ) and Electronic Yellow Pages ( http://www.yell.com ). There is a map showing the locations of London postcodes in the Life/Accommodation/London section of this website. This may be useful if you are looking for accommodation in London.

Doctor

You need to register with your nearest GP (General Practitioner) in order to receive free check up.


Library

Visit your local public library. You can usually find practical information here about local services such as doctors, dentists and hospitals. To improve your English, you can read newspapers or magazines or books (for other ideas about how to improve your English reading skills, see: English/Reading). You can borrow books from a lending library, but not from a reference library. There is usually a section in the library with books for people who are studying EFL (English as a foreign language). If you find the books in the adult section of the library too difficult, look at the children's section. Reference books or files on local companies may be useful if you are looking for a job (for more information, see: Work/Search). In larger libraries, there may be space on a desk where you can study during the day (some libraries are also open in the evenings). Audio books (stories on CD or cassette tape) can be useful if you want to improve your listening skills (for other ideas, see: English/Listening). Many libraries lend music CDs or cassettes for a small charge: you can use this service to learn about British popular music (see: Britain/Music). Many libraries have computers with access to the internet. This is usually a free service, but you will need to book a time, you may be limited to half an hour or an hour, and there may be limits on what you can do on the computer.

Television

You may want to buy a television, for your entertainment and also as a way of improving your English. The following features are recommended for international students:
- Teletext (so that you can see the words to television programmes at the bottom of the screen - these are not recorded)
- Headphone socket (so that you can listen to the TV at any time without disturbing your neighbours)
- Video casette recorder (so that you can record programmes to play back, or watch rented videos)

Usually you will need to buy a television (TV) licence if you can watch television in your own room (either using a TV or a TV card on a computer). For example, you will need a licence if: you have a TV and you live in a room in university accommodation or rent a room from a landlord. You may not need your own licence if you share accommodation with your landlord and have signed a joint tenancy agreement. You may have this type of agreement if you are living with a host family or sharing a house with a group of students.

Contact us:
Email: uk@wnso.org
Forum: http://chautari.wnso.org



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