International Study Centre

Before you arrive

The friendly and diverse student community will welcome you to Sussex

Here to support you

From visa application through to booking accommodation, you’ll be fully supported by our dedicated team every step of the way. We’ll ensure that you have all the information and support you need ahead of your move to the UK. We will provide you with information to prepare you for life in the UK; including information about what to pack, planning for your arrival, and how to make the most of your time at the Centre or College.

If you are enrolled on our Prepare for Success programme, you will receive guidance on what you need to do to get ready for your departure to the UK, or to start your studies online from your home country.

For more details about our commitment to support you visit -

Prepare for success 

Are you ready to start your academic adventure with us in September? To help you get a head start and prepare for your time at a UK university, we’ve designed a free virtual preparation course. Here, you’ll be introduced to the study structures and academic skills you’ll need to succeed as an International Study Centre student – as well as learning more about your personal goals so you’re ready to make the most out of your programme.

Confirm your place with us today and we’ll email you an invitation to join the virtual preparation course. All you need to do is pay your confirmation fees and the first £6000 of your tuition fees. Once you’ve confirmed your place, you’ll be able to benefit from:

  • Valuable support in preparation for starting your pathway
  • The confidence to become an independent and effective learner
  • A welcoming international community with social meet-ups of fellow students
  • A safe space to practice your English and meet your classmates and teachers
  • Access to high-quality academic and English language materials
  • Personalised feedback from your tutors right at the start of your education journey 

Preparing to study abroad

If you have questions about what it is like to live and study in the UK, as well what you should do before you arrive, we're here to help. On this page you can find the information you need to make sure your arrival experience is as stress-free as possible.

To help you plan for your journey and make the most of your time at the International Study Centre, we have put together some tips and tricks to get you started. Download and complete your pre-arrival form to make sure your arrival goes as smoothly as possible.

Starting in April? Please check back here a few weeks before you arrive to download your induction materials.

For anything else, you can contact us with your questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you applied directly through us, your Student Enrolment Advisor can answer any questions you have about arriving at Sussex. They can provide guidance on moving to the UK and even help organise your airport transfer to the International Study Centre. We can also provide you with pre-arrival reading and preparation materials so you are fully prepared for your study abroad adventure.*

* Selected courses and International Study Centres only

Before you arrive in the UK

  1. Confirm your offer. Check your fees to see what you have to pay in order to accept your offer and get your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number.
  2. Apply for a visa. You will need your CAS number to apply. Take the UK visas questionnaire to find out which type of visa you need.
  3. Book your accommodation. We have a range of great accommodation options to choose from. You can find your new home on our accommodation page.
  4. Book your flights. Gatwick Airport is the closest airport to the International Study Centre, only half an hour away by train.
  5. Complete your pre-arrival form . We will email you a link to the online form one month before the start of your course.
  6. Get insurance. It is essential that you have personal insurance when studying in the UK. Organise your insurance with Study Group.

You can buy everything you need in one of the shops on campus or in the nearby city of Brighton.

Important items should be packed in your hand luggage, especially:

  • your passport and visa
  • UKVI decision letter
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies letter (CAS)
  • your offer letter
  • IELTS certificate or other original Secure English Language Test result
  • evidence of funding for your tuition fees and living costs, including your sponsor letter (if you are being sponsored)
  • accommodation documents, including your signed tenancy agreement
  • medical certificates (including vaccination records)
  • a copy of your UK guardian's details (if you are under the age of 18).

For a full list of what to pack and other useful information, you can check out our full pre-arrival guide.

Why not starting making friends at the International Study Centre before you land in the UK? Join our Facebook community and meet your new classmates.

Student life in Brighton has something for everyone. To help you settle in, we will organise social events where you can meet your new teachers and classmates. You can also get involved with sports, societies and groups at the University of Sussex, or go along to student events taking place on campus.

When you arrive at the International Study Centre

The International Study Centre staff have prepared academic introductions and social events to help you settle in, so it's essential you arrive on time for induction. Start exploring campus and adjusting to your new life by:

  • discovering all the facilities you will be able to use, such as study spaces, the library, gym and student services
  • learning your way around campus so you are on time for classes
  • registering for a doctor 
  • locating the Students' Union.

Your first week will be packed full of fun and useful activities to help you settle in to university life. You can prepare by reading about everything you can look forward to in your first days over on our blog.

Nervous about joining us? Our useful guides will help you prepare.

Join us online

With over 100 hours of useful content, our virtual preparation course will help you to gain the competitive edge to succeed on your pathway and degree.

Campus map

Find your way around the University of Sussex campus

How can we help?

Apply online directly through us and benefit from our completely free guidance and support, including access to your own dedicated Student Enrolment Advisor.

Questions and answers about life in the UK

Learning a new language can take some time, so try not to worry if your English language skills need improvement. If you don’t understand someone, people will be understanding and happy to repeat themselves. Over time you will become confident and comfortable with speaking, writing and reading in English. Outside of formal classes, there are plenty of other ways to improve your English outside the classroom.

Brighton is a hugely multicultural city. You can easily find international food in supermarkets, as well as in the food shops on campus. There are also lots of restaurants which serve food from all around the world, so you can enjoy meals that remind you of home - as well as possibly discover a new favourite cuisine!

Moving to a different country to study is an exciting experience, but it is also natural to feel a little nervous as you prepare to leave home. We will do everything we can to help you settle in so that you can be comfortable and happy living in Brighton and the UK.

If you are experiencing homesickness, our friendly and supportive tutors and staff are always available to help. There are also a whole range of support services available at the University of Sussex, where you can get free and confidential advice.

Once you join us at the International Study Centre, you can take advantage of two great schemes organised by the University of Sussex Students’ Union:

  • Language Café – practise your language skills and make new friends
  • Buddy Scheme – settle in to student life faster by partnering up with a supportive student at Sussex.

Page Testimonial

Sussex student Nitin

“The first day was interesting as you start to learn more about the school and it's amazing to see so many students of different nationalities coming together. Right now I definitely feel at home, the people here are amazing and the friends I’ve made have just been fantastic!”

Nitin from Singapore
International Year One

More student stories

We’re opening – Read our latest guidance for current students, or find out more about how you can start your course.