International Study Centre

Join us

The friendly and diverse student community will welcome you to Sussex

We're looking forward to welcoming you

Whether you are getting ready to join us on campus for the start of your programme or arriving on campus after starting your course from home, we are really looking forward to welcoming you to the International Study Centre. When you join us on campus, you will benefit from a high-quality blended learning experience ensuring you get the best of both worlds: with some classes taking place face-to-face, and some activities taking place online.

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 support you with:

  • What to pack
  • Planning for your arrival
  • Visa
  • Accommodation
  • How to make the most of your time with us

Studying in Centre

The International Study Centre is open for you to begin your studies and start your journey to achieving your university and career ambitions. In order to create the safest possible learning environment, and whilst social distancing restrictions are in place, you will benefit from blended learning. You will also receive one-to-one support, giving you help and guidance every step of the way.

When you choose to join us on campus, it is important that you are able to regularly attend your face-to-face classes. It is a UK visa requirement that you attend all face-to-face classes at the International Study Centre. To help with this, please ensure you choose accommodation which is within a one hour travel time of the International Study Centre.

All students who choose to travel to the UK from a country on the UK red list can access the UK Quarantine Support Fund. More information is available here.

If you are issued a CAS to study in the UK, you can arrive on-campus in the UK at any time until the 6 April 2022.

Students under the age of 18 who are on a green or amber list country: You can travel to the UK for the start of your programme; or can start your programme online and join us on-campus at a later date; or you can study your whole programme online.

If you are under the age of 18 and are from a UK red-list country, you are able to quarantine within our Bellerbys college residences, as an alternative to using a UK Government Quarantine Hotel facility. We recommend you utilise this quarantine service for the 10 days prior to starting your course. Please refer to our guidance, which includes information about our quarantine support packages.

As some lessons will be taught online, you will need to have a PC or Mac based computer. Whilst it is possible to access and interact with most course content using a tablet or smartphone, these devices will not work for assessments. If you do not have access to equipment, please let us know so that we can support you.


While it is possible to access and interact with most course content using various tablets and smartphones, such as iPads, iPhones and Android devices, these devices will not work for assessments and therefore it is important that you have a PC or Mac based computer available for use.


  • Any Microsoft Windows based PC (laptop or desktop, preferably running Windows 10)
  • Web Browser: Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium version)
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Installation of Zoom for Virtual Classroom


  • Any Apple MacOS based laptop or desktop
  • Web Browser: Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium version)
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Installation of Zoom for Virtual Classroom

Internet Connection

Internet connectivity is required for access to all coursework. Internet connectivity could be in the form of a fixed line connection, 3G/4G/5G, wi-fi or other technologies.

Minimum: 600kbps download and 600kbps upload speed

Recommended: at least 1.5Mbps download and 1.5Mbps upload speed

Zoom Restricted Countries

Zoom is used for access to virtual classroom and is therefore an important part of all courses. Zoom is unavailable or restricted in several countries, with the full restricted list available here. While Zoom may still work from the countries listed, individuals should test Zoom using their own equipment to ensure connectivity.

You will learn through a mixture of as many live teacher-led classes as possible, as well as interactive activities and resources delivered in a virtual learning environment. Your health and safety is important and we will observe social distancing guidelines at all times.

A VLE is a virtual learning environment, the online hub for your programme. Here, you will find recorded lessons, collaboration tools, helpful materials, and more.

Essential items for students enrolling on the following Film and Media related courses:

If you are unable to travel to the UK for the start of the first term and you are starting your studies virtually from home, you will need to purchase a number of items that are essential to completing your course. If you are starting your course in-centre, this equipment will be supplied to you.

As well as being essential to your International Study Centre course, these items will be of use throughout your chosen Media degree at the University of Sussex. They will also be extremely helpful for creating your own personal media projects and online content. There are lots of opportunities outside of the International Study Centre where you will be able to use your training and equipment to good effect.

Below, we have written a guide of necessary items, as well as items that would be beneficial but are not essential to complete your course. You can source this equipment from your own country, and choose brands and models of your choice.

Essential items (for smartphone photo/sound/video production)

  • Smartphone Tripod Mount
  • Tripod - Full size (additional mini tripod optional)
  • Microphone (Lavalier/Clip Microphone for smartphones)
  • Fur Windshield for Lavalier Microphone
  • Smartphone video rig

Additional recommended items

You may already have some of these and wish to use them. We can provide training so you can make the most of your equipment.

  • DSLR Camera (Various models)
  • DSLR Camera mini shotgun video mic
  • Mini Tripod
  • Smartphone Gimbal

While currently regulations allow us to offer a choice of study options, including joining us on campus for face-to-face teaching (usually as part of a blended learning approach which is a mixture of face-to-face and virtual teacher-led learning) we have planned for a number of scenarios should government regulations and requirements change at any stage meaning we can’t deliver courses on campus as intended.

Your experience, education, safety and welfare will always be our number one priority, and our centres already have additional health and safety measures in place, as well as experienced teachers and support staff - offering one to one support at every stage.

Should any social distancing restrictions be introduced, we would make all appropriate changes to the ISC, for example through the introduction of one-way systems and updated signage and rules in the centre. This would of, course, limit the amount of students we can accommodate for face-to-face teaching, so you may need to undertake more of you studies online during any period of social distancing. This will be clearly communicated to you by the ISC staff and our teaching and welfare teams will be there to fully support any transition of learning delivery you may have.

In the event restriction are introduced which means we are unable to deliver any face to face teaching for any period of time during you studies, you learning will be delivered completely online while this is the case. Delivered through a virtual learning environment, you'll remain part of an engaging international community online where you will experience different cultures and make new friends.

While we hope for no significant changes during your time with us, we have an experienced team who have dealt with these restrictions previously and will make sure you will experience the same level of exceptional, high-quality teaching regardless of whether you study virtually or face to face. Academic guidance, tutorial sessions, careers support and personal and welfare support is all available virtually from the same specialist staff. Where necessary you’ll be part of a community of students, connected through live classes, discussion groups, and online social events and activities where needed and we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.

Safety on campus

At University of Sussex International Study Centre, we are committed to enabling our students to make the most of studying abroad in a safe and supportive environment. You will not only receive academic guidance; our extensive pastoral team can help with everything from homesickness to accommodation.

Assuring the safety and wellbeing of our student and staff communities, as well as providing a quality blended learning experience, is at the heart of all of our planning and decision-making. By listening to your feedback and by following guidance provided by the government, public health authorities and the University, we have put the following measures in place to help you feel confident ahead of arriving on campus:

  • Risk assessments of all our International Study Centre buildings
  • Hand sanitisers in all our International Study Centre spaces
  • Face coverings are available to you
  • Regular deep cleaning for all our buildings
  • International students over the age of 18 will have access to a COVID-19 vaccination, once they have arrived in the UK and are registered with the International Study Centre and National Health Service (NHS)

We will continue to monitor and review all the safety and wellbeing measures throughout the coming months.

Keeping you safe on campus

Preparing to study abroad

Before you arrive at the University of Sussex International Study Centre, you need to complete all the tasks in our pre-arrival checklist. Contact us with any questions.

If you applied directly through us, your Student Enrolment Advisor can answer any questions you have. They can offer advice on living in the UK and support you with organising airport transfers on arrival to the UK. We will also provide you with pre-arrival reading and preparation materials so you are fully prepared for your study abroad adventure (selected courses only).

Download and complete your pre-arrival form to make sure your arrival goes as smoothly as possible.

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 and visit our visa information page.
  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.
  7. Arrive on time. You should aim to arrive at your accommodation up to two days before the start of term.

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.

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).

Work after study

You will have the opportunity to start your career in the UK with a two-year post-study work visa for international students graduating from UK universities.

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.

Campus map

Find your way around the University of Sussex campus

Prepare to Arrive

Boost your chances of obtaining a visa by joining our Prepare to Arrive course at no extra cost.

What will your first week be like?

Whether you start online or on campus, you’ll benefit from an Induction Week to help you settle in and make friends.

Frequently asked questions on joining us on campus

Question Answer

What facilities are available on campus?

Visit our student life pages to find out more about what to expect on campus.

What should I do if I need support when I arrive in the UK?

Once you confirm your place we will send you a link to our Welcome Hub which will have all the information you need ahead of your move to the UK, including emergency contact numbers.

Can I arrange a taxi from the airport

We can arrange a pick-up from the airport. Once you have confirmed your place, you will receive a link to our Welcome Hub and your Pre-Registration form. You need to provide your details and can request a transfer via the form and book directly online. Visit fees to find out about the cost of a transfer.*

We recommend that you take a pre-booked taxi and avoid public transport, particularly if you need to quarantine. See safer travel guidance for passengers.

*if you are from a red list country and are required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, your quarantine package includes transport to your quarantine hotel. Once your quarantine period is over, we will help you to book a taxi to the Centre/your accommodation.

What should I do if I am in the UK and I need health advice or welfare support?

If you show the symptoms of COVID-19 then you should follow official UK medical advice. You should also contact the International Study Centre for further information.

View the government’s advice on what to do if you are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.

What should I do if I am in the UK and need medical care?

If you are coming to the UK to study for 6 months or longer on a Student visa, you will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of your visa application fee.

The immigration health surcharge will entitle students in the UK under the Student visa route to access NHS care at no additional cost in the same way as a permanent UK resident. The National Health Service (NHS) provides a wide range of health care services including:

  • Registration with a GP practice (family doctor) for non-urgent appointments and health checks. You will receive information about how to register with a doctor when you arrive. Once you have registered with a GP you will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
  • Emergency care in local hospitals
  • Referrals to specialists if and when required (waiting lists may apply depending on the urgency of the problem)
  • On-going medical support and care for any long term medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma

Not all treatments are covered by the NHS. For example; non-emergency dentistry, orthodontics, routine eye tests and prescriptions for medicines need to be paid for.

If you are studying in the UK for less than 6 months on a short term study visa, you are not required to pay the health surcharge as part of your visa application and are therefore not eligible for full NHS support. In these circumstances, you are advised to take out medical insurance as you will be liable for NHS charges for the treatment you receive in the UK except for in a medical emergency. If you already have medical insurance in your home country, you may wish to check whether this can be extended to cover your stay in the UK.

I'm travelling from a country on the UK's red-listWhat support is there for me?

All students who choose to travel to the UK from a country on the UK red list can access the UK Quarantine Support Fund. More information is available here:

What if I need to quarantine on arrival?

Before you travel, you should check to see if you need to quarantine when you arrive into the UK. You will not be able to leave your accommodation during quarantine so it's important that you are prepared. You should make plans to ensure you have what you need including bedding, kitchen equipment and food. You can pre-order the items you need.

For bedding and kitchen equipment:

You can order food directly from supermarkets. Make sure that you check your accommodation address on their website ensure that they deliver to your area

  • Sainsbury's
  • Tesco
  • Morrison's
  • Asda

If you cannot wait for your food delivery, and would like a takeaway, the delivery services below operate in most areas of the UK:

  • Just Eat
  • Deliveroo

Finally, consider some entertainment to keep you busy, active and happy during your 14 days. You can always bring a couple of good books or consider an online streaming service for films and TV but remember to do this before you arrive as some companies do not accept non-UK bank accounts or credit cards for payment.

Staying at home for a long time can be difficult. If you are struggling, the staff at the International Study Centre will be there for you if you need any help.

What if I start or enrol late on my course?

All students should attend their Induction Week, whether already at the Centre or in quarantine.

What happens during Induction Week?

Our Induction Week programme will introduce you to your Centre, our staff, and welfare and support services. You will also receive full guidance on maintaining your health and safety whilst studying in the UK.

You will find out about your timetable, as well as important information about how we deliver your course through a mixture of classroom teaching and virtual learning There will also be events to help you get to know your fellow students.

If you are not required to quarantine, then some of the Induction Week activity may take place with our staff in the Centre, for example registration sessions for the Biometric Residence Permit.

How can I guard against fraud?

From time to time, scammers may specifically target international students by pretending to be the Police, Visa issuing authorities, education agents or other regulatory bodies. It is important to be able to recognise common signs of fraudulent activity and know what to do if you come across it. The best way to protect yourself from any kind of fraud is to protect your passwords, regularly update your devices with the most up to date security software and never share your bank details or transfer money to an account you don’t recognise.

Make sure you tell a teacher or a member of student services team if you receive a suspicious message or phone call, or if you have any concerns about fraudulent activity. It is important that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can help to protect you and other international students in case they are targeted in the same way.

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.

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.
Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.