Preparing to Study Abroad

This page will provide you with important information to help you prepare for your study abroad experience at the University of Roehampton.

About 6 weeks before the start of your programme, we will start to send our Pre-departure email series to all students who have applied and been accepted to the Programme. The e-mail series aims to provide you with some fun, factual and useful information to help you prepare in the best way possible for your upcoming experience.

In the meantime, here's some information you might find useful at this stage!

What to pack

Be sensible and bring what you can easily carry, airlines might charge you for extra baggage and you may want to travel at the end of your stay. The weather in the UK is usually not too cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer, however rain is likely all year round – so bring a rain jacket!

Our kitchen and bedding packs will provide you with some essentials however remember to bring a towel as these aren't provided. Consider bringing photos or keepsakes to remind you of home and perhaps some snacks from your home country to share with your new housemates.

You will be able to purchase most other items at the local Asda supermarket, which we will direct you to during orientation.

Money matters

How much is a pint of milk? What's a chip and pin? How do I open a bank account?

Your questions are answered on our handy Money Matters info sheet!

Immigration and visas

If you are a citizen or national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) you are subject to immigration control in the UK and will require one of the following visas:

  • Studying for 6 months or less – Short Term Study Visa*
  • Studying for more than 6 months (full academic year) – Tier 4 Student Visa

We will be sending you more information on this in your offer pack however you can look on the UK government website for more detail.

*Non-visa nationals (including US citizens) can enter the UK on a Short-Term Study Visa for up to six months without needing to apply in advance for entry clearance.

Medical information

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK's state health service that provides a range of health services for people living in the UK.

If you are from outside Europe and here for six months or more, you will qualify for free NHS hospital treatment by paying a healthcare surcharge (when you apply for your visa).

If you are here for less than six months you will need to get your own private medical insurance as you will only be eligible for limited free NHS treatment in case of emergency.

European students qualify for free treatment from NHS hospitals and doctors with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - this must be issued before you leave your country.

All students can register for the Student Medical Centre which is located on campus.


Roehampton is located in South West London and has excellent transport links in and around London. We recommend you purchase an Oyster card – this is a card that you can top up and use on all tubes, trains and buses across the London. This can be purchased online before you arrive and it will be delivered to your home, so you are ready to explore London as soon as you arrive.

We recommend that you download Citymapper for easy directions using public transport and Uber to easily order taxis.


Roehampton has the best of both worlds, the community feel of a traditional university campus, with the culture and nightlife of one of the greatest cities in the world. Roehampton's collegiate system will allow you to quickly make friends and settle in, with a range of social activities taking place within your college. In addition, Roehampton Students' Union holds campus events, runs campaigns and has loads of societies for you to join.

Make the most of your time in London, the most visited city in the world, by exploring you're your new friends in your free time. Download YPlan to see what exciting events are on each day and visit the Timeout website to find restaurants, bars, shops, theatres, gigs and much more. Meetup is also great for meeting people with similar interests to you.

Culture shock

Moving to a new country is a big deal; you will experience new cultures, people, customs, music, food and more. Everyone will experience the culture shock phases below, but at different times and to different degrees:

  • The Honeymoon – everything is amazing!
  • Culture Shock – hold on a minute everything is strange and different and I don't like it.
  • Understanding – ok maybe it isn't so bad, it is starting to feel more familiar
  • Acclimatization – I am never leaving!

Try and go with the flow and you will adapt to your new culture in time. You can always come and see the study abroad team if you are struggling, or one of the dedicated Student Welfare Officers on campus.

If you can’t find the answer to any of your questions here, please contact us on and we will be happy to help.