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International FAQs

Find out more about our frequently asked questions by international students.

How do I apply and what documents do I need?

Complete and return an application form and by email, courier or post with the following supporting documents:

  • a photocopy of your passport (personal details page and any pages which contain visas and entry or exit stamps)
  • evidence of your English language level, which satisfies the UKVI Tier 4 requirements (i.e. a photocopy of your IELTS or any other English language qualifications you have)
  • photocopies of any previous education and qualification certificates and transcript of results (with translation in English)
  • portfolio of your artwork (if you are applying for an art and design course)

What is the application deadline?

We recommend that you make your course application no later than three months before your course start date

What is the application process after I have sent my application form?

The application process to become a student at college is straightforward. Find out more on our dedicated page.

What are the required course hours?

If you are a Tier 4 student, you are required to study a full-time course which involves a minimum of 15 hours of organised study per week (between 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday).

Can I take supplementary courses?

If you are a Tier 4 student you can take extra courses in addition to your main course. However, you must ensure the extra course does not interfere with your main studies. If you are studying full time at a different institution and wish to undertake additional courses with us, we reserve the right to ask for proof that you are enrolled and attending the sponsoring institution which your Tier 4 visa is tied to.

Is it possible to start a course at a later date?

This is department specific and depends on the course you are taking. It is important that you let us know if a later start date will be necessary for you. The latest start date will be confirmed in your offer letter.

When do your course start?

This will depend on the course you are looking to take. Most courses start in September, but English courses have many different start dates

Do I need qualifications to study at college?

You will need to provide evidence of your academic qualifications and current level of English language, e.g. IELTS.

Please send us photocopies of all education and qualification certificates and transcript of results (with translation in English) that you have.

Do you have Tier 4 Sponsor status / Are you an accredited institution? 

Activate Learning is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor and has British Council accreditation.

Which support services are available?

We will support you every step of the way as one of our students. Our student services, careers, welfare and student support teams are available to help you. All of our staff are friendly and approachable, so you don’t need to be afraid to ask for any help you need.

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​Can you help with accommodation?

We use a professional accommodation provider who can provide homestays. She checks the host families to ensure an acceptable standard of living. If you are 18 years old or over and prefer a more independent living, we can also help you with Student authorised and licensed accommodation in a residential student block on or off campus.

Do you provide an induction and/or orientation?

Before your arrival here in the UK, we will send you an orientation pack, including important information about student life in the UK. Once you are here you will receive an induction to help you get to know our campuses.

Do I need a VISA to study in the UK?

If you are not a national of a country in the European Economic Areas (EEA) or Switzerland, you do need to apply for a visa to enter and study in the UK.

What can I study under a Tier 4 VISA?

You can study any full-time course approved at Level 3 or above of the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ). The course must include a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime study per week.

You can also study an English language course at or above level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Can I extend my VISA in the UK?

If you are in the UK as a Tier 4 student, then you can apply to extend your leave to progress to the next level, demonstrating academic progression. You will need to check before you apply that you will be able to meet the Tier 4 rules.

Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website and the UK Council for International Student Affairs website for the latest information about the Tier 4 rules and requirements.

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Do I need to register with the police?

If you are required to register with the police, this will be stated in your passport and you will need to register within seven days of your arrival in the UK and each time your circumstances change (i.e. change of address, visa extension, etc.)

To register, you will need your passport, confirmation of student letter, registration fee, as well as two passport-size photographs of yourself.

Following registration, a Police Registration Certificate will be sent out to you. Please ensure that you keep this safe.

Can I bring dependants/family?

You cannot bring your dependants to the UK unless:

  • you are a government-sponsored student studying a course which lasts longer than six months.
  • you are studying a postgraduate level course at a higher education institution and the course duration is 12 months or longer
  • your previous student leave was to study a course lasting more than 6 months and you and your dependant (who already has Tier 4 dependant leave) are applying at the same time for new immigration permission to study a course of more than six months.

Please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website for more information.

How much money do I need a month to live in the UK?

We advise students to budget for £820 per month to cover UK living expenses in addition to their tuition fees. Your largest cost will be your accommodation. You will also need money for utility bills, council tax, insurance, food, books, equipment and a social life.

Some accommodation will include bills for utilities such as heating and electricity. However, if you choose to live in private accommodation, you may have to pay extra for gas, electricity and water. If you will need more or less than the recommended amount depends on your lifestyle.

How much will the course cost?

The tuition fees vary depending on the exact course you are going to study. For specific course fees, please visit our fees page.

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Am I allowed to work in the UK?

As a Tier 4 student at a publicly funded further education college, you are not allowed to work. You can do a work placement as part of your course, provided:

  • your education provider is a Sponsor and the work placement does not make up more than 30% of the course
  • or if the course is at or above NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9

Will I be able to get financial assistance?

You are not eligible for funding in the UK, but you might be able to get a scholarship from your country. For further information, please check with your nearest British Council.

Can I get free medical treatment?

It will depend upon your visa type, course duration and if your country is part of a Reciprocal Health Agreement as to whether you will be entitled to free NHS treatment (with the exception of emergency treatment at an NHS Accident and Emergency department, which does not require any follow-up treatment and some family planning services – which are free for everyone).

We recommend that you register with a GP (close to where you live) within the first week of your arrival. If a GP is unable to register you as a patient, then you can contact NHS Direct for more information

It is important to check if you meet the health care eligibility rules before you plan to come to the UK. If you don’t, then you need to get health insurance to cover you for the duration of your stay.

How can I get insurance in the UK?

Insurance can be arranged through Endsleigh at a preferential rate to cover your studies. Endsleigh is the only student insurance provider specifically endorsed by both English UK and UKCISA.

Will I be able to practice my faith?

Of course, we offer faith support in all our colleges. Our multi-faith chaplaincy supports both students and staff. Chaplains offer a listening ear in confidence and you do not need to have a faith to benefit from their support. A multi-faith quiet room is available on campus.

Every major religion in the world is represented in the UK and there are Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist centres in addition to synagogues and churches of all denominations.

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