International Students

Is there a checklist of everything I need to have figured out before starting my degree?

This mega pdf from the University will be really helpful, or keep scrolling down in this international FAQ.

What is Lucy like as a college for international students?

Lucy is a dream for internationals, given its highly diverse groups of students and perspectives. We're 370 students from 60 counties studying here, and our SU executive committee is 100% international (with backgrounds ranging from Egypt to Finland to Malaysia and China). This is one of Lucy's unique strengths.

What are the conventions of academic English? How can I polish my language skills to make sure I’m not held back by the language itself?

The university Language Centre has created a bunch of resources for polishing your language skills and learning about academic conventions. Try looking at this and this first. Once you're in Cambridge, you have the option to attend a supplementary course in academic English. Here is an outline of what they offer. We would recommend giving your English a go without enrolling in the first few weeks, to see how it goes. You will get the hang of it over time!

College can also offer some writing skills tutorial sessions. Get in touch with your tutor to ask what your options are. If you're unsure who your tutor is, log on to CamSIS and click Other Information > Advisors.

What is the nature of Cambridge academic work?

Before coming here you may wonder what the system looks like, what the nature of a student-supervisor relationship is, and whether the lecturers will asking any uncomfortable (albeit stimulating) questions. Check this out for a run-though of the British academic system. Once in Cambridge, you will be able to attend four Cambridge 101 Survival Sessions organised by the SU in Freshers’ Week and throughout the year, the first of which is specifically aimed at exploring how the academic system works from a student’s perspective.

Where can I find friends from home while at Cambridge?

There are plenty of international students in Cambridge and many are keen to find others from their home country. A good place to start is by joining a regional society or attending the International Freshers' Week. We host several international events in college as well!

How are international students represented in the university at large?

The university has a specifically international Students' Union called iCUSU. They organise things like the annual International Freshers' Week.

How do I open a UK bank account as an international student?

Have a look at pages 9-10 in the University pre-arrival document for an overview of what the different banks can offer. You will need a permanent UK address and a letter from college to open your account, meaning you will have to wait until you’ve moved to Cambridge. A letter confirming your student status and address can be had from the college Tutorial Office at college registration.

How do I pay my college invoices with an international account?

The college provides a bill payment page where you can pay with international credit/debit cards. You can also transfer money directly to the colleges’ bank account, or write them a cheque. The college is not able to facilitate any personal transfers, e.g. by having your parents send money to the college directed at you. The college only handles your payments of college fees.

What’s the difference between paying my university fees via the Student Loan Company (SLC) versus an institution in my home country?

If you are planning on paying your university fees with an SLC loan, the University will invoice the SLC directly in termly instalments. This means you will not have to involve yourself in the actual payment of the fees, once your loan has been approved. However, if you are paying your university fees by other means, you will need to arrange a payment plan with the college and pay your invoices personally. Contact the Lucy finance department to set up a plan, or with any other questions you may have relating to the payment of your fees.

What is the best way of transferring money to the UK?

The best thing is probably to check this with your bank. There are alternative services available, such as TransferWise, which can be good for smaller transfers with fixed exchange rates.

Do I need a visa to study at Cambridge?

Have a look at page 29-31 in the University pre-arrival document for more information.

How do I apply for an EU Cambridge Bursary?

The Cambridge bursaries are currently handled by the Student Loan Company (SLC). Click here for more information.

What about Brexit? What happens now?

Brexit took Cambridge by surprise, and there has been much discussion on what this means for the future of international students. The University has made it clear that EU students commencing their studies in the academic year 2017/18 will not be subject to a raise in university fees. In other words, your fees as an EU fresher this year will remain the same as “home” students. Government has yet to vote on the fees for 2019 onwards.

Here is the latest statement on Brexit from the Cambridge vice-chancellor, including links to more information.