Studying abroad in the UK is a great opportunity for international students to experience a new style of learning in a welcoming, safe and exciting country.

Cultural diversity

People from all over the world are attracted to the UK for great education and opportunity. This means that many universities and cities are very multicultural. You are likely to experience special cuisine from around the world, cultural festivals and have access to a lot of the food you love from home.

Rich history

Experiencing the UK’s rich history is a big part of the student experience. There are over 5,000 castles in the UK, and the oldest known archaeological evidence in the country dates back over 800,000 years. Modern humans have inhabited the UK for over 40,000 years. With so many historic sites and place of interest you will surely find something incredible to see.

There are also lots of interesting and famous people from Stoke-on-Trent, some of which even studied at Keele University. The Pogues musician Jem Finer was born in Stoke-on-Trent and studied at Keele. He co-wrote the song “Fairytale of New York” which is often played and sung joyfully around Christmas-time.

Useful information

Currency and banking

Currency in the UK is called Pound Sterling (£/GBP), more commonly known as the “pound”. For example, a coffee might cost two pounds at a local shop. Another slang term you might hear for pound is “quid”.

Credit cards and debit cards are accepted at most businesses and can be used for all types of purchases in the UK. Smaller shops might charge a small fee, or might only operate with physical money, so it can be helpful to always carry a small amount of physical money, or cash, with you. Visa and MasterCard are two of the most common card types.

It can be helpful to have a UK bank account for managing money. This will help you to avoid costly international banking fees. As part of your Induction Programme we will assist you in opening a bank account once you have registered for your course.

Healthcare and insurance

The National Health Service (NHS) is the public healthcare system available in the UK. With the NHS you can access doctors, hospital treatment and some dental care. To access the NHS, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals need a valid EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card). Non-EEA nationals will need to pay a ‘health surcharge’ to use the NHS. When you arrive at the International Study Centre part of your Induction Programme will include registering for health services with our help.

For more information you can visit the NHS website.


Your safety and wellbeing are always a top priority at the International Study Centre. With a low crime rate in the UK you will find this a safe place to live. In case of any emergency you can easily contact the police, ambulance or fire brigade at no cost. These teams will do their best to quickly help in any emergency.

To contact the emergency services:

  • In an emergency call 999
  • To report a crime call 101.