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Accommodation

International students: FAQ's

By bzellie 18 Aug 2020

We've got all the FAQ's you'll need as an International student at Cardiff.

What is the weather like in Cardiff?

In Cardiff, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy, and the winters are long, very cold, wet, windy and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 38°F to 69°F and is rarely below 29°F or above 78°F.

What is the cost of living in Cardiff?

According to 2019 Natwest Student Living Index, Cardiff is the most cost-efficient university city in the UK. Although Cardiff is one of the most affordable cities in the UK, the minimum cost of living as recommended by UKVI for studying outside London is £1,015 per month. To be eligible for a Tier 4 visa you will have to show that you have sufficient funds for the first-year tuition fee and living costs of approximately of £9,135.

What support do freshmen have?

We understand that it is a great step to settle into your new way of life in Cardiff and, hence, we try our best to take great care to help you settle as easily as possible. For this purpose, we arrange and organize a range of orientation and welcome activities for freshers. Welcome events include welcome talks, meet-ups, practical advice and information sessions, quizzes, societies and sports fairs, tours of university campus and city, etc. However, owing to the unprecedented situation of Covid-19 pandemic we are currently reviewing how we can deliver International welcome and orientation.

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How large are classes?

The university classes are of different sizes and depend on the course you are attending. In some schools, there are big lecture theatres where 220 students can be accommodated. The other classes are of medium to small sizes which can accommodate around 30 to 80 students.

Can I work part-time?

If you are an international student and you have a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you can usually work part-time during your studies. The wording on your visa, either on the Entry Clearance sticker in your passport or in the “Remarks” section on your Biometric Permit will state your work conditions. You must check carefully before committing to any paid work.

You may be eligible to work in the UK if your visa states that you can. Look out for one of the following statements which usually indicate that you are eligible to work:

  • Work (and any changes) must be authorised
  • Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State
  • Work as in Tier 4 Rules
  • Restricted Work. P/T term time. F/T vacations
  • Restricted work term time
  • Work limited to max 20 hrs per week during term-time
  • Work limited to max 10 hrs per week during term-time

You cannot work if your visa has one of these statements:

  • No work
  • Work prohibited

Depending on the wording of your Visa, you must not work more than 10 or 20 hours per week during term time. You should be able to find the official term dates on the Cardiff University Intranet.

If you work beyond your permitted hours, you may be subject to a range of consequences. The most severe of which could include dismissal from University and deportation from the UK. The University could also incur a significant fine.

As an international student, you should expect to be treated fairly within your organisation, have the right to join a Trade Union and can access support from the services below if you face any employment challenges in your place of work.

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Can international students work on campus?

Yes, they can. There are several opportunities published throughout the year by job shop. It is a platform that sends part-time jobs to students frequently through email. However, you have to register with them first before any opportunities can be forwarded to you.

How do I open a bank account?

Firstly, you must complete the online enrolment via SIMS. Secondly, you will have to collect your Student ID card before you can generate a bank letter. You can generate a bank letter from SIMS (you can find the video on how to generate a bank letter here). Then, you must make an appointment with the bank of your choice to fill in an application for a bank account.

For more information about different banks visit our Banking Hub in the Students' Union during enrolment week where numerous UK banks will be present in the Hub, allowing students to open accounts at the bank of their choice on-site or allowing you to book appointments to open accounts in their local branch.

What are the extra-curricular activities that international students can take part in?

International students can take part in a variety of extra-curricular activities that Cardiff university provides. They are open to join any general or sports society. They can also volunteer, but for paid opportunities, the international students must abide by the rules and regulations and check the Tier 4 (general) visa guidance document before proceeding

Applying

How do I reply to my offers in UCAS?

You must consider the offers you've received and inform UCAS of your choice through the Track system. The deadline by which you must reply will be displayed in Track.

You have three options:

  •  Firm acceptance
    This is your first/preferred choice. You can only have one firm acceptance.
  • Insurance acceptance (optional)
    If your firm acceptance is a conditional offer, you can accept another offer (conditional or unconditional) as an insurance choice in case you fail to meet the terms of your firm acceptance. You can only have one insurance acceptance.
  • Decline
    You must decline all other offers. If you do not wish to accept any offers made, you can decline them all. Depending on your circumstances, you may then be eligible to use UCAS Extra or clearing.

For detailed information on how and when to reply to offers, please visit the UCAS website.

What are the English language requirements I must meet?

All overseas applicants whose first language is not English must have a standard level of English that will enable them to benefit fully from their course of study.

The majority of our courses request an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7.0.

Our International pages list the recognised English language qualifications required for standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. These pages also provide further information about English Language Programmes.

Please contact the International Office if you have any questions about English language requirements or have questions about coming to Cardiff from overseas:

International Office

  • international@cardiff.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)29 2087 4432

I have a disability, will this affect my application?

Your application is not affected in any way if you have a disability. Instead, you will be provided extra support by Cardiff University and your disability will be taken into consideration throughout your degree. For example, for dyslexic students, extra time can be provided in exams after acceptance from the examination panel. 

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CAS and visas

What are the visa requirements for international students?

Every international student needs a tier 4 (General) student visa. The visa requirements can be found here.

For information on applying from outside of the UK, see Tier 4 entry clearance.

If you are applying from inside the UK (because you already have immigration permission that permits this), see Tier 4 leave to remain.

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Accommodation

What are the on-campus residential options that international students can avail?

Undergraduate students who selected Cardiff University as either their firm or insurance choice are guaranteed University accommodation in their first year. We have a range of accommodations to suit individual interests, preferences and budgets. For more detail about options available and their specific features please see: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/accommodation/residences

I want to leave University Residences

If you have accepted the University's offer of accommodation you have entered a legally binding contract. Cardiff University will allow you to change your mind before you collect your keys, but after that they will usually only let you out of the contract if

  • you leave Cardiff University
  • you take an interruption of study
  • you can evidence exceptional circumstances that mean you need to leave university residences

If none of the above apply to you, you can contact Residences and ask to be released from your contract, but they are unlikely to agree. If they refuse, you will almost certainly be bound to pay the residence fees for the remainder of the year unless you find another Cardiff University student to replace you in your room.

If you are unhappy in your room/flat but happy to consider moving to a different room within university residences, you can apply for a transfer. The transfer process usually opens from the end of September/beginning of October each year. 

Where can I find a Council Tax Exemption Certificate?

Students who are living in University Accommodation do not need a council tax certificate, but one will be provided anyway in case you move into private accommodation. You are exempted from paying council tax if you are a full-time student, and the council tax exemption certificate can be printed through SIMS (https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/new-students/before-you-arrive/accommodation-and-moving-here/council-tax).

Fees and funding

Is there financial support or assistance for international students during my stay there?

If your enquiry relates to the Financial Assistance Programme (also known as the Hardship Fund or Financial Contingency Fund) or any issue related with student finance, your best source of support will be the Advice and Money Service in Student Support within the University. The Students' Union will always be happy to speak to you, but an application for financial assistance will ultimately have to be made to Student Support. Therefore, it may be worth directing your enquiry to them. Details have been included below for your reference.

Are there scholarships available for international students?

Cardiff University recognises the potential of international students and offers a very wide range of scholarships to them from undergraduate to PhD level. For more details visit: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/international/funding-and-fees/international-scholarships

Our 2020 Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships offer funding awards to international students across undergraduate and postgraduate taught levels of study. Awards from £2,000 are available to international students across a wide range of subject areas and will be offered in the form of a tuition fee discount. (https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/international/funding-and-fees/international-scholarships/vc-international-scholarship) .

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