Before You Go - London

 

There are many things to prepare for and organize before your departure from your home country to your study abroad location. Essential information will be communicated to you through your student portal and email after you are accepted to FIE. 

In addition to any home-school preparation students might have, pre-departure orientations on partner campuses are often conducted by a visiting FIE staff member.  Students will also be emailed pre-departure guides to help them with their preparation.

 PREPARING FOR LONDON EMAILS

In the months prior to your arrival, you'll receive important information about your study abroad program through our 'Preparing for London' email series. You should expect to receive the following:

 

Welcome to FIE

 

Email includes information on:

 

 

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Your Internship*

 

Email includes information on: 

 

  • Your Internship Mentor
  • Internship Schedule
  • IIC Course Required Text

 

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Academics & Accessibility

 

Email includes information on: 

 

  • Academic Resources
  • Textbooks/Reading Packs
  • Academic Accommodations

 

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Residence Life

 

 Email includes information on:

 

  • Your Residence
  • Mailing Address
  • Arriving in London

 

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Student Life

 

Email includes information on: 

 

 

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(*Your Internship email only for students participating in an international internship while in London)

 

You must check your email inbox (including your junk mail) regularly so that you don't miss any important communications. We also recommend that you add any @fie.org.uk emails to your safe senders list. Please also ensure that the email address that you provided on your application is correct.

In addition to the 'Preparing for London' emails, you will also receive other emails such as information on classes, course registration, and visas.

 VISA INFORMATION

 

Please see the following information to determine the type of visa you require.


Internship, Service Internship, and Service Learning programs:

All non-European citizens (US citizens, etc.)

You must apply for a Tier 4 (General) Visa before you depart from your country of residence.

Please read our Tier 4 Visa Guide carefully. It explains in detail the process of applying for a visa. You will get the password for this visa guide once you have received an offer to study with us.

Summary of Steps:

  • Fill a Tier 4 visa application online by using the information provided by FIE (once you have completed your application and received an offer)
  • Pay for your application, book a biometrics appointment near you (service available at hundreds of locations in the US), and buy shipping labels as part of your application (to send and receive your passport back)
  • Attend your biometrics appointment (fingerprints and pictures taken)
  • Mail your documents (passport, return shipping label, etc.) to ‘UK Visas & Immigration’ in New York
  • Within 6 weeks: receive your passport back with a Tier 4 visa vignette

Please note:

  • You can only start your visa application once you have received the relevant material from FIE (CAS Statement, etc.)
  • You should plan to apply for your visa as soon as possible
  • You must complete the visa application by using FIE’s visa guide and the tailored material prepared for you.
  • Any errors could lead to a visa refusal
  • Do not hesitate to contact FIE’s Immigration and Compliance officer should you need any assistance
  • Please contact FIE’s Immigration and Compliance officer if you wish to submit your visa application visa from outside the US

Study only programs

Non-visa nationals - such as US, Canadian and Australian citizens (check this webpage for more information- Appendix 2 / Visa nationals list): if your country is not listed, you are a non-visa national)

You do not need to apply for a Short-Term Study visa before you travel to the UK. Instead, you can request to enter as a Short-Term Study Student at the port of entry (passport control).

Please note: Students with a US passport (or citizens of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea) must not use the eGates (Electronic immigration gates) at UK airports and must instead go to a manned immigration desk in order to get a Short-Term Study entry stamp on their passport.

Visa nationals - such as Chinese and Indians citizens (see a full list of countries here - Appendix 2 / Visa nationals list)

You will need to apply online for a Short-Term Study visa before you travel. Please read our Short-Term Study Visa Guide carefully. It explains in detail the process of applying for a visa. You will get the password for this visa guide once you have received an offer to study with us.


EEA/EU/Swiss citizens joining one of our programs in 2020 (Internship, Service Internship, and Service Learning or Study only)

You are currently not subject to UK immigration control and do not require a visa.

The UK has now left the European Union (BREXIT) but new regulations will be published in the months leading to the 'End of the transition period' on 31 December 2020. This does not affect European citizens’ right to enter the UK to study in 2020 or UK citizens' right to travel to mainland Europe in 2020.  

 VOLUNTEERING/ VOLUNTARY WORK WHILE ABROAD

Can I volunteer or do voluntary work?

  • All non-EEA/EU students can volunteer, BUT cannot do voluntary ("unpaid") work.
  • Students on Short-Term Study Visas cannot undertake any kind of work (paid or unpaid)in the UK
  • Students on Tier 4 visas cannot undertake any kind of work (paid or unpaid)in the UK, apart from their FIE program internship or service-learning placement  

If you have questions about your visa and whether you can volunteer/undertake voluntary work, please contact FIE’s Immigration and Compliance Officer

 DIVERSITY INQUIRIES

Study abroad students of all backgrounds face unique challenges in adjusting to their host country and cultural nuances. FIE encourages students to reflect that as a study abroad student, you bring more than just physical belongings with you to the host country, but also your personal culture, background, experience, values, interests, and identity.

FIE seeks to support students with their adjustment process as much as possible. As you are preparing to apply for your FIE study abroad programme, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns and support needs around aspects related to your identity, such as diversity, background, LGBTQ+, religion and faith, first generation, disabilities, veteran or any other aspects related to your own self.

If you are interested in setting up a time to talk with an FIE staff member about these concerns, please email our Diversity & Inclusivity Leads at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  STAYING SAFE AND CONNECTED IN LONDON AND ABROAD

At FIE, your safety and security is our primary concern. In addition to the regularly scheduled safety and security information you will receive as part of your countdown emails and orientation, we wanted to pass on some tips and guidance now that will help you as you get ready for life abroad: 

  • Have a working accessible mobile (cell) phone and provide your mobile phone number to FIE and provide the number via www.studyabroad.fie.org.uk - this should be done immediately upon arrival if not before (the Student Life FAQ page on our website has information about cell phones and plans for your time in London)
  • U.S. citizens should enrol in the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) - this will enable you to receive security messages as well as make it easier to locate you with information and support should an emergency arise in any city you're travelling in
  • Non U.S. citizens should register with their country's embassy and respective program
  • Research your country’s nearest embassy or consulate in any location you plan to travel to outside of the UK and make note of their contact information - U.S. citizens/permanent residents can check this information on the U.S. Department of State's website

  • Add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Safe Senders list and check your junk mail folder to prevent missing important safety email correspondence from FIE  

As always, it is best to be proactive about things like these – if you have questions about your heath and safety while preparing for your time in London, please contact the Student Life Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.