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International student support

As a welcoming university with global connections, we support our international students every step of the way-from help with visas and the English language, to making sure you feel safe and happy as you study with us.

Supporting you to succeed

The International Partnerships and Development team is on hand with support and information particularly relevant to you.

The team operates within the Code of Ethics for those advising international students devised by UKCISA: the UK Council for International Student Affairs and the Association of International Student Advisers, so you can be confident in the advice they give. This includes:

  • your responsibilities under the UK immigration system
  • renewing/extending your student visa
  • working in the UK
  • opening a UK bank account
  • funding for international students
  • matters relating to dependants.

The team can’t advise on matters relating to asylum, but they’ll help to identify appropriate sources of help.

You can also speak to the student support advisers for general advice and support about personal, general wellbeing, financial, housing or academic matters.

The International Student Success Programme has been created in collaboration with students from universities across the UK, including staff and students at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The programme provides practical advice on living and studying in the UK and will help you prepare for academic and social expectations. The programme also offers guidance on communicating with peers, building your confidence and resilience, as well as strategies for good wellbeing and mental health.

We know that moving abroad, away from friends and family, can be exciting but daunting. We have a range of opportunities in place to help you settle in and make the most of your time with us.

From the clubs and societies at the Students’ Union to volunteering opportunities in the community, from connecting with a peer mentor to taking part in the events on offer at the University there are plenty of ways to meet new people.

  • Why not join the Christ Church Students’ Union International Student Society – a great way to make friends and celebrate each other’s cultures.
  • Check out Friends International - an organisation in Canterbury made up of Christians from local churches, who wish to offer friendship to international students. They organise a range of events and activities to help you feel welcome.
  • Take part in HostUK – a fantastic opportunity for an immersive, cultural experience with a British family anywhere in the UK. The trips (day/weekend/weeklong) are great value and completely safe with all hosts being fully vetted. This is the perfect way to make some very special memories to take home with you

Academic English Language Services

You may encounter various academic challenges when learning at university, especially if English is not your first language.


Our team is here to help you improve your academic English skills and achieve your goals through training, guidance and free English classes.

For more information visit Academic English Language Services. 

Meeting the conditions of your Student Route Visa

You must remember your responsibilities while in the UK on a Student Route Visa. You need to:

  • Attend all sessions and engage with your course, both in-person and online as required.
  • Submit all assignments and coursework on time.
  • Keep your contact details in MyRecord up to date so that the University can contact you when required. This includes your UK address and phone number – so please remember to update these if they change once you arrive.
  • Live within a reasonable commuting distance from campus – it’s important that you come to campus for all on-campus sessions because poor attendance could jeopardise your Student Route Visa.

Registering your attendance

You need to register your own attendance to lectures, seminars and other timetabled classes by ‘tapping in’ with your smartcard on the black smartcard reader at the entrance of lecture theatres and teaching rooms.

Each time you tap in, there will be a ‘beep’. The LED on the smartcard reader will flash blue briefly, indicating that your attendance has been successfully recorded. If you do not tap in, your attendance at that class will not be recorded.

You need to keep good attendance and engagement on your course to protect your Student Route Visa. If you’re experiencing challenges, you can contact your Personal Academic Tutor and the Student Wellbeing Team for help. If you have any questions about your visa or visa regulations please contact our UKVI Compliance Team and for wider University support please contact the i-zone. Find out more about UKVI Sponsored Students Attendance and Engagement Policy.

Working in the UK

During your studies

Depending on the conditions of your visa, you may be allowed to undertake work while studying in the UK - please check your BRP card to see whether you have this permission to work.

The working hours allowed depend on your level of study:

  • Below degree level study - Maximum of 10 hours during term-time and full-time hours outside of term time
  • Degree level or above but below PhD study - Maximum of 20 hours of work during term-time and full-time hours outside of term time
  • Postgraduate dissertation period and PhD studies:
    • If you are a postgraduate student in your dissertation period, you are in full-time, term-time studies and are subject to the 20-hour maximum
    • PhD students are in full-time, term-time studies for the entirety of their course except for pre-approved periods of holiday and are therefore subject to the 20-hour maximum
    • PhD students are entitled to a maximum of eight weeks of holiday per year

A working week is Monday to Sunday and the hourly maximums per week are absolute - they cannot be averages over more than one week. You can find your course term dates here.

To work in the UK, you will need to apply online to get your National Insurance Number which can take up to 8 weeks to receive. Once you are fully registered, you can download your Student Status letter from MyRecord – this proves your status as a full-time student at the University, and it is what you should use, along with your BRP, when seeking work. Employers may also ask you for a Share Code.

You may wish to register with Unitemps, our own University recruitment agency, which has a range of job opportunities available in the University and local area.

If you have any questions about your visa or visa regulations please contact our UKVI Compliance Team


International Students who need proof of holiday periods for employment can download a PDF version of their Calendar Term Dates here and provide it together with their Status letter. To download a status letter please login to My Record and select the 'My Letters' tab. 

After your studies

International students who want to work in the UK following the successful completion of a course of study at UK Bachelor’s degree-level or above are able to apply for the Graduate route from 1 July 2021. To be eligible, you must have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at Canterbury Christ Church University or another Higher Education Provider, and have valid Tier 4 or Student permission at the time of application.

Successful applicants on this route at Bachelor’s or Master’s level will be able to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for two years. Doctoral students will be able to stay for three years.

Yes, the Graduate route requires a new visa application. This will only be possible from inside the UK. It will include the payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year. You will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that you used for your most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate route.

Individuals who already have permission as a dependant of a Student who is applying under this route can also apply to extend their permission as a dependant. However, new dependants are not permitted on this route.

No, you will not need a sponsor. Canterbury Christ Church University will not need to fulfil any sponsorship duties for you once you switch onto the Graduate route and you will not need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to apply under this route. However, the University will need to notify the Home Office that you have successfully completed your course.

Graduates will be able to apply to other routes at the end of their two to three year stay, for example the Skilled Worker, Global Talent, or Innovator routes.

The UKCISA website has more  information about working after your studies, or you can ask a question by emailing the university's International Partnerships and Development Team.

If you need a copy of your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS), or if you have a specific question about the role of the university in confirming your eligibility to apply under this route, please email the Compliance Team.

International specific events