THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
The total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases across the county of Somerset stood at 2,580 on Sunday 2nd August. We are a large county and over the past month there has only been one new case discovered in South West and Taunton area where Richard Huish College is based. The total number of cases in the South West and Taunton throughout the pandemic is 447, whilst the total number in the UK is 304,695.
According to NHS England, the number of Coronavirus related deaths in Somerset is 149 with 1 death recorded in the past fortnight. This occurred in Bath, a larger city in the North of Somerset.
Whilst we encourage you to assess the risk for yourself we would like to reassure those joining us that Somerset and the South West have experienced relatively fewer cases of Coronavirus throughout the pandemic than other regions of the UK. We benefit from a lower density population and plentiful open scenery reducing transmission risk in our area. Where we are located within the county, there has only been one new case recorded in recent weeks and whilst precautions continue to be taken, Taunton is a wonderful place to live right now.
The College will be closely following government guidelines and measures like one way systems and hand sanitisers have already been introduced.
Current UK rules can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
ARRIVING IN THE UK
We can collect you from the airport when you first arrive and take you to either the boarding house or your Homestay family. At the International Enrolment day our team of Huish Ambassadors will be on hand to show you the local area, help you get your UK mobile phone and advise you of the best places to eat and shop! You will soon settle in to your busy and fulfilling College life.
We can arrange for you to be collected from the Airport to ensure your safe arrival. Please contact Maria Smith for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org). A minimum of 2 weeks notice is required.
Inform the International Team if you are delayed, providing the new date of your arrival and the reason for the delay.
SAFE ENTRY TO THE UK
The UK Border Force has produced a ‘Top 10 Tips’ information leaflet providing guidance on getting through the UK border controls as efficiently as possible. In addition to the information outlined in this leaflet, you are advised to carry your visa application decision letter in your hand-luggage. The decision letter will have been issued to you to confirm your visa application was successful.
HOW TO GET HERE
If you travel to the UK by air, you will probably arrive at one of London’s main international airports – Heathrow or Gatwick.
By Train: Heathrow Express rail service to Paddington Train Station (London). Journey time approx 15 minutes. Paddington Train Station to Taunton Train Station – there are regular trains to Taunton, for further information, please visit www.nationalrail.co.uk. Journey time is approximately 2 – 3 hours and will cost up to £100 depending on time of booking.
By Train: Gatwick Express rail service to Victoria Train Station (London) – Journey time – approx 30 minutes, runs every 15 minutes.
If you wish to travel to Taunton by train from London, providing you notify us in advance we can arrange for a taxi to collect you from Taunton Train Station.
USEFUL PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION
In addition to the information below you may find the ‘British Council – Study UK, Discover You’ guide useful.
Check your immigration document and contact us if you think it contains any errors.
Keep your passport safe. Take copies of your passport and other paperwork before travelling and keep secure in a different place to your passport.
COLLECTING YOUR BRP
We do not have an ACL code; our International Staff are registered as 3rd Party Collectors for students under the age of 18. Our local post office is TAUNTON.
If stated in your Tier 4 Visa, you will need to complete the Police Registration process when you have arrived. This is an online form and we will cover this during your induction Please note that you will also need £34.00 in GBP cash.
Click here to view our Term Dates.
You may find that the weather in the UK is very different from your home country. Summer and spring offer pleasant temperatures varying from about 18C to 30C whilst autumn and winter see temperatures varying from 15C to 1C. During winter occasionally there are snowfalls. It is advisable to bring warm, waterproof outdoor clothing with you. We recommend that you bring clothes that you can wear in layers, such as:
- A warm waterproof coat for winter and a light waterproof coat for summer is recommended. Students dress casually at College but you may want something smart to wear for a special occasion.
SUMMER HOMEWORK AND CHOOSING YOUR SUBJECTS
To help you make a well-informed decision about your two-year Study Programme, our staff have prepared a booklet of Summer homework. This booklet contains tasks designed to show you what the typical content of your chosen course is. If you find the work interesting and enjoyable, it’s probably the right choice for you. If you do not find it interesting then you might want to consider a different course. If that applies to you, we recommend the following:
Look at our website for information about new options and courses.
Look at the summer homework for new subjects. Is that work more interesting?
Please complete the homework over the summer holidays for your chosen subjects. You will be required to hand this in during your first lesson of each subject during your first week.
HEALTHCARE IN THE UK
During your stay in the UK you can access appointments with a doctor, hospital treatment and dental care through the National Health Service (NHS), the UK’s state healthcare system. When you arrive we can advise you of your local medical centre. To register with a doctor you will need to take your passport along with a letter from the College as proof you are a student. We recommend you do this during your first week at College and will help you.
TIER 4 STUDENTS
Students coming to the UK for over 6 months applying for a Tier 4 visa will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee. Students are required to pay £150 for each year of leave granted on their visa. If this includes a portion of a year that is less than 6 months then you will only be required to pay £75 for that year. The immigration health charge is in addition to the standard visa application fee. For students applying for entry clearance from overseas, the surcharge will apply to visa applications for courses of 6 months or longer. For students making an application for further leave to remain in the UK, the surcharge will apply for courses of any length. The immigration health surcharge will entitle Tier 4 students to access NHS care in the UK free of charge in the same way as a permanent UK resident. This will include any visits or treatments at a healthcare centre or hospital. This will not cover all dental and optical treatment or medicine prescribed by the doctor and collected from a pharmacy. You will automatically be refunded the immigration health surcharge (but not the visa application fee) if your visa application is not successful. The surcharge is not refunded if you depart the UK earlier than the expiry of your visa or if you do not use the NHS during your time in the UK.
TIER 4 DEPENDANTS
Tier 4 dependants also have to pay the surcharge as part of their application at the same rate as Tier 4 students. Dependants need to select ‘Tier 4’ and then the dependant option under visa type when paying for the surcharge via the gov.uk website.
EEA AND SWISS NATIONALS
To access the NHS services for free Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). We recommend you read the UK’s Department of Health leaflet, Health Care Information for students from the European Economic Area for more information about using the NHS. If you are exercising your right to reside in the UK as a student, in accordance with UK EEA regulations, you are required to hold comprehensive sickness insurance throughout your stay in the UK. Having a valid EHIC issued by an EEA member state other than the UK satisfies this requirement if you are residing in the UK on a temporary basis as a student. Alternatively you can obtain Forms S1, S2 or S3 from the social security institution in your country of residence. You would need to contact the social security institution to verify whether these forms are relevant to your circumstances. If you are not entitled to an EHIC or cannot be issued one of these forms, you are advised to obtain private comprehensive medical insurance.
SHORT STUDY PERIODS
In the unlikely circumstances that you are studying in the UK for less than six months and you are from a non-EEA country, you are advised to take out medical insurance as you will be liable for NHS charges for the treatment you receive in the UK except for some treatment in a medical emergency. EEA nationals should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
You will have to pay the health immigration surcharge even if you opt to take out private health insurance as this is a mandatory fee included as part of your visa application. You may consider taking out private health insurance if you want to access private medical treatment, to cover any loss of fees if you are unable to complete your course or to cover costs associated with returning to your home country for treatment. This is a personal choice. If you have existing medical insurance in your home country, you may wish to check whether this can be extended to cover your stay in the UK.