International Students

International Students

Hello and welcome to the Student Health and Wellbeing Service.

Studying in the UK is a very rewarding experience and can provide you with the opportunity to experience a new culture, meet new people, forge new friendships and improve your English skills.

However, we recognise that it may also be a challenging time and there may be some things that you may struggle with such as:

  • missing home, friends and family
  • adapting to new teaching styles
  • making new friends
  • meeting people in the local community
  • finances

If you are finding any of the above difficult we would encourage you to participate in the many activities available through the University and we would like to reassure you that we can help.

Adapting to new teaching styles

You may experience a change in teaching style where you are encouraged to enter into debates with your tutor, this is a commonly used teaching style in the UK and may be difficult to adjust to but the idea is that it promotes independent thinking. If you have concerns please speak to your personal tutor.

Often, international students are used to receiving very high marks for their work (e.g. over 70%). In the UK, you will often receive marks between 40-60%. In the UK, anything above 60% is considered to be a very good mark and getting a mark of above 70% is very unusual and is considered to be an exceptional mark. With this in mind, please do not be disappointed if you receive lower marks than when you have been studying elsewhere as this is very normal. Please also note tutors often write feedback in red pen, this is not meant to cause offence. If, however, you do have any concerns regarding your marks please speak to your personal tutor.

Meet new people

There are many ways to make new friends and interact with the local community.

  • HOST - why not spend a day or a weekend with a UK resident
  • SCAN (Student Community Action Group) - meet new people and make a difference in the community
  • Newcastle University Sport- get fit and have fun by joining in one the many exercise classes
  • Student Union - join one of the many societies, give it a go or take part in the culture challenge
  • Chaplaincy - For all faiths or none, with regular events ranging from trips to a traditional Christmas Lunch

Financial support and sssistance

The University recognizes that studying overseas is a major undertaking, both personally and financially, and aims to assist international students who require financial assistance with scholarships and awards. The following pages provide information on funding your studies and the variety of opportunities that are available for your course at Newcastle, depending on whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student applying or presently studying at Newcastle.

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/finance/funding/nonukstudents/

Healthcare

We know it is often difficult for international students to understand how the health system works in the UK, our guide to the Medical Services for International Students (PDF: 585KB) will help you to understand the wide variety of services available.

Support for international students with a disability

If you have a sensory or physical impairment or medical condition/long term illness, you can find further information here.

Need to talk to someone

To get the most from your time with Newcastle University and in the UK it is important that you are happy and healthy. However, it is not uncommon to feel sad and lonely when you are away from your home, friends and family especially if this is the first time you have experienced living independently. At times like this you may feel that you need to talk to your family or friends, but you may not want to worry them, or you may feel ashamed that you are not coping or worried that you will disappoint them. You may struggle in some of the following areas:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Mood changes, depression, anger, irritability
  • Loss of identity
  • Lack of confidence
  • Isolation

In the UK, it is not unusual to go and talk to a therapist for help if you are struggling emotionally or psychologically. We want to reassure you that the Student Health and Wellbeing Service is able to offer support to you. All of our therapists are qualified and experienced in working with international students and understand some of the cultural issues that students experience. The service is used by home and international students, it is without charge and is confidential. We do not inform anyone that you have attended the service, this includes staff from your course, and notes are not added to your school records.

Support offered to students regarding recent distressing international events

If you are currently being affected by international events please be assured that the following help and assistance is available:

Emotional support
When distressing events such as those happening at the moment take place, that we or our families and friends are personally involved in, it is often a traumatic time emotionally and psychologically. It is obviously very normal to feel very distressed in these circumstances. People in this situation may feel anxious about themselves, their friends and family and the future, they may struggle with their sleep, with their concentration and motivation to work. This is all usual in such difficult circumstances. If these types of difficulties become more long term, for example 2 to 3 months after the events then we would advise you to access the Student Health and Wellbeing Service or your GP.

We would also recommend that you speak to your friends and families for support. If you feel you would benefit from more intensive support such as counselling then please access the service. This would be about helping you process and explore the emotional and psychological difficulties you are experiencing.

Staff in the Student Health and Wellbeing Service would not be in a position to discuss the political implications of any event.

In addition to the above you could also speak with a Chaplain: www.ncl.ac.uk/students/chaplaincy/about/contact.htm

So why not make an appointment.

Impact on your studies/examinations/assignments
If you are struggling with your studies because of these events we would recommend that you talk to your personal tutor. You could also consider submitting a Personal Extenuating Circumstance (PEC) form: www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/student-resources/help/

Accommodation
Any concerns about accommodation you should contact the Accommodation Service at King's Gate on 0191 208 3333.

Outstanding tuition fees
If you have any concerns in relation to either your sponsor not paying your tuition fee on your behalf, or where you are personally responsible for the payment of the fee, being unable to make the payment, please contact the Tuition Fees Team on 0191 208 5520 or by email: tuition-fees@ncl.ac.uk

Visa concerns
If you have visa concerns as a result of the current ongoing situations please contact the Visa Team as soon as possible. Please see this link for further information: www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/visa/

Financial support
If you are concerned about finances you may be able to receive some financial support from the UK government. This is for students who are limited leave with a 'no recourse to public funds' condition and who have a temporary disruption of funds. The funds are available for a period of 6 weeks. If you wish to investigate this further we would recommend that you contact the Student Advice Centre for support with this process. You can contact them on 0191 239 3979 or email: Student-Advice-Centre@ncl.ac.uk

You can also apply to the Financial Assistance Fund in the University. Further information about this fund is available at: www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/finance/funding/nonukstudents/hardship/index.htm

We do hope that you are enjoying your experience in the UK and this information is not meant to scare you but to reassure you that if you need help it is available...just ask.