As an international student, studying in the UK can be a bit overwhelming – especially if you’re returning back during the COVID-19. But hey, this pandemic is no reason to hamper or delay your UK study plans as universities in the UK offer a safe learning environment. According to the UK government, after you arrive, you’ll be required to provide your journey and contact details before travelling. Just not it! We have come up with a set of tips for students who are returning to the UK for studies. Keep reading to know more about them.
Tip 1: To-do-list before departure
You’ll need to fill an online form, and you can complete it from 48 hours before travelling. You must be aware of your flight’s details and provide the address of where you will be staying for the next 14 days in the UK. Make sure you show the completed form on your phone (or have a printed copy) when you arrive in the UK.
- The UK government will use the information provided to contact you if someone you had travelled with develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. In that case, you will then need to self-isolate.
Tip 2: How to stay safe throughout the whole journey?
Once you arrive at the airport, you will need to make your way directly to your accommodation. Try to avoid using public transport if possible. Taxis might be expensive, but they are the safest option. We encourage you to pre-book one and pay ahead of time to avoid any complications when you arrive.
Not all the international students will be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days on arrival to the UK. List of countries whose residents are not required to quarantine is here. If you find that you’ll need to quarantine and have not planned for this, contact International Advice and Guidance immediately.
Moreover, here are a few more essential points to keep in mind during your travel.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Keep your distance.
- Clean or wipe frequently-touched objects with a cleaning spray.
- Avoid crowds – especially in closed spaces.
- Wear a mask and seek medical help if you develop symptoms.
Tip 3: Accommodation ready
Most of the University students live in privately rented accommodation. Firstly, you need to ensure that you have secured accommodation, it can even be a temporary one so that you can move into it directly once you arrive.
Unless you want to be like this...
If you are in a shared house, please ensure to visit the UK Government guidance for self-isolation to ensure you follow all the rules. If you are required to quarantine, then you must inform your hostel about your arrival date and anticipate the time of entry. On your return, you are required to go straight to your room or hostel.
Try to make sure that you have all the things that you’ll need for a 14-day quarantine period. Remember that you will not be allowed to get your belongings from storage. Instead, you will have to ask your roommate to access your belongings from the storage and leave them outside the room.
Tip 4: Enough food supplies
Supermarkets across the UK, US and Australia, are making changes to operations to meet the increased demand and keep employees safe. Try not to panic if you see empty shelves on stores because some supermarket chains are slimming down the products so they can focus on essentials. Most importantly, don't ever panic buy toilet paper! You can't eat them.
I repeat! YOU. CAN'T.EAT.TOILET.PAPER.
To cope up with the food supply disruption stores are encouraging customers to buy what they need. Other stores in the UK encourage younger, healthy customers to continue to shop in-store as normal, or choose to collect online purchases in the store. Many stores, including Tesco and Whole Foods, close shop early to allow employees the chance to sanitize the store, and replenish stock. Stores are also building transparent screens to shield checkout clerks and encourage the customers to pay by contactless credit card when possible.
So, if you are planning to order food, then you can rely on delivery companies such as Deliveroo and UberEats(these companies also do some necessary grocery shop deliveries). Some restaurants also deliver at your doorstep to support people in quarantine – do check out on Google Maps for restaurants near where you live.
Tip 5: Study Online or Classroom?
University campuses have been closed for this term because of the Covid-19 outbreak. So, most of the courses might happen online. Academics and students are required to work together to make the most of online learning as the universities prepare for a new academic year.
The online platform has also brought new challenges for those taking part. These students are required to work harder in an online learning environment to ‘read’ non-verbal or social signs, including facial expressions, body language, vocal tone and pitch. However, it could train students to be:
- More independent and have more control of what they are learning
- Learned how to differentiate home/study life
- Get to do things at own pace and not so stressed out
Still, campus life is one of the key attractions for international students. With universities moving to a virtual learning environment, we know students will get deprived of the campus experience but you'd still get to enjoy a whole new life in the UK. So, why not?
Tip 6: Does a Post-study Work Visa still apply?
You may be wondering how to continue or pursue your studies online through distance education for this academic year? Whether it will impact your eligibility for the Graduate Route? The answer is yes; you will still be eligible as long as you:
- If you have earned a degree at the undergraduate level or above at a qualifying UK Higher Education Provider in summer 2021 or later
- Arrive in the UK not later than April 6, 2021 (including those who are doing their course remotely due to the distribution of COVID-19)
- Complete your final semester in the UK
- Have a valid Tier 4 student visa when you submit your application