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Welfare support

International Student Support provide advice and guidance on international student welfare. This is a dedicated service for international students, designed to support your transition to the UK and throughout your time as a part of the University of Sunderland community. Our main areas of support are:

  • Accommodation (searching for and securing accommodation during your studies)
  • Accessing and understanding healthcare in the UK
  • Managing your finances
  • Supporting you to ensure your family (dependants) can access education in the UK
  • Your welfare; if you feel like you are struggling with your adaptation to life in the UK, please get in touch so we can help you get the most out of your time in Sunderland!

Furthermore, if you have any general issues not mentioned above, we're happy to help put you in touch with the right team at the university.

How can I access support?

Our welfare adviser is available for in person and virtual appointments. There are additional drop in sessions that run throughout the week. These fall on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You do not have to book for a drop in session.

Monday the drop in sessions are 10-12pm and 2-4pm at Prospect, St. Peters Campus.

Wednesday the drop sessions are 10-12pm and 2-4pm in the Gateway Building, City Campus.

Friday appointments are available between 1-4pm in Edinburgh Level 1 (Student Support), City Campus. These can be booked by contacting the Gateway team.


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Studying in the UK requires preparation, especially if you are planning on bringing dependents.

We have produced a detailed pre arrival guide which will give you lots of valuable information about life in the UK, how to prepare and what to expect when you arrive. 




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Securing suitable accommodation, ideally before you arrive, is essential. It will ensure that when you do arrive you can settle into your studies and life in the UK successfully.





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Family life in the UK

If you have your dependents with you whilst you are studying then there are some important matters to consider - 

  • childcare arrangements whilst you study
  • schools for your children
  • activities and events in the local area which you can join
  • places to worship as a family
  • where to shop for groceries and clothing


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Cost of Living

The cost of living in the UK has risen. In particular, food costs and energy prices have become expensive. Everything has increased in price so you will need to be prepared for this. Budget accordingly ensuring that you are able to maintain yourselves and your family if they are joining you.


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Your Welfare

Your welfare is important to us. Should you need support with this we encourage you to seek the help you need.

We work closely with various other services within the university and the community.

Our welfare support is confidential and non judgmental.

We are here to listen, provide advice and make referrals to specialist services so that you are able to succeed in your studies.

We understand that there are times when you need some support. 


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A police officer talking to a student on campus


The UK is one of the safest countries in the world. However it is not crime free. We want your experience whilst studying with us to be safe and pleasant. If you experience or see anything that concerns you please follow our advice and report it to a member of staff.






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Accessing healthcare

As an overseas national, you may be unsure on what you need to do to access healthcare during your studies. This section provides advice on looking after yourself in the UK – and how to access healthcare services to obtain medical treatment via the UK's medical system operated by the National Health Service (NHS)

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Pregnancy support

Advice and guidance around support for you throughout your studies if pregnant.

It is important to fully consider whether you can commit to your studies whilst being pregnant and then having a newborn baby to take care of. You need to think carefully about the time and financial implications.

If you choose to continue your studies whilst pregnant and with a newborn we can provide you with advice in order to help you succeed.


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