St Catharine's is a vibrant and cosmopolitan community including over 100 international students from more than 40 different countries. The College works closely with the University's International Students Team (IST) to support our overseas students and the International Students website offers comprehensive advice to students before, during and after applying to Cambridge.
Pre-arrival information and orientation information for all international students
The International Student Team has produced a guide for all international students coming to study at Cambridge. It contains wealth of practical advice about living and studying in the UK and at Cambridge as is essential reading. It is available at:
Welcome to Cambridge events
Welcome to Cambridge events take place around the world and allow incoming undergraduates, mature students and graduate students to:
- meet other newcomers, current students and alumni
- gather advice on living and studying in Cambridge
- benefit from some useful tips from others from their area/country
- make some new friends before they arrive in Cambridge.
Hosted by Cambridge alumni groups, these events are a great opportunity to prepare yourself for university.
Visit www.cam.ac.uk/welcome to find your nearest event. New events are still being registered, so the timetable will grow over the next few weeks.
IST will be hosting two optional orientation events for new international students on the morning of Friday 30 September. This year there are separate ‘Feeling at Home in Cambridge’ sessions for undergrads and grads as well as a session on ‘Developing Academic English Language Skills’. Students should register online if they wish to attend: www.internationalstudents.cam.ac.uk/orientation-sessions
Essential arrival information for non-EU students 2016
Responsibilities under Tier 4 Guide
As a Tier 4 visa holder you have certain extra responsibilities under the terms of your visa. The IST publish a handy ‘Responsibilities under Tier 4’ guide each year and the guide for 2016-17 is now available from the following link:
Entering the UK
Following a successful visa application, most students will be issued an entry permit in their passport which will allow travel to the UK. You visa, in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), will need to be collected after arriving in the UK. You may collect your BRP from either the main post office in Cambridge or the University. To collect your BRP at the University you will need to use a specific code in the relevant section of your visa application.
This will be available at the University Centre from 26 September – 3 October, excluding the weekend, for those students who have selected collection from the University on their visa application. Students will need to take their BRPs to College for scanning after collection. For courses starting earlier (ADTIS, MBA, MFin and Economics preparatory course), IST will be attending inductions to distribute and scan BRPs.
Passport & BRP scanning
Once you have collected your BRP you will need to come to the Graduate Office (1st floor Bull Front) between Monday 26 September to Friday 30 September to have your passport and BRP/visa scanned. The office will be open for this from for this from 8.30am-12noon and 2.00pm - 4.30pm.
If you are unable to come in during the times above, please email Rosie Bell, the Graduate Administrator to make alternative arrangements.
Nationals from the following countries are required by law to register with the police after arrival in the UK:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Stateless or travelling on a non-national document (i.e. Travel Document).
This will be available in the University Centre on Monday 26 September, Wednesday 28 September, Thursday 29 September and 3 October. Appointments must be booked in advance: www.internationalstudents.cam.ac.uk/arriving/police-registration
If you do not have an appointment for police registration at the University or you are starting in Lent or Easter term, you will need to book an appointment with the Parkside Police Station in Cambridge. You must book an appointment in advance by emailing
To register you will need your passport, Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), the decision letter notifying you of your successful visa application and two passport size photographs. There is a charge of £34 which must be paid in cash. You will also need to complete the Registration Form which you should try and complete beore registering on the day.
Immigration Health Surcharge
Tier 4 students now have to pay an immigration health surcharge with their visa application which will enable access to NHS care in the UK free of charge: http://www.internationalstudents.cam.ac.uk/healthcare