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International students

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 Student Office (ISO) to support our overseas students and the International Students website offers comprehensive advice to students before, during and after applying to Cambridge.

St Catharine's is a welcoming and supportive environment for a diverse group of students, many of whom come from outside the UK. International students are enthusiastically welcomed into the College community, and you will also find that across the University there are clubs and societies run by and for students of particular ethnicities and countries of origin.

St Catharine's certainly welcomes applications from candidates from outside the UK. There are no limits on numbers (maximum or minimum) of such applicants we can admit, so you would be assessed equitably alongside all other applicants. 

Guidance for postgraduate applicants

We are used to assessing applicants whose previous academic experience has been in schools and universities all across the globe. If you are unclear about what academic qualifications we accept, you should view the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office website for advice. 

English language requirements for postgraduate applicants: It is possible that during the admissions process, the department/faculty to which you have applied will decide that an additional qualification in English is required (reading, writing, speaking, listening). St Catharine’s will not set any language requirement in addition to this.

Settling into life in Cambridge

The International Student Office 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 here.

Welcome to Cambridge events

Welcome to Cambridge events take place around the world and allow incoming undergraduates, mature students and postgraduate 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 to find your nearest event. New events are still being registered, so the timetable will grow over the next few weeks.

Please also visit the University website for advice on living in Cambridge

Essential arrival information for overseas students 

The UK operates an immigration system underpinned by the principle of visa sponsorship. A visa under the Student route is issued to study in the UK. The sponsor for immigration purposes is the educational institution where the student will study and the visa is issued for a particular course at the institution.

You must apply for a visa prior to travelling to the UK unless you are already in the UK holding a valid visa that permits you to make an application for further leave to remain under the Student route.

If you are being sponsored to study full-time at Cambridge on a student visa, it is important you read our guide, Your responsibilities on a student visa. These apply if you are studying on a Tier 4 student visa or a visa granted under the student route after 5 October 2020.

You will need to ensure you comply with the conditions attached to your visa and co-operate with the University in fulfilling its sponsor duties. The guide explains the requirements of studying on a student visa at Cambridge and provides information on protecting your immigration status in the UK. It provides detailed guidance on the areas outlined below.

On arrival

The UK Border Force has produced a '10 Top 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. 

Nationals of the following countries may be able to use the eGates on arrival in the UK if they are open: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. As long as you enter the UK through the eGates during the validity of your 30 day entry vignette, you will be admitted on your student visa. As your vignette will not be stamped by a Border Force officer, you will be required to provide your College with evidence of your date of entry (e.g boarding pass) in addition to your passport and BRP. Students of all other nationalities should have their entry vignette stamped by Border Force on arrival. 

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. Your 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.

If you have selcted to collect your BRP at the University, these BRP cards will be delivered to the Porter's Lodge for collection in early October. Please bring a form of photographic ID to collect your card. You cannot collect cards on behalf of another person.

For courses starting earlier (ADTIS, MBA, MFin and Economics preparatory course), ISO will be attending inductions to distribute and scan BRPs. 

Passport & BRP 
For Michaelmas term, once you have collected your BRP from the Post Office you will need to upload a  photographic image of both sides as well as your passport and entry vignette, as instructed by the ISO.  If you are collecting your BRP from the College, this upload will already have been done for you.

Keeping your BRP secure
You must take your BRP with you if you travel overseas, as you will require it to re-enter the UK, and may need it if you travel by airplane within the UK.

You do not need to carry your BRP around with you inside the UK and should keep it safe.

If you lose your BRP, you will need to apply for a replacement at an additional cost. The International Student Office can be contacted for further advice in these circumstances. 

Police Registration

The following passport holders are required to register with the police after they collect their BRP in the UK and also update their details as required:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong SAR, 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).

When you register with the police, you will be issued a police registration certificate. It is important you keep this document in a safe place. You do not need to carry it around with you in Cambridge. 

You will need to register at Parkside Police Station (postcode CB1 1JG) but must book an appointment in advance by emailing Please follow this link for further information

Previously studied in the UK
If you have previously studied in the UK but have changed address and/or obtained a new BRP, you will need to attend Parkside Police Station in Cambridge to update your details. You will need to take your passport, Certificate of Registration and BRP. You do not need an appointment.

Reporting changes of circumstances
You must also ensure that you update the police within seven days if you change address during your studies; extend your Tier 4 leave; renew your passport; get married; or if any of the other details on your Police Registration Certificate change. 

Contact details

Postgraduate admissions
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