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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 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 to find your nearest event. New events are still being registered, so the timetable will grow over the next few weeks.

Orientation sessions

ISO will be hosting two optional orientation events for new international students on the morning of Friday 29 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:  

Essential arrival information for non-EU students 2020

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 2020-21 is now available here

As part of your responsibilities, you will be required to come to sign-in during the first week of each term to make your visa contact. The sign-in dates for this year are:

  • Michaelmas Term: Tuesday 6 October - Tuesday 14 October
  • Lent Term: Tuesday 12 January - Tuesday 19 January
  • Easter Term: Tuesday 20 April - Tuesday 27 April
  • Please note that sign-in will be conducted on-line until further notice

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. 

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 Tuesday 26, Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 September and Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 October. Appointments must be booked in advance here

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 before registering on the day.

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
Email us