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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.

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 2019

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 2019-20 is now available here

As part of your responsibilities, you will be required to come to the College Graduate Office (C1 Main Court) during the first week of each term to make your visa contact. The sign-in dates for this year are:

  • Michaelmas Term: Tuesday 8 October - Tuesday 16 October
  • Lent Term: Tuesday 14 January - Tuesday 21 January
  • Easter Term: Tuesday 21 April - Tuesday 28 April

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 Tuesday 24 September –  Tuesday 1 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 (C1 - Main Court) between Tuesday 8th October to Wednesday 16th October to have your passport and BRP/visa scanned. The office will be open for this from for this from 9.00am-12noon and 13.00pm - 4.30pm.

If you are unable to come in during the times above, please email Angela Abbott the Graduate Administrator to make alternative arrangements.

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 Team 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 beore 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.