Checklist for international students after arriving at Teesside University

A group of international students at Teesside University

It’s that time of year again when all of you international students are preparing to say goodbye to your family and friends and embark on new adventures.

If you’re anything like me and if you are planning to move to England from abroad, then you’ll understand that establishing a new life away from your familiar surroundings takes time. So, please be patient.

But wait! You’re not by yourself, so worry not. I’ve prepared a list of things you should do upon your arrival at Teesside.

Snow covering Roseberry Topping

1. Brace yourself for the impending winter

Prepare for the chilly days ahead…

England’s cold weather is no secret, and Teesside, nestled in the North East, can experience even more frigid temperatures.

When you touch down here, your top priority should be acquiring a duvet. For those unfamiliar with the term, a duvet is essentially an English version of a blanket. Your best options for getting one are at local supermarkets.

Somebody wearing a thick, winter coat in the snow

2. Gear up for the cold

For international students arriving from hotter countries such as India, Nigeria, or Pakistan, your home country attire won’t always suffice for the cold climate here.

It’s wiser to bring some extra cash and shop for necessary items upon your arrival.

Don’t forget to invest in winter boots, a coat, thermal clothing, and an umbrella – all essential to tackle the weather. You can also find great budget options at local charity shops.

A selection of fruits and vegetables at a supermarket

3. Navigate grocery shopping

While exploring the vibrant cafes and pubs of the region can be delightful, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial.

Despite the tempting options around, you should prioritise healthy eating.

Several supermarkets, including Aldi, Tesco and Asda, offer ample choices for your weekly groceries.

There is also a wide variety of stores such as Kashmir International and Pakeeza Tees, which cater for Middlesbrough’s ethnically diverse population and provide a taste of home.

An assortment of mugs

4. Stock up on household necessities

Pack minimally. Shipping belongings can be costly and may not align with your actual needs.

Anything you lack can be easily procured here. Prioritise buying what you need after arriving.

A hand holding money

5. Open a UK bank account

If you haven’t already, take the step to establish an online or in-person UK bank account at one of Middlesbrough’s local banks.

Make sure to have payment methods like cards or apps ready for on-campus purchases.

Setting up a bank account is pivotal for effective financial management.

Outstretched hand waiting to receive something

6. Retrieve your BRP

Retrieve your biometric residence permit by visiting the Post Office with your UKVI decision letter and passport.

Should there be a change in the BRP collection point, an email will inform you of the new location.

Digital visa holders are exempt from this process, as they do not require a physical BRP card.

A doctor typing on a laptop

7. Enrol with a general practitioner (GP)

Students applying for a student visa can conveniently register online with a local doctor (GP) before their arrival to save time.

The health surcharge paid during the visa application covers NHS healthcare similarly to UK residents.

Students with pre-existing medical conditions should arrange a phone appointment with a local GP during their first week at Teesside University.

You can learn about Teesside University’s Students’ Union support or find out more information about being an international student at Teesside University.


Author: Aditya 

Aditya is an award-winning writer and LGBTQ+ rights activist from India. He studied his master’s in journalism from the University of East Anglia and moved to Teesside to join the Communications and Development team. He’s written two poetry collections and been published in a number of outlets – from The Telegraph and PinkNews to the BBC and The Times of India. Connect with him on Instagram at @aprilislush.