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Frequently Asked Questions before I arrive for my course

How do I find accommodation in London?

Whilst we cannot guarantee accommodation the LSE Accommodation Office will do everything they can to help.

The LSE Accommodation Office also has good links with Independent and Intercollegiate Halls so please contact them to find out how they may best be able to assist you.

What about Council Tax, do I have to pay?

Please be advised the Council Tax regulations are very complex, and the information from the LSE Student Service Centre 'Council Tax and Students' can only serve as a general guide. If you have any queries or problems, please contact one of the sources of help at the listed. The information has been compiled with information from the Citizens Advice Bureau, UKCOSA and the National Union of Students.

What about Insurance when I'm in the UK?

Insurance cover for your belongings should also be arranged if you are staying in the UK for some time. A 12 month policy, designed for students, and covering your personal possessions, money and documents, as well as medical expenses and personal liability, will cost around £150 (2001-2002), but other types of cover are available for less. Several companies arrange special schemes for students. One company, Endsleigh Insurance, in association with UKCOSA, has developed a policy particularly for overseas students studying in the UK.

In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the course due to low registration numbers it is also advisable for students to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance to cover this and any other eventualities of travel disruption.

How do I open a Bank account in the UK?

British banks, in common with their counterparts across the globe, have introduced new regulations about opening new bank accounts. For information on the documentation you will require if you want to open a bank account in the UK please see the Financial Information for Current Students from the LSE Students Service Centre which has lots of advice on opening bank accounts and other financial help. You can also find help and advice from The British Bankers Association. If you plan ahead you should be able to avoid significant problems or delays and provided you give the bank the information outlined in the British Bankers Association leaflet it should take between 3 to 5 days for them to open an account for you. Transferring funds into your account will depend upon your home bank's procedures - you should discuss this with them before leaving home and remember to bring sufficient funds - say travellers cheques or credit cards - with you to cover any delays. In some cases it will be possible for you to open an account with an international bank that will be ready for you when you arrive in the UK, this is often the best course of action and is recommended. Contact your own bank before you leave to see if this is possible.

What else can I do when I'm not studying?

We enjoy a prime location, in the heart of London, lending the School a dynamic and 'real world' feel lacking in many other universities. Whilst our Foundation programme and Extended Presessional programmes include Social activities, and our Social Organisers will answer any questions you have on what to do and see, the LSE 'New Arrivals' section on London and LSE has some useful links and ideas.

What do I do about Visas?

The LSE has published some helpful information on the type of visa you might need and how to apply. This is especially useful with regard to the new Points Based Immigration System for non-European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) students. Please consult this important information which will help you through this process. There are also web forms there for you to use should you need to request a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). Please note a CAS (if you require one) can only be issued by LSE once you have accepted and paid for your Language Centre course. Information on how to apply will be sent to you on acceptance.

On the first day of the course is it essential that you bring your passport and any visa documentation with you. This is because we are now obliged to check you are here with a valid and correct visa. We will also need to take a copy of your passport and visa if you hold one to prove you have eligibility to study in the UK. You will not be able to commence your course until any visa you hold has been checked.

What about Health care when I'm in the UK?

The National Health Service (NHS) provides health treatment for UK residents, some of which are free, and some which must be paid for.

If your course of study is for six months or more, you will qualify for treatment on the National Health Service from the beginning of your stay, on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK. You will be entitled to free treatment in NHS hospitals, and to register with a General Practitioner (GP). Some GP services are free, e.g. consultations and clinic visits but you will pay for others, e.g. medicines and vaccinations for travel.

If your course of study is for less than six months, you will not be entitled to NHS hospital treatment except in emergencies. GPs may agree to treat you for free, but usually only if it is urgent. You will have to pay for any other health treatment as a private patient, so it is very important that you take out medical insurance for the duration of your visit to the UK, as private treatment can be very expensive. For more information about NHS entitlements and services see the UKCISA advice pages. In fact UKCISA have lots of advice for International students coming to study in the UK and it is well worth your while having a good look through before travelling their web site.