International support available
Once you have settled into your accommodation a member of staff or student buddy will introduce you to the town.
From your course start date you will attend tutorials where tutors will be offering advice and guidance on academic skills development and how to become an effective learner. In addition you will be introduced to the range of resources available in College to support your development including the new learning centre, The Forum Southend-on-Sea, the support staff in student services for DSA and employability and the range of online resources accessible via Moodle .
In module sessions you will be encouraged to make the link between the required academic skills and the resources required for each subject-specific assessment.
A social induction will run in week one in The Forum Southend-on-Sea with coffee morning events each day to enable you to meet students on other programmes and to engage with the Student Union.
Opening a bank account in Southend
You should open a bank account as soon as possible after arrival in the UK. It can take some time to open an account, and you may wish to visit more than one bank before making a choice. The main high street banks in Southend are: Halifax, Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC.
All have branches within walking distance of the College campus. There are many different types of accounts available so you should consider carefully which type of account is right for you. All banks handle international currency transactions and currency transfers. Please take along your passport and a bank letter from the College as proof that you are a student.
Please note, you are only permitted to open one bank account in the UK with a single bank. Additional accounts with other banks are not permitted.
Registration with doctor, NHS and dentist in Southend
When you arrive at college, you should register with a local doctor as soon as possible, do not wait until you are unwell. You should register with a doctor close to where you live. A list of local doctors/health services is available on the National Health Service website.
Doctors’ surgeries near the college include:
Southend Medical Centre
50 - 52 London Road
Tel: 01702 333298
Local pharmacies near the College include: Sainsbury’s, Boots in Victoria Shopping Centre, or Queensway Pharmacy on Southchurch Road.
Dentists near the College include:
Academic Dental Clinic
University of Essex
149 Elmer Approach, High Street
Tel: 01702 328200
Southend Dental Care
4 Southchurch Road
Tel: 01702 465000
To register, you must visit the doctor’s surgery or clinic during consulting hours, and you must take your passport, UK visa/BRP with you.
Once registered with the new GP surgery, you will be offered a health check within six months. Health checks are usually completed by the practice nurse, who will ask about your personal and family medical history. They will also ensure that any tests or checks you need are up-to-date, such as measuring your blood pressure etc.
Visits to the surgery are free and you should be able to book appointments in advance. It is important to keep your appointment, or notify the practice if you have to cancel or change it.
You can also visit:
Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Essex, SS0 0RY
Tel: 01702 435555
You may not be aware but the law requires every NHS Trust to check all patients who are newly referred or attending for a new episode of treatment to determine whether they are entitled to free NHS hospital treatment.
Getting Help with Medical Costs
As a student, you may be able to get help towards some of your medical costs e.g. prescriptions. However to make a claim, you will need to be assessed by completing an HC1 form (Claim for help with health costs), which is available from any pharmacy. The form requires information about your income and expenditure on things like rent.
Applying for National Insurance Number
To work in the UK you will need a national insurance number. You can start work without a national insurance number, but you should apply for one soon after starting work.
A national insurance number is unique to you. It is used to record your national insurance/tax contributions.
To apply for a national insurance number, you need to book an appointment by ringing 0845 600 0643, Monday to Friday, between 8am and 8pm. When you make the appointment, ask which documents you should bring with you. Generally, you will need your passport and visa, proof of address, and letter from the College confirming you are a student at the College. At the appointment, you will be asked to fill in a form and you will be given a letter, confirming that you have applied for a national insurance number.
Please bear in mind it can take several months to get a NI number issued, but that you are entitled to work whilst you are waiting for it to be issued to you.