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International Postgraduates at Fitz

More than half of our postgraduate community are international students and so, while they may be from a different home country, you will always find someone who understands the adventures and challenges of studying a long way from home. At Fitz we cultivate a friendly and curious mindset and you will have plenty of support with settling in and feeling at home.

Cambridge is a truly international city, and the University has created an excellent introductory guide for International Students. You can read that here. 

You might have some specific questions, in which case you can always contact the Postgradate Office, but here are the two key areas in which we regularly get enquiries.

Healthcare in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state healthcare system providing a wide range of health care services including appointments with a doctor, hospital treatment and dental care. For UK citizens, this service is primarily free at the point of access (and funded through taxation). For non-UK citizens, there are arrangements to minimize or remove cost:

Student Visa holders - NHS surcharge

All those subject to immigration control and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer will pay an NHS surcharge as part of their visa application fee.

Students will be required to pay a health surcharge per year of leave granted on their visa under the immigration rules. The surcharge is also applied to Student Visa dependants.

The surcharge entitles those with a Student Visa to access free NHS care in the UK, including at the doctor's surgery (known as General Practitioner or GP), a Healthcare Centre or in a hospital. You may need to pay for dental and optical treatment as well as medicine prescribed by the doctor and collected from a pharmacy. You may also be charged for particularly expensive discretionary treatments.

EEA nationals

EU students studying full-time may be entitled to a full or partial refund of the immigration health surcharge payment if you have an EHIC issued in an EU country and you do not work in the UK. 

Further Information is available on the International Students Website. And you might also want to follow these links: Health advice from UKCISA | CambridgeStudentHealth NHS website

All students must register with a local GP (Doctor) so that they can access NHS Healthcare services. Details on how to register will be available on arrival in Cambridge. 

Fitzwilliam also has a dedicated Student Health Advisor who provides confidential advice and information on a range of physical and psychological issues, including help with managing long-term conditions, minor illnesses and injuries.  She also offers signposting to other agencies and liaison with other health care professionals and members of the college welfare team to provide integrated care where consent is in place.

Banking in the UK

If you are new to the UK, you will need to open a bank account to manage your money. Many UK banks offer accounts tailored to the needs of international students. Banks can take several weeks to set up a new account, so you should open the account as early in advance of your arrival as possible. Once you have decided which bank you would like to use, they will have clear instructions on how to set up an international student account.

As part of the account setup process, your bank may ask you to supply a letter from Fitzwilliam College which confirms that you are a student with accommodation here. Letters of this type can be obtained from the Student Services Hub with a few days’ notice, once your membership and course start date has been confirmed. You will be sent further information about this when you place is confirmed, but here is the link to the student certification letter request form.

Banking advice from UKCISA  

Cambridge International Students information