Supporting our international students

As an international student, you’ll be met with a warm welcome when you arrive at the University of Birmingham. From applying for your student visa and planning your journey, and right throughout your time with us, we make sure you get all the support you need to make the most of the excellent student experience we offer and to achieve to the very best of your abilities.


At the start of your first term, our International Welcome includes a special induction programme to guide you through your initial administrative tasks, like applying for a bank account. We organise a range of social activities to help you meet new friends, and we’ll tell you all about our free, confidential advice and information service that’s specially tailored to the needs of international students and their families.

International Student Team (IST)

IST provides advice on immigration, employment, bringing dependants to the UK, possible sources of funding, academic and personal matters, and the practicalities of living in the UK. The Service also co-ordinates activities and events for our international students – exciting opportunities to learn all about life in the UK and at Birmingham, which boasts around 140 different nationalities.

If you have a question about applying to study here you can also contact the IST for advice

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students whose IELTS score does not meet the entry requirements. If you successfully attend one of these courses you won’t need to retake IELTS.  

English language support - during your studies

The University's Birmingham International Academy (BIA) provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham. Services include open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials. BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits. There is a small charge for these services.

Support with your studies

Studying at university will be different from anything you have done before. With the latest classroom technologies, we offer an outstanding learning experience. Lectures and seminars provide opportunities for you to develop your ideas through dialogue and debate with fellow students and tutors. During your study you may find you spend a large portion of your time at the library. 

At Birmingham we understand that there are many different learning styles and techniques. To help you tailor your learning experience to you, we offer a wide range of services and facilities to make our support as personalised as possible. Our new library incorporates a wide range of facilities to suit different working styles, from group study spaces to silent study rooms. 

The Academic Skills Centre is available to provide you with the academic writing, mathematical and general academic skills support you need to succeed in your studies. Its services include a workshop programme, online self-help tutorials and individual appointments with specialist advisors.