Welcome to the UK and the University of Bolton. To assist you with settling in to the UK we have included some information that you may find useful in the following web pages.

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Purpose-built halls of residence, Orlando Village is managed by McCombs Bolton Ltd, the only preferred and recommended student accommodation provider.  These are offered on a self-catering basis.  For further information, visit Orlando Village.

Bank accounts:

There are a number of high street banks in the UK details of which are listed here.  International students should open a UK bank account as soon as possible. You can visit the bank’s websites or go into the nearest branch in Bolton to check what facilities each one can offer you.

You may need a letter from the university in order to open a bank account. To request a letter please contact our Student Advisors by telephone on +44 (0)1204 903 733 or email them ku.ca1585664306.notl1585664306ob@sr1585664306osivd1585664306atned1585664306uts1585664306.

Clubs and Societies:

There are a number of sporting and non-sporting activities arranged through the University of Bolton’s Students’ Union. To see what is available visit their website Bolton SU

Council Tax:

Full-time students who live alone or with other full-time students are exempt from paying council tax. Any such students who are registered/enrolled on a full-time course at the university will be able to obtain council tax exemption. Full-time students with a non-student partner may be eligible for a partial reduction For further information speak to one of the Student Advisors in the Student Centre or telephone +44 (0)1204 903 733.

Driving in the UK

You can drive in the UK providing you have a valid driving licence. You can drive in the UK using your international driving licence for the first 12 months. After this 12 month period you must take a driving test and get a UK driving licence. You must ensure that you are aware of and observe the rules of driving in the UK. Further information about driving in the UK can be found in the UKCISA webpage


International students  enrolled on a course of study which is at least 6 months duration and have paid the NHS surcharge as part of their visa applicationare entitled to the following NHS services free of charge:

Registering and seeing a GP
Treatment in hospital

Students who applied for a visa before the introduction of the surcharge (April 2015) will continue to receive healthcare in the UK but will need to pay the NHS surcharge if they extend visa. Further information about the surcharge is available here.

All visitors to the UK regardless of their length of course are entitled to receive treatment in an emergency (but not follow up treatment) and treatment of certain communicable diseases.

All students will need to pay for the following services:

  • Medicine prescribed to you (currently £8.20 per item)
  • Dental treatment
  • Optical treatment
  • Some GP services such as vaccinations for travel, sickness certificate

You can search for NHS services local to you here.

Personal Security

When living in a different country and environment it is essential that you look after your personal belonging and keep yourself safe. There is lots of information, advise and tips on keeping yourself safe on our Student Safety webpages.

You may also find the ‘Creating Confidence-a personal safety guide for international students’ produced by the British Council useful.


The UK is a multi-cultural and multi faith society. Bolton is a large town and the university campus is right in the heart of the town. There are many places of worship close by including: churches; mosques and temples.

The university has a multi faith room and Chaplaincy on campus. All are welcome, whether you have a traditional faith, you are searching or you are an atheist. For further information about the chaplaincy, you can visit their webpages, pop in to the chaplaincy at the far end of Chancellors’ Mall or telephone +44 (0)1204 903 415.



There are a number of shopping options in Bolton for purchasing clothes. You will find a good range of reasonably priced clothes in the town centre in particular Bolton outdoor market, Primark in the Crompton Place shopping centre and the larger supermarkets such as Asda, Manchester Road and Sainsbury’s, Bolton shopping park.

If you are looking for more choice we are a 20 minute train journey from Manchester City Centre and a 30 minute bus ride away from the Trafford Centre.


Bolton Market has a wide variety of meat, fish and vegetables at reasonable prices. The market is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Supermarkets are probably the most convenient place to shop for food but they are not always the cheapest option. The nearest supermarkets are Morrison’s, Sainsburys, Aldi and Asda. You will also find specialist food shops along Derby Street and Deane Road. These shops stock food from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Here you will also find Halal meat readily available. Please remember that prices in the UK are fixed and it is not usually acceptable to haggle for a cheaper price.

Working during your studies:

Your Tier 4 visa will state the number of hours per week which you are entitled to work. This will be either 10 or 20 hours per week during term time, depending on the level and length of your course of study. If you are unsure please check with the Immigration and Welfare Officer. It is a breach of your immigration status to work more hours than your visa permits.

During vacation periods and providing you are not required to work on your dissertation/project taught students are permitted to work full time. Your employer may ask you to provide a letter confirming that you can work full time which can be issued by the Student Advisors.

PhD students and some taught programmes are run over three trimesters therefore you cannot be issued with a letter confirming you can work full time during trimester three/summer vacation. You should check with your Personal Tutor or Immigration and Welfare Officers if you are unsure about your course.

Further information can be found ion the UKCISA webpage


Last updated April 2016.