College Of Birmingham is recognised for its commitment to the all-round well-being of its students.  We want you to feel safe and happy whilst you are with us and strive to provide you with the information you may require in order to navigate your new life in UK if you are an International Student.   We appreciate that studying at what is for many of our students a new institution in a new country, can be overwhelming and it can take some time to adjust.  We are here to support you throughout your academic career with us and will seek to assist you with any issues you may have.

The following information has been provided in order to answer any questions about living and studying in Birmingham.

COLLEGE AND LOCAL FACILITIES

College Of Birmingham is situated in Sparkhill, with about 2 miles from the Birmingham City Centre. All rooms are bright, spacious with adequate heating and fitted with digital projection and audio equipment.   For your convenience, our online library is equipped with books related to the courses available at the college and is kept relevant and up to date.  Our students benefit from wireless hotspot access throughout the building as well as use of modern and fully equipped IT suites.

Birmingham boasts “Bull Ring” which is one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe, where you can spend hours browsing through the most current high street fashions. Dating back to the early part of the last century, the market is a great place to explore and caters for the diverse and multi-cultural community in which it can be found. As well as great shopping, “Bull Ring” has a wide variety of restaurants, pubs and cafés, also, a number of entertainment venues where you can see music and stand up artists.

We would encourage you to register with the local libraries as it is a great resource that you can access at no cost to yourself.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

When travelling around Birmingham, it is important to take certain precautions in order to stay safe.  Despite Birmingham being a relatively safe city, it is still necessary to be vigilant.  The advice from the British Transport police for using the public transport system is very informative, we would encourage you to spend time looking at their advice for keeping safe:

British Transport Police Travel Advice

Some quick tips for using public transport are:

  • Keep purses secure and carry wallets in an inside pocket
  • Zip up hand and shoulder bags
  • Carry bags in front of you with flaps against your body
  • Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm
  • Don’t display jewellery
  • Don’t show your money — keep it safely in your pocket

One big difference in the United Kingdom to most other countries is that traffic runs on the left hand side of the road. Please be careful when crossing the street and look both ways for oncoming traffic.  Look out also for cyclists and motor cycles when crossing, it is often harder to see and hear them than cars.

College has a diverse and multi-cultural environment. We are sensitive to multi-faith worship and respect the individual and personal spirituality of each of our students. The following links will provide you with some useful links and information about practicing your faith in UK.

Please note that the websites we have provided are not affiliated with College Of Birmingham and have been provided for information purposes only.

FAITH

College has a diverse and multi-cultural environment. The following links on the images below will provide you with some useful links and information about practicing your faith in UK.

Please note that the websites we have provided are not affiliated with the College and have been provided for information purposes only.

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STUDENT WELLBEING

We take very seriously the well-being of our students and strive to do everything possible in order to ensure that all students are able to study effectively and achieve their full potential. We have a dedicated team of staff who are here to provide you with the support necessary to adapt to life as a student in the UK.

Whilst studying it is quite possible that you might encounter personal difficulties and struggle with things such as cultural shock, home sickness and stress. It helps to talk about it. Whatever it is you are struggling with or worried about we have more than likely worked with other students going through a similar thing. We want to help. We would encourage you to contact your welfare officer when you are experiencing difficulties before it becomes a very big problem. We can then work together to get you back on track.

You may find the following links helpful when dealing with personal problems associated with being a student:

This link will give you guidance on changes you might experience when becoming a student:

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/student-life/#.U85Mw-NdUeI

This link will give you information on how to cope with academic work and exams:

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/student-life/coping-with-academic-work-and-exams/#.U85NVeNdUeI

This link will give you guidance and support with issues relating to the student lifestyle and finances:

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/student-life/student-lifestyle-and-finances/#.U85NYuNdUeI

For information relating to accessing treatment for mental health conditions whilst you are studying:

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/student-life/mental-health-treatment/#.U85NdONdUeI

For general support and advice relating to any issue you may be struggling with, The Samaritans offer a confidential telephone service which allows you to talk through your problems:

www.samaritans.org/

MONEY MATTERS

If it is the first time you have lived away from home, managing your finances whilst studying can seem daunting.  Because we know how overwhelming budgeting and managing your money can feel, we have scoured the internet for some of the most helpful resources. The following links provide you with some really helpful tips and advice about staying in control of your money and making the most of your funds.

Advice from the Money Advice Service:

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/student-and-graduate-money

Advice from NUS:

www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/money-and-funding/

Advice from UCAS:

www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/student-finance/managing-money/figuring-out-budget

Budgeting tool from This is Money:

www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/studentfinance/article-1633418/Student-budget-calculator-spend-fund-it.html

EMERGENCY INFORMATION

In the event of a serious accident or emergency where you need immediate assistance, please telephone the emergency services on 999.  Then follow these instructions:

  • Stay calm and speak clearly
  • Tell them the emergency service that you require (ambulance / fire brigade / police)
  • Describe the emergency and provide as much information as possible
  • Wait for their arrival

If something has happened on campus and you simply need to speak to a member of staff at the College, please contact reception at the first instance. They will be able to help you.

For your safety many of our staff are first aid trained and first aid kits are available in the building.