firstpoint’s five points for New International Students

Every Monday, firstpoint publishes five points about a topic related to life at university. This week, we are welcoming our new international students.

POINT ONE: Settling in

Moving to a new country can be an exciting but challenging experience. If you need some support settling in, we’re here to help. The International Experience team organises trips and interesting events throughout the year to help you make the most of your time at University.

There are regular sessions in firstpoint called “Fancy a Cuppa” where you can meet staff and other students for a chat, free drink and a biscuit, and if you need to, you can speak to someone privately to discuss anything effecting you during your studies here.

If you would like to meet with other students who share similar interests, why not join a society? You can find lots of information about this on the Student Union webpages. If you can’t see one you like and you have a few friends who would be interested, why not start you own sports club or society?

POINT TWO: Getting online

We understand that being able to connect with your family and friends back at home is important. Keeping in touch will allow you to share your experiences and can help you feel less homesick.

You can use your University username and password to log into any of the University computers and at the library, which is called the Hive. Your username is the first part of your University email address, up to, but not including the @ symbol e.g. SMIJ1_21.

To find out which computers are available, you can check the Available PCs webpage, which publishes this information live. If you have your own tablet or smartphone, you can also attach it to the Wi-Fi by connecting to Eduroam. Follow our IT guide for quick and easy access to the Wi-Fi. If you need help to do this or would prefer to speak to someone, you can visit the IT Helpdesk in the Peirson Study and Guidance Centre, or at the Hive

POINT THREE: opening a bank account

You can normally open a free UK bank account if you are going to be in the UK for more than six months. Some banks will offer various incentives like 0% interest on an overdraft, an Amazon gift card, store vouchers or a railcard. It’s best to shop around and investigate which one is the best for you; don’t just choose the first one you find. 

To open a bank account, you will need your passport and a letter confirming you are a student. You can download the bank status letter from your SOLE page, under the ‘Living’ tab. More guidance is available on the firstpoint webpages.

POINT FOUR: if something is broken in your University accommodation

If something in your University accommodation has stopped working or is damaged, you need to report it online so that it can be fixed.  Go to your MyDay page and select the link for “Maintenance Requests”.  There is an online guide to making a maintenance request.

POINT FIVE: if you’re got questions

If there is anything you feel unsure about or something you need to ask, come and speak with us at firstpoint.  Visit us on the ground floor of the Peirson Study and Guidance Centre, St Johns Campus, phone 01905 542551 or drop us an email to   We can also put you in touch with other teams across the University who you may need to speak with. 

Don’t forget, you may find the answer to your question on the firstpoint website.