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Before you arrive


Coming to the UK and finding your way in a new environment can be an interesting and enjoyable experience. Sometimes, it can also be a bit confusing! If there is any information that you cannot find, our International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) team will be happy to respond to individual queries. We look forward to welcoming you to Chichester!

Contact details:

Paivi Leivo & Jane Smith     
Tel: +44 1243 812146 

Write to:

International Student Advisory Service University of Chichester, Room G14, LRC Annexe, Bognor Regis Campus, Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1HR, UK


When and how do I apply for accommodation?

If you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate student and have accepted the study offer at the University of Chichester our accommodation team will email you around May to tell you how you can apply for university accommodation via the accommodation portal.

As an international degree student (home address is outside the UK) you are guaranteed a room in the halls of residence, as long as you submit your accommodation application by 1 August and you firmly accept your place at the University.

If you are due to start your studies in January or if you are an exchange or study abroad student, you should email our accommodation team directly to enquire about the application process (

The different types of Accommodation are: 

  • Halls of Residence (£118-£170 per week)

You can stay in the university halls which are on and off campus. Each student has a study bedroom with a single bed, desk and wardrobe space. Some rooms have their own toilet/shower room (“en-suite”). Standard rooms have washing and toilet facilities along the corridor. Living in the halls of residence during term-time can be fun if you want to integrate with other students. Be aware that since accommodate is shared blocks with other students, it is not always quiet. Most halls of residence are catered, which means that breakfast and dinner are provided during the week and brunch at the weekend. During winter and spring breaks there is not catering. Small kitchens are available for making drinks and snacks. Bishop Otter Campus has some accommodation options with self-catering (e.g. Stockbridge & Fishbourne). Every room comes with internet connection and you can connect to the University Wi-Fi (eduroam) on campus.

  • Renting (approx.£80-100 per week + bills)

Renting a house of a flat, either on your own or with other students. The private sector housing officer can help you with any questions you may have about private renting. You can look for properties via the Studentpad website.

  • Private Home (approx. £80-100 per week without meals)

Living with somebody but on a more independent basis. This option is mainly available at Bognor Regis area.  This is usually under a self-catering arrangement, which means you would be given access to the kitchen to prepare your own meals.

Find out more about accommodation

Pre-sessional students should see our pre-sessional accommodation information for full details on what on-campus accommodation is offered during the pre-sessional course.

Students on international short courses (1 week to 2 months) may not be able to choose their own accommodation. Your course organiser will decide what type of accommodation you will get.  Sometimes this can be halls of residence accommodation and sometimes homestay accommodation.

Halls of Residence: points to think about

  • Dates

Make sure you check the contract dates. Your contract length might be different to the semester length. Halls of residence contracts are normally 37 weeks long. You should also carefully read the terms and conditions and if you have any questions speak to the accommodation office.

  • Earlier arrival

The accommodation portal, which is used to apply for halls of residence accommodation, has set dates for arrival and these align with the standard semester pattern. International students should attend the orientation event, which takes place a couple of days before the standard semester start date. Once you have completed your accommodation application, you should email the accommodation team to ask that you room is made available earlier so that you can attend the orientation event. The accommodation team would be happy to help you to let you arrive early and help you with the arrangements.

  • Arrival

We recommend that you arrive at the University on a working day (Monday – Friday) during normal office hours (8.30 am -5pm). If this is not possible, make sure you contact the accommodation team to let them know what time you are due to arrive, so that they can advise you on how to get your key from the security team on campus. If you arrive late at night, it might be good to be prepared with some food and snacks as the shops in Chichester are not open 24/7 and often close at 4pm on Sundays.

  • Free bedding packs

Students from outside the UK get a free bedding pack, which includes pillows, a duvet, sheets, pillowcases, a duvet cover and towels. Contact the accommodation team to request a pack for your room.

  • Private renting: points to think about

The Studentpad website allows you to look for private accommodation off-campus.

It is good to be aware that if you decide to live in a privately rented accommodation, you may have to sign a contract for 12 month e.g. from September to September and once you have signed the contract it is not easy to make changes or leave earlier.

  • Deposit

You will need to pay some money in advance in form of a deposit (often 1 month’s rent), which the landlord must keep in a secure place until your contract ends. Check your contract to see in what circumstances your landlord might be allowed to use your deposit to pay for any damages or extra costs incurred during your tenancy.

  • UK-based Guarantor

Private landlords often require you to have a UK-based guarantor. This is to make sure that if you experience financial difficulties and fail to pay your rent, there is someone who can pay the rent instead. It is most likely that you do not have a UK-based guarantor if you are coming to study from abroad. For this reason it might be preferable to stay in University accommodation. If you are in your second or third year of studies, you can contact the accommodation team to find out about the university’s guarantor scheme.

  • Bills

You will also be liable for water, gas, electricity and internet bills in addition to your monthly rent. If you are a full-time student living with other students, you won’t have to pay council tax. However, you must make sure you contact the council to inform them that you are a student. This can be done online for Bognor based students & Chichester council for Chichester based students.

  • Right to rent checks

Landlords are by law required to check that you have the right to be in the UK, so you should be prepared to show your passport, ID card and/or your visa. The landlord may also ask for a letter from the university to prove your student status. You can print a letter via Chiview once you have registered onto your course.

Health Insurance


Students from EU/EEA or Switzerland are entitled to free National Health Service (NHS) treatment, provided that you bring your European Health Insurance (EHIC) with you. If you cannot provide an EHIC card, you may be liable to pay any appropriate charges. You should apply for an EHIC card prior to arrival to the UK. Please see the European Commission website for more information on this.

Once the UK leaves the European Union (at the moment the date is set as 31st October 2019) EU/EEA/Swiss students arriving in the UK may need to make other arrangements. The arrangements will depend on whether there is an exit deal or no.  Make sure you check these websites for the latest information on post-Brexit rules.


  • Courses longer than 6 months:

When you apply for a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK you will be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee of £300 for each year of your stay. This will give you access to the National Health Service (NHS). For more information on IHS please visit the UK government services and information website. The IHS will meet most health needs, however it may not cover all risks; if you fall sick and want to be transported home or want to have a family member to stay in the UK to look after you, this will not be covered.

  • Courses lasting six months or less:

If your course lasts six months or less, you must take out medical insurance from a reputable company before leaving your country. Although emergencies will be dealt with, no other treatment is available to you, unless you have insurance or can pay for the treatment yourself.


When you arrive at the University, we will help you register with a local General Practitioner (GP) i.e. doctor closest to your accommodation. You can either do this at the international orientation event, or with the help from our accommodation team or you can drop in to see our nurse health advisers on either campus.

  • Short Programme Students (summer courses): temporary registration

Short programme students on courses lasting from a couple of weeks to two months, do not need to register with a GP. If you need to see a GP during your stay in the UK you can complete a temporary registration form for this. If you live with a host family, you should see your host’s GP. If you live on campus, the university staff can help you contact a local GP to arrange for a temporary registration and book an appointment.

More information on healthcare in the UK can be found on our website


The University of Chichester is situated on the south coast of England, in the county of West Sussex.

It is based on two sites, one in Bognor Regis and one in Chichester, about 7 miles (11 km) apart. The University is less than two hours from London and one hour from Gatwick airport. Set in an area of natural beauty, the location provides opportunities for sea, sport and leisure activities. Both campuses are within easy walking distance of the train stations. There is also transport between the two sites, with the U7, U8 and U7n bus services leaving at regular intervals. The journey between the two sites takes approximately 20 minutes

Bishop Otter Campus

College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE


Bognor Regis Campus

Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1HR

Travel to Chichester / Bognor Regis

International Short Programme Students

Your course sponsor/organiser will inform you of your travel options.

Pre-sessional/Undergraduate/postgraduate students

If you are buying a return travel ticket to the UK, do not plan to return home before the end of exams. You may have an exam on the last day of the semester or a resit exam, so check the semester dates on our website before booking your flights.

How do I travel to Bognor Regis or Chichester? 

The University of Chichester has two campuses: Bishop Otter Campus in Chichester and Bognor Regis Campus. You should make sure you know which campus you will based at.

London has two main airports – Gatwick and Heathrow – both have coach and train stations.

Gatwick has direct trains to Bognor Regis and Chichester and it is closer to the South Coast than Heathrow, so if you have a choice, it will be more convenient for you to fly to Gatwick. Both airports have information desks, where you can ask for travel information and directions to trains and bus stops. If you are coming to Chichester or Bognor Regis through an airport other than Heathrow and Gatwick please get in touch with us if you need information on how to travel to the University.

Travelling from Heathrow Airport

  • Train

Please note that you need to make sure you sit in the correct part of the train. The train to Chichester/Bognor Regis often divides in Horsham or Barnham. Listen to the on train announcements and speak to the conductor or fellow passengers if in doubt. 

Chichester: you will need to take either the underground (Piccadilly line) or Heathrow express train into central London. Trains to Chichester depart from London Victoria Station and take about 1 h 30 minutes. You can get a taxi from Chichester train station to your final destination in the city.

Bognor Regis: you will need to take either the underground (Piccadilly line) or Heathrow express train into central London. Trains to Bognor Regis depart from London Victoria Station and take about 2 hours. You can get a taxi from Bognor Regis train station to your final destination in the town.

Visit the Southern Rail website

  • Coach

Chichester: National Express coaches take about 3 hours 30 minutes and you will probably have to change coach at Gatwick Airport or Portsmouth.

Bognor Regis: There are no direct coaches to Bognor Regis from Heathrow airport. From Heathrow it is best to go to Gatwick airport by coach and then take the train from Gatwick to Bognor Regis.

Visit the National Express website 

  • Taxi

Do not take an airport taxi as this could cost over £200. If you decide to take a taxi, we recommend you contact a local taxi company in advance, to avoid expensive taxis from the airport. A taxi will cost about £76 from Heathrow.

Visit Starline Cabs 

Travelling from Gatwick Airport

  • Train 

Chichester: There is a direct train to Chichester from the airport. It takes about 55 minutes. You can get a taxi from Chichester train station to your final destination in the city.

Bognor Regis: There is a direct train to Bognor Regis from the airport. It takes about 1 hour 10 minutes. You can get a taxi from Bognor Regis train station to your final destination in the town.

Visit the Southern Rail website 

  • Coach 

Chichester: The National Express coach takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes and the last coach leaves around midnight. You can get a taxi from Chichester train station to your final destination in the city.

Bognor Regis: There are no direct coaches to Bognor Regis from Gatwick airport. You should travel by train or taxi.

Visit the National Express website 

  • Taxi 

Do not take an airport taxi as this could cost over £200. If you decide to take a taxi, we recommend you contact a local taxi company in advance, to avoid expensive taxis from the airport. A taxi will cost approximately £55-60 from Gatwick.

Visit Starline Cabs

Travelling from other airports

If you arrive at Stansted, Luton or Southampton airports, you may find the following websites useful:

Visa/Immigration Control

Visa Information

For information on applying for a visa, protecting your visa and visa extensions then please see our Visa page

What happens at immigration control at the airport?

When you arrive in Britain, you will first pass through immigration control. The Immigration Officer will check your passport and your permission to enter the UK. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals with biometric passports can use the electronic gates to enter the UK.

Nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland

If you are a non-visa national (e.g. American Brazilian, Canadian, Japanese, South Korean etc.) and have not applied for a visa in advance and are planning to apply for leave to enter as a short-term student visa on arrival, you should show your short-term student visa letter as evidence of your stay. You might be asked whether you have enough money to cover the cost and you should be ready to explain how you are planning to fund your stay. Make sure your passport is stamped with a short-term student visa stamp. General visitors are not allowed to study in the UK, so a wrong stamp could have serious consequences!

If you are refused entry, or given a very short period of temporary admission, you should get help immediately from the International Student advisers at the University.

What happens after immigration control?

After immigration control, you will be able to collect your luggage. If a bag does not appear, go to the lost baggage desk in the baggage reclaim area. If your luggage was lost by the airline, it will be searched for and transported to your address in the UK free of charge, so make sure you can give a UK address (the University’s address is OK if you do not have a private address).

If you have booked a taxi and it is waiting for you, make sure you inform the taxi company that you are delayed.

Next, you pass through customs control. There are three channels to choose from:

Blue: Arrivals from the European Union (EU) with nothing to declare.

Green: if you have nothing to declare (no more than the permitted duty-free or tax-free allowances).

Red: if you have goods to declare (over the permitted duty-free or tax-free allowance).

See more about customs at Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Please check with the British Embassy if you are not sure what goods you can bring to the UK. Some food items may be prohibited.