International student welcome programme January 2014

International student
welcome programme
January 2014
Trip to Loch Lomond
Hello and welcome
2 International Student Support Service
3 Arriving in Glasgow
4 Getting to GCU
5 Welcome desk
6 Welcome weekend
7 International Orientation Week
10 Dates for your diary
15 Important! Key information
17 The Positive Living Team
18 Careers Support for International Students
19 Faith and Belief
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Hello and welcome
Hello and welcome from the International Student Support Service at Glasgow
Caledonian University. We are delighted you have chosen to study at GCU and
join our international University. This is an exciting time as you take the next step
towards your future.
We host the International Student Welcome Programme to support you in making this big
step. The programme includes social events, opportunities to meet students and staff, and
essential information. As you begin your studies, you may find that joining a new university
and moving to a new city or country can be a challenging experience. We are here to help
you throughout this time. Remember, other students are going through similar experiences to
you so invite your new friends along to events and activities as well.
We wish you every success in your studies at GCU and hope the experience is rewarding,
successful and most of all, fun. We look forward to meeting you during the programme and
getting to know you during your journey at GCU.
Read on to discover our International Student Welcome Programme . . .
Photo from our Welcome Ceilidh
[email protected]
International Student
Support Service (ISSS)
We are a team of dedicated international
student advisors who are committed to
providing support and enhancing your student
experience. There are many other student
support services within the University, all
providing confidential support and advice.
You can expect to receive a friendly and warm
welcome when you visit our service. We have two
fully equipped Skype suites. These are free to use and
are available every day from 9am – 5pm for you to call
family and friends.
All of the ISSS staff are here to help and make your
experience at GCU as positive and enjoyable as
possible. We specialise in visa and immigration
advice within the University. If you have any enquiries
regarding your visa status, please contact the team
directly. All visa and immigration advice can only be
given by qualified staff within ISSS at the University.
We will help you make a new application or
extend your visa. For any personal issues we also
offer support and guidance. All communication is
confidential and free of charge.
ISSS is hosting additional drop-in sessions throughout
January where you can meet with an advisor. These
will take place on 15th, 22nd and 29th January from
10am – 12pm in M111.
Visa Workshops
Look at Dates for your Diary for ISSS Visa Workshops:
Tier 4 Student Visa, Tier 4 Doctorate Extension
Scheme and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur starting on
15th January 2014
Meeting an advisor
You can meet an advisor at one of our drop-in
sessions, by appointment, at a workshop or an event.
You can visit our office at any time. When meeting an
ISSS advisor for visa advice ensure you bring your
original passport and visa.
Contacting the ISSS Team
Inside UK T: 0141 273 1244
Outside UK T: +44 141 273 1244
E: [email protected]
Join our online social networking groups
Find us on:
Arriving in Glasgow
Free Meet and Greet Service
Our welcome team will meet you at Glasgow
International Airport and at the University
during programme hours.
Welcome Team Ambassadors will meet and greet
you at Glasgow International Airport*. They will
guide you to public transport services and answer
general enquiries. Find our student welcome team
at the Welcome Desks – they will be wearing easily
identifiable white Glasgow Caledonian University
Please try to arrange your travel to arrive within
the times stated below to take advantage of
this service. Please register your arrival details
on the website (see below) and if they are
outwith programme times, we will make suitable
arrangements where possible.
Glasgow International Airport, International and
Domestic Arrivals.
Programme dates
Thursday 16th January – Sunday 19th January 2014.
Welcome hours
Thursday – Sunday, 8.30am – 9.00pm.
Public transport
Our Welcome Team will guide you to the shuttle bus
that runs from the airport to the bus station in the
city. Make sure to have cash for the bus (the fare is
around £6). You may need to provide proof of student
status (i.e. offer letter) in order to obtain a student
fare. The bus station is directly across the road from
the University.
Register your arrival details at
*Please note Glasgow has two airports: Glasgow
International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
[email protected]
Getting to GCU
It is very easy to get to GCU. The city has two train stations – Glasgow
Central Station and Glasgow Queen Street Station – these are both within
walking distance of the University (uphill walk from Glasgow Central
Station). We also have two airports – Glasgow International Airport
(closest to Glasgow) and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
You can visit the New2GCU website for maps and travel information on
getting to the University and Glasgow City.
University and colleges
A Glasgow Caledonian University
B City of Glasgow College campus
C City of Glasgow College campus
Bus station
We are here
National and regional travel
Train stations
D Central Station
E Queen Street Station
Bus station
F Buchanan Bus Station
Local and regional travel
Train stations
G Argyle Street
H Charing Cross
I Anderston
Subway stations
J Cowcaddens
K Buchanan Street
L St Enoch
Welcome desk
There are welcome areas, events and activities offering you the opportunity
to meet new people and staff, ask questions and find out information.
Student Welcome Ambassadors are on hand to tell you about events, answer questions,
provide information and literature, and guide you around the campus. They know what it is
like to be an international student in a new place and are very happy to help.
Venue: Time: Thursday 16th January – Sunday 26th January 2014
Saltire Centre Reception Area
10.00am – 4.00pm every day
[email protected]
Welcome weekend
Saturday 18th January and Sunday 19th January 2014
International Student Support Service
Additional opening hours
Taste of Scotland Welcome Evening
Sunday 19th January 2014
Venue: George Moore building, level 1
Time: 12.00pm – 4.00 pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Students’ Association Bistro
Santander Bank
Additional opening hours
Venue: George Moore building, level 1
Time: 12.00pm – 4.00 pm
Cost: Free
Events schedule 2014
Orientation Week
‘A fun week of
opportunities to
meet new people
and enjoy the
cultural attractions
of Glasgow’
Monday 20th January 2014
Glasgow City Challenge Tour
Discover your new city, challenge your friends and win prizes.
Meeting point: Time: Cost: ISSS office M111
11.00am – 12.00 pm
Register for your free ticket online
Informal refreshments (tea, juice, crisps)
Enjoy refreshments following the City Challenge Tour.
Venue: Time: Cost: ISSS office M111
12.00pm – 1.00 pm
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Trip
Visit the impressive art gallery and museum and see such works as
Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross and wonderful collections of
European Art, Egyptology, Natural History and Scottish Art.
Meeting point: ISSS office M111
Time: 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Cost: Free- please remember to bring money for subway fare.
After the museum visit, students can either head back to
the University with the Welcome Ambassadors or enjoy
some free time to explore the vibrant and attractive
West End of Glasgow.
Register for your free ticket online
Tuesday 21st January 2014
Medical Registration
Venue: ISSS Office, M110
Time: 10.00am – 12.00pm
Cost: Free - Register for your free ticket online
New to GCU Careers
A session to help you understand the support that the Careers Service
can offer you from early career planning to practice interviews with
professional careers advisers. We can help you through the employment
maze and introduce you to the most appropriate resources and jobs
Venue: Time: M015, Careers Centre
3.00 – 4.00pm
[email protected]
Wednesday 22nd January 2014
ISSS Additional Drop-In Session
Drop in and meet international student advisors regarding any questions
you may have.
Venue: ISSS Office M111
Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Cost: Free
Burrell Collection Trip
Marvel at a unique collection of over 8,000 objects, gifted to Glasgow by
Sir William Burrell in 1944. The collection contains important examples
of Chinese and Islamic art, French Paintings and Ancient Civilisations. It
includes work by major artists including Rodin, Degas and Cézanne.
(c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
Meeting point: Time: Cost: ISSS, M111
1.00pm – 5.00pm
Free but please bring train fare of £3
Register for your ticket online
Social Evening and Meet the Residential Assistants
An informal evening, where you can meet the Caledonian Court
Residential Assistants.
Venue: Caledonian Court Social Space
Time: 6.00 – 8.00pm
Cost: Free
Events schedule 2014
Thursday 23rd January 2014
Hair and Beauty Pampering Afternoon
Relax and enjoy free mini treatments such as hand massage and hair
styling, plus refreshments. One for the ladies!
Venue: ISSS Office M110
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Cost: Free but places are very limited so you must register in advance
Faith & Belief Brunch
An informal opportunity to meet our friendly University Chaplains and
mix with other students. Open to everyone, of all faiths and none. Light
refreshments will be provided.
Venue: Faith & Belief Centre (ground floor William Harley building)
Time: 11.00am - 1.00pm
Cost: Register for FREE ticket online:
Party – Rotaract Welcomes International Students
A welcome party thrown by voluntary organisation Rotaract (part of
Rotary International). Make connections with fellow students and
young professionals. This is a social event but if you are interested in
volunteering during your time in Scotland then you can find out about
opportunities to do so with Rotaract. The first 50 students to arrive will
receive a free drink! (Non-alcoholic beverages available).
Venue: Palomino bar, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ (downstairs
function room)
Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Cost: Free to attend, plus pay for your own drinks after first
complimentary one. Register for FREE ticket online:
Friday 24th January 2014
Sports Afternoon
An action-packed afternoon at the Arc Gym! Feel free to come to
one or both of the sessions for badminton (2.00 - 3.00pm) or
basketball (3.00 - 4.00pm).
Venue: Arc Gym, large hall
Time: 2.00 – 4.00pm
Cost: Register for FREE ticket online:
[email protected]
Dates for your diary
Throughout January and February there will be various events and activities for you to
participate in.
Wednesday 29th January:
ISSS Additional Drop-In Session
Drop in and meet international student advisors regarding any questions
you may have.
Venue: ISSS Office M111
Time: 10am – 12.00pm
Cost: Free
Refreshers Fayre
Venue: Refectory Extension
Time: 10.00 – 3.00 pm
Cost: Free
Friday 31st January:
GCU Annual Burns Supper
Start the new trimester by joining us for Burns Supper - following the
success of last year’s event, the Students’ Association is holding it’s
second annual fundraiser celebrating Scotland’s national poet Robert
Burns. The night will include a traditional drinks reception, 3 course meal
of Cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties and cranachan pudding
(vegetarian alternates will be available). We will pipe in the haggis, have
our dinner then toast Burns before finishing the night off with a ceilidh - if
that’s not enough, join us for an afterparty at Walkabout where we hope
to have bands playing live Celtic music. All this for £20 with the profits
going to a charity chosen to fit in with the themes of supporting learning
and the common weal, the University motto.
Great Little Libraries is a Scottish charity (SC039321) which raises money
to put books in primary schools in disadvantaged parts of Scotland.
Time: Cost: 10
Refectory Extension
£20 Tickets available at ISSS, all encore outlets and online at
Dates for your diary 2013
Our programme of visa workshops will begin on
15th January 2014. Advice will be given by ISSS Advisor at the workshop,
free to attend:
15th January M232: 3.00 - 4.00pm – T4 Student Visa
29th January M232: 3.00 - 4.00pm – T4 DES Workshop
19th February M232: 3.00 - 4.00pm - T1 GE Workshop
5th March M232: 3.00 - 4.00pm – T4 Student Visa
19th March M232: 3.00 - 4.00pm - T4 DES Workshop
2nd April M232: 3.00 - 4.00pm - T1 GE Workshop
Tuesday 11th February
Traditional Scottish Party: Ceilidh
Delight in Scottish dancing, food, live music, prizes and much more!
Our ceilidhs are always enjoyable and popular events. Children are most
Venue: Refectory extension, Hamish Wood building
Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Cost: £4 per ticket
Register online
[email protected]
Begins Thursday 20th February 2014
ISSS Weekly Social
Make new friends at our weekly social evening – games, snacks and chat! Begins Thursday 20th February
Venue: Caledonian Court Social Space
Time: 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Cost: Free
Friday 21st February 2014
Thursday 27th March 2014
Glasgow City Chambers Tour
Venue: To be confirmed (check with ISSS staff)
Time: 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Cost: £2
Dance Showcase
Come and perform a traditional dance from your
country! Email [email protected] if you
would like to participate
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Cost: £5
Saturday 15th March 2014
Saturday 12th April 2014
Day Trip
Discover part of Scotland. Open to families
Time: 10.00 - 5.00pm
Cost: £10
Day Trip
Discover part of Scotland. Open to families
Time: 10.00 - 5.00pm
Cost: £10
Tuesday 18th March 2014
Friday 9th May 2014
Cinema Night
Time: 5.00pm – 8.00pm
Cost: TBC
End of Exams Party
Venue: Caledonian Court Social Space
Cost: £1
There will be lots of fun social activities
throughout the year, such as nights out for
Halloween and St. Andrew’s Day
Information will always be posted on our
official Facebook group:
in Scotland
for international
student support
Source: ISB, Spring 2013.
[email protected] 13
for visa
Source: ISB, Spring 2013.
Important! Key Information
Student visa
Most of you will be joining GCU on a Tier 4 Student
visa. As stated on your visa there are conditions of
your immigration status – it is vital that you adhere
to these. You will be given information regarding the
conditions of your student visa during the welcome
programme. If you have any questions regarding your
visa status in the UK please contact ISSS immediately.
If you need to extend your student visa, it is essential
to contact ISSS 90 days before your visa expires in
order to prepare for your visa. We will assist you with
advice and completing the online form, checking and
posting of applications. You must submit your visa
application to ISSS no later than 3 weeks before your
visa expires.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have valid
leave to study within the UK and at Glasgow
Caledonian University and that you do not breach
any conditions of your visa.
National insurance number
In order to work in the UK, you will be required to
obtain a National Insurance Number. See www. for details. It is your responsibility as
a student to ensure that you adhere to the working
conditions permitted on your visa.
Registering with the police
If you are required to register with the police, this will
be clearly stated on your visa. You must do this within
7 days of arriving in the UK, so you are not in breach
of your visa conditions.
You must attend all your classes and contact your
school if you are absent for any reason.
It is your responsibility to ensure you
re-register with the university as required.
Working in the UK
Your working conditions will be stated on your visa – if
you require clarification on your working allowance,
please contact ISSS. You must not undertake paid
work during term time for more than the permission
stated on your visa i.e. 10/20 hours per week.
[email protected] 15
Contact details
You must update the University if there are any
changes to your Visa Information and Contact Details.
It is a responsibility of your visa status to ensure
your Police Registration Certificate is accurate
and up-to-date. If you change your place of study,
course, address or visa status, you must inform the
police immediately.
We strongly advise you to arrange accommodation
before you arrive in the UK. It can be difficult to
source accommodation once here. Please contact our
Accommodation Office for advice:
You must register with a doctor (also known as a GP)
while studying in the UK. You can visit a doctor for
all general medical problems. As a full-time student,
you and your dependants are entitled to free essential
NHS care and this includes a doctor.
We have close links with other medical services such
as dentist, opticians and family planning clinics. If you
would like any information on these services, please
contact ISSS.
You can register for a GP at our session in M110 on
Tuesday 21st January 2014, 10.00 – 12.00pm
Opening a UK bank account
We advise you to open a bank account in the UK.
If you have to extend or apply for a visa, it is an
advantage to have an account in the UK. Santander is
a University partner, their branch is on campus in the
George Moore building.
The Santander branch has arranged additional
opening hours during our Welcome Weekend.
In order to make visa requirements easier, we advise
you set up to receive monthly bank statements and
also register for online banking.
Positive Living &
Disability Service
Our service offers FREE and CONFIDENTIAL advice and
services to ALL students at GCU.
Do you have a long term health condition or disability which might affect
your studies? Our team of Advisers can offer you advice and support so
that you are able to fully participate in university life, and perform to the
best of your ability. In the UK, we have laws and cultures which ensure
that disabled people are treated equally to those without a disability.
We hope that you will enjoy your time as a student at GCU. However, we
know that studying abroad can be difficult. If you are feeling sad, lonely,
homesick or stressed you might find it useful to speak with a Student
Counsellor, from the Positive Living Team. Counselling can help people to
feel more in control of their lives, and to feel happier in themselves.
To find out more about our services
for International Students, please
come to the Positive Living &
Disability Service in room M136, on
the first floor of the George Moore
Also, download our FREE MOBILE
APP! You can use the App to contact
us and to find out more about us. To
download our App, go to either of
our websites, or simply scan the code
For Information
[email protected] 17
Careers Support for
International Students
Arriving to study at GCU is an exciting time for
you. Career planning is so important, no matter
what stage of your studies you are at or where in
the world you want to work. The careers team can
support you while you are here and help you to plan
for a brighter future.
Our team of careers advisers are professionally
qualified and we have careers partners working
alongside programme leaders in all of the Schools,
including the graduate school, so remember that we
are here for you.
Studying and working in Scotland
We can help you:
• Explore part-time or voluntary work while you
study or during the vacation periods
• Find out about graduate opportunities.
• Understand the application process and the
terminology used in UK graduate recruitment, as
well as advice on job search for both the UK and
the global markets.
We know that many international students will
want to return to their home country, so it is equally
important that you keep connections there as well.
Careers Service Blog for International Students
We know that jobs and careers will not be the first
thing on your mind before you travel to GCU, but
do have a look at the International Careers Blog.
This gives you basic information to help you get by
in the first few weeks:
Once you are settled in GCU you can start to use our
Careers Service website that provides you with much
more information and quick links to loads of really
useful details:
International Careers Insight Series
This is a special series of information sessions and
workshops for international students - free to all
international students and cover a range of topics
that we just know you will be interested in! The full
programme is advertised in the Careers Centre and
the dates are featured in the News and Events section
of the careers service website:
We look forward to seeing you in the Careers Centre
whenever you are ready!
Faith & Belief At Glasgow Caledonian University we welcome all
students and staff of any faith or none. The Faith
and Belief Centre is located on Level 0 of the William
Harley Building. The space offers Chaplain’s Office,
space with kitchen and projector screen, washing
facilities, disabled access, storage facilties, piano
and sound system throughout.
The University has a diverse and vibrant community
and we aim to celebrate this though events and
meetings on campus throughout the year. You can
visit our website for information on the facilities,
societies and events available that are open to all
students and staff.
Come along to our Faith & Belief Brunch on Thursday
23rd January 2014 where you can meet the
Chaplaincy Team who are here to support students’
and staff’s spiritual wellbeing and provide guidance
and support. Visit the website for a welcome message
from the team:
[email protected] 19
Before you arrive
After you arrive
Use our Meet and Greet Service at Glasgow
International Airport:
Get travel insurance
Visit our Welcome Desk in Saltire Centre
Arrange student accommodation
Register arrival details:
Attend our International Orientation Week
Join our official facebook group:
Visit New2GCU on
Register for our ISSS International Orientation
Week activities:
Complete your registration by collecting your
student ID card from Student Administration
Services in Level 0, the Saltire Centre.
You will need to show your passport and
visa documents
Register with a doctor/GP and dentist
Register with the Police (if you are required to)
Bring your national dress for events
Apply for your student visa
Register online following the joining instructions
sent from Student Administration Services
Open a UK Bank Account – Santander are
available on campus
Prepare for Scottish weather i.e. waterproof
clothing and footwear
Arrange insurance for your contents
Apply for a National Insurance Number to allow
you to work part-time
Ensure you are aware of your student visa and
working conditions. Contact: [email protected]
for clarification
Ensure your hand luggage includes your
essentials and visa documents i.e. copies
of your passport, visa, CAS and maintenance
Prepare method of transferring funds to
a UK bank account in your name
Contact ISSS team for advice and support
in preparing to come to Glasgow:
[email protected]
Enjoy a traditional Scottish ceilidh with a
live band, piper, refreshments and lots
of dancing!
Tuesday 11th February 2014
6.00 - 9.00pm
Hamish Wood Refectory extension
£4.00 per ticket
We invite you to dress in your national costume for a chance to win
a prize; there will also be prizes for dancing.
All students, family and friends are welcome.
Register online for your ticket:
Tickets must be purchased in advance from ISSS.
[email protected] 21
International Student Support Service
Glasgow Caledonian University
Cowcaddens Road
Glasgow G4 0BA
Voted Number One in
Scotland for Visa Advice and
Number One in Scotland for
International Student Support
by our international students
in the i-graduate International
Student Barometer (Spring
2013 Wave)
T: 0141 273 1244
E: [email protected]
Office: M111, George Moore building
© Glasgow Caledonian University 2013. Glasgow Caledonian University is a
registered Scottish charity, number SC021474