Here is some pre-arrival information which we hope will help you prepare for studying at the RVC. If you have already pre-enrolled then you will have access to the induction pages at RVC Learn.

We also have a dedicated team to support you during your time at the RVC, for more information please see: Advice Centre


Accommodation provided through the RVC

Information on accommodation provided by the RVC is sent out in late spring to all candidates who have accepted on offer to enrol with us the following September. However, further information on accommodation available to those studying at our Camden campus can be viewed here. If you are due to enrol with the RVC in the next three months and have not received any information about RVC accommodation, please contact

Alternative Accommodation 

University of London Housing Services

They can advise on tenancy agreements and also host a forum on their website for people advertising or looking for accommodation

University of London Housing Services
University of London Union
Malet Street 
London WC1E 7HY

Tel: 020 7862 8880
Website: University of London Housing Services

International Students House (Great Portland Street)

International students' accommodation and club, which is approximately 30 minutes’ walk from the RVC’s London campus. ISH has 700 bedspaces in single, shared rooms and flats which can be rented for both short and long stays. The facilities include a conference centre, restaurant, cyber cafe, travel agents and fitness centre.

International Students House
229 Great Portland Street
London W1W 5PN

Tel: 020-7631 8310 
Fax: 020-7631 8307
Website: International Students House

Open Mon-Fri 07.45-22.30, Sat-Sun and Bank Holidays 08.30-22.30.

St Dorothy's International Students Residence

This is a hostel offering spaces for female students aged between 18 and 25. Applications must be submitted and applicants will be interviewed. The normal length of stay is between 2-3 years.

99 Frognal 
London NW3 6XR

Phone: 020-7794 6893 (open 10.00-23.00)
Fax: 020-7435 0724 
Website: St Dorothys

Shipping Personal Items to the UK

To make sure you don’t pay too much tax when shipping your goods to the UK, HM Revenue & Customs has created a Customs Procedure Code 4000C06. You should give this code to your courier who will attach it to a C88 form. This code covers the tax for clothes, books and any personal items you will need for their time at university. If you use a postal service you will need to pay and then reclaim import VAT.

Bringing Pets to the UK from Overseas

Some of you will be considering bringing your pet to the UK with you when you come to study at the RVC. There can be great benefits and comfort from having your pet with you in the UK, however there are important considerations to take into account before making the decision to move with them.  

Firstly, please be aware that none of the RVC Halls of Residence can accommodate pets so if you are going to live with a pet then this will not be an option for you. There are, however, options in the private rental market that will be able to accommodate you. Property landlords in the UK are not obliged to allow tenants to have pets therefore it can prove more difficult to find a place to live, it is worth noting that it is likely to cost more to rent a room or property if you are bringing a pet. Homes big enough to have gardens are more affordable further form the centre of London so you may find that you have a longer commute to the Camden Campus in your first year/s of study and there are many extra costs when shipping animals to the UK including airfares, custom fees and extra veterinary bills.  

All students who plan on bringing their pet to the UK should read the UK government website below that outlines the rules and requirements of getting approval for your pet to enter the country:   

Students from the US should also consult the USDA APHIS for advice on taking their pet to a foreign country:   

Further advice regarding privately rented accommodation, including a database of available accommodation, can be found at the link below:   

If you are considering private rented accommodation please read the following housing guide that gives essential information such as your rights and responsibilities as a tenant:


All students from overseas (including study abroad and exchange students) are provided with a thorough induction to prepare them for studying in a new environment. Our pre-sessional induction programme eases students into life at the RVC and to living in the UK. Throughout the programme, students familiarise themselves with UK culture, complete enrolment, learn about teaching methods, receive information on exams, take a tour of the college and enjoy a range of social activities. Following induction, students take part in ‘Freshers Week’ in which all new students, UK and international, meet and connect. Freshers Week includes sessions aimed specifically at international students that provide financial guidance and information on support services, the Students’ Union and the chaplaincy, as well as an opportunity to meet current international students.

Opening a UK Bank Account

The process of opening a bank account in the UK can take several weeks. It is important to bring enough funds to cover your expenses for this time. The safest way to do this is by using traveller’s cheques. To open a bank account, you will need to provide:

  • Your valid passport and BRP (your student visa)
  • A letter from the RVC confirming your course and UK and overseas address
  • Your previous six months statements from your bank at home
  • An ‘overseas reference’ from your bank at home would also be useful

For further guidance on opening a bank account, please see: UKCISA website

Healthcare in the UK

International students studying in the UK are entitled to healthcare free at point of use through the National Health Service (NHS), provided they have paid the immigration health surcharge when applying for their visa and study duration is over six months in length. Listings of doctors and dentists in the UK are available on the NHS Website, If you plan on bringing your spouse and/or children, they will also qualify for free healthcare. Although healthcare for consultations and treatment in hospitals are free of charge, you may need to pay for prescribed medicines, dental treatment and optical treatment.

To find out how to register with local doctors, as well as information on mental health, please contact our Advice Centre.

Working in the UK

As a student studying at the RVC you may wish to take up some part-time work during your time here. Normally all students, including those on Tier 4 (Student) Visas, are authorised to work during their studies. Although studying Veterinary Medicine can be intense and demanding there may be some limited time available for you to undertake part-time work. This is especially the case at the College itself where there are several opportunities to work in campus such as in the SU bars or as a Student Ambassador. Please see the information below regarding rules and restrictions on your ability to work during your studies.

Students from outside the European Economic Area 

Students studying at UK institutions and who are not nationals of an European Economic Area (EEA) country are usually authorised to work in the UK, subject to the conditions listed below. Similarly, they are able to do work placements which are part of a sandwich course, or to undertake internship placements without the need to obtain special permission.

Students do not generally need to obtain special permission before they can work. The conditions covering the hours and type of work an international student from outside the EEA may do are as follows:

  • the student should not work for more than 20 hours per week during term time except where the placement is a necessary part of their studies with the agreement of the education institution;
  • the student should not engage in business, self-employment or the provision of services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer;
  • the student should not pursue a career by filling a permanent full time vacancy.

This applies to people admitted to the UK as students for more than six months. Their passport stamp will continue to state that they can only work with permission from the Secretary of State for Employment. You may not work if your visa or passport stamp state, 'No work' or 'Employment prohibited' or that you must 'not engage in employment' (unless it also contains the words 'consent of the Secretary of State').

If you would like to bring dependents or family members with you (children, partners, spouse, civil partner and certain unmarried couples), please refer to the following guidance for further information, as not all Tier 4 student visa applicants are eligible to bring dependants:  

The conditions of stay on a dependant are:
• No recourse to public funds,
• Registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules,
• No employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach),
• No Employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, see guidance for exceptions to this rule.

Students from the EEA and Switzerland

Students from the EEA and Switzerland can work in the UK without any special documents, and there are no restrictions on the type of work you can do or your hours of work. However, some students may need to register in their first month of work. Please go to the UKCISA website for further information. 

Any student wishing to work in the UK will need to apply for a National Insurance number, but you do not need to have received your NI number before you can start work. Your Local Benefits Agency or JobCentre Plus (National Insurance Contributions Section) will advise you on how to apply.

For further information on this and a whole range of other issues relating to overseas students in the UK, please visit the website of UKCISA, The Council for International Education.

They publish a wide range of updated Guidance Notes covering many practical issues that you may face, including council tax, healthcare, immigration and much more

Studying at the RVC

The methods of teaching and the way the course is assessed at the RVC may differ from the way you have previously studied. Throughout the induction period, students become familiar with different types of teaching and learning methods used at the RVC. Some of the teaching methods and facilities you can expect to experience whilst studying at the RVC include:


These sessions are normally delivered by academic staff to a large group of students. During the lecture students are expected to take their own notes throughout the session. The lecture will often introduce students to a certain topic which might then be discussed in more detail within directed study sessions. Practical aspects of the topic may also be covered in the teaching/research laboratories or the dissection room.

Directed study sessions

These sessions include a smaller group of students compared to a lecture. Students discuss a lecture or specific topic. All students in the group are expected to participate during the session.Preparation and reading beforehand are essential.

Teaching/research laboratories and the dissection room

Students normally complete the practical elements of the topic discussed during a lecture in the laboratories and dissection room. During the session, students are normally required to use microscopes to analyse specimens and complete dissections.

Independent learning

In some cases, students are required to work in groups or independently outside the classroom. Our Library and Learning Resource Centre archive offers a broad range of books and online resources to help students research their subject area further. In addition, our Anatomy Museum has an extensive range of specimens for students to study in their own time. Our brand new social learning space also provides an ideal area for group work.   

For further guidance on studying practices in the UK, please see UKCISA website for more information.

Top of page