This section contains information that may be useful to you before you arrive to study in September.
Here you will find information about visas and immigration, fees and funding, and accommodation.
Visas and Immigration
We understand that arranging your visa can be one of the more stressful parts of studying abroad. You can check if you need a Tier 4 visa on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. If you need a visa before you start your studies with us, please read the following information carefully. If there is anything you don’t understand please contact the Admissions team.
The information provided below is given in good faith and has been carefully checked. However, Trinity Laban accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy. UK Visas and Immigration regulations are revised regularly and you must refer to the latest Tier 4 Policy Guidance available on the UKVI website.
Can Trinity Laban sponsor me for a visa?
Yes. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is licensed to sponsor students for Tier 4 student visas.
What sort of visa do I need?
If you are not a European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you may need a visa to study in the UK. The type of visa you need to apply for will depend on the length of the course you are intending to study. In most cases, you will need a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa (Points Based System). You can check if you need a visa.
The Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration Department (UKVI) regularly makes changes to its immigration guidance and you are advised to check the latest advice on gov.uk before submitting any application.
How do I get my Tier 4 (General) Student Visa?
You can find details of the application process on UKCISA website. Please note that Trinity Laban is unable to send your application to the Home Office on your behalf.
1. Apply for your CAS number
If you have been offered a conditional or unconditional guaranteed place, the Admissions Team will contact you in May to initiate the application process. You need to have an unconditional offer before we can progress with your application.
You will be requested to complete a questionnaire with the information needed to raise your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies).
You will also be required to provide additional documentation and information, including the following:
- A copy of your passport details page
- A copy of your Academic Qualifications
- A copy of your English Language Qualifications (if required)
A certified translation if the original documents are not in English. Please note: We cannot issue you with a CAS number until you have met all of the entry requirements for your programme and your offer is unconditional. We may request additional documentation to ensure that you will meet the UKVI requirements.
2. Apply for your visa
Once you have your CAS number you will be able to apply for your visa. To begin your application you should visit the UKVI website, which will take you through the process.
3. Supporting Documentation
The UKVI will ask for certain original documents to support your application. You will need to provide the following in order to make a successful application:
Evidence of Money
You must prove that you are able to pay for your studies and your living costs without being employed in the UK. You will need to show that you have enough money to cover the course fees and living costs. The amount required for maintenance is £1,265 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
You must show evidence that:
- you have paid all or part of your course fees and up to £1,265 towards accommodation fees to Trinity Laban; and/or
- you have enough money to cover your remaining course fees and living costs, if any; and/or
- you are receiving official financial sponsorship
The maximum amount to be deducted on your CAS for accommodation is £1,265; even if you have paid more than that amount in advance for accommodation.
Important: In most cases where students have their visa application refused, it is because there was a problem with their proof of finances. It is really important that you understand all the rules regarding maintenance funds. Your bank statements, if required as part of your application, need to show that the money has been in your account for at least 28 days prior to your application. Your account balance cannot drop below this amount for even one day!
The UKVI has strict rules about what types of documents are acceptable as proof of money and from which institutions. You must always check your documents against the latest version of the Home Office Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
English Language Qualifications
You may need to provide proof of your English language ability (if it is not your first language).
You will need to attain a minimum level of IELTS 5.5 in all four areas of testing (reading, writing, speaking and listening) in order to meet the basic requirements for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. However, your programme of study at Trinity Laban may require higher results. Please note that, if you require an English test, the UKVI will only accept IELTS results taken at an approved centre.
You will need to provide the original academic qualifications (transcripts, degree certificates) that were used to gain your unconditional place at Trinity Laban. Please note that photocopies are not acceptable. If your documents are not in English, you will need to have them translated and certified by an official.
Depending on the country you are applying from, you may be required to attend an interview to verify certain parts of your application. These interviews are usually quite short and you will often be required to provide original copies of your supporting documentation and your passport.
How long will it take to get my visa?
The length of time for a visa application varies from country to country. You can find out more information about this on gov.uk.
We advise that you begin the process of application as soon as you are able but please note that a CAS can only be issued six months before the start of a programme and you can only apply for a visa three months before the programme starts.
What will my visa look like?
You will receive a letter from the UKVI and a sticker or vignette in your passport, which is valid for 30 days, to travel to the UK. Once you’ve arrived you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) at the Post Office indicated in your letter within 10 days of your arrival. We can help you with this upon arrival if you have any concerns.
Your Tier 4 visa will cover the full length of your programme plus an additional period after the end date:
- if your course is more than 6 months, but less than 12 months – two months after the end of the course
- if your course is 12 months or more – four months after the end of the course
If you decide to extend your studies, you can apply for a visa extension. If, for any reason, you have to interrupt your studies, you will normally need to leave the UK and apply for a new visa when you are ready to resume your programme.
If you’ve applied for a Short-Term Study visa you will receive a sticker or vignette in your passport. This will usually be valid for a period of up to six months and cannot be extended. Non-visa nationals can apply when entering the UK and should request a stamp as a short-term student (not a visitor visa). There is no charge for this application and they will only be required to show the relevant documentation.
Applying for a visa from inside the UK
If you want to extend your programme or study for a new course in the UK, you can apply for an extension of your visa.
Once UKVI has received your visa application, you will be invited to attend an appointment to give your biometric details before your visa can be approved and issued. There is also a healthcare surcharge to be paid on application.
UKVI aims to process all visa applications submitted in the UK within eight weeks. You should not make plans to travel overseas during this time.
What if my application for a visa is unsuccessful?
If you are refused a visa, you should contact email@example.com immediately, with full details of the reasons for refusal and a copy of the letter from the Entry Clearance Officer.
In most cases (unless UKVI has made a mistake) you will need to make another application (and pay the fee and healthcare surcharge again) and make certain that you have addressed the problems which led to your first application being refused. Trinity Laban reserves the right to not issue a further CAS number unless we are satisfied that the problem has been addressed and that a subsequent application is likely to be successful.
You can find more information in the UKVI’s policy guidance for Tier 4 applications on the UKVI website. As the policy guidance can be complicated to understand, you may find the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website a helpful source of information.
Fees and Funding: Financing your studies
Student Services can provide sensitive, honest and constructive advice on managing your budget and other money matters such as tips on increasing your income and reducing your expenses. Student Services have a limited number of hardship funds students can apply to once they have enrolled, more information will be provided after enrolment. Please note Trinity Laban hardship bursaries cover unexpected financial hardship and cannot make up for large gaps in your financial resources. For more information about hardship funds and how to apply, you can contact one of the student advisers.
Cost of Living in London
The cost of living in the London can range from £260 – £380 per week.
Make sure you have a financial plan before you start your course. It is much easier to organise your finances before you start studying.
There are also some extremely helpful websites dedicated to helping students manage their money for their studies. You will find the International Student Calculator very helpful when putting together your budget.
Can I get a Scholarship?
Music students are automatically considered on the basis of audition. You will be notified via email if you have been successful in gaining a financial award. If you have not received an email about an award, you should assume that you will have to pay all of the fees yourself.
Can I get a student loan?
Student loans are available for students from the US and the EU/UK only. For more information on student loans contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
US Student Loans
If you are a US National, then you may be able to apply for a loan from the Federal Government Title IV Assistance Programme. In order to find out if you are eligible for this loan, you should visit the following website and follow their instructions: studentloans.gov.
Trinity Laban provides a guide on how to apply for the US student loans. If you wish to receive a copy of this by email, please contact us at email@example.com.
UK Loans for European Students
If you are a student from the European Union, you may be entitled to receive a student loan from the UK Government. In order to find out if you are eligible for this support, please visit the UKCISA website and follow their instructions.
EU students may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan if they are studying for a Masters degree.
If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anywhere else I can go for financial support?
There are many places to look for financial assistance outside the Conservatoire. For information on where to look for funding and advice on the application process, please visit the external funding page of our website.
Is there extra funding for disabled students?
If you are a Disabled International Student there may be some funding which is specific to your country. You should contact the Head of Student Services & Accessibility at email@example.com to check whether or not your country has any schemes in place that support disabled students.
Using your bank account
There is a lot that you can do before you leave home to prepare yourself for managing your money in the UK. Speak to your bank now about arrangements for your studies overseas. This will make life much easier for you when you arrive in the UK and open a bank account.
- Tell your bank that you will be studying in the UK
- Check with your bank that your debit and credit cards will work abroad until you can open a bank account in the UK
- Most banks will charge you for withdrawing money overseas. Check the fees with your bank
- Ask your bank for a reference. You may need this to open a bank account in the UK
- Talk to your bank about how to transfer money from your home account to an English bank account after you have arrived in the UK
- Ask your bank how long transfers will take and how much they will cost. If your home bank asks for proof of your study in the UK contact us
- Organise online banking
For information on current exchange rates, visit xe.com.
As a student at Trinity Laban, you have a number of options when it comes to accommodation. You can find out about all the options available to you on the Trinity Laban accommodation pages.
For further information on your accommodation options, please contact Student Services for assistance.
Looking for Accommodation
When looking for accommodation, you should try and visit the property or get a friend or future housemate to visit the property. Pictures can be misleading and people sometimes scam house hunters by getting a deposit when there is no property. To find out more about house hunting, rental scams and more: download our Housing Guide.
Right to Rent
When renting from a private landlord, they are required to conduct a “right to rent” check on all new tenants, to make sure tenants have a right to be in the country.
As proof of your eligibility to rent you can get a letter of nomination from Trinity Laban Student Services. To request this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the address of the property you want to rent as well as the landlord’s name and address.
The landlord or agent may still require other documents as proof of your right to rent. Your passport or Biometric Residence Permit are acceptable documents to show you have the right to rent.
If you are arranging a tenancy from overseas, you can agree the tenancy in principle and show your documents in person when you arrive in the UK. Or the landlord may accept a letter of nomination from Trinity Laban before you arrive in the country. If you arrange a tenancy from overseas, we recommend that you ask a friend to visit the property before agreeing to anything.
Students are often asked for a guarantor when signing a tenancy agreement. This is someone who will pay for any damage, unpaid rent or any other costs not covered by a deposit. These typically need to be a UK-based friend or relative. Many students do not have such a person to be a their guarantor.
Some landlords will accept 3, 6 or 12 months’ rent in advance instead. Many students cannot afford this. An alternative is to pay a company to act as your guarantor. Housing Hand are able to provide this service, see their website.
The cost of the service will be between 60-95 per cent of your share of the monthly rent. Housing Hand will rebate a percentage to students of their final tenancy period with Housing Hand dependent on the period of time they have used the service. For one year this is 15 per cent, two years 30 per cent, and three years 45 per cent.