This section contains information that may be useful to you throughout your studies. It includes information on:
- Adapting to life in the UK
- Studying in the UK
- Working in the UK
- Counselling Service
- English language support
- Safety & Security
You might find that living in the UK is very different to life in your home country. Homesickness is a common feeling experienced by many people when starting at university.
Homesickness is a longing for the familiar, generally found in life at home. But it can also be felt in a change of routine. It can be described as an increase in depressed feelings, anxiety, obsessive thoughts and minor physical ailments. But homesickness is different from depression; sufferers of depression will find all aspects of their lives awful, whereas homesickness is felt in your new life, and home life is seen with only positive thoughts.
You can feel homesickness at different stages throughout your time abroad. Some may feel nervous and mildly depressed in the lead up to the impending change, whereas others can feel settled in their first weeks but find themselves feeling depressed later into the academic year. Often, students who get homesick feel that they are not fitting in to their new environment.
There are many ways to help you overcome the feeling of homesickness.
Talk to someone
If you’ve made friends here, then speak with them - you may find that they are feeling the same as you. Speak with a tutor or counsellor if you are not comfortable speaking with your friends. Don’t dwell on your feelings; confront them. If you tend to keep your feelings bottled up, try talking to someone; it will help you feel better.
Keep in contact with your friends and family back home
Keeping in touch with what’s familiar to you won’t leave you feeling alone; even though your family and friends may be far away, a friendly voice is always reassuring. Even go home to visit, but don’t miss out on settling into your new surroundings. You can always ask friends and family to come visit you in your new surroundings. This gives you the chance to explore your new area with people you know!
Join a local class
Keep yourself busy. Sitting alone in your room won’t improve your feelings. There are many local classes to join where you’ll find people with similar interests to you. Remember there are many people in a similar situation to you, so you’re not alone.
Keep doing the things you enjoy!
If you enjoyed going to the gym, playing a sport, or another hobby, try and keep your interests alive during your studies.
Establish a routine
Take the same route to class, go food shopping on the same day each week. By creating a routine you will get some stability and become more settled into your new life away from home.
Sleep well and eat healthily
Make sure you get enough sleep and try to eat a healthy diet. Avoid too much alcohol, as this can have a negative effect on your mood.
Give yourself time!
It’s a big change moving away from home; it will take time to make friends and settle in to your new life.
You might find that teaching and learning methods in the UK are different from those you are used to. Please note the following guidelines:
In the classroom / dance studio
Most of your course will be delivered through small groups/classes. You should be prepared to take an active part in practical sessions and small group work. Your teachers will also expect you to ask questions in class if you wish to. It will not cause offence if you wish to express a different viewpoint. Note-taking is encouraged.
This approach may be difficult to start with, but with your teacher’s help you should soon become more confident. Please note that music students will also have individual principal study lessons with their teacher.
UK education systems encourage students to work independently from a range of sources. The aim is not for students to be told the "correct" answers, but to understand different arguments and then make their own judgments. You should develop the ability to analyse critically and draw your own conclusions.
We recognise that teaching and learning methods are very different in some cultures and we will make every effort to help you to adjust if necessary.
For most modules at Trinity Laban you will be given a reading list. Items on a reading list may contain:
- essential, basic reading or reference material for the course
- an overview of the subject
- background information
- useful information for a specific topic or piece of work
You will not be expected to buy or even read every book and journal article on the list. You should be able to find most of them in the Libraries – ask an assistant in the Trinity Laban Library if you have trouble finding anything, or if you wish to order a specific item.
You need to be able to use IT and appropriate music technology (for music students). If you are faced with equipment or systems that you don’t understand, seek help from the Student Services Team as soon as possible.
Trinity Laban uses the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment as the platform for assignment submission and to provide you with information about your courses throughout your time here. Please ensure that you learn how to use the system when you arrive and if you have any queries please contact the Student Services Team.
In the summer before you arrive, you will be provided with a college email address for the duration of your study. It is a requirement that you check this email regularly as important information is often communicated electronically.
Plagiarism means presenting someone else’s work as your own. If you present the words or ideas of an author or another student without acknowledging the source, you could be accused of plagiarism. Whenever you use a quotation from a book, or reproduce an author’s ideas (even in your own words), you should indicate the source. This process is known as referencing. You may find the accepted ways of quoting and referencing work in the UK are different from those you are used to. Please consult you course handbook for exact instructions on referencing. Penalties for plagiarism, especially in assessed work and examinations, are severe, and may include failing the course.
If you are unsure about whether something constitutes plagiarism or not, ask your teacher.
You must attend classes regularly and arrive on time. A large part of your course is delivered in class and you may miss important information if you are not there.
If you have been absent without notification you will have no grounds for any appeal you might wish to make later.
Can I work during my studies? When you arrive in the UK, you may wish to get a job to earn some extra money. Depending on which country you are from, there may be restrictions on the amount of work that you are able to do and the type of work you can do. If you are thinking of undertaking work in the UK, you should first read the guidance for International Students on working during your studies.
Please note: If you are a Tier 4 visa holder you must not:
- be self-employed;
- be employed as a professional sportsperson or sports coach;
- be employed as an entertainer; or
- take a permanent full-time job.
Please note, however, that degree-level music and dance students can undertake a work placement that involves professional performance, providing that is it arranged by Trinity Laban and is an assessed part of your programme of studies.
Most non-EEA students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and any number of hours during the vacations, if you are studying at degree level (level 6) or above. You will be allowed to work up to 10 hours if you are studying for a programme below degree level (i.e. ISP Foundation).
Can I work at Trinity Laban?
Yes! The following are some of the opportunities available for students to undertake casual and part-time work at the Conservatoire. Some opportunities may be specific to students from one faculty, depending on the requirements of the role. Please be aware that due to demand for these opportunities, there can be no guarantee of securing casual or part-time work with the Conservatoire during your studies.
These opportunities are only available to those students who can demonstrate their eligibility to work in UK.
Some of the opportunities for work within Trinity Laban are:
- Front of House
- Hand to hand leafleting
- Data entry
- Audition, concert, competition and masterclass stewarding
- Library book shelving
- Junior Trinity Saturday assistants
Information will be distributed to new and returning students at the start of the new academic year.
What do I need so that I can work?
Proof of Eligibility to Work - Right to Work Checks
Trinity Laban has a responsibility under UK Immigration Law to ensure that right to work checks are conducted on all prospective employees before any work is undertaken for the Conservatoire. This includes any casual workers, including students. In order to do so, the member of staff who engages you to undertake part-time/casual work will need to carry out a Right to Work check which involves checking and copying a document that is acceptable for showing permission to work, usually your passport, which will then be held on file. The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Right to Work Checklist gives more information about what a Right to Work check involves, including a list of acceptable documents.
When you have the offer of a job, or if you decide to look for a job, you will need to get a National Insurance Number. Your National Insurance number (NINo) is a unique personal number which is used to record your National Insurance (NI) contributions. There are no fees or charges associated with obtaining a National Insurance Number.
You do not need to have a NINo before starting work, but you must obtain one when you get a job. If you have the right to work in the UK, you will need to telephone Jobcentre Plus on Tel 0345 600 0643 to arrange to get one. Lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday and are normally less busy before 9.00 am. Jobcentre Plus will arrange an 'Evidence of Identity' interview for you, or send you a postal application. You will need to tell your employer your National Insurance number as soon as you know it. Do not share your National Insurance number with anyone who does not need it as this might help someone to steal your identity.
For further information on this, visit GOV.UK.
Taking care of yourself is very important while you are studying. Below you will find answers to questions ranging from health insurance, doctors and what to do in an emergency. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Student Services.
Who can I see if I am unwell?
Read more about health services, including emergency services.
Do I need health insurance?
If your course is six months or longer in duration, you will automatically qualify for free National Health Service (NHS) treatment, from the beginning of your stay.
However, some follow-up emergency treatment may not necessarily be free and so it is up to you to decide whether or not to take out separate health/medical insurance. If your course lasts less than six months, you are not automatically eligible for NHS treatment and so you are advised to take out separate health/medical insurance.
(You should check what citizens of your country are eligible for, when studying for under 6 months.)
Medical insurance would, amongst other things, cover you for:
- Loss of fees should you not be able to complete your course
- Cost of returning home if you fall ill
- Cost of a relative visiting if should you fall ill
A good policy should also allow you the option of deciding on private treatment for any illness or injury, for example physiotherapy for Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
NHS waiting lists can be long and for an injury that could affect your career, fast and effective treatment would be needed. In addition, most insurers will combine both medical and travel insurance and this has the added benefit of cover against:
- Loss of baggage, tickets, passport
- Cancellations and delays for your journey home and back again
European Health Insurance Plan
You are eligible to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This will cover you for treatment in all EU countries on the same basis as nationals of those countries. However, you should note that this is not an alternative to private medical insurance. For example, an EHIC will not cover you for repatriation costs. Read more about EHIC.
Immigration Health Charge
Applications outside the UK for entry clearance (a visa) for leave for more than six months are subject to the immigration health charge. The charge is £150 a year for students and their dependants.
Tier 4 applicants and all other online applicants are required to pay the immigration health charge as part of the online application process.
Is there any funding help I can get if I am hurt?
NHS Low Income Scheme
If you have a low income, it is possible to apply for financial help with NHS costs through the Low Income Scheme by completing a HC1 form.
The scheme covers:
Read more and order the HC1 form from the NHS Low Income Scheme pages.
Follow the following links for more information:
- NHS Business Services Authority: Contact Help with Health Costs
- NHS Business Services Authority: Low Income Scheme FAQs
Health Cash Plan and more
Trinity Laban Health advises that you should have a health insurance plan (HealthCashPlan). This means that if an injury does occur you can receive the necessary treatment without financial worry.
Dance students: find out more here. Including information about the BHSF Dancer Benevolent Fund (also applicable to Musical Theatre students).
Music students: find out more here. Including information about the Student Health Scheme.
Trinity Laban Health
Trinity Laban Health offers an extensive range of services to help aid and support our students not only in their training development, but in their everyday lives. Our treatments can treat a wide range of conditions from stress and anxiety to muscular and neurological problems all within our state-of-the-art on-site clinic. Our team at Trinity Laban Health specialise in the assessment and treatment of injuries to Performing Arts students and professionals.
Range of Treatments available:
- Acupressure Massage
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Sports Massage
- Screening and Profiling Service for Dancers
Trinity Laban Health works on a self-referral process. Students can contact Trinity Laban Health at any time; the staff will arrange an appointment with the appropriate practitioner as soon as one is available. Students must pay for any treatment they have at Trinity Laban Health; the department offers concession rates for all students.
You can contact directly as follows:
Telephone:0208 305 9479; 020 8305 9482
Email: [email protected]
Alexander Technique (Music Faculty students only)
For musicians and other performers, the Alexander Technique is an essential practical method for learning life-long skills that help fulfil your potential and practise more effectively. It can help relieve the effects of stress, deal with unnecessary tension, develop high-level co-ordination and enjoy more bodily comfort generally.
Music Faculty students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, have the opportunity to apply for a bursary of free Alexander Technique lessons. The Bursary consists of 6 x 30 minute lessons, which are held on a weekly basis during term time. Lessons are taught by Alun Thomas who has been working at Trinity Laban since 2011 and is a STAT (The Society of Teachers of The Alexander technique)-certified teacher.
Bursaries are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply, complete an application which you can obtain from Student Services or Moodle and return either in person or by email to Erin Sawicka ([email protected]).
The Trinity Laban Counselling Service offers confidential one-to-one counselling to all undergraduate and postgraduate students. We have counsellors available at both faculties from Monday to Friday during term-time.
Counselling is an opportunity to talk to a trained professional about anything that may be troubling you and that maybe preventing you from making the most of your time at Trinity Laban.
If you feel that you are struggling to cope or are feeling unhappy about anything in your life, please contact Sarah Hall, the Senior Counsellor at [email protected] or 07718 198937, and she will arrange to see you for an informal assessment before setting you up to have regular sessions with a member of the counselling team. More information about counselling.
English language support is provided for students whose first language is not English or for students who have a learning disability, for example dyslexia. English language support classes are provided for students in addition to their courses.
Once enrolled on a course, you can access support from your EAP Tutor (English for Academic Purposes). Depending on the course you are enrolled on, this can be during timetabled classes, or one to one tutorials. Draft-checking of written assignments is also available, as well as help in any area where your level of English may be causing you problems. Please note, this support is not available for the Teaching Musician programme or other programmes within the Learning and Participation Department.
Please contact [email protected] with any queries.
Safety and Security
The personal security and safety of students and staff is extremely important to Trinity Laban. Greenwich, Lewisham, and the surrounding area is an increasingly popular destination for tourists and sightseers, and this can unfortunately attract some of the more unsavoury elements of society.
Whilst the instances of theft and abuse are thankfully rare, it is worth reminding you to be on your guard and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night or when few people are around.
How to Stay Safe
- Wherever possible, stay together as a group and walk or travel with friends; don't walk off alone at night – always use a licensed taxi, or keep to main, well-lit roads where other people are around.
- Be aware of your surroundings and don't drink alcohol beyond your capacity - remain alert!
- Don't allow yourself to become distracted by activities such as using your phone, checking emails or listening to music etc. for long periods.
- Don't show your mobile/smart phone/iPod etc. Keep your valuables hidden. If you are attacked or pressured into parting with your belongings, be prepared to let them go rather than suffer personal injury – just make sure they are insured.
- When using ATMs, try to use them in daylight - and most banks have ATMs inside rather than having to use the "hole in the wall".
- Don't display large amounts of cash when making purchases.
- When using a wallet, put it in either an inside pocket or front pocket of your jeans/trousers, but don't keep it in your back pocket.
- When carrying / using a bag (hand bag, laptop case etc.), place the strap over your head and wear it across your body, or if the strap is not long enough, make sure you have a firm grasp of it should it be "snatched".
If confronted or attacked, then call loudly for help - this often dissuades an attacker, and if there are other people around, move towards them.
In an emergency, call 999 to reach emergency services (police/fire/ambulance).
In any event, let the police know immediately if you have been accosted by calling 999 while the details of your assailant are still clear. If you have no phone at the time, ask at a nearby shop or pub to call the police for you, or return to King Charles Court, the Laban Building or The Old Laban Centre at Laurie Grove (if they are still open).
The Security personnel at either the East or West Gates of the Old Royal Naval College are also available 24 hours a day to assist you.
At the earliest opportunity, report the event to Student Services so that they are aware and can assist you and perhaps warn others of any potential danger.
Also, you should call 999 for other emergencies, such as a crime in progress, you suspect a crime is happening nearby or when there is danger to life or violence is being used or threatened. To contact the police for any other reason, call 101.
If you have any problems or concerns about security, please contact any of the following;
- Student Services: 0208 305 4411 / 4418 / 4412
- House Services (Dance): 0208 305 9404
- House Services (Music): 0208 305 4320
- Facilities Manager: 0208 305 9405
If you have a valuable instrument it is worth checking that your insurance covers the instrument for a long stay in the UK. Although it is unlikely that anything will happen, the theft of, or damage to, an instrument is likely to adversely affect your progress on your course. If you are not covered by current arrangement Trinity Laban would recommend Allianz Insurance.