Virtual Pre-Departure Live Chat: East, South East and Central Asia

Welcome to our virtual pre-departure briefing event. Our team will be online on the 26th of July from 11am until 1pm (BST/GMT+1) to answer any questions you may have about the University of Birmingham.

Your questions will be posted on this feed once it has been answered, which might take a little time if we receive a lot of questions. Please don’t worry if you don’t see your question and its answer immediately – you only need to submit each question once and keep an eye on the feed for when the answer is posted.

During this Pre-Departure Briefing you can get specific information about travelling to the UK from your country. Each country also has its own dedicated page on our website. There is also some information available on practical matters (such as what to pack and starting your university life in Birmingham).

Speaker profiles

  • Katy Friend

    International Officer (South East Asia)

  • Alexa Haslam

    International Officer (Central and East Asia)

  • Stephen Chand

    International Recruitment

  • Tema Nwulu (11-12 only)

    International Students Advisory Service

  • Hannah Farquharson

    College of Arts and Law

  • Vanessa Chesterton

    College of Life and Environmental Sciences

  • Helen Whitby

    College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Q&A Archive

These were the questions asked during the Virtual Pre-Departure Live Chat: East, South East and Central Asia live event.
Adi asked:

Hi Katy, I think I have many similar questions with Bulat’s. An other thing that makes me confuse is about accomodation. If I wish to choose university accomodation, can I apply for it without visa? And is the accomodation only for international postgraduate student? (I prefer living with British and learn about their daily life). And I I wish to live at private accommodation, do you have any recommended website? I am pleased you help me so much. Thank you! :)

Katy replied:

Hi Adi,

We do have the Global Community at Pritchatts Park which is generally for International students, and UK students who are interested to share with International students.  In general, most of our UK Postgraduate students tend to rent privately.

We have information about renting privately here:

Birmingham Studentpad is the official University of Birmingham property search engine aimed at students looking for a house.

Hope that helps!


Jingyi asked:

Thanks for your answer! I have accepted the offer and submit the online registration (without input the information of visa). Doesn’t it mean I have received my unconditional off?

Alexa Haslam, International Office replied:

Hello Jingyi

Your latest offer letter will let you know if you are an unconditional or conditional offer holder.  You will not receive a CAS until you are unconditional.  If you are not sure please contact our Admissions Department directly and they will be able to let you know if you still have any conditions to meet, or when you can expect to receive your CAS.

Ayano asked:

Hi! I’m an International student from Japan. I’ve already got the unconditional offer letter, but I haven’t received my CAS number for visa. How and when can I get them?

Alexa Haslam, International Office replied:

Hello Ayano

You should allow two weeks from receipt of your unconditional offer letter to receipt of your CAS.  If it has been longer than this please contact us with your full name, course and applicant ID and we will check on the progress of your CAS and let you know.  You can contact the Admissions Team directly, or your country representative, which is me, and you can find my contact details on our Japan country page

Graha asked:

Hello! I have received unconditional offer. I heard that for applying visa, we need to take ‘IELTS for UKVI’, not the usual ‘IELTS Academic’. Is it true? I only have ‘IELTS Academic’ score. I took the test last March. Thank you!

Katy replied:

Hi Graha,

You only need IELTS UKVI if you are coming for a pre sessional programme, or a foundation programme.  If you are coming for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme, the academic IELTS is fine.  As we have made you unconditional, there is no need to take any additional English tests and the IELTS you have is approved for entry to the University.

Hope that helps!


Mike asked:

Hi there. I’m a student from Hong Kong and have applied for visa last Wednesday. I also paid extra amount of money for the priority service; however, I’m still waiting for the reply from the UKVI. I’m quite worried that if my visa is rejected, can I apply it again in late Aug (I will not be in HK till late Aug)? Also, if I cannot schedule my flight on either 16 or 17 Sept, can I still complete all my registration in campus afterwards, say after 17 Sept?

Alexa Haslam, International Office replied:

Hello Mike

As it is the busiest time of year for visa offices I am sure that they will be in contact with you soon.  If you are using one of our local representatives for your application then they will also be able to offer some advice based on other students’ experiences presently in HK.  We hope that you have no problems with your visa application however if your visa is rejected then you will need to log a call with our International Student Advisory Service urgently to request a new CAS.  We will also have a contact email address for our Admissions Team to help with visa refusals.  Our International Student Advisory Service will then decide whether you have sufficient time to reapply for your visa before issuing a new CAS, which is why you will need to let us know urgently.

We prefer all students to arrive in time for Welcome Week which starts on 18 September (check your offer letter in case your course starts earlier, most start on 25 September).  If you think you will be late for Welcome Week then you will need to contact the course team to see if this is allowable for your programme.  Some programmes have required activities for students during Welcome Week.

We hope that your visa application goes smoothly, if you have any queries or problems please get in contact with us so that we can help.