Your First Weeks
Our accommodation team and the students’ union will welcome you to the halls of residence accommodation during the arrivals weekend, which will take place around the 23rd -24th September. Our accommodation team will communicate the arrival dates and times when you have been allocated your room. If your course starts at a different point, our accommodation team will let you move in earlier or later, if required.
The Intenational Orientation event is organised by Chichester International Advice at the beginning of your studies, and it aims to help you get information and practical support that is specifically tailored to students who have not lived in the UK before. The event consists of welcome talks, presentations and workshops on different topics and social activities. We understand that covering everything in one afternoon is an impossible task, especially is it is impossible to absorb a lot of information in one sitting, but we aim to guide you towards the most important steps to take at the beginning of your study journey and explain how to contact different teams and resources for further support. For more information on the Orientation event we are organising on Sunday the 24th of September 2023, please visit the International Orientation section on this website.
Understanding Local Travel Options
So that you can make the most out of your time make sure you familiarise yourself with the local public transport options. This will help you get around and to get to know the local area.
U7/U8 bus service is free to students, and it can be used to travel between the Bognor Regis Campus and Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester). You can also use U7 service to travel to Fishbourne Halls and Tesco supermarket (Chichester).
U7/U8 service is not available during the weekend.
You will need to show evidence of your student status when you travel on U8/U7. You can do this by showing your student ID card or your “live” Chiview Student page on your smart device.
Students from Stockbridge Student Village studying at the Bognor Regis Campus are entitled to discounted bus tickets on the 700 bus. This bus leaves from the main bus station, which is about 5 minute walk from Stockbridge Student Village. These discounted tickets can be bought from Stockbridge Student Village reception. Alternatively, you can catch the free U7 service near Westgate/Chichester College, or walk to the Bishop Otter Campus and catch the free U7 or U8 bus from there.
Students from Fishbourne Halls can travel free on the U7/U8 bus to Chichester and Bognor Regis. The bus stop is just outside Tesco Extra cark park entrance.
The U7/U8 bus service does not operate during the weekend. You can travel between Chichester and Bognor Regis on the 700 bus for a discounted student price (£2 one way and £3 return) by showing your student card to the driver. You will get your student card during the induction/welcome week.
To drive in the UK you must have a valid licence and adequate insurance. If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), you can drive as long as your licence remains valid. If you are from outside the EEA, you can drive for up 12 months on your current driving licence. You can take a test to get a British licence once you have been in the UK for 6 months and must have done so within the 12 months to ensure you can continue to drive legally. Check requirements on the government website.
Chichester city centre is within a 10- minute walking distance from the Bishop Otter Campus (BOC). Bognor Regis seafront and high street is also within a 10-minute walking distance from the Bognor Regis campus. Walking is the healthiest and cheapest way of getting around in the city. If you combine walking with the free bus service, you won’t have to spend much money getting around in the local area.
Cycling within Chichester and Bognor Regis is easy, and there are some dedicated cycle paths around both cities. You are not allowed to cycle on pedestrian pavements, so getting used to riding your bike on the road with cars (and possibly on the wrong side of the road), can take some time.
Visit the West Sussex County Council website for more information on cycling and cycling routes here.
You can buy a second-hand or new bike when you arrive. New bikes are available online and at local shops. If you would like to find out about second-hand options, we can give you some information on local options. Make sure you also buy a good lock and a good cycling helmet.
Wherever you choose to study, it will take some effort on your part to integrate with other students. You will find that, if you are open to others, they will also respond to you, and you will soon make friends. The University has a relatively small student population, so you will find a warm and welcoming community. This can make it easier to mix with other students, as you will be in smaller classes where everyone knows each other. We encourage you to join in the on-and off-campus activities available at the university and in the local communities. Remember that there is the local community too! You are not just restricted to experiencing university-based people and things to do.
Here are some suggestions:
• Attend the International orientation activities and events we have planned for you. As well as getting a lot of useful information and practical advice, attending these events will help you get to know other international students, who can be a great source of support during your studies in the UK.
• Join the official Facebook groups set up by the Students’ Union (SU) and the University to find out about useful information and connect with other students before you arrive. Check the Students’ Union website for the latest information.
• Try to join as many of the social events run by the SU as you can;
• Join clubs, sports teams, orchestras, drama and dance clubs;
• Work for the University as a student ambassador;
• Volunteer with the SU, University or the local community.
Getting to know your new home is an important part of adjusting to your life abroad. Try not to limit yourself to spending time on the University campuses only.
Chichester and Bognor Regis are in the county of West Sussex on the South Coast, which is famous for its beaches and hiking trails along the South Downs national park. You can take part in many outdoor activities such as surfing, windsurfing, canoeing, swimming, cycling, hiking, horse riding etc. You can find a high street lined with smaller shops in the centre of both towns as well as bigger retail parks with supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland, M&S etc.) on the outskirts. The U7 bus can be used to travel to the retail park area.
Explore what is outside in the city and the county. There are various local events, clubs and activities that you can join in. All these different options (and more ideas) can be found online, so we recommend that you start searching for things to do even before you travel to the UK.
Top tip: Volunteering or working locally can be a great way to get to know local people and local customs. We have a dedicated Careers and Employability team, and they can help you find local volunteering and work opportunities! Just remember that if you have a Student Route visa, your working rights are limited. You can find out more on our website.
Top tip from a previous international student: Be open to invitations from other students and be prepared to invite others to come along to things that you are interested in. The beginning of the academic year is a great time to be making friends, as everyone is in the same situation and is looking to connect with others. Making friends is rewarding, but it does need a bit of work.
- Visit help.chi.ac.uk.
- Visit the Support and Information Zone (SIZ) in the Learning Resource Centre
- Visit the wellbeing website
- Check Chichester International Advice Moodle page.
- Visit Chichester International Advice office (see above Moodle page for information on drop-in* times and locations).
*drop-in = visit our office without booking an appointment. We offer drop-in opportunities most days.