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English Universities - Fall, Spring & Year
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network
Academic Information
Program Overview
Academic Culture
Course Information

For which courses should you register?

You are encouraged to take classes from all 3 years of an undergraduate degree; however, there are some conditions you have to consider.
  • During their first year of study at a U.K. university, U.K. students are already at the equivalent of the sophomore year at a U.S. university. U.K. students sit General Certificate of Education Advanced Level exams – commonly referred to as A-levels – prior to attending university. A-levels require studying a particular A-level subject (e.g. Biology, History etc.) over a two-year period. Parts of A-level coursework can be considered equivalent to lower level college coursework in the U.S. Because students have studied a particular topic in much detail prior to entering a university, the majority of courses you will be taking at a U.K. university are upper division, except for some first-year courses that are very introductory.
  • Second-year courses are typically considered “equivalent” to the junior year at a U.S. university. As a UC student you most likely will be placed at the second-year level for work in your major department. Most second-year courses in the UK equate to UC upper division courses, and the U.K. university expects that you have knowledge of a subject or fulfill various pre-requisites before allowing you on a second-year course.
  • Third-year courses in the U.K. are quite advanced and require thorough knowledge in a subject. If you are not sufficiently prepared for these courses, you might be struggling with this level. Also, even if your home department has pre-approved you for third-year U.K. courses, you might be told by the host university that you do not have enough background to take that level because third-year courses are particularly specialized. In addition, if your GPA is not high enough, you may be restricted to taking only level 1 and 2 classes in your major.

Conclusion: You can register for first, second, and third-year courses; however, do not register for third-year courses thinking only these courses are upper division. If you want to take third-year courses – and many UCEAP students do – you need to meet the pre-requisites, and you have to understand that these are specialized courses that can be very demanding.


Host University Information
Internship Opportunities
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
Social Conduct
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
The UCEAP orientations for students attending English universities (as distinct from Scottish universities) will take place in London.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country

Travel to the Host University

Travel from your UCEAP orientation in London to your host university will be arranged and paid by the UCEAP Study Center in London.  You will travel by private coach (bus) or by train and taxis together with the other UCEAP students attending your host university.

Travel Documents
Packing Tips
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Return Travel
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Mail & Shipments
Study Center Contact
Housing & Meals
General Information
UCEAP Orientation Housing
How to Secure Your Housing / Housing Contracts
Know Before Choosing Your Housing
Your Host Institution Housing

Housing in England

Imperial College London

One quarter of Imperial College students live in university-owned or managed housing. Most of the housing is self-catering and consists of single and shared bedrooms with common kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Most rooms in the university housing have both Internet and phone connections. The halls of residence vary widely in location and amenities, and are priced accordingly. See the ICL website for the specific names and locations of more than a dozen different halls of residence.
Distinct from the halls of residence are the intercollegiate halls, which are located in the Bloomsbury area of London. You are encouraged to apply for accommodation in one of the intercollegiate halls due to your location and also because these halls have catered meals.
The majority of ICL students live in private accommodations. The Student Accommodation Centre will help you find housing in the private sector if desired.

King’s College London

A number of accommodations are located throughout London on both sides of the Thames. Each hall offers recreation rooms, pantries providing basic cooking facilities, laundries, and television rooms, and some also offer quiet study areas, cycle sheds, access to sports and game facilities, gardens, and more. Some are for King’s College students, while seven intercollegiate halls accept students from all colleges within the University of London. Some halls accommodate a number of postgraduate students; if you are an older undergraduate, you may wish to consider these choices.
UCEAP students recommend Wolfson House, Lonsdown Terrace International House, both the Stamford Street Apartments (just across Waterloo Bridge from the college), and the intercollegiate residences. These options are conveniently located near classes, a major factor in making a London housing decision. The Stamford Street residence is only for King’s College students. Do not choose housing in Champion Hill, which is far from campus and in an undesirable area. Housing in Hampstead is also far from campus, but the area is desirable and the costs are lower, except for the cost of daily transportation. Students say Brian Cramer House is not a good place to live, citing security and maintenance issues.
The halls are served by public transportation and access to King’s College is by bus, underground, or British Rail. Travel times vary from ten minutes to approximately one hour. For example, if you stay at Hampstead Campus Residence, you must purchase a monthly underground pass costing approximately $120, but if you stay at Great Dover, you can walk to classes. Transportation costs are a serious factor in choice of housing.
You may note your choice of hall and consideration will be given to your preference; however, places in specific halls cannot be guaranteed and you are advised to select as many halls as possible.

University of Bristol

Full board and self-catering halls of residence are available. Each hall is an academic community committed to providing a supportive student environment, promoting student welfare, and encouraging personal development. All halls are home to students from different countries and backgrounds, representing different faculties and different stages in their academic careers. You may choose the larger, more traditional hall, or a smaller environment such as a flat or student house. Stoke Bishop, a mini-campus of self-catering flats, is attractive but a 30-minute walk from the university. UCEAP participants recommend Clifton Hill House and Manor Hall, as well as The Hawthorns, which is in the center of the campus. Students report the UNITE housing is not well maintained. Other accommodations, including lodgings with meals, bed-sitting rooms, and flats, may be available. The accommodation office may help you set up private housing.

University of East Anglia, Norwich

The university has several modern residence halls on campus, all organized on a self-catering basis. You may elect a single or a shared study bedroom in one of the residence halls on University Plain. UCEAP participants recommend Norfolk Terrace. New accommodations with private bathrooms are being built as well. UEA’s dorm rooms have been wired for Internet access. There is a hookup fee of approximately £20. Students report problems with the phone system in student housing.

University of Kent, Canterbury

You will live in either a catered college or in a self-catering accommodation, such as Parkwood. In general, past UCEAP participants have been more satisfied with the self-catering units than with the catered colleges. Although meals are provided in lodgings, you may also eat meals in the college. Students have been uniformly satisfied with Parkwood, which offers two different price options. Bed linens are provided in residence halls and in Parkwood. Towels are not provided. All students are officially members of a college, at least for administrative purposes, even those in self-catering accommodations.

University of Leeds

There are three categories of housing at Leeds: 1) university-owned accommodations (residence halls and university flats), 2) associate hostels, and 3) accommodations in private or municipal dwellings. Bed linens can be rented (towels are not included). Although some residence halls are a good distance from campus, students have been pleased with those accommodations.
All housing varies widely depending on condition, cost, cleanliness, and distance from campus. Due to the variations in housing, you are strongly encouraged to consider the following notes and discuss the merits of specific housing with UCEAP Leeds returnees before choosing accommodations.
You can also discuss housing options by e-mail with Study Center staff in Edinburgh.
  • UCEAP students have liked both Lyddon Hall and Lyddon Terrace (a shared house). Lyddon Terrace information is not on Leeds’ housing website, but it is on campus, has very large rooms, and is more like an apartment than a dorm.
  • UCEAP students strongly recommend Leodis Residences and Devonshire Hall.
  • Lupton Residences has had burglaries, but UCEAP students like the busy off-campus student area of Headingley, as well as the lower cost.
  • Ellerslie Hall, in the center of campus, is a 20-minute walk to the train station.
  • Charles Morris and James Baillie Park are popular, but James Baillie is accessible only by two long, isolated roads.
  • Oxley Residences and East Moor are four miles away; there is no direct bus link to East Moor and it requires a long walk in a secluded area.
  • Bodington Hall can take an hour to reach by bus during rush hour, but offers excellent on-site facilities. Students have enjoyed the social and community atmosphere.
  • St. Mark’s Residences is used during the summer and may not be completely cleaned prior to your arrival. Some rooms are in poor condition. All inhabitants at St. Mark’s are freshers and international students.
  • Clarence Dock Residences is in a recently upgraded neighborhood in the city center, but students say bus transportation is unreliable, and it is a 40minute walk to campus.
  • Montague Burton Residences has had serious cleanliness and maintenance problems in prior years, but recent UCEAP students like its proximity to campus.
  • Sentinel Towers, North Hill Court, Carr Mills, and Mary Morris International Residence in Headingley have all been recommended by UCEAP students. Sentinel Towers is well liked for its central location, close to both the campus and the city center, and nearby take-out food services are open until 4 a.m.
Commuting is a factor to keep in mind when you choose housing. Also, be aware that you may move into a room that has been used all summer by other students. If the cleaning crew has not yet cleaned, or has not cleaned thoroughly, contact the accommodations office immediately to request a cleaning crew.

University of London, Queen Mary

Queen Mary will send an accommodation form with its acceptance letter. If the form is returned to Queen Mary by the stated deadline, university housing is guaranteed in one of various types of self-catering residences either on or near the campus. Most of the housing has been built in the last decade with high standards. All rooms are singles, grouped into five to six bedroom flats. Each bedroom has a washbasin, and each group shares a bathroom and kitchen. Laundry and common room facilities are provided. About one-fifth of Queen Mary students live in university housing. The Mile End campus has two new 200­bed halls with full meal contracts. The older halls are about 35 minutes away by Tube (South Woodford). Bed and breakfast or pay-as-you-go meal plans are available. In addition, Queen Mary has just completed a 995-room student village and opened a new Learning Resources Center, greatly increasing computer access. The cost of private housing in London is high.
Past UCEAP students note that France House, Varey House, Maynard House, Lindop House, and Stocks Courts (all self-catering flats) are pleasant residences. Hatton House is more expensive. The East End is the older, lower-income part of the city and you need to be prepared for and able to adjust to this aspect of daily life. Students advise against living along Bancroft Road, where break-ins have occurred, and recommend paying extra for en suite and in-room Internet access because the convenience is well worth the cost. Students report the telephone system is non-functional in the student housing. Last year UCEAP participants rented mobile phones for 85 pounds/year with 60 minutes of free calls per month.

University of Manchester

There are more than 9,300 places available in University of Manchester halls and most are within two to three miles of the campus. Halls are catered and self-catered, but the self-catered options fill up quickly. Past UCEAP students recommend the self-catered halls.
Most students have been pleased with their housing assignments. Fallowfield Campus Housing is highly popular, with many social activities and the option to room with British students. UCEAP students also recommend Bowden Court, Grosvenor Place, Whitworth Park, Weston Hall, and Lambert Hall. The catered and traditional St. Gabriel’s Hall houses mainly freshers and is all female.
Private housing called Manchester Student Homes (from studio flats to large shared houses) is also available for single students and students with families. These accommodations are located in the main residential districts of Manchester, Salford, and Stockport. Lists of private housing are available at the Accommodation Office. Students should take unsigned leases for any private housing to the Accommodation Office to look over and advise on—this office will have information on past student experiences with specific landlords. 

University of Sussex, Brighton

University housing may not be available for fall-only students and it will not be available for spring-only students. Past UCEAP students report that private housing is not difficult to find. The Sussex housing office has resources to help you find private housing and there is also a temporary homestay option where you can live while you look for housing.
There is university accommodation for 2,800 students and most housing is on campus. On-campus housing consists mainly of single-study bedrooms, but there are some shared rooms. Some students live in one of a number of large houses and small hotels owned by the university in nearby Brighton and Hove, about 15 minutes from campus by train or bus. All accommodation is self-catering, with a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Bed linens and towels are not provided, but bed linens are available for rent. All accommodations have phones, but students report serious problems with the phone system.
Past UCEAP participants have lived in East Slope, Park Village, Lewes Court, and Kent House (the latter two are strongly recommended). Norwich House is newer, with larger rooms, but only international students are housed there. Students praise Park Village for its social life, but note negatively that it provides one to two showers per 12 students. Northfield is the newest housing.

University of Warwick, Coventry

You may live in campus accommodations, a university-leased house off campus, married or family housing, or a private room in a house or flat. Off-campus housing in Coventry, Leamington Spa, and Kenilworth is modern and comfortable. On-campus dormitories each have resident tutors (RAs) and a warden (manager).
Since Warwick is considered the MIT of England, the entire campus is extremely innovative, with the newest technological amenities. On-campus housing is among the best in the United Kingdom and has Internet access in every room and telephone access in most rooms. UCEAP students emphasize that the campus contains every kind of shop and service needed for comfortable living. There is also excellent shopping in town and especially in nearby Leamington Spa, which offers numerous events.
Address all inquires about housing to the International Office, which will liaise with the campus housing office as necessary. Students with dependents are welcome and child care is available.

University of York

Most students live in mixed residential accommodations provided within the six colleges and situated around a lake. Other possibilities include Fairfax and Garrow Houses, which are large and within walking distance of the campus; and Eden’s Court and St. Lawrence Court, which are close to campus. UCEAP students recommend James College and Alcuin College. They warn that Wentworth and Goodricke are in poor condition and you should not apply for housing in either of these colleges. Security problems have occurred at an off-campus complex. Students note that Halifax College is far from campus.
The vast majority of university residences consist of single-study bedrooms, but there are some shared rooms in the colleges. A full cafeteria service is available in colleges for all students. Residents in the colleges and Fairfax and Garrow Houses have access to limited cooking facilities, although they report that these are inadequate.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
Extracurricular Activities

Imperial College London

Located near the Museum of Natural History and the Victoria and Albert, Imperial College London is at the center of London’s cultural offerings. In addition, the Student Union provides multiple opportunities to join clubs and participate in sports. The pub in the Student Union is a popular meeting place where students study.

King’s College London

The campus is in the heart of London, close to the city’s many academic resources and rich cultural opportunities in music, theater, sports, museums, and art galleries. The British Museum, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and the West End are all within walking distance of the college. Be independent and proactive in taking advantage of the many activities offered.

University of Bristol

With over 150 clubs, societies, and sporting teams, you can participate in basketball, rowing eights, women’s soccer, field hockey, water polo, rugby, swimming, and the many arts and cultural activities that the area offers. The city of Bristol hosts several annual boat races; the Zoo Gardens, with a long-established animal breeding and conservation program; the Wildwalk, a living rainforest; Explore-At-Bristol, an interactive science exhibits center; the Orange Imaginarium, a planetarium; and an IMAX theater. Many of these venues have volunteer opportunities.

University of East Anglia

Norwich is a thriving center with great shopping, and excellent cultural and social opportunities. UEA has a student bulletin board on its website that allows you to correspond with U.K. students. The university hosts the Arthur Miller Center International Literary Festival with lectures and workshops by well-known authors. The on-campus Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts offers volunteer and internship opportunities.

University of Kent

Students note the city of Canterbury is “quiet” and it takes initiative to become involved in activities. Nearby Ashford is a stop for all EuroStar trains, so Paris and Brussels are only a little more than two hours away. The Kent Student Union offers a Certificate of Volunteering, which is a valuable addition to a résumé. The annual Canterbury Festival includes the Community Opera Project and seeks volunteers for both technical and performance components.

University of Leeds

Vibrant culture, commerce, and style make Leeds the primary social hub of the North and have secured the vote as the U.K.’s most popular student city. The 100-acre university campus is just a ten-minute walk from the center of the city and boasts a sports hall, a 600-seat theater, concert hall/disco, student-run television service, and student newspaper. The university received the Big Difference Award for helping refugee children in the city with English language skills. Volunteers are especially needed for this project. To escape city life, the impressive Yorkshire Dales and Lake District, with their awe-inspiring scenery and huge selection of outdoor activities and pursuits, are right on Leeds’ doorstep.

University of London, Queen Mary

The campus is in London’s East End, a multicultural district within easy access of the city center. The location provides the opportunity to study and observe the heart of government, media, business, and cultural activity. Student societies range from Debate to Creative Arts Film and Strictly Come Dancing. The Sports Club offers martial arts and mountain climbing amid the more conventional sports. A volunteer program (called Provide) offers one-day opportunities in various fields.

University of Manchester

The campus is close to the Peak District National Park and the Pennine Hills, with extensive sporting and recreational possibilities. There is an on-campus aquatics center and the Manchester Velodrome, which is the North’s only Olympic-size bicycle track (open to everyone). Student Action Manchester is the umbrella volunteer group. A number of film festivals take place in the city with international attendance.

University of Sussex

The campus is located on 200 acres of parkland near the south coast, just a few miles from the seaside town of Brighton, and an hour from London. Project V coordinates student volunteers. Clubs include surfing, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, Ultimate Frisbee, mountaineering, and many more. Active groups include break dancing, poetry, circus, conservation, chess, and open mike societies.

University of Warwick

With a 500-acre campus in the center of England, the university is 20 minutes from Birmingham and only an hour train ride from London. The campus Arts Center is U.K.’s largest outside London, and the campus sports options include rock-climbing, sailing, and scuba diving. There are Olympic-size track facilities. The university hosts the world’s largest student-run international event, One World Week, using the services of 200 student volunteers. A certificate is offered by the Warwick Skills Program for certain volunteer projects. A unique project is the ongoing restoration of Allesley Park Walled Garden, an 18th-century site. Stratford-Upon-Avon, the place of Shakespeare’s birth and home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, is 12 miles from the university.

University of York

The students’ union organizes social functions and promotes community action projects, including tutoring and mentoring in the city schools. The university has two student newspapers, two broadcasting groups (including the first independent radio station in the U.K.), choir and orchestra, music and drama societies, three studios for pottery, printmaking, painting, and extensive sports facilities. There are 40 acres of playing fields, the rowing club’s boathouse on the River Ouse, and much more.
The city is a vibrant cultural and commercial center, located on the north/south rail line. Both London and Edinburgh are about two hours away by train. York provides excellent theater, cinema, concerts, and other cultural events.
Students with Disabilities
Travel Sign-out Form
Travel within the U.K. and Europe
 The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel.
Working & Volunteer Work
UCEAP Insurance
National Health Service (NHS)
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Physical Health
U.K. Health Care Glossary
Mental Health
Health Risks
Prescription Medication
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Emergency Service Response
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.