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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  • Accidents and Emergencies

    Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments treat patients with serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for life-threatening emergencies such as:

    • loss of consciousness
    • acute confused state and fits are not stopping
    • persistent, severe chest pain
    • breathing difficulties
    • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

    If an ambulance is needed, call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK.

    Major A&E departments offer access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At A&E a doctor or nurse will assess your condition and decide on further action.

    The nearest Accident and Emergency department (A&E) for Sparsholt College and for the University of Winchester is:

    • Royal Hampshire Hospital
    • Romsey Road
    • Winchester SO22 5DG

    If it is not an immediate emergency, call 111 (the NHS 111 service). This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can offer medical advice, or advise you of the best local service to offer the care you need.

    Less severe injuries can be treated at a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or an NHS Walk-In Centre (WIC), which can treat patients without an appointment. A minor injuries unit can treat:

    • sprains and strains
    • broken bones
    • wound infections
    • minor burns and scalds
    • minor head injuries
    • insect and animal bites
    • minor eye injuries
    • injuries to back, shoulder, or chest

    The nearest Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) for Sparsholt College and for the University of Winchester is:

    • Royal Hampshire Hospital
    • Romsey Road
    • Winchester SO22 5DG

    You are strongly advised to carry some form of identification with you at all times (not your passport), so that should you be involved in an accident, the College can be contacted and we can contact your next of kin.

  • Accommodation

    International undergraduate and postgraduate students at Sparsholt College share the advantages of student accommodation and facilities with the University of Winchester. Based about 5 miles or 8km from Sparsholt, our undergraduate and postgraduate students enjoy living in new halls of residence on the university campus. With easy access to shopping and leisure facilities in the city, plus sports facilities, the University Library, and the Student Union, this new accommodation will provide you with a rich undergraduate student experience.

    There is a regular bus service between the University, Winchester Rail Station, and the Sparsholt campus.

  • Airlines

    Which airline do I choose?

    As an institution we cannot recommend a particular airline – other than you should avoid those that have bad safety records. However, we can offer general advice about airline travel, and perhaps the most useful of which would be for you to catch the minimum number flights to get from your home to the UK. So, while a carrier with a hub in mainland Europe may offer a more attractive fare, you will have the hassle and stress of an international transfer in Europe. This may be fine if you are a seasoned traveller, or when you are used to travelling to UK, but we strongly recommend that you avoid transfers on your first visit to UK if these can be avoided. Some international hubs have a very bad reputation for delays (and there are number of websites offering advice which airports to avoid in the USA.

    London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW)?

    Heathrow is closer to Sparsholt College and offers shorter journey times by coach, train, and car than Gatwick. Stansted and Luton airports are not good choices as they are both over 50km north of London and will entail considerable hassle travelling to the College. Only scheduled flights operate from Heathrow, while scheduled, charter, and budget flights operate from Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton.

    Point-to-point budget airlines

    Caution – budget airlines flying between Europe/Scandinavia and the UK have very limited baggage allowances and steep additional/excess baggage charges. Worse, if you transferring between two flights with one of these carriers and your first sector is delayed and you miss your second flight, you may have to buy a new ticket for the second sector as these airlines tend to operate a point-to-point service. You should check this (the “small print”) before you opt for a budget flight that may cost more than a scheduled airline.

    Websites such as Expedia, ebookers.com, and skscanner can provide you with a range of alternative scheduled carriers and prices.

    Airline alliances and frequent flyer programmes

    The other consideration when choosing your airline is their frequent flyer card. Do you already have a card with a partner airline? Will you be using the airline or one of its partners for all your trips to UK and elsewhere? It is possible to accrue real benefits with frequent flyer programmes if you are an international student.

    The three major airline alliances are oneworld (American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, JAL, Qantas, etc), Sky Team (Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, Delta, KLM, Korean Air, etc), and Star Alliance (AIr Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa, Scandinavian, Singapore Airlines, United, etc).

  • Airport security

    Airport security

    Different airports have different methods for dealing with security, but for flying to and from the UK the following carry-on restrictions currently apply to passengers entering the departure area:

    • two bags, no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (though different airlines may require smaller items)
    • no liquids, gels, pastes, or creams over 100ml
    • no blades over 6cm
    • diverse forbidden items (that you obviously shouldn’t be carrying onto a plane with good intention)

    Full and up-to-date details of these regulations can be found on the Heathrow Airport website. There are also different regulations governing checked-in/hold baggage.

    Security of personal items

    You should ensure that you have all the necessary documentation regarding your student visa in your hand baggage – not in your check-in baggage! Keep your passport, wallet, credit cards, and other essential and valuable items on your person when in your departure or arrival airport. If you are carrying cash, please ensure that this is safely stowed and out of sight. Do not put these precious items down while having a snack or a drink! Be vigilant!

    Items to pack in your hand luggage

    If you are entering UK as a Tier 4 (General) student visa you will need the following documents in your hand luggage as you may be asked to produce these when you pass through immigration on arrival in UK:

    • offer/confirmation letter
    • CAS document from Sparsholt College
    • accommodation confirmation letter
    • proof of financial means, or an updated statement from the bank you used to support your application
    • the original certificates for all the qualifications that were listed in your CAS document, including any translations
    • any other documentation that you think may be in any way helpful when you report to immigration at the airport, enrol at Sparsholt College, or when you open a bank account in the UK
    • TB certification – if you are coming from a country where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic you may be required to undergo TB screening on arrival in the UK. But you can avoid this if you have already undergone screening and have a valid TB certificate from your own country. Please ask about this at your local UK visa office. Full details are available here

    It is also a very good idea to keep a clear photocopy of your passport information and current visa pages in your check-in/hold baggage, along with copies of all the other documentation that you bring in your carry-on baggage.

    Money you will need while you are waiting for your new UK bank account

    You will need to bring with you cash, traveller’s cheques, credit or debit cards, to use for the first few weeks while you wait for your new bank account, and a banker’s draft to deposit monies into your new account.

    Body scanners (on leaving UK)

    The UK government states that, “for the benefit of all passengers’ security, passengers may be required to be screened using security (body) scanning equipment.” You can find out more about body scanners here.

    Carrying items for other people

    Do your own packing and do not carry items for other people. When you check-in at your departure airport you will be asked whether you did your own packing and whether you are carrying any items for other people. And if you are subject to a customs search on arrival in the UK you will be asked the same questions.

    Bringing food items into the UK

    Different regulations apply on importing food items into the UK depending on whether your journey starts (but not connects) within or outside the European Union (EU). If your journey starts in the EU, “you can bring any fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy or other animal products (for example, fish, eggs and honey) into the UK if you’re travelling from a country within the EU.”

    However, if your journey starts outside the EU, “you can’t bring meat, meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes into the UK from most countries outside the EU.” See the UK.GOV website for more details.

  • Alcohol

    You cannot buy alcohol until you are 18 or over, and even if you are 18, you should carry a PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme) that will conform your age. Do not use your passport to confirm your age under these circumstances. You may also be asked for proof of age when purchasing other products.

  • Applying for a visa

    If you need a Tier 4 visa (check here) you will need to ensure that you have done the following prior to making an application for your visa:

    • that you have applied to study at Sparsholt College, providing all the necessary academic and English language certification; and that you can demonstrate that you are both capable of and committed to completing your chosen course of studies, and that you have a good understanding of the content of your chosen course
    • that you have been given the unconditional offer of a place to study on your chosen course of studies at the College
    • that you have accepted the unconditional offer of a place to study at the College
    • that you have completed and returned the College’s pre-CAS form, and that all is in order with your responses
    • that you have paid the required fees deposit
    • that you have demonstrated that you have all the required funds to undertake your studies at the College
    • that you have applied to the College for a CAS
    • that you have completed and returned a pre-CAS form
    • that you have received the CAS email from the College

    Please contact the international office if you have any questions about the Tier 4 process.

    Please note that the information given about visas and immigration in this online student handbook is as accurate as we can make it given that the Home Office is making frequent updates to its regulations. So for the latest information from the source, please visit the Home Office website page on Tier 4 (General) student visas.

  • Applying to Sparsholt College

    You are strongly advised to contact the College before making any formal application so that you will have all the information that you need to make the right choice for your individual career needs.

    BSc(Hons) undergraduate applications to Sparsholt College will normally be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you wish to make a single choice undergraduate application just to Sparsholt College and to no other institution in the UK, then you can use our international application form.

    MSc postgraduate applications should made using our international application form

    FdSc foundation degree applications to Sparsholt College will normally be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you wish to make a single choice foundation degree application just to Sparsholt College and to no other institution in the UK, then you can use our international application form.

    Level 3 course applications should made using our international application form.

    Please contact the international office for all the information and help that you may need about making an application to study at the College.

  • Arriving in the UK

    Arriving at the airport

    Please ensure that join the correct immigration queue when you arrive at the UK Border in the airport. And please ensure that you are carrying all the documents that you need to pass through immigration.

    Hand luggage

    Different airports have different methods for dealing with security, but for flying to and from the UK the following carry-on restrictions currently apply to passengers entering the departure area:

    • two bags, no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (though different airlines may require smaller items)
    • no liquids, gels, pastes, or creams over 100ml
    • no blades over 6cm
    • diverse forbidden items (that you obviously shouldn’t be carrying onto a plane with good intention)

    Full and up-to-date details of these regulations can be found on the Heathrow Airport website. There are also different regulations governing checked-in/hold baggage.

    Security of personal items

    You should ensure that you have all the necessary documentation regarding your student visa in your hand baggage – not in your check-in baggage! Keep your passport, wallet, credit cards, and other essential and valuable items on your person when in your departure or arrival airport. If you are carrying cash, please ensure that this is safely stowed and out of sight. Do not put these precious items down while having a snack or a drink! Be vigilant!

    Items to pack in your hand luggage

    If you are entering UK as a Tier 4 (General) student visa you will need the following documents in your hand luggage as you may be asked to produce these when you pass through immigration on arrival in UK:

    • offer/confirmation letter
    • CAS document from Sparsholt College
    • accommodation confirmation letter
    • proof of financial means, or an updated statement from the bank you used to support your application
    • the original certificates for all the qualifications that were listed in your CAS document, including any translations
    • any other documentation that you think may be in any way helpful when you report to immigration at the airport, enrol at Sparsholt College, or when you open a bank account in the UK
    • TB certification – if you are coming from a country where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic you may be required to undergo TB screening on arrival in the UK. But you can avoid this if you have already undergone screening and have a valid TB certificate from your own country. Please ask about this at your local UK visa office. Full details are available here

    It is also a very good idea to keep a clear photocopy of your passport information and current visa pages in your check-in/hold baggage, along with copies of all the other documentation that you bring in your carry-on baggage.

    Money you will need while you are waiting for your new UK bank account

    You will need to bring with you cash, traveller’s cheques, credit or debit cards, to use for the first few weeks while you wait for your new bank account, and a banker’s draft to deposit monies into your new account.

    Body scanners (on leaving UK)

    The UK government states that, “for the benefit of all passengers’ security, passengers may be required to be screened using security (body) scanning equipment.” You can find out more about body scanners here.

    Carrying items for other people

    Do your own packing and do not carry items for other people. When you check-in at your departure airport you will be asked whether you did your own packing and whether you are carrying any items for other people. And if you are subject to a customs search on arrival in the UK you will be asked the same questions.

    Bringing food items into the UK

    Different regulations apply on importing food items into the UK depending on whether your journey starts (but not connects) within or outside the European Union (EU). If your journey starts in the EU, “you can bring any fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy or other animal products (for example, fish, eggs and honey) into the UK if you’re travelling from a country within the EU.”

    However, if your journey starts outside the EU, “you can’t bring meat, meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes into the UK from most countries outside the EU.” See the UK.GOV website for more details.

  • Asian and International food stores

    Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese foods can be found in:

    • Chinatown Oriental Supermarket, 51 Brook Street, Winchester SO23 8DG (tel: 01962 850909)

    The larger supermarkets in Winchester also sell a small selection of international foods (probably at a higher price).

    Asian, European, Halal, Indian, and Middle Eastern foods are available in Southampton at supermarkets including:

  • ATMs

    The five major UK banks have 24/7 ATMs outside their branches in central Winchester:

    • Barclays Bank, 50 Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8TN
    • HSBC Bank, 134-140 High Street, Winchester SO23 9AX
    • Lloyds Bank, 49 High Street, Winchester SO23 9BU
    • NatWest Bank (National Westminster Bank), 49 High Street, Winchester SO23 9AW (out of hours ATMs are on St George’s Street)
    • Royal Bank of Scotland, 67-68 High Street, Winchester SO23 9DA

    The Nearest Cash Point website gives details of all local ATMs and note machines. There are no ATMs on the Sparsholt College campus, but cash can be obtained through the Finance Office during working hours using a recognised debit/credit card.

    7 ways to stay safe when using ATMs is a useful guide to personal safety when using an ATM.