Before You Go - London


There are many things to prepare for and organize before your departure from your home country to your study abroad location. Essential information will be communicated to you through your student portal and email after you are accepted to FIE. 

In addition to any home-school preparation, students might have, pre-departure orientations on partner campuses are often conducted by a visiting FIE staff member.  Students also have access to FIE pre-departure guides to help them with their preparation.



FIE staff will communicate with you via your student portal and email following your acceptance to FIE. Please ensure the email address you gave on the FIE Administration Form is correct and that your junk mail settings allow messages from FIE to reach your inbox. 

IT IS HIGHLY ADVISED THAT STUDENTS DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE UK VIA IRELAND (DUBLIN, SHANNON, ETC). This can present problems for visa holders as the UK and Ireland are in a Common Travel Area. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need further assistance.

 You will receive the following information from FIE staff via email:

  • Welcome to FIE
  • Student Life, Residence Life, and Administration Team Introduction
  • Residence Life Policies, Procedures & Code of Conduct
  • State Department Registration Information (STEP Program)
  • Travel insurance registration and documentation (if applicable)
  • Information on textbooks and reading packs needed for specific courses
  • Housing Assignment & Information (about 30 days prior to arrival)
  • Detailed Arrival Information Email (about 2 weeks prior to arrival)
  • Internship and Service Internship students will receive:
    • An introduction to your Internship Mentor
    • Information on what you need to complete BEFORE arriving, including police checks, portfolios, and writing samples if needed
    • Links to the Internship and Service Internship pages on the FIE website to help you understand the internship process



All students undertaking a program with FIE require a visa to study in the UK.  The only exceptions are those who hold an EU/EEA/Swiss passport (see below).  Please see the following information to determine the type of visa you require.

Internship/ Service Internship


Study Only


EU/ EEA/ Swiss 


Schengen Visa 


If you are undertaking a work placement/internship/service internship, you must apply for a Tier 4 (General) Visa before you depart your country of residence.  


Please note:

  • You cannot apply for a Tier 4 visa after you arrive in the UK 
  • You must apply for your Tier 4 visa from within your country of residence
  • You should plan to apply approx. 2-3 months before your FIE program begins
  • Your Tier 4 visa should be valid from one week before your FIE program begins, to one week after it finishes. You should plan your travel to and from the UK within these dates as you will not be permitted to enter early or overstay.
  • It is strongly advised that you do not travel to UK via the Republic of Ireland. Please see page 4 of the Tier 4 Visa Guide.

Please read the Tier 4 Visa Guide (link below). It explains the process of applying for the visa and lists the supporting documents you will need to carry with you when traveling to the UK.


Tier 4 Visa Guide  










If you are not undertaking a work placement / internship / service internship and you will be coming to the UK to study for less than six months, you can come on a Short-Term Study Visa.


Non-Visa Nationals:

Please note: US citizens are Non-Visa Nationals.

Non-Visa Nationals do not need to apply for a Short-Term Study visa before they travel to the UK. Instead, they can request to enter as a Short-Term Study Student at the port of entry (passport control).




Non-Visa Nationals entering the UK via Ireland (including students on Dublin + London programs):

All students entering the UK via the common travel area (Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) will need to apply online for a Short-Term Study visa before they travel. Please see page 3 of the Short-Term Study Visa Guide for more information.




Visa Nationals will need to apply online for a Short-Term Study visa before they travel.

Please read the Short-Term Study Visa Guide (link below). It explains the process of applying for the visa for both Non-Visa Nationals and Visa Nationals and lists the supporting documents you will need to carry with you when travelling to the UK.

Short-Term Study Visa Guide

If you hold a current, valid passport from:

  • a country within the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA); (full list is here); OR
  • Switzerland,

you are not subject to UK immigration control and so do not need permission to work or study in the UK.  Therefore, you do not need a visa for the FIE program.


However please bear in mind:

  • You must travel to and enter the UK on this passport; AND
  • Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your studies.
This includes dual nationals - those who hold a EU/EEA/Swiss passport in addition to another passport.  
If you wish to travel to other parts of Europe during your time in London, you should make sure that your passport expires at least 3-6 months after you are due to return home. Entry into any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area requires this. If not, you may be refused boarding or denied entry when you arrive in the Schengen area.



  • US Nationals:
You are permitted to enter the Schengen area for a period of up to 3 months without a visa. However, before you make travel plans, please read the important information found here.


  • Other Nationalities:
If you are not a US or EU passport holder, you may need to apply for a Schengen Visa in advance. To do this, you should visit the Embassy website of the main country / first country you wish to visit. You are advised to allow 1-2 months for your application to be processed. More information can be found here.


Countries included in the Schengen Scheme are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland