Sackville School

Before you arrive

Before you arrive:

Preparing for your time at Sackville School

Once you have confirmed your place on a course with us, you’ll probably start thinking about what it is going to be like living and studying in the UK at Sackville school.

Moving to another country to study is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, so it is understandable that a lot of students feel a mixture of nerves and excitement!

The information on this page is designed to help you prepare for coming to study in the UK. It is normal to feel some homesickness to begin with while you adjust to your new life, but remember everyone is in the same boat and we have a team of friendly staff who are there to make sure your experience at Sackville school is a happy one.

What to pack

Essential items to bring with you include:

  • Passport
  • Visa/Home Office letter
  • CAS
  • Offer letter
  • Qualifications certificates
  • Passport style photographs
  • Accommodation documents
  • Essential toiletries and medications
  • An alarm clock – for those early starts!
  • Photographs of family and friends to make you feel at home in your new room

British life

Life in Britain will almost certainly be different from what you are used to. It is difficult to define exactly what the ‘British’ way of life is as British residents come from all over the world and a variety of cultural backgrounds. You will almost certainly notice some differences to your home country, but it won’t take you long to become accustomed. It is important, however that you make sure your behaviour is safe and legal.

British etiquette

The British are known to be reserved in manners, dress and speech. Britain is famous for politeness, self-discipline and the ‘ironic’ sense of humour. Basic politeness (please, thank you and excuse me) is expected. Here are a few tips on British manners:

  • In England people form orderly queues (stand in line) and wait patiently for their turn, for example when boarding a bus.
  • Put your litter in the bin - dropping rubbish in the street is illegal and damaging to the environment
  • Do try to be considerate about noise, especially at night when people are sleeping and when talking on mobile phones.
  • Smoking in all indoor public places (this includes platforms at train stations) in the UK is now illegal
  • British people may call you terms of endearment, such as “mate” or “love”. Do not be offended, they are just being friendly!


Although Britain has traditional dishes such as fish and chips or English breakfast, food in Britain is considered to be very multicultural.

Sackville school can cater for most diets. Click here to see an example of our school menu.

A few tips for staying safe:

  • Use only licensed taxis with official council plates on the back
  • Don’t go out alone at night- bring a friend with you, or if you have to be alone make sure someone knows where you are at all times
  • Look both ways before you cross a road- remember the traffic travels on the left in the UK
  • Be careful when sunbathing- use a high factor sun protection cream and don’t stay out in the sun too long


Sackville school is committed to equality and to ensuring that you do not face discrimination whilst you are studying. Although we hope you do not encounter any racism in the UK, unfortunately no society is perfect. Remember it is your right to feel comfortable in the country you are living in and if anyone behaves in an abusive or intimidating way towards you, you must report it to a member of staff or the police.


Whilst in the UK, you will need to budget carefully to cover all of your living costs, which include accommodation, clothes, transport, books, food and entertainment. The cost of living varies depending on where you are living and your lifestyle but the college will be able to give you advice on budgeting.

If you are coming to the UK for at least an academic year, it is recommended that you open a bank account. The school will advise you on opening an account during the induction process. Find out more about the induction on your first week page.


The British weather is known for being unpredictable, so it is good to be prepared! All our campuses are in the south of England, which tends to be milder than other parts of the UK.

  • Autumn- September to November: The weather in autumn is mild yet unpredictable. You might get a few warm sunny days but be prepared for the occasional downpour. You’ll need warm jackets and jumpers and an umbrella.
  • Winter- December to February: These are the coldest months. Make sure you pack jumpers, warm coats and boots, a rain coat and umbrella are advisable too.
  • Spring-March to May: Plenty of bright and sunny days, but the evenings can be cool. Don’t put away your umbrella just yet!
  • Summer- June to August: British summertime can be very pleasant indeed! Bring light clothes and footwear to enjoy afternoons on the beach or picnicking in the park. However we do see the odd rainy day in summer too.