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Bringing your family to the UK

It can be supportive to have your family around you while you are adjusting to life in a new country, however it is best to think carefully about moving your family to the UK. 

There are emotional as well as financial implications – and you need to be aware of immigration rules and requirements. 

Take your time to read carefully through this section. It will give you all the information you need to help you make the right decision for you – and your family. 

More information

Nursery & Childcare

Talbot Woods Day Nursery occupies purpose-built accommodation within Talbot House on Talbot Campus. It provides separate facilities for babies and toddlers all year round. With part-time and full-time places available, the nursery makes an excellent choice for working parents and those who want their child to receive a firm grounding in pre-school education and social skills prior to entering full-time schooling.

There are also lots of other nurseries and child care providers where you can leave your child to be looked after while you are studying, including childminders and nannies in the local area. For advice and details about local child care visit the website and the Bournemouth Council website.

There are also lots of other parent and child groups you can go to with your children. These groups are usually based in community centres or halls and the cost to attend them is minimal. There are groups for babies and pre-school children with refreshments for the parents and toys for the children to play with. This is a great way for dependants and their children to meet other parents and build friendships with families in the local area. Details of these groups are available from the Health Visitors in the GP's (General Practitioner) practice you join or you can visit the website.


If you bring a child with you who is four years old or above, they should be entitled to free school education. It is very important that you start to investigate schools for your child(ren) as soon as possible. Schools allocate places according to where you live, so decisions about your accommodation should go alongside choosing a school. If you would like information about which residential areas may be best for you to live in, please email

Although there is no charge to send your child to school in the UK, there are costs involved which you should take into consideration:

Costs per year (approximately)

Uniform £100
Swimwear £5
School swimming lessons £30
Excursions £20
Pencil case and thesaurus £10

Most schools offer optional extra-curricular sports and musical tuition. The cost per term for these varies from about £25 to £50. For more information about schools and applying for a place please see the Bournemouth Council website.


BU accommodation for families is very limited. Occasionally the Accommodation Service is sent details of houses for private letting, so do let them know if you are planning to come to BU with your family as they may be able to help. You can contact the Accommodation Service for details of letting agents. These agents may ask for a large deposit, or a number of months' rent in advance, so you will need to budget for this. The rent for a three-bedroom house in Bournemouth is approximately £900 per month. You may find that accommodation is often not to the standard you are used to.

You will be most successful in finding accommodation in the private sector if you plan ahead and come to the UK to arrange accommodation before your course starts and before your family comes to join you.

Medical care

If you bring your dependants with you for the duration of your course, they are entitled to free treatment on the National Health Service (NHS). Please note that your family will be able to join a medical practice in the area where you live. They will not be able to register with the University Medical Centre as this is only available to students. Children are entitled to free medication that is prescribed by the GP (General Practitioner), so do take your children to the GP (General Practitioner) whenever they are ill. You may be able to get a prescription for a medicine that you would have to pay for over the counter at a pharmacy.


If you are from an EEA country, or if your partner has a dependant's visa and has been granted leave to enter the UK for 12 months or more, they should be able to work. If you are not travelling together, you will need to provide your spouse with a copy of the pages in your passport showing your student visa stamp.

If you are unsure if your partner's visa allows them to work, check their passport stamp with AskBU.

Language support

The Language Centre on the first floor of the Sir Michael Cobham Library offers English language support for spouses of students. This includes the use of various software programmes for English language learning, as well as a wide range of book-based resources.

Careers advice

With the correct visa, dependants are allowed to work full-time. The process of finding work in the UK may be very different from that in your home country. BU's Careers Service can offer advice on CV writing and interview techniques, and access to resources such as company contact information.

Dependants healthcare

Dependants who hold a dependant's visa are entitled to free treatment on the NHS if they are here for the duration of the student's stay/course, providing the student is on a course of six months or more.