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Information for study abroad and exchange students

Thank you for applying to one of BU's study abroad programmes. You will be coming to us as a fee-paying study abroad student or as an exchange student from one of our partner universities. We’re really looking forward to meeting you and introducing you to our wonderful county of Dorset and the UK.

In the meantime, here’s some information you may find useful to help you prepare for your time with us.

Visa information for exchange students

Students coming to the UK for study for one semester (a period of study less than 6 months) don’t need a visa but will need to apply for Visitor entry clearance.  Whether you can apply for this at a UK Border on arrival or if you need to apply to the British Embassy in advance, depends on your nationality.  If you are coming to study for a full year it’s likely that you will need to apply for a Student visa. Find out about the type of entry clearance you should apply for and how to apply.


While there is no guaranteed accommodation for exchange or study abroad students, our Residential Services team can offer advice on renting rooms in BU accommodation, or private lettings in Bournemouth. Once your application has been approved, we will send you more information or you can also email the accommodation team.

Support for study abroad and exchange students

We want you to make the most of your time at BU and thoroughly enjoy the experience of studying in a different country. We offer a range of study and personal support to all our students and these will also be available to you, including a Student Wellbeing service and Faith & Reflection Service, with an Islamic Prayer room and Kosher kitchen facilities.

Please contact us if you have a disability, learning difference or medical or mental health condition to find out what additional support you may be eligible to receive during your time at BU - and make sure you also specify this on your application form.

If you’ve got any general questions about BU or living in the UK please contact AskBU.

Students' Union at Bournemouth University - SUBU

Run by students, for students, SUBU can support you in all aspects of university life to help you get the very best out of your experience at BU.

As a BU student, you are automatically part of the Students’ Union from the moment you enrol on your course. SUBU provides all our students a variety of opportunities and activities to get involved with from the moment you arrive. Whether that’s through fundraising, volunteering, becoming a member of one of our many clubs and societies, hosting a radio show or writing for our student media Nerve, joining the Student Council as a SUBU Officer or being part of their award winning Reps system, there’s something for everyone - check the SUBU website for details.

If you ever need someone to talk to, SUBU Advice offer independent, confidential advice and support whenever you whenever you need it.

Language Centre

Our Language Centre can help you improve your academic and general English language skills, and there's an English Conversation and Culture Club where you can practice in an informal way to improve your conversational skills.

You'll also be able to join our Languages@BU programme - an independent language learning programme which offers six different languages from beginner to advanced level. Because it’s independent learning, you can work at your own pace and at times that suits you.

Living in Bournemouth

Bournemouth is a beautiful seaside town on England’s south coast, with 12 km of sandy beaches, plenty of beautiful parks and gardens and a vibrant town centre. There’s always a lot going on, both around the university and within the town itself.

It’s easy to see other parts of the UK when you’re living in Bournemouth, as the town is well connected to other cities and attractions. It is under two hours by train to London, while fascinating heritage and natural attractions such as Stonehenge, the Jurassic Coast and the New Forest are all within easy reach.