Your first week at Northampton

What to expect

Starting a life in a new environment can be daunting. However, we have put together some useful tips for our international students to ensure that your first few weeks in Northampton go smoothly.

Opening a UK bank account

Opening a bank account can take time, as different banks have slightly different procedures. It can take a couple of weeks to open a bank account in the UK and so we advise that you bring enough money to cover your first two weeks in Northampton.

In order to open a UK bank account, you will need to choose a local bank. You may wish to ask your friends to advise you and choose a local bank that meets your requirements and offers a good package.

Some of UK’s biggest banks include, but are not limited to:

  • Santander
  • Barclays
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds

In order to open a UK account, you will need to take the following information with you:

UKCISA offers further guidance on opening a bank account.


Northampton’s affordable cost of living makes it a great place to study. It may take a few weeks to open a UK bank account, therefore we suggest you should bring about £250 in cash and travellers’ cheques for your immediate needs.

Credit or debit cards are widely accepted throughout the UK. Due to Covid-19, card is now preferred as it is more hygienic, but cash may still be accepted. Cash may be preferred for smaller payments. There may be a minimum spend required when paying by card, otherwise payment may not be accepted.


Accommodation at the University is self-catering so you will need to buy food when you arrive. We have an on-site shop at our Waterside campus, and there is also a large supermarket, which is a five-minute walk away. They stock an excellent range of goods, including a variety of international ingredients and cuisines to meet all of your day-to-day requirements. You will also find a variety of takeaway restaurants close by.

Registering with a Doctor (GP)

It is important that you register with a doctor (GP) as soon as you have enrolled onto your course.

There is a doctor’s surgery on campus that any students living in Northampton can register with.

Alternatively you can choose to register with a doctor close to your home. You can find the nearest doctor located to you on the NHS website.

As part of your registration process, you will need to take the following documents with you:

  • Complete pre-registration form
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Student ID card
  • Proof of address (no more than 3 months old)

Services and Facilities

We have a variety of facilities and services for every aspect of student life including on-campus amenities such as a Medical Centre, Students’ Union, extensive library, restaurant, cafés, multi-faith chaplaincy, sports pavilion and pitches, shop, launderette, and a hotel and conference centre.

The Student Information Desk (SID) is your first place to go for help, information and advice and is located in the Learning Hub.

IT Services provide a wide range of access to computers, printers, scanning and more in various locations on Waterside campus.

For further information on the support that the University of Northampton can offer you during your studies, see our Supporting You page.

What to do in Northamptonshire

To make sure that you are making the most of your new life in Northampton, please see our things to do in Northamptonshire page.

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