International students: what you need to start your music studies

We quiz Bruno Lopes, ICMP's International Recruitment & Partnerships Manager, to find out more on what international students need to kick off their music studies in London...


Starting your musical journey as an international student in the UK can be a big challenge as well as a huge opportunity.

Many of our student success stories such as Disco Hue and Fiona Yuang are international students who come to ICMP to help launch their music careers in the best possible way. 

So while there is a lot to do and remember when starting with us in London, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of opportunities to improve your music, network and take the next step in your musical journey.

Ahead of the next academic year, we caught up with Bruno Lopes, ICMP's International Recruitment & Partnerships Manager, to find out what he recommends for incoming international students preparing to study with us... 

What should international students do in advance of coming to the UK ? 

Ahead of their studies, all incoming students should check ICMP’s International Student Handbook where they can find useful information about pre-departure, relocation and arrival in the UK.

Some things to consider are:

  • Plan a budget
  • familiarise  yourself with the country/city by researching the country’s history, culture, location, current affairs, etc.
  • Work out a route for getting to your accommodation (from the airport) upon arrival in the UK.

It’s advisable to make copies of the following important documents:  

  • Passport and/or ID Card.​
  • ICMP offer letter​
  • IELTS/English language qualification certificate (if applicable)
  • Bank statement that demonstrates enough funds for support (for students on a Tier 4 Student Visa only)
  • Insurance details (if purchased)
  • Plane tickets/flight booking information
  • Medical notes in English stating any ongoing medical conditions

Are there any things that many students forget or fail to do that they should? 

It’s advisable to limit the check-in luggage to a maximum of two suitcases if you can, as you’ll more than likely accumulate more clothes and belongings during your stay.

We recommend you pack some items from home, such as photographs, personal belongings and anything else that may make their accommodation feel more comfortable and familiar.

We also recommend unlocking the mobile phone in order to get a local SIM card (if a new mobile phone is not intended to be purchased in the UK). 

It’s also important to remember:

  • Passport and National ID
  • chargers for technology
  • list of emergency contacts
  • airport pick-up booking confirmation email  (if applicable)
  • any money you need in UK Pound Sterling - but not a lot of cash.  

 Are there any common do's and don'ts for new international students? 

Yes! These are: 


  • Call family upon arrival and let them know you've arrived safely
  • enrol at ICMP
  • attend Freshers’ Fortnight events
  • students coming from some countries holding a student visa may need to register with the police within seven days of their arrival (this instruction will be printed on the visa sticker in the passport)
  • request a Student Status Letter at ICMP (for Council Tax exemption/reduction, opening a bank account, and more)
  • attend all lessons.


  • Don’t keep things to yourself! If you think you need help (academically, emotionally, psychologically) please contact our Wellbeing Team and they will find ways for you to get the help you need
  • don’t miss lessons (especially relevant for students on a visa)
  • don’t pay money to anything/anybody you are unsure of – especially relevant to accommodation and other contracts. Check with us first in case you need a second opinion
  • seek employment in the UK if your Tier 4 visa was issued earlier than the 1st August 2019. Working rights changed in 2019,  allowing students with visas issued after the 1st August to be granted 20 hours per week working rights. If you are unsure about this, please contact the Academic Support team for clarification. 

Find out more about international students at ICMP

Study music in London with ICMP

If you're interested in developing your musicianship,  learning from our regular industry guests and collaborating within the vibrant ICMP creative community, then speak to our Admissions Team. They're on hand to help you find the right course that matches your ability and aspirations.

Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email and start your music career today.

Find your course

by ICMP staff writer
August 10, 2018
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