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 Jason JeongDisco 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)
  • A 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 dos 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
  • If you're a Tier 4 student, you are allowed to work 20 hours per week. If you are unsure about your working rights, please contact the Academic Support team for clarification. 

The UK British Council has recently put together a useful hub of information for students moving to the UK, as well as a designated page for students starting their studies in 2020 - we recommend you visit both these pages.


ICMP is committed to helping you start your music career with confidence.

The 2020 Student Hub will give you, as a new or returning student to the ICMP family, all the information you need about your student experience in September 2020.

If you have any questions, get in touch with our friendly team by calling us on 020 7328 0222, sending us an email, or using Live Chat on any page.

by ICMP staff writer
August 10, 2020
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