International Students

International Students

Welcome to Scotland, to the City of Edinburgh and to Edinburgh Napier University. We hope you settle in and become very happy here. For those coming from outside the European Union, you might find it all a bit of a culture shock, but hopefully not a negative one. The biggest shock is often the weather – Scotland is probably colder and wetter than you imagined – so make sure you dress for the climate and budget for your heating.

This page will cover the following:

Cheap Travel

You may well have plans to travel around a bit while you’re here to see what Scotland, the UK and Western Europe have to offer. There’s lots to see and plenty of cheap student deals to help you make the most of your money. You can also get discounts on flights, ferries, rail and bus tickets, as well as accommodation, eating out and more with an NUS Totum Card.

chinese_societySome groups of students set up societies to promote their culture and act as a focus for students of that culture and for those interested in that culture. Societies are open to all – not just students of one particular culture – and they help promote connections between people of different backgrounds and a better understanding of different cultures.

If you want to set up your own society, ENSA will provide support and help you get organised. 

Payment of Tuition Fees

You must make sure that you have enough to cover your fees in full for each year of your course. Average undergraduate fees at Edinburgh Napier are £9000-£11,250. Postgraduates usually pay over £10,000. The University has a very strict policy on tuition fee debt and if you default on payment, you can be removed from your course, which could have serious implications for your legal right to remain in the UK.

Living Costs and Funds

As well as paying your fees, you need to ensure that you have enough to cover your living expenses while you are here. Around £800-900 per month is probably what you need to get by on. To open a bank account you will need written evidence of your university place.

It is a condition of entry to the UK that students should have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants for the duration of their studies. This means that most international students cannot claim social security benefits without risking deportation. But there are exceptions – especially if your funds have been disrupted from home. If in doubt, make a confidential appointment to discuss your options with an ENSA Adviser (0131 229 8791 or e-mail

Registration with Police

If your passport stamp says that you are required to register with the Police, you need to do this within 7 days of arrival in the UK. You need a Registration Certificate at the Nationality Department, Fettes Avenue. It costs £34 cash and you need your passport, 2 recent passport sized photographs, your letter of acceptance from the university and confirmation of your address (your written tenancy agreement is OK) to register. The office is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 12:30pm.

You then have to keep the Police informed of any changes to your address, visa status, marital status, passport status or change of course/university while you’re here. For more info – including information on extending your leave to remain in the UK beyond your current visa date – contact ENSA Advice on 0131 229 8791 or the University's Student Well-Being Service on 0131 455 2929. It’s very important that you follow the law on this – and it is currently changing – so get advice.

Working in the UK

Students with “work prohibited” stamped on their passports must not work while they are here. They risk deportation for working illegally. Other international students can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and full-time in University vacations or after the course ends, as long as the visa has not run out. Be careful not to exceed 20 hours in term time, the Home Office do check up with employers, and if you breach immigration law, you could be deported.

Like everyone working in the UK, you will have to pay tax and National Insurance and before you start work you will need a National Insurance number. Contact 0845 6000 643 for this.

You can also find more help and advice on the My.Napier International Student Information pages.