International Student Support

Living in the UK

Living in a different culture is hugely exciting, but it can also be challenging. In this section we describe some of the differences that you may notice, and provide information to help ease your transition to living in the UK.

Social attitudes

Life in the UK will almost certainly be different from what you are used to. It is difficult to summarise the ‘British way of life’, as attitudes and outlooks vary considerably according to where you are in the country. The UK is a very cosmopolitan country with residents from many countries and ethnic backgrounds. When you first arrive you may notice differences in the way people behave compared to your own country.

British TeaQuintessentially British afternoon tea by Lauren Huynh International Summer School photo competition 2012

You will find that people are generally quite tolerant – they like to help if they can, so do not be afraid to ask. They may sometimes seem a little reserved and it can take time to establish close friendships. However, most people respond politely and positively to offers of friendship. If they are not familiar with your culture, they won’t understand your needs and concerns unless you explain them.

On campus you might be surprised by the lack of formality and generally relaxed atmosphere. Most members of faculty and staff enjoy being approached by students and talking, whether or not it is directly related to academic work. The cafés around the University will usually include a mixture of staff and students talking over tea or coffee.

 

Alcohol

In the UK alcohol is available to buy for anyone aged over 18 and it is perfectly acceptable for adults of all ages to drink alcohol in moderate amounts.

Falmer BarStudents at Falmer Bar

For many, drinking alcohol is an established part of their social life – ‘going out for a drink’ is how they relax or spend time with friends. This doesn’t mean that you have to drink alcohol; you can always ask for a non-alcoholic drink instead. If you don’t feel comfortable going to places that serve alcohol, explain this to your friends – there are lots of other places where you can meet. Pubs in the UK are open to anyone over the age of 18 and they usually close between midnight and 1am, although some have extended opening hours, particularly at weekends. Keep safe by never accepting drinks from strangers or leaving your drink unattended in pubs.

Smoking

Although many people in the UK smoke, in some ways smoking is less socially acceptable than drinking. There is a ban on smoking inside all public places in England, including the University buildings, pubs, clubs and restaurants (similar bans are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). If you are caught smoking in a banned area you can be fined. Smoking is still allowed outdoors and in private homes but many non-smokers find smoke unpleasant. If you are at a friend’s house it’s polite to ask whether your hosts would mind if you smoked before you light a cigarette.

'Culture Shock'

Sunshined Brighton by Lin Zhang, international student 2013'Sunshined Brighton' by Lin Zhang, international student 2013

‘Culture shock’ describes the emotional feeling many people experience when they move to a country with a different culture. As you prepare to leave home you are probably excited about coming to the UK, meeting new people and starting your course. However, once the initial enthusiasm wears off, you may begin to feel overwhelmed. Things that you found exciting at first could seem strange and a little frightening. You may experience sudden mood changes and strong reactions, feeling lost, disorientated, and even irritated and resentful. Above all, you may wish you were back among the familiar people and places at home. All international students can experience culture shock in some form – even those coming from countries with similar lifestyles to those in the UK. It’s important to understand that these kinds of reactions are normal and that they will pass. You need to give yourself time to adapt.

If you do suffer from culture shock, here are a few ideas that might help:

Fresher's FairStudent Fresher's Fair

      • Arrive early - Make sure that you arrive by the date stated in your offer letter and take advantage of the social events organised by the International Student Support Office especially for international students to help them settle in, for example, the International Students' Welcome Party, tours of the city, etc.
      • Join the Students' Union's Buddy Scheme - you can meet other international students and students already studying at Sussex. 
      • keep in touch with home – stay in regular contact with your family and friends. It can also be useful to keep up with news from your own country on the websites of the major newspapers or TV channels.
      • You can also check with the Students’ Union for details of the societies and clubs they offer or find out more at the Freshers' Fair. There is an International Society that is very popular.  However, try to make sure that you don’t only socialise with students from your home country, because students who integrate with British and other international students usually have the most positive experience in the UK.
      • Try to eat well, take regular exercise and look after yourself. Moving to university can be a stressful experience for everyone, but it's how you cope with that stress that's important. Talk to International Student Support or The Student Life Centre if you feel that you are finding it hard to cope.
      • There are many shops and restaurants in the Brighton area that sell international and specialist foods and you may also find that the larger supermarkets stock some of the products you are familiar with.
      • Look at the UKCISA website for useful tips on how to deal with culture shock.
Driving, cycling and walking

Driving

To drive a motor vehicle on any road in the UK, you must hold a current driving licence. The rules regarding whether you can use a driving licence from your home country are complex, so please check on the UKCISA website and the UK Government website for these details and more general information about driving in the UK, including road tax, insurance and road worthiness of your vehicle.

Car parking

Parking in the UK can be expensive. There are heavy restrictions on the use of private vehicles in many city centres and main shopping areas. Brighton & Hove has special resident-only zones for on-street parking, for which permits are required. There is usually a waiting list for permits, which are expensive and are for permanent residents only.

The University has a car parking policy that includes parking restrictions and charges. Students who live in University-managed accommodation on campus are not usually allowed to park on campus. The only exceptions are for students with a mobility disability or students with their families living with them. Students who live off campus are eligible to apply for a permit or pass to park, but charges apply. For more information on the University's parking policy, including contact details for queries, please go to the transport webpage.

As Brighton & Hove has an extensive public transport system, you will probably find it is quicker and easier to use public transport to get around. Refer to our pages on Travelling around for more information.

Bicycles

CyclingCycling in the The Laines

Cycling is popular in the UK and many students buy a bicycle and use it to get around the Brighton area, using cycle lanes that are provided on almost every main road (including from the campus to the city centre). If you decide to buy a bicycle, please note that you must have a white front light, a red back light and a red back reflector for night riding. It is also highly advisable that you wear a cycle helmet for extra protection.

In the UK, you should not ride on the pavements unless there are special signs allowing you to do so. It is an offence to ride under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For more information about cycling safety in Brighton, please see the Brighton and Hove City Council website. If you would like to buy a second-­hand bicycle you could try looking on the Friday Ad website, or if you would like to hire a bicycle, you can get in touch with the Students' Union's  Re:cycle Bike Hire Society.

 

 

 Walking

 Do you know how to be a safe pedestrian?

The roads in and around Brighton can be confusing and dangerous.  Unlike in some other cultures drivers often do not slow for pedestrians.  Everyone needs to think carefully about how they move around the city and make sure they concentrate fully and do not get distracted when crossing roads.

The Green Cross Code: Stop, Look, Listen

1. First find the safest place to cross

  • If possible, cross the road at: subways, footbridges, islands, zebra, puffin, pelican or toucan crossings
  • Otherwise, choose a place where you can see clearly in all directions, and where drivers can see you.
  • Try to avoid crossing between parked cars and on sharp bends or close to the top of a hill. Move to a space where drivers and riders can see you clearly.
  • There should be space to reach the pavement on the other side.

2. Stop just before you get to the kerb

  • Do not get too close to the traffic. If there is no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.
  • Give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.

3. Look all around for traffic and listen

  • Look in every direction.
  • Listen carefully because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see it.

4. If traffic is coming, let it pass

  • Look all around again and listen.
  • Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time.
  • Remember, even if traffic is a long way off, it may be approaching very quickly.

5. When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run

  • Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross, in case there is any traffic you did not see, or in case other traffic appears suddenly.
  • Look out for cyclists and motorcyclists traveling between lanes of traffic.
  • Do not cross diagonally.
  • Never use a mobile phone or texting while crossing the road.
  • You cannot hear traffic if listening to music through earphones
  • You cannot or see traffic properly if wearing a large hood.

Crossing between parked cars

Try not to cross between parked vehicles, but if there is nowhere else to cross:

  • Choose a place where there is a space between two cars and make sure that it is easy to get to the pavement on the other side of the road.
  • Make sure neither car is about to move off - look for drivers in the cars, lights and listen for engines.
  • Don't cross near large vehicles. You could be standing in a blind spot, where the driver cannot see you.
  • Walk to the outside edge of the cars and stop. Here you can be seen by drivers and you can look all around for traffic.
  • Use the Green Cross Code. When the road is clear, cross, still looking and listening as you go.

Brighton & Hove City Council have produced a road safety information leaflet which is available to download in several different languages.

For more road safety information, please below:

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Roadsafety/Pages/Pedestrians.aspx

 

http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/parents/7-to-11s/the-green-cross-code/

Safety, Discrimination, and Keeping Safe from Scams and Fraud

Safety, security and the law

For advice to help you ensure that your stay in the UK is safe and enjoyable, please refer to the very useful 'Creating Confidence' guide, published by the British Council. 

We want Sussex to be a safe place for all students and staff. The University is an open campus; anyone is welcome to walk or drive on to campus. However, a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year security team is based on campus (York House) and undertakes regular patrols. (T 8234 or 01273 678234). In an emergency situation, you can use the emergency telephones at different locations across the campus to contact the security team. Alternatively, you can dial 3333 from another telephone on campus or 01273 873333 from a mobile phone if there is an emergency on campus.

In an emergency off campus, you can contact the police, fire or ambulance service by calling 999 from any phone.

The campus is well lit and several areas are observed by security cameras for your protection. Always ask for identification from anyone you do not recognise (eg tradesmen) if someone requests access to your accommodation. Remember that you share responsibility for your own and others’ security and peace of mind: report any security problems (even dead light bulbs), and any incident at all that might constitute criminal behaviour.

International students and their dependants are subject to the same laws as British citizens (with the exception of immigration, voting and citizenship) and are guaranteed the same protection of the law and the same civil rights. One such right is that of free speech and assembly. You have the right to express your views, provided they are not illegal or an incitement to break the law and as long as you conduct yourself in a peaceful and orderly manner with due consideration for others.

If you break the law, you are liable for your actions in the same way as other UK citizens. Any legal agreements and contracts made by you are also binding. Normally this should not affect you greatly, except perhaps in the case of housing. Always make sure that you know what your obligations are before you sign any contract. If you do get into trouble with the police, you are guaranteed the same protection of the law as UK citizens. If you are arrested by a police officer, you should co-operate but you are not obliged to say anything. You must seek legal advice immediately.

Discrimination

The University is proud of its reputation for welcoming people from a variety of backgrounds, promoting equality and diversity, and offering an inclusive and supportive environment for all. We hope that you never encounter discrimination in the University environment. If, however, you think you have suffered from discrimination, in whatever form, confidential services on campus are ready to assist you. Further details of the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy can be found on the University’s website.

Keeping Safe from Scams and Fraud

Sometimes international students coming to study in the UK are specifically targeted by fraudsters and scammers. These scammers may pretend to be representing an organisation, such as a bank, a landlord or a University, and will often ask for large sums of money via untrustworthy methods.

Some of the most common methods that scammers have targeted students have been:

-          Pretending to be the University of Sussex asking for immediate tuition fee payment

-          Claiming to be the owner of private accommodation and asking for a security deposit (often via Western Union or MoneyGram)

-          Offering a student-friendly job with a very high salary and short working hours (students have then been asked to provide bank details)

-          Pretend to be the Home Office and threaten students with fines or possible deportation (for more information on this type of scam, click here)

It is important to be vigilant and wary of any communication that sounds suspicious. If you do receive any suspicious communication, we advise that you:

-          Do not give the caller/sender any personal information

-          Do not make any payment

-          Report the incident to the UK’s National Fraud Reporting Centre, ‘Action Fraud’.

If you have transferred money or have provided any personal information and believe that you have been the target of a scam, we advise that you:

-          Contact Sussex Police by calling ‘101’ or visiting the Police Station at John Street, Brighton, BN2 0LA.

-          Report the incident to Action Fraud

-          Contact your bank and tell them what has happened

-          Contact any organisation involved (for example, ‘Gumtree’ if your transferred money as a result of a fraudulent advert, or a letting agents if you think the scammer was pretending to be a letting agent)

If you think you have been the target of a scam, or if you are ever worried that you have received suspicious communication and you are unsure who it is or what to do, visit International Student Support or e-mail us at international.support@sussex.ac.uk and we will be able to help.

What can I use as an alternative form of ID?

We advise that you do not carry important documents, such as your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or your Passport with you when you are out. If these documents are lost or stolen it can cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to replace.

However, we understand that you may need proof of age during your time in the UK, for instance when visiting clubs or for when buying alcohol.

Fortunately, there are a number of alternative forms of ID that students can apply for which act as official proof of age. They are easy to apply for, are relatively cheap (as little as £15), and can arrive very quickly (as little as 1-2 working days).

The two most popular are listed below:

CitizenCard: https://www.citizencard.com/

Validate UK: https://www.validateuk.co.uk/

Both of these cards display the ‘PASS’ hologram as endorsed by the Home Office, and both allow you to begin your application online.

Please note:

  • These alternative forms of ID are not 100% guaranteed to be accepted by businesses. While there are many supporters of alternative ID schemes, including the UK Government, entry is always at the discretion of the licence holder.
  • You will need a referee to support your application and to confirm that it is you who is applying for the ID Card. While International Student Support are unable to do this for you, you may be able to ask a teacher or lecturer.
Mobile phones and internet deals - Keeping in touch with home

Internet

Using the University of Sussex computers

On campus you'll find over 800 computers, which you can use to keep in touch with friends and family around the world. You can use University computers to keep in touch via email, or through your favourite social networking sites.

Our computers already have the suite of IT Services PC Desktop programmes installed, and all that we ask is that you don’t try to install any chat programmes or other software of your own.

Skype

You can use Skype on your own computer with either the wi-fi or wired network at Sussex. However, if you use a Windows PC, you must first install a patch to prevent your computer causing problems on the network. If you’re in private accommodation, you may need to set up a broadband service. To find out more about how to set up broadband in your private accommodation, please refer to the paragraph below.

You can register at the official Skype website and download the software for free. You will then be able to make free calls to other registered users who have the software running wherever they are in the world.

If you need to call someone who doesn’t have internet access you can pay to make Skype calls from your computer to their landline or mobile phones instead. Depending on where you're calling you’ll have different payment options. You can buy pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Skype credit, which is great for occasional Skype calls to landlines or mobiles, or subscribe to a pay-monthly international calls plan if you are going to be frequently using Skype to make calls to other countries.

Some of the international calls plans include:

Unlimited Europe including UK - This package lets you make unlimited calls to landlines in 28 countries including the UK, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.

Unlimited World including UK and China - With this package you can make unlimited calls to landlines in 63 countries including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan & USA.

Unfortunately, some countries don’t feature in Skype pay monthly plans, and your best option for calling those countries with Skype would be to pay as you go.

Broadband deals

In partnership with Cable.co.uk - Ofcom Accredited broadband, TV and phone comparison site

If you're living in private accommodation while studying at Sussex you'll probably want to arrange to have broadband internet access installed. Fortunately there is a very high level of availability for fast broadband across most of Brighton and the surrounding area.

However, before you buy there are some really important things you need to consider. So, to help you make the right choice of broadband deal we’ve collected our top tips for student broadband here.

1.   Contracts

Perhaps the most important thing to get right when looking for student broadband is the contract length. Internet service providers (ISPs) usually offer their packages on contracts of 12 or 18 months, and if you try to end your agreement early you could be left with a fine that runs into the hundreds of pounds.

So, if you’re only studying with us for a single academic year, or if you’re likely to move away from the area after less than a full calendar year you should try to get a broadband deal with a shorter contract. Many ISPs offer broadband on rolling contracts of just 1 or 3 months, while a number of providers also offer specific student broadband deals with 9 month contracts. They are only available between May and October, so you'll have to time it right.

However, if you're likely to be staying in the same accommodation for more than a single academic year and not leaving Brighton over the summer then a package with a 12 month contract should suit you better, and will often work out cheaper.

You can find out which broadband packages are available in your part of Brighton, and see a breakdown of contracts and costs here.

2.   Speed and usage

Now that you understand how to choose the right contract length and how to check what you can get in your area you're ready to start narrowing down your options to find the right deal.

As a general rule, if you're going to be buying broadband to use on your own for occasional browsing and emails, you should find that a service with a speed of up to 24Mbps and a monthly usage allowance (the download limit) of 10-20GB should be fine – just try to avoid downloading large video files. There are lots of different low-cost providers available in Brighton, and you can find a list of them via the link above.

However, if you're looking for a broadband package to share amongst a house full of other students who will be downloading or uploading large amounts of data, file sharing or playing online games, you’ll need to find a fast package with a very high or unlimited monthly usage allowance. We can’t recommend any specific provider or package for you, but Virgin Media officially provides the fastest widely available broadband in the UK (with speeds of up to 200Mbps). Its services are widely available across most of Brighton including Hollingbury, Patcham and Withdean (surrounding the London Road area of town), along with other popular student areas such as Bevendean and Moulsecoomb.

3.   Charges and one-off fees

Every broadband package has a specific advertised monthly cost, which will be determined by the level of service you'll receive, and may be influenced by where you live.

Unfortunately, it’s often the case that the monthly cost isn’t the total charge you'll have to pay before you can get online, so please make sure that you check the small print to make sure you understand all the charges that you’ll have to pay.

Line rental – with the exception of Virgin’s broadband only packages, all Brighton broadband packages will require an active phone line and monthly line rental payments. Line rental can cost over £15 a month, and the cost of having a phone line installed can range between £30 - £100 pounds.

Installation – if your broadband activation requires an engineer’s visit you may have to pay to cover it. Installation charges vary greatly between the different providers so make sure to check what you’ll have to pay before you order.

Activation fee – even if you don’t need an installation visit you may still be charged a one-off activation fee, so make sure to check the small print.

Delivery charge – most providers will provide you with a free modem and/or wireless router when you sign up, but you may be charged up to £10 for delivery.

Payment handling fees – most broadband providers will expect you to set up a Direct Debit to automatically pay your bill once a month. Some do accept other forms of payment but choosing one of those may cost you up to £7 per month extra.

Paper billing surcharge – to cut down on administration costs most providers now prefer to email bills rather than printing them out and sending them through the post, a system they call e-billing. You often have the option to request old-fashioned paper bills through the post but doing so may cost you up to an £5 extra a month.

4.   Broadband bundles

Most broadband providers also offer TV, broadband and calls "bundles".  As a rule, if you’ve got a landline telephone and you're paying line rental along with the cost of your broadband this will usually entitle you to make free calls to other UK landlines at the weekend.

For an additional monthly fee you can usually upgrade this to include weekday evening calls, or pay more still to get inclusive calls all day every day. It’s up to you to decide how you will be using the phone and which is the right choice for you, but we feel that the majority of students wouldn’t see any benefit or saving from paying for a calls bundle. Also, bear in mind that you have the option to get Virgin Media broadband without the need for a phone line or calls bundle if you live in a cable area.

The UK’s three biggest broadband providers - BT, Sky and Virgin Media – also offer broadband in bundles with a range of digital TV options. TV, broadband and calls bundles can seem very attractive to students, and they do have a number of benefits including being a little cheaper than getting each services from a different provider and getting all of your charges one a single bill each month.

However, it is vital to stick to your budget and bear in mind that if you get a TV bundle, and even if you’re just watching Freeview, you’ll need to get a TV licence. If you don’t and you're caught using a TV in your student home you might be fined up to £1,000 - excluding legal fees.

5.  Living in University-managed housing

If you live in on-campus accommodation or King's Road, you can't use a private broadband service but you do get the benefit of wired and wi-fi access to the internet using the campus network. Connection instructions are available online.

Telephones

Cheap international calls on your UK mobile

If you’ve got a mobile from a UK provider you might be able to sign up for a cheap international calling plan. This will either be in the form of an extra monthly fee if you’ve got a contract phone, or as a “bolt-on” service if your phone is PAYG. The best advice is to call your provider using the relevant number from this list:

3 Mobile – 0800 358 9341 (or 333 from a 3 mobile)

O2 – PAYG: 0344 8090222 (or 4445 from your O2 phone), pay monthly: 0344 8090202 (202 from your O2 phone)

EE - 07953 966 250 (150 from your EE phone)

Orange and T-Mobile - Both sites now redirect to EE , but you can still call 07973 100 150 for Orange Pay Monthly,  07973 100 450 for Orange PAYG, 0845412 5000 for T-Mobile or dial 150 from both providers' handsets

Virgin Mobile - 0800 064 3820 (789 from a Virgin Mobile phone)

Vodafone – 03333 040 191 (or 191 from a Vodafone mobile)

Get a calling card

With an international calling card you can make much cheaper calls from a landline phone than you could otherwise, although some mobile providers won’t let you use them.

When you make a call with a card like this the charges will be deducted from the credit on the card, as will a connection fee. The cost per minute and the connection charge can vary a great deal from provider to provider, so try to shop around to get the best deal. It might also be helpful to ask other students from your home country for their advice, as they will have the benefit of experience.

If you're looking for somewhere to start you might like to consider the Tesco International Calling Card. It’s amongst the cheapest we’ve found and you can get them and top them up in the Tesco shops that can be found at 5 Jubilee Street in Brighton and on Church Road in Hove.

Use an access number

Access numbers let you make cheaper calls on your phone by dialling into a specific number before you dial the phone you want to call. All charges are then added to your phone bill.

There are literally hundreds of different “Simply Dial” providers in the UK so it’s impossible to recommend one to you. Again, our advice would be to seek advice from older international students who share your nationality, or to use one of the other methods we looked at above.

Mobile phone deals

In partnership with Cable.co.uk - Ofcom Accredited broadband, TV and phone comparison site

If you brought a mobile phone with you when you came to the UK you might find that you’ll be charged very highly if you want to use it to make calls whilst you're living here.

Of course, the last thing we want is for you to find yourself stuck with very large bills that you can’t afford to pay – but we do understand how important it is to keep in touch. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to getting the right mobile phone deal in the UK.

International SIM cards

If you’ve already got a mobile phone that isn’t locked to a specific network you can get a SIM card from a top UK or international provider to put in it. You’ll then be able to use the network belonging to that provider on a pay monthly or a pay as you go basis. There are different SIM cards available from different providers so it’s up to you to do some research to find out what your best options are. You can do this (and find out how to “unlock” your phone) online or by visiting a reputable mobile phone shop (see below).

One popular option is Lebara Mobile. They offer SIM cards that can let you make cheap calls to UK and international numbers, so they’re ideal if you want to keep in touch with people back home as well as those over here. One of the great features of Lebara SIM cards is the ability to make free calls and send free “SMS” text messages to other Lebara customers when you top up with at least £5 a month.

You can buy SIM card packs in local convenience shops, or order them online for free. We also have some free SIM cards (including Lebara and LycaMobile) which you can pick up from the International Student Support Office.

Getting a new phone: your options

If you haven’t already got a mobile phone there are plenty of places where you can buy one in Brighton or online. In the UK mobile phone services are offered in three different ways:

PAYG – With Pay As You Go you will pay for the full cost of a mobile phone and then add credit for calls and texts whenever you run out. PAYG mobiles cost more than other mobiles but you’re not tied down to a contract.

Pay monthly – With a traditional pay monthly package you’ll be tied into a contract of between 12 and 24 months. You’ll get a free or heavily reduced handset and an allocation of inclusive minutes, text messages and data usage, although if data usage is important for working ‘in the field’, you may be better off considering a mobile broadband dongle. We believe that pay monthly mobiles are usually not suitable for international students, especially if you are not going to be living in the UK for very long. Please read the “Contract vs PAYG” section below before you commit to a pay monthly contract phone.

SIM only – With a SIM only deal you don’t get a phone at all, just a SIM card. You'll usually get more minutes, texts and data for your money than you would with a similarly priced PAYG deal and you’ll only be tied into a rolling contract of one month. There are several options for getting SIM only deals in Brighton, including those we discussed in the International SIM section above. Alternatively you can buy SIM cards for specific networks by visiting the relevant shops from the list at the bottom of this guide.

Contract vs PAYG

Be very careful before agreeing to a pay monthly contract mobile phone. If you sign up for one and then leave before the contract has ended you will very likely be charged for all outstanding payments up until the end of the contract period - this can be literally hundreds of pounds, and you will be legally obliged to pay it!

If you are going to be living in the UK for an extended period of time then a pay monthly mobile may well be your best option, but if you’re only here for one academic year or less you need to think very, very carefully before you buy.

Networks in Brighton

There are five main mobile broadband networks in the UK; 3 mobile, O2, EE, Virgin Media and Vodafone. According to their own network coverage calculators you should have no problem getting a signal for any of these networks in Brighton, especially in the student-friendly areas around London Road, in Moulsecoomb and in the area surrounding the University of Sussex campus. You can check the coverage of each network on the Mobile Coverage website.

Where to buy

Whether you're looking for a contract, PAYG or SIM only deal there are plenty of places in Brighton where you can buy from. If you don’t have a preferred network you can compare deals from all providers on comparison websites, otherwise visit the relevant store from the list below, all of which are less than two miles from the main University of Sussex campus:

3 mobile: 211 Western Road, BN1 2BA & Churchill Square, BN1 2TB

O2: 203-205 Western Road, BN1 2BA & Churchill Square, BN1 2TB

EE: 209-210 Western Road, BN1 2BA & Churchill Square, BN1 2TB

Virgin Media: Churchill Square, BN1 2EB

Vodafone: 60 Western Road, BN1 2HA & East Mall, Churchill Square, BN1 2TB

Useful telephone numbers:

Operator (UK) is 100

Emergency services (police, fire, ambulance) is 999

The local area code for Brighton & Hove is 01273. If you are calling from outside the UK, you should omit the zero from the area code.

To make an international call you need to dial the international access code (00) followed by the country code, which is +44 for the UK.

Post offices

Post offices offer a wide range of services including the sale of postage stamps, air mail forms, registered envelopes, postal orders and overseas money orders. Television licences and road vehicle licences can be renewed at main post offices. Most post offices are open on weekdays and Saturday mornings. There is a post office on campus in the Co-Op supermarket in Bramber House. One of the bigger post offices in Brighton is in WH Smith in the Churchill Square shopping centre.

Further information about post office services can be found on the post office website.

Television

Television Licences

All UK residents, including those here temporarily, are required to hold a licence to use a television. A licence costs £150.50 per year for a colour television and can be bought from post offices or online.

If you share your accommodation, you will need a licence if you use a television in a shared area, but separate individual licences must also be held by each student for televisions used in your own room. Separate licences are not required if you hold a joint tenancy with someone, and you live together as one household, sharing all facilities. Documentary evidence of such an arrangement must be supplied for this to apply.

Television detector vans do come on to campus and the penalty for having a television without a licence is a fine of several hundred pounds. You should note that it is illegal to watch live television on a laptop, PC, or any other devices without a licence, but you are permitted to watch on demand or catch up programmes available on other channel providers, except for BBC iPlayer. 

Since 1 September 2016 you need to be covered by a TV license to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device and provider you use. Don't forget, you still need a TV license to watch or record programmes on any channel as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service.

Fines can be up to £1,000 for failing to have a valid TV licence.

International Student Support

E international.support@sussex.ac.uk
T +44 (0)1273 67 8422