Tuesday, August 22, 2006

British Council Pre-departure Briefing!


I, Shaun, Ren Yin, Vee Vian, Jieqiang, Le Hong, Ashok, Michelle, and Audrey went for the British Council pre-departure thing last Saturday.

For those of you who didn't follow my brilliant advice and attend the briefing :P ,this is a summary of what they said. Please feel free to add/correct any of the information that I've noted. Thanks! :)

Happy reading!

Summary: British Council Pre-departure Briefing.

A. Visa Tips:

1) Photograph must have a white background (Zhao and Hafriz, no pink ok? :P)
2) VFS (the people in charger) will reply within 15 working days.
3) Make sure you photocopy all the required documents (outside preferably, it costs RM0.30 per page to do it there)
4) If you do not wish to submit the original documents, you can hand in certified true copies.
5) VFS won’t give any of the information you disclose to the tax people! So don’t worry if you’re keeping illegal savings :P
6) Must give proof of finance for the first 12 months, and proof that money will come in to finance the next several years
7) Must have proof of accommodation, among other requirements that I can’t remember

B. Airport Tips
1) Hand luggage must be max 6kg
2) Carry your X-ray in your hand luggage, they might ask you see when you land in UK airport (I dunno if you must bring the other stuff in the medical report)
3) Cannot bring any liquid based items in your hand luggage (e.g. toothpaste, hair gel, face wash, water...)

C. Medical Services

1) Medical service is provided by NHS (National Health Service)
2) It is mostly free for students:
a) Hospital and GP services (emergency and non-emergency) – free
b) Dental and optical services – not free
c) Buying medicine – not free (roughly 6.50 pounds per item)
3) To register (I think it can be done through your university, not sure) you need:
a) University acceptance letter
b) Proof of accommodation
c) Passport
d) Photograph

D. Working in the UK

1) Students only work part-time during term time (Max of 20 hours a week, I think)
2) Students can work full-time during vacation.
3) Minimum wage is 5.05 pounds an hour
4) For more info on work opportunities see: www.workingintheuk.gov.uk (but it will probably be of more help once you’ve graduated)

E. Important Addresses

International Student Houses

229 Great Portland Street
London W1W 5PN, UK
Tel: 0207 631 8300

British Council

10 Spring Gardens
London SW1A 2BN, UK
Tel: 0207 9308466
Fax: 0207 3896347

Malaysian Students Department
30-31 Queensborough Terrace
London, W2 3ST, UK

Tel: 0207 9851252 / 1262 (M’sian Hall)
Email: nazir@masduke.com

Malaysian High Commission,
45 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8QT, UK
Tel: 0207 235 8033

Note: Most of these addresses are redundant if you’re studying outside London. If you want the relevant addresses for your place of study, email Mark Pui at mark.pui@my.pwc.com (He is an ex-Cambridge student who gave a talk during the briefing)

F. General Tips

1) Check the prohibited travel items list at www.defra.gov.u/animalh/illegali/allow/allowances.htm
2) Open an offshore bank account before leaving because it’ll take two to four weeks to open one when you arrive in the UK
3) There is a very friendly, efficient HSBC branch in Tavistock Square, London.
4) Obtain tube maps and other maps early
5) Bring a dozen or two passport size photographs with you, you’ll need them!
6) Get your booklist NOW ( and start reading :b)
7) Read widely, including academic journals for your field
8) Arrive at your university early to get to know your way around the place, get to know departing seniors and buy their textbooks (core textbooks only to save money)
9) Get to know the Malaysian Society at your university before leaving. (look-up their website)
10) If you want to ship things back home or to the UK, plans several months in advance
11) For winters clothing, it’s a good idea to buy fleeces or wear layers. Also, get an umbrella once in the UK
12) Be careful when you go clubbing! (Shaun take note!) Always go there and back in groups and watch your drinks in case someone tries to add something to it. (Girls take note! – that was not a sexist statement -.-)
13) Come to Cambridge and visit! =)

Prepared by,
Arun Thillaisundaram


Blogger SHIRLEY said...

do u have to put prepared by arun thillaisundaram? i know u wanna get the credit..lol.

11:51 PM, August 22, 2006  
Blogger CWKen said...

exactly ... sumore so evil purposely put such long post to overshadow my post on futsal =.=

12:43 AM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Jieqiang said...

lol shirley, nice one.. :)

12:51 AM, August 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely written though.. straight to the point..

thx arun..

1:31 PM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger FuKhate said...

Ooooo u mentioned Ashok's name!! Knew it dat ure faking it all along. U hypocrite!!

2:25 PM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger MICHELLE said...

VFS will reply within 15 days??? O__O;; Are you serious??? I thought they said they will reply in 2 to 5 days working days.

12:57 AM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger @řũn said...

I mean the longest is 15 days =)
most of the time it will take less time :)

Oh and I gave your number to a Edinburgh student i met at the La Bodega thing, she said she'll contact you before the orientation thing.

2:24 PM, August 27, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home

HTML Hit Counter Code
HTML Hit Counter Code