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Support for students

From the moment you arrive at Nottingham College to when you leave, you can be sure of the highest standards of care and support.

We appreciate that going to a new country for the first time can be very daunting, particularly for younger students. For this reason we provide a free airport pick-up for all students under the age of 18.

What is the College doing to keep me safe?

Safeguarding

Nottingham College places the highest importance on safeguarding and the safety and wellbeing of students is paramount in all College activities.

Nottingham College complies with all the legal and statutory duties in relation to safeguarding and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The College takes a preventative approach to protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from potential harm, damage, radicalisation or being drawn into terrorism (violent and non-violent extremism).

Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism both in the UK and overseas. Prevent is 1 of 4 elements of CONTEST, which is a government counter-terrorism strategy which aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent is a key part of Nottingham College’s safeguarding policy.

All staff and Homestay Hosts receive adequate training to familiarise themselves with safeguarding, child protection issues and responsibilities and the College’s policies and procedures, with refresher training at least every three years.

Nottingham College is subject to the Social Care Common Inspection Framework (SCCIF): residential provision of further education colleges. The College aims to ensure it meets its obligation in providing a safe, functional and supportive environment for students living in College-provided accommodation such as homestay accommodation and student purpose-built self-catering accommodation.

In the interest of safeguarding, international students under the age of 18 must live in homestay accommodation. The College has a duty of care to these students and has overall responsibility for deciding the arrangements for their care and for ensuring that hosts know about this and are conforming to these arrangements. Homestay hosts and all adults aged 18 or over within the household must complete a police check, (Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check).

Accreditation UK

Accreditation UK is a quality assurance scheme for UK providers of courses in English as a Foreign language (EFL) which the British Council runs in partnership with English UK. Schools, colleges and universities which offer courses in EFL can join the scheme voluntarily and members are inspected on a four-yearly basis.

The Scheme gives an assurance of quality to international students who are taking or planning to take an English language course in the UK. The inspections assure that all accredited centres meet or exceed the agreed quality standards in management, resources and environment, teaching, welfare and (where applicable) care of under 18s.

Nottingham College is an accredited centre by the British Council which means that Nottingham College provides high standards of care and support to our international students.

What help will I be given to settle in to College?

The first day in College will include an Induction Programme, which is when you are are given lots of useful information about the College, your course, and what is expected of you. You will meet the International Office team and your Personal Tutor, register as a student and receive your timetable. We also talk about our attendance rules, help and support available and our disciplinary policy.

All students will receive an ‘International Student Mini Guide’, which is a booklet containing lots of useful information, advice and contacts, so you can carry it with you and refer to it as needed.

Students are encouraged to speak to International Office staff or their tutors if they need any help or have any questions.

Who can I go to for help?

The International Office is open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 4.30pm, and the team can help with any queries or problems. Outside College opening hours emergency assistance is offered via a 24-hour helpline.

If you have a problem and you would prefer to talk to someone in private, we have a dedicated member of our team who is experienced in helping and advising students with personal matters, so a one-to-one appointment can be arranged.

For problems with the course, the Personal Tutor is available to help.

Accommodation issues should be referred to the International Office and our Accommodation Officer will liaise with both parties to try to resolve the issue.

What happens if I have a problem outside College hours?

We do offer a 24-hour Emergency Helpline, which you can call if you need urgent assistance outside College hours. This is for genuine emergencies that cannot wait until the following College day, not for routine queries. The International Student Mini Guide includes the Emergency Helpline number, and also advises students what to do in an emergency, for example if there is a fire, or if you are involved in an accident. You would also have been given the 24-hour emergency number during your induction programme and encouraged to save it in your mobile phone.

For students living in Homestay, the Host will most likely be able to offer help and advice if needed, and can also advise on whether you should contact the Emergency Helpline if you are unsure.

Problems relating to the maintenance of student accommodation should be addressed to the on-site guest services/maintenance teams, or by phoning the number provided.

What level of supervision do you provide for international students?

Students aged 16 and over studying in a college are treated as adults, and are therefore not supervised outside classes, nor for walking to and from classes during breaks.

Students under 18, who are living in Homestay will usually be supervised by the Host outside College hours when they are at home, and will have a set curfew time and strict rules to follow in relation to going out in the evening and at weekends.

All students will travel independently to and from College and will not be supervised during these journeys. For students living in student accommodation booked through the College, maps and directions of how to get to the College will be provided at their accommodation when they arrive. Students living in Homestay will be advised by their Host on the best route to the College and which bus to take if required.

All students and Hosts are provided with the College Emergency Out of Hours Support telephone number so they can contact a member of International Office staff urgently if needed.

Do you provide support in finding suitable accommodation?

Yes, we do.

With your Offer Letter you would receive a copy of our Accommodation Guide, showing the accommodation we offer for your age group. We have two separate guides – one for students under 18, and one for students over 18.

For students under the age of 18, our policy is to place them in Homestay accommodation. This is compulsory for students under 18 unless, for example, you will be living with a parent who is also in the UK for work or study purposes.

Homestay is living in a local household, which might be a family with children, a couple whose children have left home, a couple with no children, or in some cases a single person or single parent with a child. All members of each household, who are over 18 undergo criminal records checks before we appoint them as Hosts, and we inspect the house before appointing a Host to ensure it meets our required standards which we set in line with British Council Accreditation guidelines. Hosts are also re-visited annually to ensure the standards remain suitable.

In Homestay you would live as a member of the household, sharing communal areas and being involved in household activities (such as watching TV in the evening together, or perhaps going out to the cinema or to a restaurant for example). You would have your own private bedroom, with a bed, bedside table or cabinet, wardrobe/storage for clothes and a desk with chair for study. These are the basic requirements, but some rooms might also have additional furniture. Bathrooms are usually shared, but will have a lock on the door to ensure privacy. Internet access is included in the rent.

The Homestay Host will usually supervise you whilst you are at home, except for example at times when you arrive home earlier than the Host might arrive home from work, or might not need to leave for College as early as the Host leaves for work. If a Host needs to go away overnight, then we would usually move you temporarily so you are not left unsupervised.

All students under 18 are allowed to go out independently in the evenings and at weekends but have a curfew of 10.30pm and are expected to keep Hosts fully informed of where they are going, who they will be with, and what time they expect to return. They must also keep their mobile phones switched on, and inform their Hosts if their arrangements change.

Please note that students must also make their own way to and from College, and will therefore not be supervised during that time, although the Host will always ensure that you know how to get to College and will show you which bus to take if needed. The International Office will also help any students who are unsure of how to get home in the first few days or if they have forgotten.

Students over 18 are offered a place in self-catering, purpose-built student accommodation only when short-term lease is available. We work with several different providers in Nottingham city centre within short walking distance of the College. The accommodation generally offer private, en-suite bedrooms grouped together in flats of 5 or 6 rooms, where students share a kitchen and communal dining/lounge area. Some accommodation providers offer studio-style rooms. All have internet access included in the price. Please note that the majority of the student self-catering accommodation become fully booked at the start of the academic year (September) and the tenancy agreement is normally for 45 weeks. However, rooms become available for short-term lease in January and between the middle of July and the middle of August.

Finding your own accommodation - please note the College cannot arrange private rented accommodation on behalf of students. Only students aged 18 or over are permitted to live in this type of accommodation. You can look for accommodation in accommodation agencies, local newspapers and other internet searches.

For further information about accommodation, see:

Do you offer an airport pick-up?

Yes, we do.

Please note that we offer a free airport pick-up to all students under the age of 18.

Once you have notified the International Office in advance of your arrival date and time, we will arrange for a driver to meet you at the airport and take you to the college or directly to your accommodation.

For those aged 18 or over who prefer to find their own way to Nottingham, there are plenty of trains and coach services running between the major UK airports and Nottingham. Our Pre-Arrival guide has information on using public transport.

Does the College have a Social Programme?

The International Office organises some social activities. You will be given a leaflet showing planned social activities in your Welcome Pack, including any costs and the number of places available.

Bespoke short-term programmes will normally include social activities. Your timetable will show all the social activities which have been arranged by the College.

On day trips organised by the College, students are given information on the city or place they are visiting, and are given some free time to do their own sightseeing with their friends. This part of the trip is not directly supervised, but all students must go around in groups and are given a comprehensive map with meeting point clearly marked, and at least one mobile phone number to contact staff if they need any help. Transport to and from the destination is provided by coach, with at least one member of staff to 15-20 students. Students are checked on and off the coach, and we always contact any students who are late back by telephone to make sure they are safe and are not lost.

Are there any activities at weekends and during College holidays?

No – we do not organise activities at weekends, with the exception of bespoke short-term programmes with social activities incorporated into the timetable which include weekend trips.

Weekends are normally free time for students to do as they choose. Students aged under 18, who live in Homestay must share their plans with their Host and agree a time they intend to return home. Students must also keep their mobile phones switched on at all times and notify their Host if they change their plans or will return later than agreed.

Students under 18 are not usually allowed to stay away over night without their parents’ consent in advance. We will ask your parents/guardian to complete a form to indicate whether they agree to this or not, and will share their preference with the Host.

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