Studying in UK 2021: 10 Steps You Need to Take (Covid-19 Update)

Words by Teh Aik Ern
Graphics by Caitlin Chuah

A new university semester is about to begin once again, but with Covid still looming around, studying abroad can seem quite daunting. To ease your concerns, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide on what you need to do before going to the UK. Rest assured that we’ve got you covered, from university applications all the way to arriving in the UK to ensure you a stress-free process.

  1. Book a Free Online Education Counselling

If you’re deciding between courses and universities or still completely unsure of which direction to go to, going for education counselling can help. Our friendly student advisors will be there to help you throughout the entire application process. Due to Covid restrictions, free online consultations are now available via our site. Feel free to take a look at our list of UK universities that you can apply to now. 


2. Gather Necessary Documents

Once you’ve settled on a university and course, our student advisors will let you know what documents are needed to apply before getting in touch with the university. During this process, make sure that all your documents are up-to-date and meets the university’s requirements. The documents typically include:


3. Take an IELTS Test (If needed)

An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test is one of the mandatory documents needed for international applicants to study in the UK. You will be assessed through 4 different tests: reading, writing, listening and speaking. There are free IELTS practise tests on the British Council site that you can take before the actual examination. Due to Covid, IELTS tests are also now available to be taken online, with results sent to you within 2-5 working days. Your advisor will help you with arranging an IELTS test.


4. Accept Your Offer

Once the university of your choice has made you a conditional/unconditional offer, the next step is to accept the offer before the stated deadline (it’s good to wait until you’ve heard back from all of the universities that you’ve applied to before making your decision!). Some universities also require a tuition fee deposit and registration fees upon acceptance. This is also the stage where you should make sure your passport is updated if it’s going to expire soon.


5. Arrange for Student Accommodation

Now that you are officially attending university in the UK, it’s time to find a suitable student accommodation. Check out our list of student accommodation partners that will help you with finding your temporary home away from home. Your advisor will also be there to aid you during this process, providing you with the best student accommodation options near your university.


6. Get a Tuberculosis Scan

The UK government requires individuals moving to live in the UK for more than 6 months to get a tuberculosis scan to ensure that the disease is not present. The test must be from a clinic approved by the home office to avoid getting rejected during the application process. The UK government site has a list of approved clinics within Malaysia for TB screening.


7. Visa Appointment at VFS

As an international student studying in the UK, you will need to apply for a Student Visa. Visa applications must be done before arriving in the UK as you will need to present your visa documents to the immigration officers. If you are looking for more clarity, the VFS site has provided information on what to expect on the day of your appointment. The documents needed to bring for the appointment are:

  • Passport
  • Tuberculosis Test (original and photocopy)
  • CAS (confirmation of acceptance for studies) statement
  • Appointment confirmation letter
  • UKVI Document Checklist

8. Apply for MTP (My Travel Pass) to Leave Malaysia

Due to the pandemic, the Malaysian government requires that students leaving to study overseas must apply for a permit to leave. You will present the approved MTP during immigration at KLIA. Your advisor will aid you throughout the application process.


9. Book Flight, Covid Test, Passenger Locator Form

It’s time to book your one-way ticket to the UK! But before arriving in the UK, these are the necessary steps you will have to take:

  • Get a Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours before arrival

You must present a negative test result upon immigration in the UK. A negative test result must be in the form of a certified laboratory report or a report issued by a registered medical practitioner written ONLY in English. The Malaysian government has provided a list of approved facilities providing PCR tests.

You will need to book a Covid-19 test before travelling and leave enough time for it to be delivered to your address in the UK. You are required to self-isolate for 10 days while you wait for your test results. You can also choose to pay for an extra Test Release On Day 5, which gives you the ability to end your quarantine period earlier if tested negative. However, you will still need to complete the Day 8 Test as well.

You will need to show your form when you check in to travel or board your plane.


10. Get Fully Vaccinated (Not Required but Recommended!)

Last but not least, for your health and safety, be sure to get fully vaccinated in Malaysia before leaving abroad. However, you do not have to be fully vaccinated to be allowed entry and can still get vaccinated for free while in the UK. You can either book your vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre/pharmacy or you can find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment.


If you still have any questions regarding studying in the UK, contact us today, and we will be happy to assist you with your concerns. For more helpful information on Covid-19 and studying in the UK, check out our other blog posts here:

Stay safe and stay at home, everyone!

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