International students on a trip

International student life at Imperial explained

International student life at Imperial explained

We’re proud to have one of the most vibrant and diverse student populations in the UK. Our students come from over 140 different countries, bringing with them an amazing array of different cultures, customs and cuisines. 

We're ranked as one of the UK's most international universities and the fifth most international in the world. We're also the UK university with the most international outlook, meaning that a significant amount of our research involves international collaboration.

So wherever you come from, you’ll be welcomed and accepted at Imperial. Plus our range of support for international students will help you quickly settle into life in the UK and at the College.

English courses and support

The Centre for Academic English offers free English language support throughout your time here. This includes in-sessional courses and workshops on academic writing, presentations, social English and academic listening, as well as one-to-one consultations and self-study resources to develop your academic language skills and literacy.

For language learning on a more informal basis it's possible to partner with a native English speaker at the College who wants to learn your language on an exchange basis by joining the Centre for Language, Culture and Communication's Language Pair scheme.

Find out more in this blog entry from our student blogger Paula about studying at Imperial as a non-native English speaker.

Visa and immigration advice

Professional advisors within our Visa team offer specialist advice on a wide range of UK visa and immigration issues, including work-after-study visa options and information on Schengen visas for travel in Europe.

The Visa team is based within our International Student Support team, and can provide you with dedicated advice on applying for a Tier 4 visa even before you arrive at the College, as well as other issues such as setting up a UK bank account.

Social programme

International students collageThe International Student Support team also runs a year-round programme of social activities that are open to all students.

This includes day trips to a range of places around the UK and a monthly Cosmopolitan Café event which offers an informal environment away from your studies where you can enjoy free refreshments, listen to guest speakers and meet people from all over the world.

The College also subscribes to a number of external organisations that offer further support for you including:

  • International Students House (ISH), which organises a variety of social events, talks and trips within the UK and Europe for students from a large number of London institutions
  • HOST UK, through which you can arrange to spend a weekend with a British family in a part of the UK that you would like to visit

Clubs and societies

We’re home to more than 45 cultural societies, including the Afro-Caribbean society, the Japanese society and the Scandinavian society, where you can meet students from your home country, or join others to gain a true intercultural experience. If you don’t see your own country currently represented, we can give you help to start your own society.