International Student Support
Student Guidance Centre
Queen’s University Belfast
General Email: email@example.com
Immigration Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Events Email: email@example.com
Telephone: +44 (028) 9097 3820
If you are planning to bring your family with you to the UK it is vital that you prepare for this in advance and find accommodation which is suitable for them to live in.
You may also need to consider education and childcare arrangements.
Education for your family
If you are bringing or have brought your family with you, you should be aware that education in the UK is compulsory for all children between five and sixteen years of age and is normally free of charge. We would recommend that you organise this before you arrive in the UK as it can be very difficult to find a school quickly.
Guidance for school attendance in the UK can be found at the Department for Education website.
Crèche, Nursery, Childcare Facilities
We strongly recommend that you organise this before you arrive in the UK as it can be very difficult to find these facilities quickly.
If you want to place your children in the Queen’s crèche you should contact the crèche as far in advance of your arrival as possible. You can also choose to use other crèche facilities details of which can be found here.
When you have found a nursery or crèche you would like your children to attend, you must telephone them and make an appointment to discuss whether there are places available for your children. You will have to pay a monthly charge to the crèche.
It is your responsibility to find crèche for your children. Queen’s University cannot book this for you.
Types of schools in the UK
Children’s education in the UK begins with primary education the year a child turns five until they are eleven. Children then move to secondary school where they stay until they reach sixteen, seventeen or eighteen years of age. These are normally local authority maintained schools (State Schools) and are free to all children between the ages of five and sixteen. You could choose to send your child to an independent school, (private/public schools) but you would pay for their education.
You are expected to make sure that your child has a pen, pencil, ruler etc. but the cost of other more specialised equipment and books are covered by the school. You would be expected to pay for your child’s school uniform and items of sportswear. Charges may also be made for music lessons and for board and lodgings on residential trips.
When you have found a school you would like your children to attend, you must make an appointment with the Head Teacher to discuss whether they have places available.
To find a list of schools in the Belfast area click here and enter your Northern Ireland postcode in the highlighted box. This must be the post code for the address where you will live and not the University. Please note you cannot register your children for school enrolment until you arrive in the UK.
It is your responsibility to find a school for your children. Queen’s University cannot book this for you.
Most medical treatment in the UK is provided under the National Health Service (NHS). Some services are free and there are charges for others.
If you are following a full-time course of study lasting at more than six months you will be entitled to treatment under the National Health Service. If you are married, your spouse and any children will also be entitled to free cover.
If your course lasts less than six months, you will not be entitled to treatment except by a hospital in an emergency unless you come from a country which has a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK. Students from countries with which the UK has a reciprocal health care agreement may receive health care as "temporary residents”. Students from other countries may be required to show personal medical insurance.
In some cases reciprocal health care agreements exclude treatment for conditions that existed prior to your arrival in the UK. Check this before you leave your home country – speak to your doctor.
If you are studying a course that lasts less than six months, you should bring any regular medication with you as this medication will be charged at full cost. Click here for more information.
University Health Centre
The University Health Centre at Queen's is a General practice that provides both student-focused and general National Health services. They also provide University-funded, non-NHS services, for students of Queen’s.
The Health Centre operate a two week rolling release of routine appointments with their doctors.
They have phone access to a Duty Doctor for urgent medical queries from 8.30 to 11.00. They also have a Doctor who will deal with medical emergencies both morning and afternoon. Please note that the reception closes from 12.30 to 13.30 each day.
You can register with the University Health Centre:
Tuesday - Friday: 10.00-12.30 & 13.30-15.00
You must be registered with the practice in order to seek medical care and have more than 3 months left on your visa.
If you seek medical care privately and have private medical insurance. Your insurance provider may be able to assist with fee.
Please bring your BRP, passport, student card and address details to your appointment. Please note: It will take approximately 6 weeks to get your NHS card
7 University Terrace, Belfast, BT7 1NP
Appointments & Prescriptions: 028 9066 4634
Out of hours: 028 9079 6220
The two nearest hospitals to the University are:
Belfast City Hospital, 51 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB. Telephone: 02890 329 241
Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BA. Telephone: 028 9024 0503
What if I need medical advice?
111 is the NHS non-emergency free number. If you require medical help urgently call 999.
There is a charge for all dental treatment but it is less expensive to be treated under the NHS than as a private patient. It might not be possible to find a dentist who can provide you with dental treatment under NHS. When you register with a dentist you should check if they can treat you under the NHS. A list of dentists in Belfast is available from the University Health Centre.
Details of emergency dentists can be found here.
There is a minimum charge for an eye test and you will have to pay the cost of any spectacles or contact lenses you might need. Click here for a list of opticians in Belfast.
The national emergency number in the UK is 999. This is for Police, Ambulance and Fire Service and is only to be used for very serious emergencies.
If you are not sure about whether or not you should ring 999, you can ring Queen’s Security: Tel. 028 9097 5099 who will help you.
The national Non-emergency and general enquiries telephone number in the UK is 101. You can call 101 if you wish to report a non-emergency incident or hate crime.
What if I need medication late at night – where can I find an out of hours pharmacy?
The NHS Direct line will be able to tell you where you can find an out of hours pharmacy in Belfast. You could also check here.
What should I do about vaccinations/ immunisations?
You should visit your doctor in your home country before departing for the UK to check if you are required to have any vaccinations or if any are recommended. There are some vaccinations which the UK NHS recommends you should have before you arrive or soon after you arrive. Click here for more information.
Elms BT1, Elms BT2, Elms BT9 and Queen's Houses offer you the all-important space to live and enjoy student life to the full.
Queen’s currently has over 3,400 places in their student accommodation, which means you can take advantage of the most affordable, purpose-built student accommodation in the city.
Click here to view more information and apply today.
What about accommodation during Welcome and Orientation?
The residential year for University accommodation begins in September. If you are arriving for International Welcome and Orientation, you will be able to apply for a 39 week contract at the start of September.
What about accommodation for my family?
The University has accommodation for married students and families. All requests for University accommodation for families should be made to the Elms BT9 Reception. The University cannot book private accommodation on behalf of students. However, if you need help to find private accommodation please email International Student Support before you come to Belfast and you will be sent details of how to organise alternative accommodation.
If you cannot arrange accommodation for you and your family before coming to Northern Ireland, you are strongly advised to arrive by yourself and make suitable arrangements for your family to arrive later. A student who has been allocated a room in a Queen’s residence is not permitted to share that room with any unauthorised person. The cost of housing for a family is more expensive than renting a room in a house shared with other students.
Can I stay in University accommodation during the summer?
If you have not arranged to stay in University accommodation and wish to arrange your own accommodation in the private sector, you will be able to stay in University residences during the summer months up until the end of August. If you want to stay in University accommodation during the summer you should contact the Student Accommodation Office to discuss this.
What is private rented accommodation?
Private accommodation is not owned or managed by the University. It is owned by a `landlord’ who rents the property. When you rent private accommodation you will sign a contract and have legal obligations. You should be aware that you may have to spend a few weeks looking for somewhere to live before your course or research programme starts.
You can stay in the University residences until 31 August if you come to Belfast early to look for accommodation. Students who have arranged, or wish to arrange, accommodation in the private sector and require accommodation during Welcome and Orientation week, should contact Queen’s University Accommodation Office to check availability and contact International Student Support, who will be able to help you.
Some useful web resources:
If you are not moving into University accommodation you must book temporary accommodation before you leave home unless you are sure that you can move directly into long-term accommodation on the day you arrive in Belfast.
For hotels or hostels in the University area visit the official visitor website for Northern Ireland.
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11