Support for International Students

At Student Support and Wellbeing, we have a specialised service for International and European Union students with physical, neurological and medical conditions and impairments. Experienced professionals can assess your needs, tailor access strategies and interventions, and coordinate and monitor support throughout your studies.

Why do we have a specialised service?

We recognise the support systems in higher education vary globally. Therefore a student with an impairment who migrates from one society to another might require guidance and support, both before and during the university experience.  

We tailor our support by assessing the student's personal needs. For example, students who are on medication or receiving treatment prior to joining the university are supported in the identification and management of the different medical approaches in the home and host country.

By identifying differences, needs and support requirements early, we can help you have a positive university experience and reach your full potential at Kent.

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Our Aims for International Students

  • Assess your needs so we can ensure a smooth transition to the University of Kent.
  • Provide personal and organisational adjustments.
  • Provide advisory services in all areas of disabilities (sensory and mobility differences, medical conditions, autism and attention deficits, specific learning differences, mental health, chronic and medical conditions) during the application process, prior to arrival and enrolment, as well as throughout the academic year.
  • Provide specialised provision with the aim of tailoring a personalised wellbeing strategy for you.
  • Recommend student groups that promote activities with and for international students.
  • Monitor the progress and coordination of interventions through the academic year.
  • Prepare you for departure from Kent onto whatever you would like to do next.


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Our Services

The full range of International Student Support services are now available both online and in-person. Wherever you are in the world, you can get in touch with us by Live Chat, Phone, or by making an online enquiry. If you would like to visit our office on campus, please first book and appointment, as we have limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements.

Live chat hours

Wednesdays between 10-11 am (Need to create a link named JOIN LIVE CHAT)

Virtual drop-in session (10 min appointment):

Thursdays between  9.10 am – 9.40 am and 4 pm to 4.40 pm. 

Each drop-in session lasts for 10 minutes, and you can then book a longer appointment if necessary (need to create a link JOIN VIRTUAL DROP IN).

Virtual longer appointments (1 hour)

Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 am – 3 pm (excluding public holidays).

These virtual appointments are for in-depth assessment or monitoring of transition during our office hours.

Face-to-face appointments (1 hour)

Monday, Tuesday and Friday - available from 10 am - 3 pm (excluding public holidays).

These face-to-face appointments are for in-depth assessment or monitoring of transition. To book a longer appointment with an advisor contact us via email or phone.

F2F appointments are also available via Face, Skype, Zoom or MS Teams too. Please request such a service when calling or emailing reception.

International Mentoring

Individualised support is available to students for their planning and organising of academic related activities through the academic year. The service prides itself its invaluable positive effect on surmounting personal and academic related crisis. Access to the service is via prior assessment of needs.

Groups and Activities

The International and EU Wellbeing Group

This is a student lead group that meets every week on Thursdays from 2-4pm. The group meets physically or virtually to provide informal conversations amongst international students to improve their wellbeing.  The group organizes games and outings at different times in the calendar year. If you would like to find out more please email wellbeingevents@kent.ac.uk, or check out the Student Support and Wellbeing Events calendar.

Kent Community Oasis Garden

KentCOG will provide students the opportunity to take part in workshops and peer support activities with an aim to improve mental health and wellbeing.
If you want to learn more about ecotherapy and be part of group discussions surrounding mental health issues and its links, sign up via kentcog@kent.ac.uk.

International Student Groups

Here at the University of Kent, we have large and welcoming international student community. There are lots of student-led international groups for students of different nationalities, cultures and religions. All groups and societies can be found on Kent Unions Activities page.

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Funding

The University of Kent is committed to supporting international disabled students with their studies, and we encourage any international disabled students to register with our services as soon as possible so we can set up your support package as early as possible. ​Most of our academic-related disability services are free of charge and these might include creating an Inclusive Learning Plan (ILP), support with note taking, exam arrangements and mentoring.

Some funding may be available, for example:

  • If you have a sponsor, ask if they can contribute money to cover disability-related expenses. For example, some scholarships offer funding to cover disability-related costs.
  • You may be eligible for a grant from your own government, so contact your education department to ask what support they can provide.
  • You may be eligible for support from non-governmental organisations in your home country.

The University does not provide or fund support with daily living tasks, therefore you will need to think carefully about any non-academic, disability-related support requirements you may have, e.g. assistance with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry or personal care. We may be able to provide information on agencies that provide care assistants, but you need to be aware that you will probably have to meet the costs of this type of support yourself, as UK government welfare benefits are not available to international students.

Student Support can advise and help you with your DSA application. Click here for the government's guidance and application process.  The University does not provide or fund support with daily living tasks, therefore you will need to think carefully about any non-academic, disability-related support requirements you may have, e.g. assistance with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry or personal care. We may be able to provide information on agencies that provide care assistants, but you need to be aware that you will probably have to meet the costs of this type of support yourself, as UK government welfare benefits are not available to international students.

Where can I find more information?

  •  Information on supporting international disabled students is available from the Equality Challenge Unit
  •  Sources of funding for international students and further information on studying in the UK is available from the British Council

Scholarships and Financial Support

There are a number of UK scholarships and financial support schemes for international students with disabilities and special educational needs. These schemes may be run by UK or international governments, charities or businesses – or by the UK universities, colleges and schools themselves.

Ask your local British Council office, which you can find via the 'Choose your country' drop-down menu , or your teachers if they know of any such schemes you could apply for. You could also contact the institution you wish to apply to directly, to ask about scholarships and other financial assistance available for international students.

You can find out more about scholarships and financial support generally here.

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