When arriving in London you will need to go through passport control. If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, you will just need to show your passport. If you are coming to the UK from outside the EEA, you may have to show the following documents:
- proof that you have enrolled on a course for a minimum of 15 hours a week
- a letter from the College to confirm that you have booked a place
- details of your accommodation in London
- proof that you have enough money to pay for your studies and to support yourself while you are abroad
To check the requirements for your country, ask your local British embassy or visit www.ukvisas.gov.uk. For more details about immigration, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website at www.ukcisa.org.uk.
Getting to KAE
We are located in Notting Hill Gate, which is on the Central, Circle and District lines. Using public transport is the cheapest way to travel into London from the airport and Eurostar. If you are flying into London Heathrow, the Piccadilly Underground line takes you right into central London with connections to other airports, and overland trains.
If you want to get a taxi from the airport, make sure it is a licensed ‘black cab’, as their rates are fixed and unlicensed taxis can sometimes take advantage of people from other countries.
For information on travelling to our residences, details can be sent to you before your course begins. You can download our ‘How to get to Kensington Academy’ guide or you can also check the London Underground map on the Transport for London website.
If you prefer, we can arrange a meeting and transfer service from the airport or station to take you to your accommodation. For more information on how to arrange a transfer see our airport transfer page.
Your first week
On your first day you will need to bring your passport and a photo for your student card. You should bring two photos if you are studying for more than 14 weeks and want a travel discount card. A pen and paper will also be useful.
A member of our enrolments team will ask you to sit a placement test. The test covers grammar, vocabulary, listening and speaking skills, so it allows us find out about your language ability so we can place you in a suitable class.
Your First Class
Your first class will give your an opportunity to start speaking English and get to know your teacher and your classmates. You will be given homework every day to help you remember what you have studied and to prepare you for the next day’s lesson.
We will invite you to a welcome meeting, where you can find out more about the school and will be given a ‘welcome pack’, our Students’ Handbook, a guide to social events and your personalised computer log-in details. Your first lesson will be a great opportunity to get to know your teachers and classmates. We will provide you with the study materials you need beforehand.
Kensington Academy is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people. Our students are treated like adults and are expected to look after themselves, but we realise the experience of living and studying independently in another country can be challenging.
We aim to provide plenty of support. Students have a ‘welfare interview’ in their first week, to discuss their learning objectives, to make sure the course they are enrolled on meets their requirements, and to discuss their general welfare. After the first week, we then schedule one-to-one tutorial sessions every six weeks to discuss these matters.
Our Welfare Officer, Accommodation Officer, Social Programme Organiser and Director of Studies will be on hand for advice, plus we provide a 24-hour school helpline for emergencies.
We want to make sure that your stay in London is as comfortable, enjoyable and productive as possible.
The UK has excellent communications services, which make it simple for you to keep in contact with friends and family back home. The postal service and telecommunications network are fast and reliable, and it should be easy for you to gain access to email and the internet.
If you are phoning home, the cheapest way might be to buy a pre-paid phonecard. They come in different values – like £5, £10 and £20 – and you can buy them in newsagents, post offices and supermarkets. International calls are cheapest between 6pm and 8am on weekday nights, and at weekends (from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday).
While you are in London it is worth applying for an Oyster Card – a travel card you top up with credit when you want to travel. Oyster Card journeys are the cheapest way to travel on public transport in London. They store up to £90 of travel credit and this can be used on the London Underground, buses, trams, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and some National Rail services.