International students with dependents

Information on schooling and finding accommodation if you are bringing family with you.

Bringing your family

To find out information on who is eligible to bring dependents to the UK and who is classed as a dependent please visit our visas and immigration webpages.

Childcare before school age

The best way for caring for children under the age of five is for you and your spouse to organise your study and free time to ensure that you personally meet the needs of your children. Once you receive your timetable you will be able to organise this. Childcare for children under five is expensive and places are limited. 

If you need help with childcare you can choose to send pre-school age children to either a nursery or a childminder. If someone in your household works they may be eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare for a child between the ages of three to four. However, if you are a student with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) then you will not be eligible for free childcare. You would need to find a childcare setting that accepts these free hours.


A nursery is a place where children are looked after in a group setting in a designated building. They usually take children from six months to four years old and are open from 08:00:18:00, although each nursery will have their own opening hours. You should expect to pay upwards of £1,100 for a full-time nursery place each month.

Halley Nursery

We have an on-campus nursery. Places are limited so as soon as you have accepted your place you should put your child’s name on the waiting list if you would like to send them.

Halley Nursery


A childminder is usually an individual with specific qualifications who looks after a small number of children within their home. Each childminder would set their own working hours and fees.


Schooling for your children

In the UK, attendance at school is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. Children are eligible to attend school the September after their fourth birthday. Your child can attend government primary and secondary schools in the UK as long as they are here as your dependents. You will not have to pay for this. However, schools may sometimes refuse places to children if they consider their stay in the UK will be too short or if they have no free places.

A primary school is for children aged 4-11 and a secondary school is for children aged 11-16.


We can only offer accommodation to individual students, so if your family will be living with you, you will need to find private accommodation. It is important that you plan and find accommodation before you move your dependents over as it can take a while to find appropriate accommodation as demand for private accommodation is high in Bristol. You might need to stay in temporary accommodation (ideally with friends or extended family or in an AirBnB or hotel) whilst you look for suitable accommodation in an area that will work for all your family’s needs.

You can contact any local letting agent and view properties on their websites. We do not advise you pay any money or sign any contracts before you have actually viewed the property. If you can, ask a trusted friend or a family member living in the UK to help as they will be more familiar with the market. The Students’ Union Advice Centre can help with determining if a contract is legitimate.

You must disclose all relevant details to letting agents or landlords when searching for accommodation. For example, you must tell them if children will live in the property because some properties are not suitable for younger children and if a landlord finds out later that you falsified information the contract can be broken.

Depending on where you come from you may think rental costs are reasonable or expensive. An average two-bedroom property in Bristol costs around £1,200 per month.

When thinking about where to choose to live you may want to think about some of the following things:

  • What is your budget as this will determine where you can afford to live?
  • How far the accommodation is from UWE Bristol?
  • Is it near local schools/childcare facilities and local amenities like a GP (doctor) surgery or play parks?

If you are an international student and cannot get a UK guarantor then we are aware of some companies who act as your guarantor for a small fee. Try UK Guarantor and Housing Hand.

Further information about how to look for private accommodation in Bristol. If you would like some help searching for private accommodation, please complete this short form.

The Students' Union have compiled a list of accommodation options, including details for local letting agencies.

Accommodation options (PDF)

Short-term options

If you find you need a bit more time to find somewhere permanent and need temporary accommodation whilst you search then there are lots of hotels, hostels and Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) in Bristol.

If you have questions or concerns about accommodation, please contact the Students' Union Advice Centre.

Registering with a doctor

We strongly recommend that you and your family register with a local general practitioner (GP) within the first couple of weeks of arriving at university, even if you do not feel ill. This is to make it easier to see a doctor when you need to, as GPs are often unable to give appointments to people not registered at their surgery, except in a real emergency.

Choose a surgery

You can choose whether to register at the University Health Centre or at another GP practice local to where you live.

Register with a doctor

Contact us

If you would like to contact us about any further questions about life in the UK with your family contact the Global Student Support Team at