Woman seated on the floor in her lounge at home

Before you arrive

Read on to find out how to set up your University account, travelling to Cambridge and what information you need to provide before arriving in Cambridge.

Woman seated on the floor in her lounge at home


Letter from Professor Graham Virgo, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Dear offer holder, 

You are currently holding an offer to study at Cambridge and I am therefore writing to you to share the latest information on our plans for the academic year 2021-22.

Following the lifting of social distancing and other restrictions by the UK government, and the latest guidance from the Department for Education, I am pleased to say that we are planning to provide as much in-person teaching as we possibly can, along with access to libraries and other facilities in Cambridge.

We are ensuring that our plans take into account measures to stay as safe as possible. We will be reviewing our approach regularly. There may be changes to the health situation or government guidance between now and the start of the next academic year and so our plans may need to respond accordingly. The information below sets out what we plan to deliver, and how we will amend our plans if need be.

Teaching next academic year 

We expect to offer as normal the small-group teaching that is at the heart of the Cambridge experience: supervisions, practicals and seminars. We are planning to deliver this teaching, and as many lectures as possible, in-person. However, where there is a strong reason (for example, it improves the educational experience, or where we are assessing the safe use of lecture theatres for large cohorts of students during the first term, or where members of staff are unable to teach in person) we will use online delivery. If a Faculty or Department will be conducting some of its teaching online for any of these reasons this will be announced on the web page of the Faculty or Department by 30 September.  

Students will be expected to be in Cambridge for their studies. Those who cannot come to Cambridge should read the University’s policy on temporary permission to study remotely. Any application made will be judged on a case-by-case basis and in close discussion between the student and their college.

We have contingency plans in place that will respond to changes in the public health situation or if the UK government imposes restrictions. At the centre of our plans is the need to keep staff and students as safe as possible, while retaining as much of the normal learning and wider student experience as possible. Our contingency planning is therefore based on the following hierarchy of actions:

If it becomes necessary to have some mitigation measures in place to enable in-person teaching to be delivered safely, we will implement the appropriate measures, which may include social distancing or wearing face coverings. If it becomes necessary to move some or all teaching online due to safety concerns or to government guidance, we will do this and then revert to in-person teaching once this becomes possible. The first teaching to be moved online in these circumstances is likely to be lectures. We will do all we can to preserve small group teaching sessions and practicals for as long as we can.


Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) 

We will let students know if it becomes necessary to implement these plans.

Staying safe in Cambridge 

We will continue to work together as a community to keep ourselves and others as safe as possible while making the most of life at Cambridge. All students are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated as soon as they can. Information on vaccinations – including for international students – is available on our vaccination webpage.

The University will arrange COVID-19 testing for students on arrival and is prepared to provide appropriate testing throughout the first term and beyond if the public health situation requires it.

The University is currently in a transitional phase in which we have recommended the ongoing use of face coverings and social distancing in indoor work settings. We will provide more detail on the measures we will continue to adopt in our buildings closer to the start of term.

Supporting students

Colleges are our students’ Cambridge home and offer practical and pastoral support. This includes supporting those who have to self-isolate. If students have any concerns they can contact their Tutor, Director of Studies or college nurse. There is also help available from University services: for more information see our wellbeing webpages. For general information on the University’s response to COVID-19, see our coronavirus webpages.

We know that the pandemic is causing unexpected financial hardship for many people. See our information on central sources of financial support: these include funds for exceptional or unexpected hardship, unexpected medical costs, and hardship due to COVID-19, including support for quarantining costs if this is needed.

We wish you an enjoyable summer.

With very best wishes,


Professor Graham Virgo 

What is the latest information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic?

The University COVID-19 pages are constantly updated with up to date guidance. You can also view the latest Government advice. The International Student Office has useful information for those traveling to Cambridge from overseas.

How do I set up my University Account and Student Registration online?

You may set up your University Account and complete online Student Registration as soon as you receive the email with instructions.  This will have been sent by the Student Registry to your personal email address in late August or early September. Answers to queries about the process can be found on the New Students pages.

After completing registration you will be prompted to retrieve your CRSID  (also referred to as your Raven ID) and log-in information. This gives you access to:

your @cam email account.  It is essential to check this email account regularly, as all College and University communications will be directed to this address.  Departments, Faculties and instructors will be writing you at this address from the first week of October.  All students are expected to monitor and respond promptly to messages sent to their @cam account. your Microsoft Exchange Online email account. any Raven-protected resources and course materials provided by Departments and Faculties through intranets and the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). many of the University Library’s online resources. If you have any questions about setting up your online email account, please see information on IT for New Starters.
I have to register with the police, what do I need to do?

More information can be found on the International Students' Office site

Appointments will take place at the Police Station. Students should book an appointment after arriving in the UK, selecting a time for when they will have completed any quarantine period required. As long as they book an appointment, they do not need to worry about the timeframe to register.

I'm travelling to Wolfson from overseas, what do I need to know?

Students coming into College accommodation from abroad must observe the current government guidelines for entering the UK. You may need to quarantine when you arrive. For some countries, those on the "red list", this must be done in a managed quarantine hotel. For those from an "amber list" country there are different rules depending on your vaccination status (and where you were vaccinated), please make sure you read all the information available.

Information for students who are required to quarantine on arrival

Bring ID documents to Tutorial Office for scanning and/or registration. Students with Tier 4 visas must do this within 7 days of arrival. If the terms of your visa require you to register with the police, you must also do this within 7 days of arrival. However, you can ask for an appointment for a later date if you have to quarantine on arrival.

Further information on what to do before you travel is available on the International Students Pre-arrival Information page. This includes the following topics:

Form for students travelling from overseas

Collection of BRP (Tier 4 visa)

Registering with the police

Orientation Information for International Students

The International Students Office provides useful orientation information, including a guide for international students.

What do I need to do / bring to register at College?

You must register your personal details, including term-time address and emergency contacts on CamSIS. This is Cambridge’s system for handling student information, records and transactions. It is the official repository of your record from application all the way through to graduation. Please note that although you may have received your Raven ID and Password you will not be able to access your Self Service account until the start date of your first term. When you are able to login, please follow these instructions to complete registration:

Online Registration - It is essential you update your CamSIS term-time address and emergency contacts as soon as possible.

Keeping Term: Once a term the Tutorial Office will send an online form to full-time students to fill in to confirm that they have `kept` term.

Completing College Registration: what you need to show to the Tutorial Office within the first week of term:

If you are a/an: Bring the following original documents (copies or scans are not accepted):
UK national

EITHER a valid passport OR a full birth/adoption certificate issued in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland; OR a current photo-card driving licence (full or provisional), issued in the UK or Ireland, and confirming the holder was born within the EEA; OR a Deed of change of name; OR a certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British Citizen

EEA or Swiss national

EITHER a valid passport, OR a current National Identity card issued by an EEA country, OR a Registration Certificate, Permanent Residence card OR other document certifying permanent residence issued by the UK Home Office

non-EEA national

A valid passport and your Tier 4 Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).  Your visa must be sponsored by the University of Cambridge for the particular course you are undertaking this year.

Students are advised by the Home Office to collect their BRP within 10 days. This does not apply in the following circumstances: 
1.    to students who will collect their BRP from their College. 
2.    to students who will collect their BRP from the Post Office and need to self-isolate on arrival. They should collect their BRP as soon as possible after the 14 day self-isolation period. 

Tier 4 students from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA from 3 September can enter the UK using the eGates, if they are open at your port of entry. This will make passing through immigration control quicker as you won’t need to join a queue to speak to a Border Force officer. 

If you use eGates, you will need to bring your e-ticket, boarding pass or email confirmation from the airline to confirm your date of entry instead. 




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