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Support for Study Abroad students

The extensive support on offer to study abroad students is just one of the reasons students choose to spend a semester or a year at Royal Holloway.  Study abroad students have access to a variety of academic and welfare support that is easily accessible due to Royal Holloway's campus setting.

Academic support

Most formal classroom teaching for study abroad is undertaken by permanent members of academic staff who are often leading authorities in their areas of research.

Each department has a study abroad coordinator, a faculty member who can give advice and guide students in their studies. In many cases, the coordinators have themselves studied or worked overseas and have first-hand knowledge of the kinds of experiences which study abroad students might encounter.

Learning environment and facilities

Royal Holloway provides excellent facilities across all faculties: there are two well-equipped libraries, a Computer Centre, several IT laboratories for teaching and for 24-hour independent internet access as well as a wireless network, theatre spaces, and specialist science laboratories including an MRI scanner and an Electron Microscopy Unit.

Teaching methods vary across subjects, and include seminars, lectures, workshops, fieldwork and laboratory work. The style of university-level teaching in the UK places special emphasis on the role of independent study. This approach encourages self-discipline and self-reliance, showing that education is not just about acquiring specific knowledge but is designed to develop lifelong transferable skills. For example students may spend time preparing coursework and researching for assignments, either individually or in small groups, in addition to their formal lectures and seminars.

Orientation and on-going Support

At the start of your time here, you will attend an Orientation Programme which takes place over a number of days. The programme includes information sessions on various aspects of academic and social life at Royal Holloway and will introduce you to many of the members of staff who are closely involved with Study Abroad students. These sessions aim to ensure that you settle quickly and easily into your new routine and have a clear sense of what is expected of you.

Our dedicated Study Abroad team work closely with colleagues across the college to ensure that the pre-and post-arrival arrangements are well coordinated and that Study Abroad students are fully supported whilst studying at Royal Holloway.

We have also recently introduced our Peer Guide scheme for Study Abroad students, so that they are supported  throughout their stay by a Royal Holloway student who has just returned from a year abroad and who understands the challenges that they may be facing.

Welfare support

In the tradition of British higher education, our students enjoy a great deal of personal freedom. However, we realise that students who are a long way from home may require additional support, and this is provided by a wide-ranging student support system.

The International Student Support office provides dedicated support to international students on campus.  This can range from helping with immigration issues to arranging social excursions.

There is a Health Centre on campus which deals with all aspects of student health. Qualified nursing staff provide a comprehensive service during term-time, and doctors attend daily for consultation. A psychiatrist and a physiotherapist are also available.

Students can also seek help from the Student Counselling Service for any matters of concern, be they personal, emotional, psychological or academic-related.


Students with specific learning needs

Students can get support from the Educational Support Office (ESO). The ESO coordinates the support for students with special educational requirements including specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dispraxia; mobility difficulties; special psychological needs; medical conditions or sensory impairments such as hearing or visual impairment. 

Support can be academic, personal or financial. If you feel you will require special needs support during your period of study at Royal Holloway, please indicate this when applying.


College accommodation is guaranteed to all study abroad students who apply before the specified deadlines.

Accommodation is provided in a variety of halls of residence, normally Runnymede, Gowar, Wedderburn, Reid or Founder's. All are centrally placed on the campus. 

Each student is allocated a single study bedroom, fully networked, many with private bathroom facilities.  Some of the halls are ‘self-catering’, which means there are facilities for you to cook your own meals; you share a kitchen, with a cooker, refrigerator and basic cooking equipment, with other students in your flat.

Social programme

Social events are a popular feature of the Study Abroad Programme. These run throughout the year and include a mixture of campus-based activities and excursions further afield. 

For example there are day trips to sites of historical and cultural interest, such as Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London or to the medieval walled city of Canterbury. Theatre trips are also a popular feature of the programme. The social programme provides an easy way to network with other students and to enjoy different aspects of the rich cultural life in the UK. In most cases, participation costs are included in the programme fee.


All students benefit from the range of food outlets on campus. There is no need to sign up to a meal plan, you can eat in any of the on-campus food outlets, on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis. There are special discounts if you have a Royal Holloway Residence & Catering Service (RCS) Account. 

You can also eat out in the local area, which offers a range of opportunities from fast food, pizzas and kebabs to local pubs or Indian, Italian and Thai restaurants.


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