Students in self-isolation

The safety and wellbeing of our students is our number one priority. With this in mind, the University have put together some useful information for students living in private sector accommodation, who may need to self-isolate after arriving in the UK.  

The Essentials

Food and drink

There’s a wide range of options available to you; some need to be arranged for in advance, while some can be delivered to you within one hour of ordering. 

If you would like to get your fresh groceries and food on demand, we’d recommend using the services below. They work alongside local supermarkets and convenience stores such as Londis, the Co-op, and Marks & Spencer and charge a relatively small delivery fee. 

Larger supermarket chains such as TescoAsda, and Ocado can facilitate larger deliveries of groceries. However, you will need to book at least a day in advance, there’s usually a minimum spend, and delivery costs can be a little bit higher. We'd suggest grouping up with your flatmates to minimise delivery costs if this is the option you'd like to choose.

Alternatively, you might want to consider ordering weekly recipe boxes, where you’re expected to use the fresh ingredients to cook your meals for each day of the week. If you wish to take up this option, you’ll also typically need to order it as early as a week in advance. More information on the options available can be found below. 

  • Hello Fresh - With 21 recipes to choose from every week, each one packed with fresh and seasonal ingredients, there's always something new to bring to your table. 

  • Gousto - Cook up impressive meals from just £2.98 per serving, with all of the flavour and none of the fuss. 

  • Mindful Chef - The UK’s highest approved recipe box, with fresh and local ingredients. 

  • Abel & Cole - Organic, ethical, seasonal and sustainable. Abel & Cole provide lots of meat alternatives and plant-based meals.  

Things to get involved in 

Books in Isolation: A book club for Birmingham Students

This is a virtual book club for students who have had to self-isolate after arriving to start studying in the UK. It will be taking place on 10am-12pm on Tuesday 15 September.

What is a book club?

This means that we’ve picked out a book for everyone to read and then will meet (virtually!) to discuss what everyone thought of the book, what you thought were the best (or worst) bits, if any parts, characters, plots were particularly important or interested you! This will hopefully spark an interesting conversation about what the author’s intentions were, whether they were successful and simply whether the book is good or not! The discussion will be led by a member of staff and the book will be available for free online or through the university library’s online catalogue ( It will be open to all opinions and thoughts on the book, its context in society and where it fits within its genre.

Why should I get involved?

It is going to be great chance to meet other students in the same situation as you whilst never having to leave your own room! Book clubs are a great way of not only meeting people to getting to know what they like and think about a whole range of topics. Plus, you will get to read a great book – well hopefully you’ll think so!

Please note: you don’t have to have finished reading the book to attend the session.

The books are free to download via the following links:

Sign up today

The Postgraduate Sessions

The Origami Challenge

We are hosting a range of virtual games for you to get involved in, including our unique origami challenge. Using breakout rooms in Zoom, we will branch off into small groups. Your group will have the opportunity to create origami pieces with verbal instructions, and then with written instructions - and then we will compare the results!

Sign up today

Meet other students through our new society

We’re launching the Café Society for postgraduate students on 5 September, and we’d love for you to be part of it. We find that a chat over a cup of tea or coffee can be incredibly therapeutic, and also a great way to meet new people!

Further information about how you can get involved will be in your welcome email.

Sign up today

PGT Essentials for International Students

On Tuesday 15 September Lizzie, from the University Graduate School, will be covering top tips and considerations for getting started with Postgraduate Taught study at Birmingham. The event will run from 10am to 12pm.

Sign up today

Activate your Academic English

We’ve created a course on Canvas, our virtual learning platform, which is dedicated to helping international students develop their academic English skills. You’ll be invited to attend a series of live webinars running daily from 7-18 September which are targeted at enabling you to develop your speaking, reading and listening skills. This in-depth course includes topics such as: 

  • Making the most of online lectures

  • Using source material effectively

  • Avoiding plagiarism

  • Critical reading

  • Presentation tips and techniques

  • What to do with feedback

You’ll also have the opportunity to get some feedback on the quality of your writing and you’ll be able to sign up for a one-on-one tutorial with our Birmingham International Academy teaching team. 

The course is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. To enrol on the Canvas course, you’ll need to make sure you’ve completed University registration

Enrol on the course

Get a headstart with our online resources

The Library Services team at the University has prepared a range of content to help you get ahead. Whether it's making a start on your course reading, developing your digital skills, or focusing on improving your wellbeing, they've got you covered.

More information: 

Cultural awareness and intercultural communication

Meet Alex

Alex Ferranti is the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Administrator in Student Services. He was born in Brazil, but has also lived in Japan and Spain. He has a strong international background and his periods living, working and studying abroad have helped him to develop cultural awareness and gain practical skills in intercultural communication. Join Alex on this interactive session to explore the different aspects of living and adaption to life in another country.

When is it and how do I join?

Wednesday 9 and 16 September 4-5pm

To join this session, please email Alex Ferranti to receive your invitation.

Learning Online

This workshop and Q&A will explore some of the strategies and tools needed for learning online. We’ll cover skills such as time management, notetaking and communication. It will be delivered by the Academic Skills Centre on Wednesday 16 September, between 2-3pm.

Book your place

Wellbeing Support 

While self-isolating you can still access the mental health and wellbeing support services online


Professional Services