Preparing for Re-Entry to the UK for Study or Work
Updated by Tory Martin, 2020
Notes for TCKs and their parents
Take advantage of any re-entry workshops that may be offered by your school or SIL where you are located. Other re-entry workshops in the UK are available and may be found using the following websites:
If you have any connections to British friends, families, churches in your host country or in the UK, ask to have some time with them to find out about the UK: trends, politics, student life, fashion, media.
Read any Re-entry Resources Available National Insurance Number
You will need to apply for a National Insurance number whether you are intending to enter university immediately or if you’re 18 years old and aiming to work. Normally, you will need a child benefit number for the application.
It is advised that students have a gap year or at least 6 months in the UK before they start full time study. This allows time to transition well: getting to know the culture, finding friends, reconnecting with family, getting some work experience and earning some money.
However, if you are intending to enter university on entry to the UK and would like to apply for funding for the course, you will need both a bank account and a National Insurance number before applying for it. You can apply for funding through Student Finance. Applying for university in the UK is a complex process. For further support:
Career Guidance and Work During a Gap Year
Young people in the UK tend to try to find work for a few hours each week from the age of 16 or so but they must also be in some form of education until they are 18 years old. Some MKs who have returned to the UK at university entry age have felt their lack of work experience because of living overseas has compromised their ability to find work. So it would be to your advantage to find some work which would help you develop a CV. If you cannot work officially for pay in your host country/current location, then volunteering would still give you a CV and a potential referee — employers want to see you are a good and reliable worker.
Once you’re in the UK decide whether you want work that relates to your future area of study or any work to earn money and start looking to see what may be available. You will need to create a CV in order to apply for work. Connecting with other Christians, friends, families and churches and asking them about possible opportunities they may know of can be a great way to find work. There are also temping agencies with which you can register.
Staying in the UK While Your Immediate Family is Overseas?
If you are likely to be attending university while your family continues working overseas, it is important that you have a ‘second home’ and family who you can connect with whilst in the UK. They may be extended family, a family for church but this is something that needs to be in place.