School in Essex, England

We regularly welcome international students from a variety of countries to join our school community. Their families choose Colchester High School because of our commitment to academic excellence, character development, global perspectives and British values, as well as our excellent exam results, university destinations and strong focus on wellbeing.


The important thing is to think about the type of benefits that come with an education in a particular country. As a prospective student you are most likely looking for a college that:

  • Has a reputation for academic excellence and modern education
  • Has well regarded teaching staff and outstanding facilities
  • Enables students to excel, extending their strengths and interest
  • Offers friendly environment and a range of exciting activities
  • Provides safe accommodation and secure environment


At Colchester High School we pride ourselves on our outstanding academic reputation and work hard to ensure that we remain a highly respected school in the UK which is supported by our parent company Cognita Schools Limited. Our qualifications are respected throughout the world and are seen as a gold standard in academic performance.

We offer a wide a range of courses up to GCSE Level which will pave the way for entry to A Level Courses and many esteemed higher education institutions in the UK. We also offer a wide array of additional activities and events on our school campuses throughout the UK.


The experience of studying abroad alongside a wide array of students from many different backgrounds can be transformative; Colchester High School offers plenty of support which ensures that no matter what educational background students come from, they can take advantage of every opportunity. By deciding to study in the UK, every student becomes a part of a centuries-old tradition and part of a thriving community in our colleges.


Furthermore, English language skills are an important part of the Colchester High School curriculum and English as an additional language (EAL) support can be offered if required. However, our students can also learn English on their own by attending short term IELTS courses, specifically designed to quickly improve English language skills



British qualifications are respected and recognised around the world. Study in the UK and you’ll gain valuable experience of speaking English in its native country and demonstrate to future employers your independence and personal drive. Of course, you’ll also be gaining the skills, qualifications and experience you need to succeed in your chosen career.


When it comes to choosing the right university you should know that Britain has some of the most famous universities in the world, including University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. Educational institutions across the country have earned a well-deserved reputation for high levels of quality and high standards of teaching. By studying in the UK, you’ll be part of that educational heritage.


Britain is a multicultural country with plenty to see and do. You’ll meet students from all over the world and experience many different cultures. You’ll have plenty of free time to socialise with your new friends and to explore the country. It will be an enriching and rewarding experience that will change your life.

To study the GCSE programme you will need to demonstrate an English language level equivalent to the following:

  • IELTS 4.0
  • TOEFL 477 (computer test equivalent 153)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic 40-43

How to apply to Colchester High School

Submit your application:

Simply complete our online enquiry form and our admissions team will be in touch within 48 hours. We will listen to your requirements and endeavour to answer all your questions so you can be confident that Colchester High School is the right school for your child. Once you are ready to submit your application please do so ensuring you have the following items.

Document submissions checklist for this stage:

  • Completed application form with full contact details for student and parent/guardian.
  • Your official transcripts from your previous school, both in the original language and translated into English.
  • For child student visa applicants only, completed English language test such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • A copy of your passport. If a passport is not available at the time of application only a conditional offer can be issued upon receipt before confirmation.
  • A copy of any previous Tier 4 visa’s with relevant transcripts for that institution (if any)
  • UK School reference for students transferring from a UK school (if any).
  • Portfolio – art and design students may be asked to show a portfolio to support their application.

Admissions office address is as follows:

International Admissions
Colchester High School,
Wellesley Road,
CO3 3HD,

If you have been in touch with an Agent in your country then you can return your completed form to your agent.

Availability Check:

We will check that there are places available on your chosen course.

Entry Requirements Check:

We will then ensure that you have the necessary English language and academic entry requirements for the course you wish to study.

Offer of a place or an alternative plan:

If there is a place available and you meet the necessary entry requirements, then we will write to you with a formal offer of a place at Colchester High School. If the course is full or you do not meet the requirements, we will offer you an alternative study plan.


To confirm your acceptance of the offer and secure your place you will be required to pay a deposit. Read more about the confirmation payment on our fees and payments page.

Received an offer?

Congratulations! Soon you could be studying with us at Colchester High School. There are just a few more steps to secure your place.

Confirm your place

Contact our admissions team to secure your place and pay your deposit. We will then check availability of your chosen accommodation option and reserve a place for you.

Sit your examinations

If you have received a ‘conditional offer’ this means you have a place on a course providing you meet certain conditions such as passing English language or academic tests. Once you have passed these criteria your offer will become ‘unconditional’. You will need to hold an unconditional offer to apply for a visa, however you can confirm your place at the conditional offer stage. If you have confirmed your place but fail to pass the required criteria we can refund your deposit or defer your place*.

Pay tuition fee installment

You will be asked to pay a portion of your tuition fee upfront.

Apply for your visa

We will then issue you with a CAS number which you will need when applying for your visa to study in the UK.

Read pre-arrival information 

How to apply for a student visa:

When you confirm an ‘unconditional offer’ of a place on a course at Colchester High School, the next step for most students is to apply for a visa. The application procedure can be time consuming, so you must submit your application well in advance of the start of the course (at least four weeks).

Depending on the course you are applying for and your country of residence, there are different visas you can apply for. Take the UK visas questionnaire to find out the type of visa you need.

Most international students apply to come to the UK on a Tier 4 student visa. Watch this short video about Tier 4 visas and how to apply.

Tier 4 visas

In 2009 the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) introduced a points-based system for visa applications.  Within this new system, Tier 4 relates to overseas students (not UK or EU) who want to study in the UK. Tier 4 visa applicants need to be sponsored by an institution registered with the Border Agency.  All Tier 4 visa applications also need to include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number. This is issued by Colchester High School when you confirm your place on a course.

Submitting the correct documents

It is important that you fill out your application form carefully and include all of the required documents when you submit your visa application. The documents required change from case-to-case but might include photographs, educational certificates, information about your accommodation in the UK, evidence that you can pay for your studies and your Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number issued by Colchester High School. Many applications are decided on paper only so failure to include all the necessary information may result in your application being rejected.

When you fill out the form please also make sure that the qualifications listed in and enclosed with, your visa application match what is written in the ‘Documents assessed’ section on your CAS statement (your CAS is issued by Colchester High School when your offer of a place is confirmed). Please note: If your VISA is refused your CAS will no longer be valid and you will need a new CAS to be able to re-apply for a visa.

Once you have all the necessary information and have filled out the application form, you can then submit it to your nearest British Embassy, usually in your country. You will need to submit your application at least four weeks before your course start date. The address of your local British Embassy can be found on the following websites:

Student Credibility Interviews:

In December 2012 the Home Secretary announced that Credibility Interviews with UKBA Entry Clearance Officers (ECO’s) will now be introduced worldwide with the intention to interview 100,000 students applying from outside the UK. This will not include “low risk nationals”. Click here to read the full list of “low risk” nationals.

To achieve this, the Home Office will be introducing a new video interview whereby all students will be asked to sit a short video interview with a member of Home Office staff based in the UK and this will form part of the usual visa application process. The Home Office will begin the new video interviews across all regions throughout May 2013 and will be fully implemented worldwide by June 2013.

Colchester Hikgh School is seeking to work closely with the Home Office and other relevant bodies and associations to assist in producing information and training materials to help students and understand the new Credibility Interview process.

Cognita Schools Guide to Home Office Credibility Interviews

In addition, we have produced our own information guides, including example questions, to provide support and help for our partners and students.


  • Proof of sufficient funds for your studies: e.g. bank statement
  • CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies): You will receive this when you have confirmed your ‘unconditional offer’
  • Visa fee
  • Current passport or travel document
  • Completed application form
  • Educational certificates and transcripts
  • Evidence of English language level (e.g. IELTS)
  • Details of government or private sponsorship if you are sponsored


English Level Assessment:

In order to qualify for a UK student visa you must have your English language level assessed. There are three recognised awarding bodies: IELTS, TOEFL and Pearson.

You may be able to take a test online, or alternatively visit the following pages to find your nearest test centre:

Preparing for your time at Colchester High School

Once you have confirmed your place on a course with us, you’ll probably start thinking about what it is going to be like living and studying in the UK at Colchester High School.

Moving to another country to study is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, so it is understandable that a lot of students feel a mixture of nerves and excitement!

The information on this page is designed to help you prepare for coming to study in the UK. It is normal to feel some homesickness to begin with while you adjust to your new life, but remember everyone is in the same boat and we have a team of friendly staff who are there to make sure your experience at Colchester High School school is a happy one.

What to pack

Essential items to bring with you include:

  • Passport
  • Visa/Home Office letter
  • CAS
  • Offer letter
  • Qualifications certificates
  • Passport style photographs
  • Accommodation documents
  • Essential toiletries and medications
  • An alarm clock – for those early starts!
  • Photographs of family and friends to make you feel at home in your new room

British life

Life in Britain will almost certainly be different from what you are used to. It is difficult to define exactly what the ‘British’ way of life is as British residents come from all over the world and a variety of cultural backgrounds. You will almost certainly notice some differences to your home country, but it won’t take you long to become accustomed. It is important, however that you make sure your behaviour is safe and legal.

British etiquette

The British are known to be reserved in manners, dress and speech. Britain is famous for politeness, self-discipline and the ‘ironic’ sense of humour. Basic politeness (please, thank you and excuse me) is expected. Here are a few tips on British manners:

  • In England people form orderly queues (stand in line) and wait patiently for their turn, for example when boarding a bus.
  • Put your litter in the bin – dropping rubbish in the street is illegal and damaging to the environment
  • Do try to be considerate about noise, especially at night when people are sleeping and when talking on mobile phones.
  • Smoking in all indoor public places (this includes platforms at train stations) in the UK is now illegal
  • British people may call you terms of endearment, such as “mate” or “love”. Do not be offended, they are just being friendly!


Although Britain has traditional dishes such as fish and chips or English breakfast, food in Britain is considered to be very multicultural.

At Colchester High School, Years 9-11 have an option to purchase lunch from our cafe “Wellesley’s” who offer hot and cold food such as delicious panini’s, soup of the day, filled rolls and sandwiches, and other home cooked items.

A few tips for staying safe:

  • Use only licensed taxis with official council plates on the back
  • Don’t go out alone at night- bring a friend with you, or if you have to be alone make sure someone knows where you are at all times
  • Look both ways before you cross a road- remember the traffic travels on the left in the UK
  • Be careful when sunbathing- use a high factor sun protection cream and don’t stay out in the sun too long


Colchester High School is committed to equality and to ensuring that you do not face discrimination whilst you are studying. Although we hope you do not encounter any racism in the UK, unfortunately no society is perfect. Remember it is your right to feel comfortable in the country you are living in and if anyone behaves in an abusive or intimidating way towards you, you must report it to a member of staff or the police.


Whilst in the UK, you will need to budget carefully to cover all of your living costs, which include accommodation, clothes, transport, books, food and entertainment. The cost of living varies depending on where you are living and your lifestyle but the school will be able to give you advice on budgeting.

If you are coming to the UK for at least an academic year, it is recommended that you open a bank account. The school will advise you on opening an account during your induction.


The British weather is known for being unpredictable, so it is good to be prepared.

  • Autumn- September to November: The weather in autumn is mild yet unpredictable. You might get a few warm sunny days but be prepared for the occasional downpour. You’ll need warm jackets and jumpers and an umbrella.
  • Winter- December to February: These are the coldest months. Make sure you pack jumpers, warm coats and boots, a rain coat and umbrella are advisable too.
  • Spring-March to May: Plenty of bright and sunny days, but the evenings can be cool. Don’t put away your umbrella just yet!
  • Summer- June to August: British summertime can be very pleasant indeed! Bring light clothes and footwear to enjoy afternoons on the beach or picnicking in the park. However we do see the odd rainy day in summer too.

Your first week


We suggest that you arrive at least two days before the start of your course. This will allow you to recover from your journey and settle into your accommodation.


You should have your passport, visa (if required), air tickets, enrolment and accommodation documents from Colchester High School with you as you go through immigration. You must be clear and know where you are going in the UK, which course you are studying and how long you will be at Colchester High School. You should also be clear as to where you are staying in the UK. This will assist you to enter smoothly into the UK. If on entering the UK your visa is stamped with the words “Register with UK police on arrival” this must be done shortly after arrival. Staff at Colchester High School will help you with this. They will direct you to the appropriate police station and advise you which documents you need to take with you.

Taxi transfer/airport pick-up

If you have booked a taxi transfer from the airport to your host family you will be met at the airport and taken to your accommodation. A member of your host family, if pre-arranged, or our guardianship team will be waiting for you in the airport arrivals halls holding a Cognita Schools sign. If you cannot find the representative, go to the airport information desk and ask the staff there to make an announcement giving your name and the name of the school (Colchester High School).


During your first few days and weeks we will help you to settle in as quickly as possible. You will have a full induction programme so that you can meet your tutors and other members of the School’s support staff. You can also get to know your fellow students and start to make the friendships that will last a lifetime. The induction programme can be from one to three days depending on your start date, the school you are attending and the number of students starting their course with you.

The topics that are usually covered at induction are:

  • Police registration
  • Advice on opening a bank account
  • Sports and social activities
  • Library facilities
  • Computer facilities
  • Introduction to college staff
  • English language testing
  • Meetings with your course teachers
  • Getting to know your fellow students

School Fees 2021/22

Year Group International Termly Fees
Nursery £4,200
Reception £4,100
Year 1 & 2 £4,100
Year 3 & 4 £4,800
Year 5 & 6 £5,200
Year 7 -11 £5,700
EAL Support £1,945

All fees from Reception to Year 8 include tuition, most after school clubs, stationery, textbooks and craft materials as well as a hot healthy luncheon comprising of  choice of vegetarian and non vegetarian meals.

Year 9 to 11 need to make their own provision for lunch.

* An international student is a person who is not an EEA or Swiss national and has limited leave to remain in the UK. This includes dependents on tier 1 (entrepreneur), tier 2 (general work), tier 4 (student), diplomatic and military visas, as well as those whom we sponsor on tier 4 (child) student visas. Please note these examples are not exhaustive.

Sponsored international students – tier 4 (child) student visas

Colchester High School is part of the Cognita family of schools. Cognita Schools Ltd holds a licence to sponsor international students on tier 4 (child) student visas. Cognita’s international team will support you every step of the way through the visa process. Please note families will need to pay a deposit of £6,000 before Cognita are able to begin the tier 4 visa sponsorship process. We also require the full year’s international fees to be settled before enrolling at school.


External examinations fees for GCSE’s will be invoiced separately. A £175 administration charge covers stationery, invigilator costs, postage etc

Registration and Acceptance Fees

A £125 non-refundable registration fee is required to register for a place at the school and £6,000 deposit and one year’s fees in advance is required upon acceptance of a place. The deposit is held and refunded against the final term’s fees.

Personal and Accident Insurance

The safety of our pupils is paramount and all our pupils are insured whilst on the school premises. The cost of this is £15.00 per term and includes Dental Cover.

Methods of Payment                 

Payment Options:

  • Direct Bank Transfer to : Bank of Scotland, London / SortCode : 12-01-03 / IBAN: GB43BOFS12010306053186 / SWIFT: BOFSGB21254 / Account No : 06053186 / Account Name: Cognita Schools Ltd trading as Colchester High School Ltd

      * Please ensure that your quote your Parent ID code on all direct bank transfers

  • Full details of Annual Fees, Insurances and Payment Methods are available from the Finance Office
  • We are not permitted to accept cash payments for termly fees     

We work closely with host family and guardianship agencies who ensure that host families are carefully selected to ensure friendly, safe and comfortable environments in which students are able to both relax and study effectively.

Each student has a single or twin study bedroom. Bathroom facilities are usually shared. Host family expenses include accommodation, breakfast and evening meals during the week, and breakfast, lunch and an evening meal over the weekends and during the holidays. Also included is laundry service (not dry cleaning).

Additional accommodation over the holiday periods (Christmas, Easter and Summer) will incur additional charges per week full board.


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Main Tel:
01206 573389
After School Club:
07505 436582
Early Years Wraparound:
01206 217110