International Student Office
Guide to phones and internet connections
Where can I buy international phone cards?
The newsagents shop opposite the Parkinson Building steps is one of the closest places to campus
where there is a big range of international phone cards. If there is a Student Union society with members
from your home country it is also a good idea to ask them for advice about where to get phone cards
which are good value for calls to your country. You can get the e-mail addresses for the different
societies from the International Student Office or on the Leeds University Union website
www.luuonline.com Look in the “A-Z of Contacts” part of the societies section.
Where are there public phones around the campus?
There are public phones outside the Parkinson Building, in the Student Union, halls of residence, the
Sports Hall, EC Stoner level 9 Physics department, Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Earth Sciences,
Electronic and Electrical Engineering, English, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geography and Worsley
How can I e-mail home when I first arrive?
Because of the University’s strict policy on IT security it is not possible to have access to
e-mail facilities in University computer clusters until you have registered with the University.
If you arrive during the International Welcome Programme you can use the computer facilities in the
Student Union, upstairs in the Activity and Resource Centre from 10 am – 6 pm on weekdays and from
2 pm – 4 pm at the weekends. If you arrive at other times of the year, the International Student Office
can give you information about local internet cafés and libraries with internet access.
I want to buy a mobile phone. What do you suggest?
You can get a pay-as-you-go mobile phone very quickly and it is easy to keep track of how much you are
spending on phone calls. However if you are ringing home regularly on your mobile phone this may not
be the best option.
It will take you longer to buy a phone with a contract which you pay monthly. You will need to have a
bank account and be able to show proof of your UK address – usually in the form of a bank statement,
credit card statement or utility bill (electricity, gas, water, telephone) - as well as proof of your identity.
When buying a contract phone you also need to spend time comparing the different packages on offer. If
you don’t get the right amount of inclusive calls you could find that your monthly phone bills are very
When you are choosing your mobile phone it is best not to buy in a hurry. Making the wrong decision
can be expensive. Think about how you are likely to use a mobile phone while you are in the UK. You
may use it differently from the way you used one back home. If there is a landline where you are living
you may find you use this more of the time because it is cheaper for your friends and family to ring you.
There are many shops in Leeds that can give you information about mobile phones. Some only offer
phones from one network. It is better to start by going to a shop that offers products from a range of
different suppliers. Then you can compare the different offers. Once you have an idea of which network
you want to choose, you could also go to a shop that only deals with that network to see if they have a
A good place to start looking for your phone is Commercial Street in the city centre. Shops dealing with a
range of different suppliers include:-
Phones 4 U
Details of other mobile phone shops can be found in the Yellow Pages. You can look at a copy of this in
the International Student Office or on the website www.yell.com
I have brought my own laptop from home. Can I use it straight away to connect to the University
You will need to take your laptop to the University computer services (ISS) to be checked before
connecting it to the University network. They will make sure it is virus-free and that windows security
patches are installed to prevent the computer from being vulnerable to viruses. Go to the ISS Help Desk
on red route on level 10 above the main entrance to the Edward Boyle Library. ISS will also arrange for
your machine to be registered on the University network. It is not possible to use laptops in University
There is no internet connection where I am living. How do I get one?
If you are in University accommodation you will first need to ask permission from the site office to have
your connection installed. The site office is likely to be able to tell you which company normally supplies
phone lines and broadband connections to the building.
If you are in private-sector housing you will need to ask your landlord’s permission to install your
In both cases it will be your responsibility to contact the company and arrange for the installation, and
your name should appear on the bill.
You will need to decide whether you want a dial-up service using a modem and a normal phone line to
access the internet and use e-mail, or whether you want a broadband connection which is much faster,
and will give you access to more facilities, but is more expensive.
You can check which broadband internet services are available to you at your address on the website
www.broadbandchecker.co.uk This site also helps you compare the services offered by the different
One of the main providers of phone lines and broadband connections which is often used by students at
the University is BT.
www.bt.com Tel: 0800 800 060 (Broadband) Tel: 0800 800 150 (to get a phone line installed)
Where can I ask questions if I need help?
Talk to staff at the ISS Help Desk on red route level 10 above the main entrance to the Edward Boyle
Library, telephone them on 0113 343 3333 or e-mail email@example.com
The International Student Office, Tel: 0113 343 3930. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 Blenheim Terrace (across the road from Parkinson Steps, next to Lloyds TSB bank)