International Advice Service: support for families

If you're bringing a family to Dundee, find out what services are available to you

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What you need to know before you arrive in Dundee

The process for applying for school and nursery places may be more complex than anticipated. We encourage you to plan to arrive early so that you can find accommodation and enrol your children before you commence your studies, if possible. You will need a Dundee address in order to enrol your child, so you need to secure accommodation before applying.

University Nursery

The University has a nursery on-campus for students and staff with children aged 0 -5. Please be aware that there is often a waiting list and you must apply in advance. There is no guarantee that a place will be available.

You will be required to pay nursery fees.

Information regarding the application process and fees

University International Families Group

This friendly and welcoming group welcome international students and their children. The University International Families Group meets every Wednesday morning during the University term time from 10am to 1pm in the Chaplaincy Centre near the library. Practice speaking English and make friendships. Toys are available for children and there are free refreshments. This is not a childminding service, Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Email farquars@friendsinternational.org.uk or s.d.scott@dundee.ac.uk for further information.

Dundee City Council Nursery Schools

Local Council Nurseries are for children aged between 2/3 – 5 depending on the nursery, To enrol your child at a funded nursery school in the Dundee area, you should contact the nursery directly to find out about places and their enrolment process well in advance.

There is no guarantee places will be available immediately in council run nurseries.

List of local nursery schools on Dundee City Council website

Private Nursery and Childcare

There are a range of private nurseries and registered child minders throughout the City, ranging from £30 - £40 per full day. Search on-line and contact them directly for more details.

Enrolment in primary and secondary schools in Dundee

Applications for primary school places can only be submitted once you are in the country. Please contact a school directly about enrolling your child. You normally apply to the school nearest your home.

The academic year begins in August for primary and secondary schools in Scotland. Children generally start primary school at age 5 and secondary school at age 12.

Information about school enrolment on Dundee City Council website

Finding Accommodation for your family

We recommend that you arrive in Dundee alone and have your family join you once you've found suitable accommodation. University Residences do not provide family accommodation.

If as a last resort, you feel you need to consider deferring your place because you are bringing a young family with you, please email our Admissions Team at contactus@dundee.ac.uk and they will look sympathetically on individual circumstances.

See our guide for more information See our Dependant Visa guidance

Bilingual Pupils Support Service

Dundee is a multilingual city with over 60 languages spoken in local schools. The bilingual service offers support to pupils, their parents and teachers.

Bilingual Pupils Support Service website

Adult learning

The Adult Learning section of Dundee City Council provides opportunities to learn new skills, make connections, and join personal development programmes.

They also run English classes for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Adult learning in Dundee

Parent Services from the Early Years team in Dundee City Council

This group support the development and delivery of services for families with children under 5 years of age, focusing on supporting families to support their children's learning.

The Parent Development Officers support early years staff in their work with families through mentoring, developing and delivering training.

Parent services development and Work Groups from Dundee City Council

Dundee International Women’s Centre (DIWC)

The DIWC provides a range of social, educational, recreational and volunteering activities, such as classes, training, information and advice.

Programmes include English language classes, cooking classes and IT skills classes for women of all ages

Dundee International Women’s Centre

English Classes

Dundee and Angus College offers full and part time courses leading to internationally recognised English language qualifications. Information on fees and how to apply can be found on the website

Dundee and Angus College

Family-friendly events

Find activities to enjoy with your family on Dundee City Council's events listing.

What’s on in Dundee and the surrounding area