How to Prepare for University in the UK | Student Connect

Preparing for your arrival to the UK can seem particularly overwhelming. You may have lots of questions: what do I need to bring? How do I arrange my travel? What paperwork do I need to have? Read our advice below.

Your university or college should have sent you information about arrival, including a phone number for support. Keep this number with you when you travel. Check to make sure you have this – if you can’t find it, please contact your institution. Make sure you carry a diary with all important information written down and do not rely on your phone or electronic devices to store important information. 


Your institution or students’ union will also be able to help. Also, download our PRE-DEPARTURE GUIDE

For a thorough guide about coming to study in the UK please download First Steps; a guide written by the British Council.

Documents you need for your journey

  • A valid passport, with a visa or UK entry clearance
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) decision letter which sets out the leave granted and explains the BRP collection process in the UK;
  • Your passport will contain a short-term visa vignette in your passport. This visa will have a validity of only 30 days from the expected date of travel to enable you to travel to the UK and to collect your BRP.
  • Your plane ticket (or ticket for your ferry or train)
  • Vaccination certificates and an X-ray certificate, if required
  • A paper copy of an unconditional offer letter from your university letter of acceptance from your place of study (Student Visa). This includes your university Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number
  • Documentary evidence (bank statements you may have submitted for your home office) that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees and accommodate yourself while you’re in the UK (recent bank statements, proof of scholarship or sponsor’s letter)
  • Originals (or certified true copies) of any degree certificates or technical qualifications which you submitted to UK Visas and Immigration to obtain your Student visa.


Getting from the airport, train station or dock to your place of study

Many institutions offer a ‘meet and greet’ airport or train station collection service for your arrival in the UK. If you want to use this service you will need to book it in advance so check directly with your institution. If you are travelling by air you will usually arrive at Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Luton or Stansted airports, all of which are convenient if you are studying in London or the south-east of England.? 

If, like many international students, you are studying elsewhere you can fly to one of the international regional airports located throughout the UK. This will make your journey onwards to your place of study much easier. Many intercontinental flights now serve UK airports such as Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester; direct and onward connections are available from these, as well as from the London airports, to destinations throughout the UK.

Studying in a different system

Studying in the UK may seem quite different from studying in your home country. Websites like?? Prepare for Success ?can help you learn about different aspects of academic life in the UK. It includes short videos and quizzes to prepare you for studying here

Are you ready to start building your future?

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