First Time Student Arrivals Top Tips

Posted 13 September 2015
Arrival in the UK

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Moving to a whole new country to study is one of the biggest decisions you might make in your life, so it’s no surprise to find that most students feel nervous as well as excited about their big move.

Moving to a whole new country to study is one of the biggest decisions you might make in your life, so it’s no surprise to find that most students feel nervous as well as excited about their big move.

Whatever your age, and whatever you’re here to study, these top tips are here to help you prepare for coming to the UK. Remember that everyone else arriving is in the same situation as you - away from home, feeling unsure, but excited about what your time at Bellerbys will bring.

We have lots of friendly teachers, counsellors and student services staff who are here to make sure you you have everything you need, to answer any questions or worries you might have, and to help make your arrival here go as smoothly as possible.

Packing tips

Some items will be essential for your travel, while others will help to make the journey go more smoothly. Making a checklist of all the items you need is a great idea - this way you can pack without stress. Mark each item off the list as you pack it, and hopefully you won’t forget anything important! 

Essential documents:

● Passport
● Travel tickets
● Visa/Home Office letter
● Offer letter
● Qualifications certificates
● Passport style photographs
● Accommodation documents

Please keep these documents in your hand luggage, not in the airplane luggage hold.

Other useful items:

These items will help make your travel time more pleasant, and make it easier for you to settle in more quickly when you arrive at your accommodation:

● A towel
● A travel pillow
● Essential toiletries and medications
● Your mobile phone and charger
● A plug socket adaptor - the UK may use a different power to supply to the one you’re used to, so an adapter may have to be used for electrical items like phone chargers and hairdryers
● Your favourite songs on an MP3 player
● A good book
● Photographs of family and friends, letters, or small mementos to make you feel at home in your new room

Before you set off

Try to get a good night’s sleep before your journey - this will help to keep your mind alert and refreshed when you arrive. Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water.


If you can, we suggest arriving at least two days before the start of your course. This gives you time to settling in, find your way around, and get over any jetlag or tiredness from your travels.

What to expect at the airport

When you arrive you’ll need to pass through border control. Border Force officers may ask you simple questions about your studies or your stay in the UK. You’ll need to be able to tell them clearly:

● Where you are studying
● What you are studying
● How long your course lasts
● Where you’ll be living while you study

Documents that border control may require from you are:

● Your passport
● A completed landing card (if you are a non-EEA national)
● Your university Certificate of Acceptance Studies (CAS) number. If you don’t have a CAS number please brings details of your course of study
● Medical documentation, recent bank statement and details of where you are staying

It’s important to have these items packed in your hand luggage, not in your airplane hold luggage.

Be aware of luggage restrictions

Pack too much and you may have to pay extra to bring your luggage onto the plane, as weight restrictions apply.

There are also restrictions on what you can bring into the UK. You can find a full list on the UK government website, but as a general guide you cannot carry:

● Certain foods, plants, alcohol, tobacco, gifts and sums of money equivalent to $10,000 or more
● Endangered plants or animals, including ivory, skins, hides and shells and any products made from them
● Counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, offensive weapons or indecent or obscene material 

Essential documents:

● Passport
● Travel tickets

Taxi transfer/airport pick-up

If you have booked a taxi transfer from the airport to your host family or to the college residence you will be met at the airport and taken to your accommodation.

Don’t worry - a Bellerbys College representative will be waiting for you in the airport arrivals halls holding a Bellerbys College sign. If you can’t find them, just go to the airport information desk and ask the staff there to make an announcement giving your name and the name of the school, or call the College's 24-hour emergency telephone number and someone will help you.

A warm welcome

You’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome from your host family or at the Bellerbys College residence that you’ve chosen. You’ll then have some time to settle in and unpack before your course start date. The first week of your course will involve at least one day of induction, where you’ll get to meet your fellow students, tutors, all the support staff and find out about your study timetable and more.