Once you arrive

Pay your fees

What to do in your first week

  • Ensure you have completed your final registration steps
  • Check your timetable
  • Familiarise yourself with the online service AskHerts to help with queries
  • Make sure you know where your classes are - download the Herts Mobile app for an interactive map and wayfinding
  • Understand your bills - read up on council tax exemption
  • Look into setting up a bank account
  • Register yourself at a medical centre - those living on campus, or off-campus but within the local area, can sign up to our on campus medical centre
  • Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) - if you have set your BRP to be delivered to campus, you will be able to collect this during your face-to-face Registration appointment if it is ready.
  • Get a UK sim card for your phone
  • Find out more about the Sports Teams at the University via the Athletic Union (Herts Squad)
  • Check out the Students' Union to find out about joining societies
  • If you are living on campus, then check in to your new room; if you have any queries with your accommodation email the Accommodation team.
  • Take a look around our campuses

    Moving to a new university can be a daunting process however, we're not as big as you might think. Once you get a feel for the campus, you'll find your way around quite easily. Here's some of our buildings that you might use during your studies.

    Download a PDF copy of the maps of our campuses that you print out and bring with you on your travels.

    Map of de Havilland
    Map of College Lane
    Students riding bumper cars
    HertSquad booth outside
    Students talking at a fair booth
    Students outside the freshers tent

    Finances, bank accounts and phone contracts

    As part of your visa process, you will have shown that you have adequate funds to support yourself financially for your time at University. You need to make sure that you have budgeted for the entire length of your stay. The cost of living in the UK can vary greatly, so please make sure that you read through the cost of living guidance and that your budget reflects your personal preferences.

    You will also need to arrange to set up a bank account for your time in the UK. You may also choose to take out a mobile phone contract or pay-as-you-go SIM. We recommend you research the various companies, plans and offers to ensure you take out the right type of account and plan for your needs.

    Understanding British currency


    1p/One Pence
    The smallest iteration of British currency; commonly referred to as "a penny".


    2p/Two Pence
    This coin - along with the 1p - is sometimes referred to as "shrapnel" or "coppers" due to the low value and colour.


    5p/Five Pence
    The smallest British coin, and the lowest value of the four silver coins.


    10p/Ten Pence
    Equivalent to one tenth of a pound sterling. Generally pronounced as "ten pee".


    20p/Twenty Pence
    Equivalent to one fifth of a pound sterling. Generally pronounced as "twenty pee".


    50p/Fifty Pence
    Equivalent to half of a pound sterling. Generally pronounced as "fifty pee".


    £1/One Pound
    One Pound Sterling, colloquially known as "a quid".


    £2/Two Pound
    The least commonly circulated coin, singularly equivalent to two Pound Sterling.


    £5/Five Pounds
    Often referred to as "a fiver".


    £10/Ten Pounds
    Often referred to as "a tenner".


    £20/Twenty Pounds
    Not as common as the ten or five pound notes - occasionally called "a score".


    £50/Fifty Pounds
    The least commonly used note, not commonly accepted at some smaller shops.

    British cuisine

    British food is a mixing pot of global cuisines. Here's some of the more traditional dishes that you might expect to see in the UK during your studies.

    Sunday Roast

    Sunday Roast
    A traditional main meal eaten on Sundays; consisting of roasted meats, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, assorted vegetables, and gravy.

    Shepherd's Pie

    Cottage/Shepherd's Pie
    A (non-pastry) pie generally made with a minced red meat cooked in a sauce with various vegetables, topped with a layer of mashed potato that is then baked. Shepherd's Pie refers to a lamb filling, while Cottage Pie has a beef filling.


    Pie and mash
    In the UK, the word "pie" most commonly refers to savoury pastries; generally filled with meat and vegetables. These are often eaten with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

    Jacket Potato

    Jacket potato
    A "jacket" potato, is a large potato, baked until the skin is slightly crisply - often filled with butter, cheese, sour cream, or baked beans.

    Full English Breakfast

    Full English Breakfast
    A "full English", also known as a "Fry up" typically consists of pork sausages, bacon, fried eggs, baked beans, black pudding, tomatoes, beans and toast.

    Fish and Chips

    Fish and chips
    Generally bought from shops known as "chippies", the meal consists of battered white fish (mostly cod or haddock) and chips (known elsewhere as "fries").


    Navigating your way around the UK is easy using the public transport network. We have put together a few tips to help you get started.

    Visiting sights and cities around the UK

    Sightseeing around the UK is fantastic way to spend your free time during your studies. There's lot of places to visit using public transport!


    The second largest city in the UK, famous for Manchester United F.C. and the splitting of the atom.


    A historic walled city known for it's impressive cathedral and Roman/Medieval architecture.


    A prehistoric ring of standing stones, each stone stands around 13 feet high and weighs 25 tons.


    The birthplace of The Beatles, and home to Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C.


    A Medieval/Victorian city known for its cathedral and castle; which houses a copy of the Magna Carta.

    Lake District

    Lake District
    A mountainous region famous for its lakes, forests, and mountains, as well as associations with poets.


    The capital of Scotland, home to the scenic Edinburgh Castle, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


    The capital of Wales, famed for the shooting location of BBC shows; Doctor Who and Sherlock.


    A world-famous university city, home to seven colleges and two universities, as well as multiple museums.


    A seaside resort town known for its nightlife, arts scene, and regency-era buildings and arcades.


    A city that primarily grew in the industrial revolution; now home to a huge arts subculture.


    Known for its incredibly Roman-built baths, and the canal system that runs all the way to Oxford.

    Exploring the local area

    Don't want to travel far to visit some landmarks? Hertfordshire and London have some amazing places to visit during your studies. If you're looking to get around the Hatfield area, there's lots of transport links provided by the University's bus company as well as easy access to a National Rail train station.

    You must ensure you have completed your required quarantine before you begin exploring.

    Tower of London

    Tower of London
    A historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.

    The Shard

    The Shard
    The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano.

    Stanborough Park

    Stanborough Park
    A 126-acre park on the border of Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, known for its two large lakes.


    Emirates Stadium
    Located in Royal Holloway, London, the Emirates Stadium is one of the largest football stadiums in England and home of Arsenal F.C.

    St Albans Cathedral

    St Albans Cathedral
    A beautiful cathedral in St Albans comprised on ancient Normal architecture, situated in a large park.

    Piccadilly Circus

    Piccadilly Circus
    The famous central London junction connecting Regent Street and Piccadilly, known for the iconic LED screens and the statue of Eros.

    London Eye

    London Eye
    Located on the South Bank, the London Eye is Europe's tallest observation wheel, and the UK's most popular tourist attraction.

    Hatfield House

    Hatfield House
    A country house set in a large park on the East side of Hatfield. Hatfield House is frequently used in films and TV, including recent Oscar winner, The Favourite.


    The Galleria
    A designer outlet centre within walking distancing of both campuses. The Galleria houses clothing, household, leisure, and coffee shops.

    Buckingham Palace

    Buckingham Palace
    The London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom (currently Queen Elizabeth II), located in Westminster.

    Big Ben

    Big Ben
    Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the Elizabeth Tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster.


    Bayfordbury Observatory
    Located just six miles from the campuses, our observatory is one of the largest teaching observatories in the UK.

    Staying safe in the UK

    • avoid displaying expensive items such as watches, jewellery or mobile phones in busy public places
    • try not to carry large amounts of money with you, most places in the UK accept card payments
    • be aware of potential scams – only make tuition or accommodation payments directly to the University
    • if you have lost a key or just moved to a new property, it is a good idea to change the locks after speaking with your landlord
    • make sure your phone is charged when going out in case of emergency, or if you lose the people you are with
    • always know how you're getting home, especially when going somewhere you don't  know - let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back
    • register your belongings on immobilise.com, a free UK property register used by the police, insurers, and the second-hand trade - register items like your phone or your bike, anything that may be stolen, in order to assist the police
    • familiarise yourself with the University Police Team who are on campus to help you

    What 3 words

    The what3words app is a useful tool to help identify your precise location to emergency services. What3words splits the world into three meter squares, with each square having a unique word tied to it. You can download the app in case you need it for future.

    Safety and emergency contact numbers

    • 999 Emergency (police, fire, ambulances)
    • 112 Emergency (UK mobile)
    • 111 Non-emergency for health
    • 101 Non-emergency for police
    • +44 (0) 1707 281010 On-campus security
    • +44 (0) 1707 285555 On-campus emergency

    Want to read more?

    Please return to the Pre-Arrival Guide landing page.

    International Pre-arrival Guide