International student pre-arrival guide

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Are you new to Herts?

If this is your first year at Herts, make sure you read our guidance for new students and what to expect when you arrive on campus.

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Welcome to our January 2021 Pre-arrival Guide. It is important that you take time to read this in full before you join us on campus.

We are excited to welcome you onto campus soon! Before we reach that exciting start date, there are a few things that you need to do.

  • If you are an offer holder, clear your academic conditions and make your deposit payment.
  • Be ready to undertake your sponsorship checks and/or financial checks.*
  • Once you have received your CAS from us you'll need to apply for your Student Route visa.
  • Secure your accommodation. This can either be on campus or off campus using a PAL accredited landlord.
  • Book your flights to the UK.
  • You should complete your Stage 1 online registration before you arrive in the UK. Information about this can be found in your joining instructions.
  • Travel to the UK once you have had your visa confirmed. Do not use the e-gates at the airport as you won't get a stamp in your passport which you will need.

* Not necessary for all students. You'll be notified if you require these.

COVID-19 update - 15 February 2021

The UK Government has updated testing requirements for people travelling to the UK.

Additional COVID tests required

New arrivals now need to take a COVID test 2 days after arriving in the UK and another test 8 days after arriving. This means you will need to take 3 COVID tests in total:

  • 72 hours before you fly
  • Day 2 of quarantine in the UK
  • Day 8 of quarantine in the UK

You need to arrange the day 2 and day 8 tests before you travel to the UK as you will need to put your test package booking reference number on the Passenger Locator Form. Failing to put your test booking reference number on the form will result in fines. The tests required during quarantine cannot be done through the University's on site testing facility and must be booked through the Government provider. You need to arrange for your test online with the UK Government approved test provider.

You still need to complete your 10 day quarantine on arrival to the UK. You will not be able to finish your quarantine until you have received both a negative test result for your day 8 test and quarantined for 10 days. If you test positive for either test, you must quarantine for a further 10 days from the day you took the test and will receive further advice alongside your test results.

Failing to do your tests can result in fines of up to £2,000. You must ensure you stick to the quarantine and test guidelines when entering the UK.

Red list countries

Those on Student Visas or with leave to enter or remain, can still travel to the UK from the red list countries but must book into a UK quarantine hotel prior to travel and spend their quarantine period in the hotel room. You need to make your booking through the UK Government approved hotel providers and spend your 10 day (11 nights) quarantine in the hotel. The hotel stay is a legal requirement and is referred to as the Managed Quarantine Package and includes your hotel stay, food and beverages, transfers, security and the 2 Covid-19 tests.

If you have not arranged a quarantine package prior to your arrival in England, you face a penalty of up to £4,000 and will still have to pay for your quarantine package on arrival so please ensure you book before you travel.

Additional information can be found on the UK Government website.

If you have any questions, please email

Stuart Smith, Director of International

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the University of Hertfordshire. Every year we welcome students from over 120 different countries across the globe to study at our campuses here in the UK. Being an international student at the University of Hertfordshire will give you the opportunity to make new friends, develop new skills and grasp all the knowledge and experience that studying in the United Kingdom has to offer. We believe that after your studies are complete you have the potential to be a leading graduate, with an international outlook that will not only support but also accelerate your future career. You have taken a huge step moving overseas, but this is just the beginning! Make the most of this opportunity and fulfil your potential.

Important things to consider before travelling

Quintin McKellar CBE, Vice-Chancellor

As students, you are at the heart of our academic community. We encourage you to learn from each other and the variety of perspectives represented in our diverse community. You will have endless opportunities to learn, explore, meet new people, gain valuable life skills and, obviously, to have fun! We are here to support you along this exciting journey of development and discovery, and hope you look forward to the great times ahead. Join with us in upholding the values we embrace as an academic institution, creating an environment that is respectful, supportive, and welcoming to all.

Find out about life on campus

About this guide

Throughout this digital guide we'll be taking you through some key elements about life with us at the University of Hertfordshire.

Given the current situation, we understand some of you may feel anxious about what your start of term will look like. We are currently working on getting our campuses ready so we can ensure that regardless of whether you are returning to campus, or coming on to campus for the first time, your start of term experience prepares you for the year ahead and provides a safe and supportive learning environment from the start.

The University has made some changes to the academic year to help you access your education and student experience at the right time for you, and in the safest possible way for everyone. Don't worry though, you will be offered additional support so you can catch up with your studies and you will be sent information in advance so you can prepare as much as possible. You will also have access to our virtual events, online groups to meet other students, as well as wellbeing support if you have any concerns.

Please remember that if you have not had your Student Route visa confirmed and have not received your vignette in your passport, please do not book flights or fly. Do not use the e-gates at the airport as you won't get a stamp in your passport which you will need.

Please note: Although your Home Office paperwork may tell you to collect your BRP card within 10 days. This year; in accordance with UK Law; it is important that you complete your 10 day quarantine before coming to collect it. Don't worry, if you have set your BRP to come to the University the Student Immigration Team email you to let you know your BRP is ready for collection. They will be email a link to book an appointment to collect your BRP.  You must select a date after your 10 day quarantine period has ended.

If you have set your BRP to collect from a local Post Office, again you must wait until after your quarantine period has ended. You do not normally need an appointment to collect from the Post Office, but you should check their opening times.  Please note, the most local Post Office to the University with BRP collection facilities is in St Albans. More information about this can be found on our International Start Dates page.

Pre-departure webinar

If you were unable to attend one of our live pre-departure webinars, don't worry you can watch the recording below to help you prepare for your travel to the UK.
Please note that the video below mentions a 14 day quarantine period, this has since changed to a 10 day quarantine period as of 14/12/20.

Accuracy of content

Date of last update: Monday 14 December 2020

We will aim to update this guide as frequently as possible to reflect changes in national and University policy as well as operating procedures. However, for up to date information about the UK's approach to Coronavirus or any changes to Student Immigration and Visa guidance, please always consult the UK Government website. If you notice something incorrect due to changes in policy, please email us on

How we're getting ready

Both our campuses, College Lane and De Havilland, will be open from September ready to welcome you at the start of the new academic year.

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There is a place like home

If you are moving into our on-campus accommodation, you can find out what you need to do before you check in and how to collect your keys.

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