Before your travel to the UK

Pay your fees

Pre-arrival checklist

  • Passport
  • Student Visa or Entry Clearance, if applicable
  • Decision letter which explains how and where to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), if applicable
  • Travel tickets
  • Medical certificates
  • Travel insurance for the journey
  • Health insurance/European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), if applicable
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) or your unconditional offer letter (for those applying for a Short Term Study Visa)
  • Original examination certificates and English language results, with certified translations
  • Birth certificates/marriage certificates for any dependants with you
  • Travellers’ cheques/sterling currency/pre-paid credit card to last for your first few weeks in the UK & access to funds electronically for the coming months until you have opened a UK bank account.
  • Proof of sponsorship if you are a sponsored student
  • Proof of your parents’ finances, a signed letter of support and your original birth certificate (if your parents are supporting you)
  • A mobile phone handset that is enabled to work with any mobile network provider
  • Confirmed accommodation and if on campus, order your bedding pack
  • Complete compulsory Public Health Passenger Locator Form

As well as original documentation in your hand luggage you are advised to keep copies of all the above listed documents in your main suitcase, and leave additional copies with a relative at home.

Visa and entry clearance

Most international (non EEA) students need a visa/entry clearance to study in the UK. You can self-assess online at the UK Government's Home Office website to see if this is relevant to you.

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not need a visa or entry clearance to study in the UK. If you are an EEA national you can travel into the UK using your passport or national identity card.

Further information is also available through your local British Embassy or High Commission. Find out more about applying for a UK visa.

When entering the UK on a student visa there are certain conditions that you must be aware of. These include your responsibilities as a student on a Tier 4 visa, your right to work in the UK, police registration requirements and restrictions on driving in the UK.

The British Government provides useful information about Student Visas and Tier 4 guidance.

Your Tier 4 visa has some conditions, these conditions should be stated in your Biometric Residence Permit or vignette.

These conditions include:

1.  Only being allowed to register with the institution who issued your CAS (and who is named on your visa), and doing so on time each academic year.
2. Ensuring that your attendance is good and any absence is reported.
3. Making sure that you abide by the University's regulations (which will be provided to you during the registration process).
4. Confirming to us immediately if your status changes (i.e. if you withdraw or suspend study on your course).

Your visa will include a start and end date. Make sure you do not try to enter the UK before the start of your visa and that either you return home or you apply to make a new visa application (if eligible) before your leave expires.

Most students entering the UK on a Tier 4 student visa are permitted to work a maximum 20 hours per week during term time.

Please note that if you are studying on a course classed as below degree level, which includes our International Foundation and English Language courses then you are only permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week.

Your vignette or biometric residence permit will tell you how many hours you are allowed to work.

If you have entered the UK on a Student Visitor Visa you are not permitted to work - either paid or unpaid.

Find out more about your right to work in the UK. Many of our undergraduate courses include an optional work placement opportunity, allowing you to obtain industry experience in the UK as part of your degree programme. This is permitted on a Tier 4 student visa and will allow you to work full time during your placement but only if this is part of your degree programme.

If your entry clearance stamp or visa contains the words 'police registration within seven days of UK entry' then you are required to do so. Failure to do so would be a breach of the conditions of your visa.

The international student support team will be able to assist you in the process of registering with the police.

Having a licence which is valid in your own country does not allow you to drive in the UK. To find out more about driving in the UK please refer to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) advice for driving as a visitor or new resident.

What to pack

There are some restrictions on what you can bring into the UK. Meat and fish products, all drugs (except prescription drugs) and animals are prohibited. Visit the HMRC website to make sure you know the law before you travel.

You will need to bring some money with you to get you through the first couple of weeks in the UK. We advise you not to bring large sums of cash, to avoid putting yourself at risk of theft. If you travel with more than €10,000 (or equivalent in other currencies) you will be required to declare it at customs. We recommend travelling with no more than £500-£600 in cash and bringing the rest on a pre-paid credit card or as travellers' cheques.

Make sure you have the following items in your hand luggage:

- Any prescribed medication you are taking, plus a letter from your doctor explaining what the medicine is for
- Address of where you will be staying and a contact number in case of emergencies
- A pen/pencil and some paper
- Any fragile or valuable items
- A list of items in your main luggage  
- Address book with contact details of your friends and family
- Enough UK currency for your transport from the airport to your accommodation

Please keep your hand luggage with you at all times; if you leave it unattended, it could be stolen or taken away to be destroyed.

Before you pack, find out:

- What you are not allowed to bring to the UK
- Your airline luggage allowance
- If the electrical equipment you are bringing with you is compatible with UK standards

  • What you are not allowed to bring to the UK
  • Your airline luggage allowance
  • If the electrical equipment you are bringing with you is compatible with UK standards
  • What you are not allowed to bring to the UK
  • If the electrical equipment you are bringing with you is compatible with UK standards
  • Your airline luggage allowance

Make sure you have the following items in your main luggage and consider:

Luggage should be strong, secure and labelled with your name and destination on it
- Don’t pack too many heavy things – books, clothing, stationery, cooking utensils, towels, toiletries etc. All can be purchased very cheaply when you arrive
- Clothing – the  British weather is very unpredictable. We advise you to bring light to medium weight clothing that is loose fitting to enable you to wear several layers at once. You should also bring a waterproof coat or jacket and waterproof shoes
- Don’t pack lots of food – UK supermarkets offer a wide variety of food from all over the world.

Remember also that certain food items you may wish to bring with you are banned from import into the UK

  • Luggage should be strong, secure and labelled with your name and destination on it
  • Don’t pack too many heavy things – books, clothing, stationery, cooking utensils, towels, toiletries etc. All can be purchased very cheaply when you arrive
  • Clothing – the  British weather is very unpredictable. We advise you to bring light to medium weight clothing that is loose fitting to enable you to wear several layers at once. You should also bring a waterproof coat or jacket and waterproof shoes
  • Don’t pack lots of food – UK supermarkets offer a wide variety of food from all over the world. Remember also that certain food items you may wish to bring with you are banned from import into the UK
  • Luggage should be strong, secure and labelled with your name and destination on it
  • Remember also that certain food items you may wish to bring with you are banned from import into the UK
  • Don’t pack too many heavy things – books, clothing, stationery, cooking utensils, towels, toiletries etc. All can be purchased very cheaply when you arrive
  • Don’t pack lots of food – UK supermarkets offer a wide variety of food from all over the world.
  • Clothing – the  British weather is very unpredictable. We advise you to bring light to medium weight clothing that is loose fitting to enable you to wear several layers at once. You should also bring a waterproof coat or jacket and waterproof shoes

Your journey to Hertfordshire

This section is all about helping you get to Herts as smoothly as possible!

It includes some great tips, whether you have travelled to the UK before or not. Remember, make sure to label your luggage with your new UK address. UK weather can change very quickly – so make sure you pack a variety of clothes – but don’t worry, there are many options for shopping if you need them. You can also buy any heavier items you might need in the UK. Please check the UK Customs list of food items you can and cannot bring. We highly recommend arranging appropriate travel insurance.

We recommend you arrive with enough time to settle in and complete your 14 day quarantine (if you are travelling from a country not on the UK Governments exception list).

You will need to sort out your bank account, NHS registration and police registration (if required), as well as explore the city and campus after your quarantine period is complete!

You may need to show some documents at immigration when you arrive into the UK – it’s best to carry these in your hand luggage when you travel. These may include:

- your passport (with visa for non-EEA students)
your CAS letter and unconditional offer letter
- your original examination certificates as stated in your CAS letter
- any medication that you are currently taking, medical certificates and records
- your accommodation contract
- evidence of your finances for your tuition fees and living costs.

  • your passport (with visa for non-EEA students)
  • evidence of your finances for your tuition fees and living costs.
  • your CAS letter and unconditional offer letter
  • your accommodation contract
  • your original examination certificates as stated in your CAS letter
  • any medication that you are currently taking, medical certificates and records

You must provide a bank statement that covers 28 days. The money must be in your bank account or your parents’ personal account; it cannot be in any other relative or friend’s account (unless they meet the UKVI definition of an official financial sponsor).

If you are using your parents’ bank account, you will also be required to submit extra supporting documents with your application, such as your birth certificate and a letter from your parents confirming their relationship to you and that they give you their consent to use their account for funding your studies and living costs.

The money must be in the account at the time you apply for the visa and must have been constantly in the account for a minimum of 28 days before the date of your visa application.

The final closing balance cannot be more than 31 days before the date of your visa application.

Planning your journey to campus

Travelling to a new country can be a little overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we’ve outlined the process below so that you know exactly what to expect when you arrive.

If you travel by plane your airline will give you a landing card - fill this in before you arrive at border control. If you are from outside the European Union (EU), when you reach border control, please enter through the Non-EU entrance. Be prepared for an immigration interview with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) staff. You must be able to answer some questions in English and have a basic conversation without the assistance of an interpreter – failure to do so may result in you being denied access to the UK, at which point you will have to return home. The UK border control can be very busy, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait in a queue.

Non EU nationals will need to show a valid passport and visa on arrival to the UK but you may also need to show the following so please make sure you keep these in your hand luggage:

  • Evidence of funding
  • A recent medical report including x-ray results
  • Notification of CAS e-mail or your University of Hertfordshire unconditional offer letter (if you have a student visitor visa)

Be prepared to answer questions about where you are staying, and why you have come to the UK. The Border Force Officer must also be satisfied that you speak English at the required level without the needs for an interpreter. You may also be fingerprinted if you supplied biometrics for your visa application.

After collecting your luggage and making your way through customs, you will reach the Arrivals Hall.

Please note if you require a Tier 4 visa or Short-Term study visa you should not use the ePassport gates on arrival to the UK. You will need to see a Border Force Officer who will be able to stamp your passport giving you the appropriate leave or validation of your vignette.

Getting through customs

Please note if you require a Tier 4 visa or Short-Term study visa you should not use the ePassport gates on arrival to the UK. You will need to see a Border Force Officer who will be able to stamp your passport giving you the appropriate leave or validation of your vignette.

You can save this PDF to your phone or print it out and show it to Border Force Officials on your arrival to the UK to explain that you need a stamp in your passport.

You can help by keeping all of your important documents together and in your hand luggage.

Non EU nationals will need to show a valid passport and visa on arrival to the UK but you may also need to show the following so please make sure you keep these in your hand luggage:

  • Evidence of funding.
  • A recent medical report including x-ray results.
  • Notification of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) e-mail or your University of Hertfordshire unconditional offer letter (if you have a student visitor visa).

Be prepared to answer questions about where you are staying, and why you have come to the UK. The Border Force Officer must also be satisfied that you speak English at the required level without the needs for an interpreter. You may also be fingerprinted if you supplied biometrics for your visa application.

To help you prepare and have a better idea of what to expect when crossing the border into the UK, the UK Visa's and Immigration Border Force have devised a helpful list of '10 top tips' for student arrivals.

Welcome to the UK!

Getting to the University

Airport Collection Service

If you are travelling to Heathrow on select days, you can book onto our free airport collection service which transports new international students from Heathrow airport to campus. You must book this in advance as seats on the coach fill up fast.

Using Public Transport

Getting to campus from the major airports via public transport is incredibly simple. We've written out the steps you'll need to take to get to campus. However, if you'd like to print out the journey routes, we've made them available as a downloadable PDF that you can print.

The University is in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, 25 minutes by train from central London. The nearest train station is Hatfield (direct route from King's Cross Station). The University is a short taxi journey or bus ride from Hatfield railway station. You can view train times and fares on the National Rail website.

There are also bus services available from all the major London airports to the University. This year you will need to ensure you wear a face covering while on public transport. This will include your flight and transport to campus.

1. Follow signage to Heathrow Underground Station
2. Take the Piccadilly Line to London King's Cross Underground Station
3. Follow signage to London King's Cross Overground Station
4. Take the train to Hatfield Station 
5. Take any Uno bus from outside the station (making sure to check the direction of the bus)
6. Exit at the University of Hertfordshire College Lane or de Havilland campus

1. Make your way to the Gatwick Airport Railway Station located at the South Terminal
2. Take the train to Finsbury Park Station
3. Change at Finsbury park and take the train to Hatfield Station
4. Take any Uno bus from outside the station (making sure to check the direction of the bus)
5. Exit at the University of Hertfordshire College Lane or de Havilland campus

1. Walk to Stansted Airport Railway Station, located directly below the terminals
2. Take the train to Tottenham Hale Station
3. Make your way to the Underground station in Tottenham Hale
4. Take a Victoria Line train to Finsbury Park
5. Change at Finsbury Park and take an overground train to Hatfield Station
6. Take any Uno bus from outside the station (making sure to check the direction of the bus)
7. Exit at the University of Hertfordshire College Lane or de Havilland campus

1. Take the shuttle bus from Luton Airport to Luton Airport Parkway Railway Station
2. Take the train to London St Pancras International Railway Station
3. Follow signage to London King's Cross Railway Station (either via the tunnel that connects the two stations, or by exiting the station at street level and crossing the road to King's Cross)
4. Take the overground rail to Hatfield Station
5. Take any Uno bus from outside the station (making sure to check the direction of the bus)
6. Exit at the University of Hertfordshire College Lane or de Havilland campus

You may prefer to take a taxi to the University. If you do this please make sure:

- You get a cab from the official taxi rank at the airport or book in advance
- You have the University's address clearly written on a piece of paper
- You have cash to cover the cost of the journey (between £50 and £135 dependent on your arrival airport)

If you would like to pre-book your taxi Sparks Cars is a company local to the University with experience of collecting our international students.

You must book your taxi 72 hours before departure. Tell them your:

- Full name, date of birth and application number
- Arrival date and time
- Flight number
- UK airport and terminal
- Mobile phone number - please provide one that will work in the UK upon landing so you can be contacted by the driver.

When you have arrived in the UK you are currently advised not to use public transport so we recommend our students to use our coach collection service or book a taxi wherever possible.

We have provided a list of taxis companies and if travelling from Heathrow the cost is estimated to be £40 - 60. If you are travelling from other airports, the prices will be different. You should look to pre-book your taxi. The companies will require a contact number for you that will work in the UK so that they can communicate with you once you have landed.

- Sparks Cars
- Welwyn Private Hire
- AAA Taxis

On arrival

Once you arrive in the UK the University of Hertfordshire will provide a number of services to help you get settled and find your bearings.

This section gives information on:

  • Where to go when you get here
  • Living in the UK
  • How to spend your leisure time

Staying on campus?

If you are living on campus with us, you will need to complete the Halls of Residence Mandatory Information Form which will be provided to you by the accommodation team. A link will be provided to you by the Dean of Students via email before your arrival.

Next steps

Please continue to the 'Life in the United Kingdom' section.

Life in the United Kingdom