Travelling to the UK

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To help you prepare to travel to the UK, we provide information which will help to:

  • answer any questions you may have as you prepare to come to the University.
  • plan your journey.
  • give you an idea of what to expect when you arrive.

Before you travel

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.

Overseas Students' Orientation Programme

Read more about our orientation programme.

To help you settle into life at the University, we run a free Overseas Students' Orientation Programme (OSOP).

If joining the University will be your first time in the United Kingdom you may find that UK culture, customs and procedures are different to those that you're used to.

The free programme has been designed to familiarise you with all aspects of living and studying in the UK and provides you with information and advice you need to help you make the most of your time in the UK and with us here at the University of Hertfordshire.

The Overseas Students' Orientation Programme provides information on:

·         orientation around the University and Hatfield

·         healthcare and your wellbeing

·         safety and your welfare

·         immigration rules and regulations

·         opening a bank account

·         police registration

·         travel and experiencing UK culture

The OSOP is an amazing opportunity to meet other students and make new friends, attend evening social events and go on a variety of tours of campus, and the local area.

We will also tell you about our extensive social programme, which includes trips to London, Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford and much more!

Airport collection

Free Heathrow Airport collection is available.

Free Heathrow Airport collection is available for undergraduate and postgraduate students joining the University at our start of term.

  • Collection is available from Heathrow airport only.
  • Dates for Heathrow airport collection are published on the arrival form.

Booking for 2018

You can now book onto your Orientation Programme for 2018. In addition, we have now released our booking form for Airport Collection from Heathrow Airport.

For Semester A, we offer two popular pick up dates: Saturday 8th September and Sunday 9th September. In addition, there are dates which suit pre-sessional english students or those wishing to arrive earlier.

Are you arriving at a different airport or arriving on a day where airport collection is not available?

Please note, we can only pick you up if:

  • you are arriving at Heathrow airport.
  • you are arriving on the dates listed on the arrival form.

If you are not able to arrive during the airport collection weekend, or are arriving at another UK airport and would like to find out about alternative transport options and ways of travelling to the University, please contact

Visa conditions

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.

Your responsibilities

Your Tier 4 visa has some conditions to follow.

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

These conditions include:

  • 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.
  • Ensuring that your attendance is good and any absence is reported.
  • Making sure that you abide by the University's regulations (which will be provided to you during the registration process).
  • 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.

Working in the UK

You may have restrictions on work.

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.

Police registration

Some students are required, by law, to register with the police within 7 days of arriving in the UK.

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.

Driving in the UK

Find out about driving in the UK.

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.

Travelling to the University

Getting through Customs

The UK welcomes overseas students, however, immigration control can be rigorous and there are sometimes delays at the airport when you arrive.

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.

What you can bring to the UK

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 customs and excise website to make sure you know the law before you travel.

Bringing money to the UK

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.

Student arrivals and border control: 10 top tips

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.

Getting to the University

The University offers a free collection service to students travelling to Heathrow Airport

Airport collection

The University offers a free collection service to students travelling to Heathrow airport on publicised dates, which include various dates from January through to September. You need to book your place in advance.

Travelling independently

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.

Airport bus services

Heathrow Airport (21 miles or 34km away)

Arriva 724 service

Luton Airport (18 miles or 29km away)

National Express JL737 Service

Stansted Airport (20 miles or 32km away)

Gatwick Airport (40 miles or 64km away)

View our maps and directions section for more information on how to get here.

Taking a taxi

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 Welwyn Private Hire 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

The taxi will arrive 1 hour 30 minutes after your planned arrival time. You will be charged an additional £5 per hour for any delays.

Your driver will wait for you by the information desk in arrivals holding a University of Hertfordshire sign with your name on (in English). You can pre-pay for your taxi online or pay the driver in cash.

Book your taxi

Welwyn Private Hire can take bookings by telephone or online booking form.
tel + 44 (0)1438 716748

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
Where to go when you get here

If you are staying in University accommodation the first thing you need to do is collect your room key.

Picking up your room key

If you are staying in University accommodation the first thing you need to do is collect your room key.

Notification / arrivalWhere to go
If you have received notification of your roomGo straight to the relevant campus accommodation office and pick up your key
If you haven't received notification of your roomGo to the student centre on the College Lane campus
If you arrive outside of office hoursGo to the security gate of the College Lane Accommodation office

Private rented accommodation

Make sure that you have contacted your landlord before you arrive to let them know to expect you and to arrange when and where to collect your keys.


During your first few weeks at the University you will be required to formally register on your course.

During your first few weeks at the University you will be required to formally register on your course. The registration sessions can be busy and so please do expect to queue.

During the registration process we will check a number of documents including your UK visa and academic qualifications, so please remember to bring your passport and hard copies of your academic certificates and transcripts with you.

Complying with visa conditions

Make sure you comply with your visa conditions.

Make sure you comply with your visa conditions to ensure that you maintain your right to stay in the UK. There are a number of rules and procedures you must follow in order to meet your visa conditions while you are in the UK.

How we support you

Take advantage of our support facilities for international students.

Take advantage of our support facilities for international students. The University provides a wide range of student support from help with your English to on-campus childcare provision.

We have a dedicated International Student Support team on hand to advise you on a variety of subjects from work permits to financial and personal matters as well as access to support and counselling services.

Request more information