Source:Plan your travel to the UK
'There may be a lot to think about when you travel to the UK – from packing to travel insurance - but a little forward planning is always a great idea. We’ve put together some travel advice to make sure your journey is easy and lots of fun. '
International student visas
The first thing to do before travelling to the UK to study is to check whether you need a visa. There are two categories of visa for international students:
• adult student (also known as ‘general student’)
• child student (for children aged four to 17 coming to study at independent fee-paying schools or studying at further education colleges)
Find out how to apply for international student visas.
Preparing to travel to the UK
Getting to the UK should be fun and exciting. Luckily, a lot of the preparation is done for you by your institution. They will tell you how and when to travel to the UK, how much it will cost and who to contact with any problems.
You should also try a little research for yourself - after all, being independent is a big part of your student experience. Use the Education UK website to find out more about your institution, what’s happening in the local area and what to expect on arrival. An organisation called Visit Britain can also give you help and advice on international student travel – you could ask at your local office or go to the VisitBritain website.
The British Council runs pre-departure briefings that tell you about:
• immigration and passport control procedures
• how to get to schools, colleges and universities
• first arrival payments for British Council-managed scholars
• welfare matters
• financial matters and budget planning
• cultural differences
• spending weekends with HOST families
Take a look at the events list to find your next pre-departure briefing.
Money for UK travel
It’s a good idea to have around £200 in your pocket before you travel to the UK. This should be in British currency or travellers cheques and will cover customs charges, rail fares and emergency expenses. If you’re bringing any family with you, you will need more.
To find out about British currency and to check what banknotes are used in the UK, visit the Bank of England website.
International baggage allowance to the UK
Remember that security at international airports is very strict. You should check hand luggage regulations with your airline before you travel to the UK and arrive at the airport in plenty of time to pass through security procedures.
You will usually have a free baggage allowance of between 20kg and 32kg. Most airlines charge for excess baggage, so it’s best to check the exact limit and number of bags allowed before travelling to the UK. This may be stated on your ticket or you can do this by looking on the website of the airline you are flying with. Try to stick to your allowance, but if you go over, make sure you have enough money to pay for any charges.
Packing some warm clothing for your flight and onward journey is a good idea. Don’t forget some photos of your family and friends back home, and you might like to bring some traditional items of clothing for social events.
For more advice on importing personal effects and goods to the UK, visit the HM Revenue and Customs website.
International student insurance
Before you bring any money, luggage or personal possessions to the UK, you should get them insured. There are many companies specialising in international student insurance, but you should ask for advice before signing any forms. If insurance isn’t an option for you, try speaking to your local bank or student welfare officer for help.