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Before you leave home

Prepare for student life at ARU London before setting off

Arrange your visa

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK and we have accepted your application, then you should by now have received your CAS statement.  As soon as you have your CAS statement, you should apply for your Tier 4 visa to ensure you receive this in time for the start of your course.  Don't forget that flights get very booked up shortly before the academic year starts in the UK so it's important to organise your visa so that you can then book your air ticket.  Every year there are students who leave everything to the last minute and then do not get their visas in time.

Sort out somewhere to live

As ARU London has no on campus accommodation, you will need to rent a room in a private hall or share a flat.  Visit our accommodation pages for further information.  However, we fully recognise how daunting it can be organising accommodation when you are thousands of miles away and don't know London well.  We therefore recommend you arrange short-term accommodation in a hostel or similar rather than make a long-term commitment until you find your way around.

Think about money matters

You will need some cash in Pounds Sterling for expenses during the first week – between £250 to £500 should be enough but do take note of our advice below. We do not recommend bringing or carrying larger amounts of cash with you and you should note that the UK authorities control the amount of cash that anyone from outside the EU can bring in or take out of the UK.  For further information, visit the website of HM Revenue and Customs

If possible, make arrangements to transfer money to a UK bank account. In case there is a problem in transferring money, it is also a good idea to have a further £350 available in travellers cheques and a credit card for emergencies. You will also need money for items such as:

  • food;

  • local travel;

  • books;

  • equipment; and

  • clothes and other necessities.

What to remember when packing

  • Insure your luggage before you start your journey to the UK (either through a travel agent or an insurance company in your home country)

  • Make sure you have all your important documents, such as your passport, visa, travellers cheques, etc in your hand luggage
  • Keep copies of your passport, your visa, any travellers' cheques, and insurance policies separately and/or provide family and friends with copies

  • Don't forget that British weather can be quite changeable and if you are arriving in September it can be surprisingly cool - the average temperature will be about 15C. However by December/January it can fall well below freezing. In the summer months, temperatures in the south of England can be quite hot at around 25C.

  • Airlines have a luggage allowance so do check how much you're allowed so you don't have to pay extra. 

  • Mains electrical power in the UK is 240v - you will therefore probably need an adapter if you want to use your own electrical items in the UK - do not bring any electrical items that need mains power unless they are dual voltage 110-120/220-240v (for example, a laptop computer). Remember this will also apply to your mobile phone charger

  • If you have a medical condition, you should bring details of your condition and treatment with you.  Details of any vaccinations will also be required for your medical records.

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