Before you leave

As an international student coming to study at the University of Surrey, there are a number of things you must do before you travel to the UK.


1. Apply for your visa

You may need to apply for a visa or approval by the Academic Technology Approval Scheme before commencing your studies with us.

2. Sort your accommodation

Apply for university accommodation, await an acceptance email and submit your pre-payment.

3. Check your passport

Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after the start of your course.*

4. Book your flights

Once you have confirmed you are studying with us, book your flights. The earlier you do this, the cheaper these will be.

5. Get travel insurance

Take out travel insurance to cover any loss of luggage or delays and the cancellation of your flight.

6. Book your meet and greet

Get collected from Gatwick or Heathrow airports by booking a meet and greet (airport pickup).

7. Book your orientation

Book a place on our orientation scheme to attend a host of events and socialise with other international students.

8. Prepare for UK life

Find useful information about studying and living in Britain on the British Council and Prepare for Success websites.

9. Visit your doctor

For ongoing medical conditions, bring with you a good supply of medicine and a letter from your doctor or medical notes translated into English.

10. Set up your IT account

As soon as you are notified through the applicant portal, set up your IT account. Keep your confirmation of registration as you will need to show this when you register in person at the University.

11. Set up a UK bank account

Set up a UK bank account online and transfer funds to cover living costs and accommodation for when you are in the UK.

12. Order UK currency

To help cover the first few weeks in the UK including small amounts of cash for use at the airport and your first few days at Surrey, we recommend getting no more than £400 in currency.

13. Share your documentation

Email your family copies of your passport and UK Visas and Immigration decision letter, in case of an emergency.

14. Unlock your mobile phone

Get your phone unlocked so that it can be used with any a UK sim card.

15. View welcome updates

Check the New students website for the latest information for you to make the most of your time here at Surrey.

16. Pack your bags

When you are coming to the UK for a year or more, it is hard to decide what to bring. View our what to pack guide for our recommendations.

*If you have to order a new passport, please scan a copy of this and send this to the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) team: You will need to do this even if you have already received your visa.

What to pack

When you come to Surrey you will need to bring less than you think, with many items available to purchase both on Stag Hill campus, in Guildford city centre and at local supermarkets.