Travelling to University
The University of Surrey is located on a landscaped campus on the outskirts of Guildford. London is only 34 minutes away by train and its major airports of Heathrow and Gatwick are both within easy reach giving ready access from all over the world.
At the Airport
When you arrive in the UK you will need to pass through Passport Control, where there are two queues available; one for EEA nationals and one for non-EEA nationals. Make sure that you choose the correct queue. In addition to showing your passport (or national identity cards for EEA nationals) you will need to hand in your completed Landing Card if you are a non-EEA national – this is supplied by your airline, shipping company or train operator. The immigration officer will check your entry clearance (visa) and stamp your passport to show the date that you entered the UK.
Should you have any real difficulties at immigration you can call the International Student Support team on 0044(0)7849109575 (this is the emergency mobile number of a staff member based at Heathrow during Meet and Greet days), during office hours on 01483 686868, or the University Security out of hours on 01483 682002.
After immigration you need to collect your bags from the baggage hall and pass through customs. There are three exits – the blue exit for travellers from the EU, the red exit for non-EU travellers who have goods to declare and the green exit for those with no goods to declare. Unless you are bringing more than your due allowance of tobacco, alcohol or gifts into the UK, you should proceed through the green exit.
If you have requested to be met by the University as part of the Meet and Greet scheme, look out for representatives as you enter the Arrivals Hall. Otherwise look out for a pre-booked taxi, if you have booked one, or follow signposts to the coach/train station.
Directions to campus
The University campus is easily accessible by road and rail, just a short walk from Guildford train station and well served by local buses.
From Heathrow during the day, the cheapest way to get to Guildford is by the bus/rail link via Woking. Tickets cost about £13. The journey takes about one hour and involves a bus journey to Woking then a short train ride to Guildford.
If you are arriving after 9pm, you will need to travel via London. Take the Underground to Waterloo Station, go to the main railway station and catch a train to Guildford. There is a train approximately every 30 minutes during the day. The fastest trains, taking about 34 minutes, travel via Woking and the single fare (one way) is about £13. From Gatwick, there is a direct train from the airport to Guildford which takes about 45 minutes and also costs about £12.
From Guildford railway station, taxis to campus cost about £8 and leave from the main station entrance. There is also a bus every ten minutes during the day and every 30 minutes in the evening to campus. Leave the station by the footbridge and rear exit, taking care to follow the signs to ‘University and Link/Arriva Bus’.
You may decide to pay a little more and take a taxi to the University. We strongly advise you to book a taxi before you arrive, because taking a public taxi from the rank when you arrive can cost a lot more! A pre-booked taxi from Heathrow to Guildford should cost from about £60 (a car for one, two or three students plus luggage) to £100 (a minibus for up to eight students plus luggage).
Pre-booking ensures that someone will meet you in the Arrivals Hall (which is very welcome after a long flight). Show the driver your University accommodation allocation letter and ask to be taken to the Court Reception where you will pick up your key.
It is best to book a taxi between three and ten days before you fly. Make sure you give the company full details of your arrival – the exact airport (not just London), the terminal, the flight number, the date and time of your arrival (not your departure), your full name and, if possible, your mobile phone number. You should always wait in the Arrivals Hall, where you will be met. Do not forget to notify the company of any changes to your travel arrangements.
If you are due to arrive in the UK too late for public transport or if you miss your airport pick up due to unavoidable delays, it may be less expensive to stay overnight at the airport rather than taking a taxi late at night. The airport Information Desk can provide information and assist with hotel bookings.
- Mark your suitcases in a unique way and include your contact details to ensure that you pick up the right one and not someone else’s!
- If someone accidentally picks up your suitcase, you will need to return to the airport at a later date to collect it, taking your passport as ID
- If your suitcase is separated from you during your journey, report the loss immediately to the airline on arrival at the airport
- Complete all the necessary paperwork at the baggage collection point including your contact address or the Student Services Centre address if you prefer
- Any delayed luggage should be sent on in a couple of days
Let the International Student Support team know of any problems as soon as possible, particularly if it happens during a Meet and Greet day, as someone will be able to help you make arrangements with the airport staff.
"Making new friends on the first day arriving in the UK made me more excited! It was really a wonderful experience and I will never forget it!"Jinson Guo (China), MSc Electronic Engineering