Before you arrive
Things for international students to consider before arriving at UWE Bristol.
What you need to do
Find out how to pay tuition fees.
Read about visas and immigration, including when you need to apply for your visa.
Read our guidance on choosing and booking accommodation.
If you would like some help searching for private accommodation, please complete this short form.
It is important that you find accommodation before arriving in the UK, as the University cannot offer you a room whilst you search. So please arrange temporary accommodation if needed (such as to stay in an Airbnb or hotel).
The University has created a list of local accommodation contacts (PDF).
View more information about things to consider when choosing accommodation below.
If you are from any of these countries listed on the Gov.uk website and you will be in the UK for more than six months, you must take a tuberculosis (TB) test. Read the UK Visa and Immigration guidance on tuberculosis tests.
Book your flight and organise travel insurance. Read information about airport pickup and transport to UWE Bristol.
In your hand luggage, you should have the following documents:
- passport (containing your student visa) and ID card if applicable
- offer letter from UWE Bristol
- UWE Bristol Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies documentation
- evidence of your funding – sponsor letter or bank statement used to obtain your visa
- printed confirmation of your accommodation, including address
- IELTS/English Language qualification certificate
- airport welcome service booking confirmation email (if applicable)
- sufficient money in cash/credit card/travel cheques to support yourself for first few weeks until you open a UK bank account
- photocopies of important documents (leave a copy with your family at home too)
- these must be paper documents (not on an electronic tablet or mobile phone).
Other travel items for your hand luggage:
- warm jumper and coat – you may find the UK is a bit cooler than your home country.
Limit your luggage to a maximum of two suitcases. It is your responsibility to carry your own luggage.
- Clothes – pack lots of layers and warm clothes! There is no formal dress code at UWE Bristol – most students dress informally, for example in jeans, trousers, or a skirt with a jumper or T-shirt. Bring clothes for a special occasion, for example a suit, dress or traditional dress. Religious dress can be worn at any time and discrimination on religious grounds is illegal in the UK.
- Personal items – pack some personal belongings (such as photographs, postcards and ornaments) to make your accommodation feel more familiar.
- Packed converters and chargers if you are bringing electrical appliances (the UK uses 230 volts).
Cooking equipment, books, food and bedding
Wait until you have arrived in the UK. There are strict controls on importing foodstuffs and plants. You can read further information on restricted goods on the Gov.uk website.
Make sure you have some UK currency or a credit card, so you can pay for anything you need during your first few days in the UK. There are also Bureau de Change and cashpoints inside the airport terminals.
More information about accommodation
- Location: find out what campus you are studying at, and think about if you would rather live on campus, near campus, or in the city centre.
- Travel: if you choose to live off campus, you will need to consider travel costs, and how long it will take you to travel to UWE Bristol, particularly during peak hours.
- Rent: how much you can afford to pay each month, and what's included or excluded in your rent (eg cost of electricity, water, sewage, TV license, internet access).
- Accommodation application process: you'll need to think about the accommodation application process and whether you need a guarantor. Most private accommodation letting agencies require a guarantor (someone who is over 18, employed full time and a UK resident) in order to rent a property from them. Alternatively, you can use UK Guarantor, which is a service for international students. They act as your UK-based guarantor if you're coming to study in the UK. This means that you can pay your rent in instalments rather than in advance.
See the accommodation section for helpful information and advice on choosing both UWE Bristol-managed accommodation and private accommodation. If you have any questions, please email Accommodation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're staying in UWE Bristol accommodation, please ensure you have paid your security deposit before you arrive in the UK. See further information on applying for UWE Bristol accommodation.
If you're staying in private accommodation, please contact your landlord/landlady before you leave your home country, let them know your day of arrival and check that you can get into the property when you arrive.
Landlords of private accommodation will ask for documentation on your legal right status in the UK, which is part of the UK Government’s ‘right to rent checks’.
If you plan to secure longer-term accommodation once you arrive in Bristol, please ensure that you have arranged at least one week of temporary accommodation before you come to the UK.
It may take some time to find permanent accommodation, so it's very important that you make arrangements to stay somewhere in the interim.
We recommend reserving a room online at one of the Bristol hostels or a local guest house (also called a Bed and Breakfast or B&B). Hosts International also provide temporary homestay accommodation to international students.
If you, your parents or your family are looking for temporary hotel accommodation, try websites like Lastminute.com or Booking.com. You can use them to search for rooms within a specific budget or area of Bristol.
All these hostel, hotel and B&B options are external to the University, so it's important that you research and read reviews of these venues to check the quality before booking.
You can also get information on finding accommodation on the UKCISA website.