Undoubtedly, coming to study in the UK is likely to be one of the most exciting adventures of your life, but you may find the experience of coming to live in a different country confusing at first. Don't be surprised if, after the initial excitement of arrivingin the UK wears off, you find it strange or begin to miss home. You won't be alone – other new students will be feeling the same. Such emotions will quickly pass as you begin to get caught up in the bustle of student life, make new friends and find exciting new interests.

Pre-departure briefing information

The British Council runs pre-departure briefing programmes that tell you about immigration and passport control procedures, how to get to schools, colleges and universities, financial matters, budget planning and cultural differences. Please contact your local British Council office for more information. Your nearest UK Embassy or High Commission can also advise you on what documentation you will need.

Arranging your arrival

When booking your travel, try and make sure you arrive at a time that will enable you to get a transfer to your institution or accommodation. Aim to arrive on a weekday (Monday – Friday), rather than at the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) or on a public holiday, and try to arrive in the morning; as trains, coaches and taxis may not run throughout the night and will give you time to reach your final destination and settle in during working hours when transportation links are most frequent and facilities such as banks and shops are open. This may mean that you travel through the night and arrive tired and slightly jet-lagged but it will help to make your onward journey easier.

Many students arrange their onward journey from the airport to their institution at the same time as they book their flight. A travel agent in your home country may be able to help you do this. In this case, when you reach the UK you can continue your journey by following the instructions from your travel agent.

There are more than 40 airports in the UK, many of which fly to and from international destinations as well as providing internal flights within the UK. Most UK airports are served by their own rail station, with buses and coaches travelling from them to many local towns and other destinations. Speak to the international office at the school or college where you will be studying to find out how best to travel to your institution.

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