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Here's what you need to know before you step off the plane...

Please take a few minutes to read all of these guides as they provide you with essential information to help you adapt to living in the UK.

1. Customs and quarantine

You should ensure that you have the following available in your hand luggage when you arrive in the UK:

  • valid passport
  • valid visa or entry certificate
  • proof of residency
  • evidence of funding; personal or family resources, confirmation or sponsorship
  • the letter from UPIC confirming your place of study as a full time student
  • recent medical report (including x-ray results if this applies to you)
  • you may be asked for additional information regarding your proposed studies in the UK

Passport control procedures

Procedures at British airports can be stringent and may result in a considerable delay at the end of your flight, especially during peak traffic periods (at the start of term and at UK holiday periods). For information on what goods you may bring into the UK, please click here.

Please click here to contact us with your flight details as soon as you book them and, if you are staying in private accommodation, details of a UK address and telephone number. We can then ensure that your arrival into the UK is as smooth as possible. A mobile phone number is also needed in case we have to contact you when you first arrive.

It is very important that we know when you are arriving and where you intend to stay in the UK. Please remember to tell us about your travel and accommodation details as soon as they are booked.

2. Where to go when you arrive in Plymouth

UPIC work with a large airport limousine company and if you have pre-booked your airport pickup (by completing the ‘Airport Reception’ form) and had it confirmed then a trusted driver (with an UPIC placard) will be waiting for you at arrivals to take you to Plymouth.

The map below shows the location of UPIC which is on campus at University of Plymouth.

Plymouth

15 Portland Villas,
Drake Circus Devon PL4 8AA

Telephone: +44 (0) 1752 411 114
Facsimile: +44 (0) 1752 411 115
info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

3. Register with the police

Certain nationalities of international students are required to register with the UK police on arrival. This is also stated as a condition of some students’ visas and will be clearly indicated in your passport when you receive the student visa with the words 'Please register with the police within seven days'.

Students from all the following countries will need to register with the local police:

Afghanistan Algeria Argentina Armenia Azerbaijan
Bahrain Belarus Bolivia Brazil China
Columbia Cuba Egypt Georgia Iran
Iraq Israel Jordan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan
Kuwait Lebanon Libya Moldova Morocco
North Korea Oman Palestine Peru Qatar
Russia Saudi Arabia Sudan Syria Tajikistan
Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UAE Ukraine
Uzbekistan Yemen      

Please note these are subject to change and an updated list can be found on the UKVI website.

During your Registration and Enrolment programme you will be told how and where to register. If you are unable to attend registration, please inform us as soon as you arrive and we will give you full details about where to go and who to speak to.

4. Public transport

The public transport system in the UK consists of the over-ground rail, ferries and buses as well as the famous underground trains in London. The cost of public transport depends on the type of ticket you buy and the distance that is to be travelled.

There is a network of frequent and reliable local buses, and these provide excellent access to all parts of Plymouth. Further information, including student bus passes for Plymouth, can be obtained from www.plymouthcitybus.co.uk

For UK and European coach travel, timetables and further information are available from www.nationalexpress.com. As a student you can apply for a coach card that will give you up to 30% off your coach ticket.

If you are aged 16 to 25 or a full-time student over 25 years of age, and planning on using the train regularly, you may apply for a young person’s railcard. The card will cost you £28 for 1 year, or £65 for 3 years and can save you 1/3 on fares throughout Great Britain. You can get further information online at: www.16-25railcard.co.uk. You can purchase a railcard at this website once you are living at a UK address, or if you have proof of age (or proof of student status if over 25) and a passport-sized photograph you can purchase a one year Railcard at any rail station.

5. Insurance cover

It is now compulsory for all students to have insurance before they begin their studies with us. As safety and welfare is our priority, we have designed a comprehensive insurance policy in partnership with Endsleigh, Europe’s leading student insurer, specifically for Navitas students.

To name just a few of the benefits, this policy will provide students with cover for:

  • emergency medical/dental treatment,
  • cancellation of the course in the event of accident/illness,
  • recreational travel within EU and repatriation to a student’s home country if they are seriously ill or injured.

More information can be found within your offer letter pack or contact Student Services by email at student.support@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

6. Currency

You should make sure you bring a small amount of cash with you for your day-to-day expenses until you have registered at UPIC and opened a bank account. We recommend £200 in small denominations (£5, £10 and £20 notes), as change can be a problem in some of the smaller stores. Please note if you have not previously booked accommodation, you will need money available for a deposit. DO NOT carry a large amount of cash when you travel to the UK. Whatever amount of cash you bring with you, make sure:

  • you bring Sterling (GBP). In the UK you will not be able to use US Dollars or any other currency to pay for things. If you do bring other currencies to the UK, you will need to change them into GBP when you arrive and you will be charged for this.
  • you should ensure that you keep the cash on your person when travelling. Use a body belt or similar to carry cash and other valuables and do not under any circumstances place money in your hold baggage. When you arrive at your accommodation secure the cash in your room and make sure your room is locked when you are out.
  • if you do have a large amount of cash you should contact the UPIC office. We cannot store it for you but will advise you on how to open a bank account. In the UK you will not normally be able to open a bank account until you have registered with UPIC as a student and have arranged permanent accommodation.
  • Please note that UPIC cannot take responsibility for cash lost by students. It is your responsibility to keep it safe. This is why we recommend that you do not bring large amounts of cash with you.

Travellers' cheques

Travellers’ cheques are a good alternative to carrying cash as they can be converted into cash when you need it. Unlike a personal cheque, you do not need to have a UK bank account in order to use them. If you lose them or they are stolen you can apply to have them replaced. You should normally try to get sterling (GBP)-based travellers’ cheques as these are the easiest to cash. If you bring travellers’ cheques in any other currency most banks and the bureau de change will impose a charge for converting them to GBP. GBP travellers’ cheques may be used to pay for purchases in larger shops in the main towns and cities, but not all stores will accept them. When travelling make sure you keep details of your travellers’ cheques and your passport separate.

Credit Cards

UPIC can accept payment for tuition fees and accommodation charges via most major credit cards (N.B. there is a three percent handling charge for paying fees and accommodation by credit card). Make sure that your credit limit is sufficient to allow you to make this payment. Check with your bank or credit provider before you leave home. You should also make sure that you give someone at home authority to pay money into your credit card account whilst you are in the UK.

Debit Cards

If you have a debit card (Maestro, Visa or Cirrus) you can use it to pay your tuition fees and accommodation charges (there is no handling charge for payment by debit card), as well as for shopping and other expenses. Make sure you have sufficient money in your account to allow you to make this payment. Check with your bank before you leave home. You should also make sure that you give someone at home authority to pay money into your bank account whilst you are in the UK.

If you have a question that we haven't covered here, please don't hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 1752 411114 or email info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk.