University of Bristol International Foundation Programme pre-arrival

We can’t wait to welcome you to Bristol

Here you can find useful pre-arrival information: everything from how you should prepare to what you can look forward to.

Starting to prepare 

When you’re about to move abroad, there is a lot to think about! You’ll need to understand what you need to do, including obtaining the correct visa and what documents you require. It’s also time to consider what you’ll want to bring with you to the UK. 

Complete the pre-arrival form 

It’s important that you fill in the pre-arrival form at least 72 hours before you’re due to travel. This will let us know important information like when you’ll be arriving, so we can have everything ready for when you get here. 

Getting your visa

If you already have your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies), you can begin the process of applying for a student visa. This may involve a visa credibility interview — check out these handy tips.

  • Check if you need a visa to study in the UK

  • Use your CAS number to apply for a visa online  

  • Take your documents to a visa application centre  

  • Receive your visa ready for travelling to the UK  

Securing your accommodation

Before you come to Bristol, you’ll need to have arranged a place to live. You can choose and book your accommodation once you have accepted your study offer. The University of Bristol has lots of great housing options. You can apply for accommodation directly through the University. Go to the University’s website to learn more about accommodation options and how to apply.  

Download a checklist of
documents you’ll need:

(0.6MB, PDF)

What to expect in Bristol

Gray, Cutlery

Dariga’s experience of studying abroad in Bristol 

Student talking to student services at the welcome desk

Receive a warm welcome at the International Office

Arriving in Bristol

Before you set off, you’ll need to pack carefully! Remember to bring:

Important documents

Laptop with camera 

Money and bank card 

Suitable clothing 

Electrical adapter

Any medication you need

Mobile phone 

We can arrange a transfer to bring you directly from the airport to your new home if you complete the pre-arrival form before you arrive. Free transfers are only available on the main arrival weekend.  

If you want to arrange your own transport, you can take a train to Bristol from London Heathrow or London Gatwick airports. Alternatively, you can take a coach or bus from both Heathrow and Gatwick, a bus from Bristol Airport or a taxi from any point of entry.  

Once you’re at your student residence, a friendly member of staff will be there to welcome you and help you get settled. It’s important that you’re in the UK in time to join in Welcome Week and start your studies. 

If you have booked your accommodation through the University of Bristol, you can find more information about your arrival at the residence on the University’s website.

Join the University of Bristol’s student community on social media  

Gray, Cutlery

Contact details

University of Bristol International Foundation Programme 

Centre for Academic Language and Development  
Richmond Building
105 Queens Road
BS16 1QY
United Kingdom

P+44 (0) 117 331 8522 (monitored 9.30am–4.30pm Monday to Friday)

College arrivals number
(for use only when you’ve arrived in the UK) 

+44 (0)7551 158593

UK Emergency services number
(Police, fire brigade, ambulance)