International Arrival Services

For students on all campuses

The University is currently reviewing Arrival Services for new international students due to feedback received around the existing provision. Please ensure that you are reading all the information below before booking your flights and check back here before doing so. Before making a flight decision you need to take the following into consideration: onward travel options (and additonal costs for these), luggage restrictions and how much initial support and guidance you would like once you land in the UK.

Sometimes just booking the cheapest flight to a UK airport is actually not the best (or cheapest) option!

Please note that the University is not able to offer a pick up service from Cardiff or Cardiff Airport for students who fly into other airports. The service from Cardiff Airport is ONLY for students who elect to fly into that airport. An Arrival Service is about assisting you once you land in the UK and helping you at that point. The services are delivered via external providers and not by the University itself. Administration and delivery is directly tied to the provision of precise flights details to these external providers and this cannot be overridden.

The University would always recommend that you aim to fly into Cardiff Wales Airport if possible. This is because on arrival, as long as you have arranged it with us following the instructions below, new international students will be able to access a FREE taxi. This taxi will take you directly to your accommodation (in Treforest/Cardiff or Newport). Therefore, if you fly directly to Cardiff, you will not have to worry about additional transport costs or about finding your way across England and/or Wales to your destination.

Feedback indicates that this option is most favoured by students and can significantly reduce anxiety about travelling to study in a new country.

If it is your first journey to the University, you are flying directly to Cardiff Airport and you would like to use this Cardiff Wales Airport service, you must pre-book and give us the exact details of your arrival at least five working days before travelling by completing and sending us an Arrival Services Booking Form found below.

Alternatively, you may decide to travel to the University Independently or by using one of the additional services that are highlighted below.

Arrival Service for students arriving directly into Cardiff International Airport

You should always try to arrange your flight into Cardiff International Airport. Some European airlines fly directly to Cardiff and there are also many worldwide connecting flights to Cardiff so make sure that you are asking your travel agent about these or are exploring these options online.

If we receive your completed CARDIFF Arrival Services booking form at least five working days before your arrival, we will arrange a free taxi from the airport to your accommodation. Your accommodation must be in: Treforest; Cardiff or Newport.

Please note – if you book this service and then find you do not need it – YOU MUST TELL US – or you will be liable for a non attendance charge of up to £50

Arrival Service for students flying directly into Heathrow Airport

We also have a 'meet and greet’ service at Heathrow Airport. This entails being met by a University representative who will then guide you to where you can buy a coach or train ticket for onward travel to Cardiff. You should expect to pay between £50-160 for a train ticket and between £30-60 for a coach ticket – both dependent on day and time travelled. Please note that a maximum of two medium suitcases (total maximum 20kg) and one piece of hand luggage are allowed on National Express coaches.

Depending on which coach company you choose to travel with there are 3 main stops in Cardiff, and only one stop in Newport, you could arrive at. For National Express you can either be dropped at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (normally the last stop) or Cathays in Cardiff. For Megabus you will be dropped at the Kingsway in Cardiff. You will then need to make your way from Cardiff or Newport city centre to your accommodation via taxi or using the Directions we have prepared for you.

Once you reach Cardiff, we recommend that you hire a taxi to take you direct to your accommodation. You should expect to pay the following fares: between £10-15 for addresses in Cardiff, between £30-45 for addresses in Newport, Treforest or Pontypridd.

If we receive your completed HEATHROW Arrival Services booking form at least five working days before your arrival, then we will arrange for a University representative to be there to meet you and escort you to the coach or rail desk to purchase your onward travel ticket. You will receive a confirmation email containing the additional information you need. Make sure you print this and travel with it in your hand luggage.

Please note that it may not be possible for us to arrange a representative to be at the airport if you arrive very early in the morning (between 1-6am).

Please note – if you book this service and then find you do not need it – YOU MUST TELL US – or you will be liable for a non attendance charge of up to £50

Arriving at any other airport

Arrival Services are only available from the two most popular student arrival points Cardiff and Heathrow airports. If you are arriving at any other airport in the UK then please follow our instructions on travelling to the University Independently

External transfer services

Flightlinkwales provide a good value transfer service to Cardiff/Newport from eight airports across the UK, with fares ranging between £24 and £55 per person. For further information and how to book please visit their website. Please note that the University provides this link for information purposes only and does not recommend or endorse this external company.

We strongly recommend that all students print out the detailed instructions on how to travel to the University independently and carry these with them on their journey.

Please ensure that you contact home to tell your family/friends of your safe arrival in the UK. This is your responsibility and not the responsibility of the University.

More information