You’ll need to bring enough money to pay for your tuition fees, accommodation and general living expenses. To do this, we advise you to bring a banker’s draft with you. You will need to open a UK bank account when you arrive. This can take up to four weeks, so we advise that you bring enough money in travellers cheques to use until your account is open. Around £400-£600 should be enough. You should also bring enough cash in pounds sterling to cover the cost of transport to the University and meals for the first few days; around £200 should be enough. We advise not to carry large amounts of money around with you or keep large amounts of cash in your accommodation.
The British climate can be unpredictable and temperatures can vary quite a lot throughout the year. You will need a variety of clothing suitable for all weather conditions, such as a warm coat or jacket that is also waterproof, T-shirts or shirts, jumpers, trousers or jeans, warm socks, strong shoes and an umbrella! You may find it easier to buy suitable clothing when you arrive – Pontypridd and Cardiff both have shops where you can buy clothes suitable for the British climate.
Bedding and household items
Whether you’re going to live on-campus at the University (halls of residence) or in private accommodation, you’ll have to supply your own plates, cups, cutlery, duvet, sheets, pillows, and towels… basically everything except furniture. However, bringing all these things with you would make travelling very difficult. Try to bring what you’ll need for the first few nights, then buy what you need locally.
It’s very important to feel at home, so remember to bring a few personal items such as photographs and your favourite CDs with you.
Other useful items
You may want to bring some electrical appliances with you. Voltage in the UK is 240 volts and appliances use a 3-pin plug. If the voltage and plugs are different in your country, we recommend you buy British appliances when you get here. Small appliances, such as hair dryers, are relatively cheap.
Pack your things in strong suitcases labeled with your name and the name of the University, both inside and out. If you are going into a Hall of Residence and you know the address, you should put this address on all your suitcases. Make sure you can carry your luggage for at least half a kilometre.
Don’t bring any valuables unless you feel it is absolutely necessary. If you do, you should insure them before departure and keep them safely stored in your hand luggage. Your hand luggage should also contain personal articles for use if your luggage is temporarily lost during your journey. You should keep copies of travellers cheque numbers, insurance policy numbers, passport, visa etc. in a separate and safe place in case they are lost or stolen. As an additional precaution, leave copies with family or friends as well.
Checklist of items to carry in your hand luggage
You will need certain documents when you arrive at a UK airport, where you will be interviewed by immigration and health officials. It is important to bring with you:
- A valid passport and your UK visa in the form of either a sticker in your passport or a biometric identity card (if applicable)
- An air ticket
- Vaccination certificates (if required)
- An X-ray report (if required)
- Your CAS record from the University (not applicable to EU students)
- Documentary evidence that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses while studying (in the form of recent bank statements)
- Originals of any degree certificates or technical qualifications
- Some warm clothing
- Some British currency
- Insurance documents
- A list of what you are carrying in your luggage in case you have to make an insurance claim
- Any prescribed drugs or medicine you are taking, plus a letter from your doctor explaining what they are
- Photocopies of your passport details page and your UK visa page (if applicable)
Security at international airports is now very strict and there will be a number of items you won’t be permitted to carry in your hand luggage, such as scissors and knives. Your airline will be able to provide a list of prohibited items. Currently, you are only allowed to take small quantities of liquids in your hand luggage. These liquids must be in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres each. You must pack these containers in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity. Again, check with your airline for up-to-date regulations relating to liquids.