International students waiting in an airport
Before leaving your home country to begin your studies in the UK, you should prepare all of the essential items and documents needed to enter the country, establish yourself as a resident, and enrol at the University of Plymouth.
The most important things you need to bring are your personal documents – everything that proves your identity and right to study in the UK – and enough money to cover your first few weeks of expenses. You should also pack any medication you need to take. Find more detail on the essential items to pack below. 
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Plymouth and wish you a safe journey!


Carry the following in your hand luggage, as you may need to present them at border control:
  • British currency
  • Travel insurance and personal insurance documents 
  • Your offer letter from the University, or your CAS statement
  • Original certificates, transcripts, or results 
  • X-ray report or TB test certificate 
  • A letter from your doctor explaining any prescription medicines you take (in the original language and translated into English)
  • Evidence of your financial support (e.g., a bank statement or a letter from your sponsor) 
  • University address, contact name and phone number 
  • Onward journey information. 


Once you have your essentials with you, everything else can be bought on and around campus – so no need to worry if you've forgotten something. But to save money and make your first semester easier, read our advice on things to bring to university to help you plan the things you might want to buy on arrival in Plymouth.
Only bring what you can carry yourself without assistance. Bringing too much luggage (more than one large suitcase or two smaller ones) means you won't fit on the University coach from Heathrow airport. Even if you are travelling to Plymouth independently, you should be comfortable lifting all of your belongings on your own. Read more about arriving in the UK.


We advise you to bring a credit or debit card that works in the UK in case there are delays in opening a bank account. Bring enough money to cover your immediate needs on your arrival in the UK, including customs charges, rail fares, temporary or short-term accommodation costs if you are looking for permanent accommodation once you have arrived, and any emergency expenses. 
Remember that you will probably have to pay a deposit for your accommodation before you move in. This is normally the equivalent of one month’s rent but it can be substantially more, depending on the type of accommodation you are renting. You need to ensure that you have sufficient funds immediately available to cover this. It can take two to three weeks to set up a bank account, so bring enough money to support yourself until then. Read more about international student accommodation.

Steps to take before travelling to the UK

  • Obtain the necessary Student visa.
  • Apply for accommodation and ensure that you have the appropriate funds readily available for any upfront fees that may be required.
  • Familiarise yourself with our international student welcome events
  • Buy travel tickets.
  • Arrange any necessary insurance (e.g., private travel and health insurance).
  • Check whether you need a transit visa.
  • Ensure you have the documents listed above.
  • Check your government’s restrictions on taking money out of the country. 
  • Ask at your bank about transferring money to the UK. 
  • If travelling by air, check your airline’s luggage allowance. 
  • Ensure you have British currency for use during your first few weeks. 
  • Book your first night’s accommodation if you are arriving late into Plymouth or another city in the UK. 
  • Check the UK Government website for the most up-to-date guidance on travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • If you are staying in University-managed accommodation, please contact Accommodation Services at to discuss your requirements.
We're looking forward to welcoming you to Plymouth and wish you a safe journey. Don't forget to contact us at if you have any questions or need advice.
International student laughing