Preparing to travel

What documents do you need? How much money should you carry? What clothing and other essentials should you pack? Preparing to study in the UK can be daunting.

We're here to help.

We've pulled together a list of things to help your travels run smoothly. And a handy checklist so you can make sure you have everything you need.               


Carry the following in your hand luggage, as you may need to present them at Border Control:

  • British currency
  • travel/personal insurance documents 
  • your offer letter from the University, or your CAS statement
  • original certificates/transcripts/results 
  • x-ray report (if required) or TB test certificate 
  • a letter from your doctor explaining any prescription medicines you take
  • evidence of your financial support (e.g. bank statement, a letter from your sponsor) 
  • University address, contact name and phone number 
  • onward journey information. 


Don't bring more luggage than you can easily carry yourself. Bringing too much luggage (more than one large suitcase or two smaller ones) means you won't fit on the University coach. Even if you're travelling to Plymouth independently, it'll be difficult if you can't lift all your belongings on your own.


Bring enough money to cover your immediate needs on your arrival in the UK, including customs charges, rail fares and any emergency expenses. About £250 should be enough, but if you have any family with you, you will need more. Remember that you will probably have to pay a deposit for your accommodation before you move in. We strongly advise you bring a credit or pre-paid card that works in the UK in case there are delays in opening a bank account. 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. Remember it can take two to three weeks to set up a bank account, so bring enough money to support yourself until then.                                                                                                              


The weather in south-west England is usually mild but changeable. It rains often, particularly in coastal locations, but we rarely experience extreme temperatures. The winter can feel quite cold, and occasionally there is snow. The summer is usually warmer (although it still rains!). Bring warm waterproof clothing, including a raincoat/jacket, umbrella and possibly waterproof footwear for the winter. Or you can easily buy these at a reasonable price once you've arrived.

Checklist before you travel to the UK

  • Obtain the necessary student visa/Entry Clearance for study in the UK.

  • Apply for accommodation

  • Familiarise yourself with our International Student Welcome

  • Buy travel tickets and travel insurance. 

  • Check with whether there is a Heathrow meet and greet service available. 

  • Arrange Health Insurance, if applicable. 

  • 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. 

  • Make sure you have British currency for use during your first few days. 

  • Book your first night’s accommodation if you are arriving late into London or Plymouth. 

  • Check if you need to quarantine on arrival in the UK using the full self-isolation guidance. If you are staying in University managed Halls please contact the Residence Life team to discuss your requirements.

  • Check to see if you need to complete a passenger locator form.

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.