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Arriving in the UK

Here’s what you need to know before you step off the plane and arrive in the UK as a new student.

Immigration and Customs (at the Airport)

Immigration procedures at British airports can be stringent and may result in a considerable delay at the end of your flight, especially during peak traffic periods (at the start of term and at UK holiday periods).

You should ensure that you have the following available in your hand luggage when you arrive in the UK:

  • valid passport
  • valid visa or entry certificate
  • proof of residency
  • evidence of funding; personal or family resources, confirmation or sponsorship
  • the letter from HIC confirming your place of study as a full-time student (offer letter)
  • recent medical report (including x-ray results if this applies to you)
  • you may be asked for additional information regarding your proposed studies in the UK

Travelling to Hertfordshire International College (HIC)

Please contact us with your flight details as soon as you book them and if you are staying in private accommodation details of a UK address and telephone number. We can then ensure that your arrival into the UK is as smooth as possible. A mobile phone number is also needed in case we have to contact you when you first arrive.

HIC Can help in pre-arranging your transport after your flight.

Opening a Bank Account

Why do I need a UK bank account?

Having a UK account means that you can take up a mobile phone contract, get paid for part-time work and pay your utility bills in a much more straightforward way. There are lots of banking providers to choose from so it’s important that you do your research and select the bank that is right for you.

What do I need to open my account?

Every bank has its own application process, so it’s best to check with your chosen provider. Some banks have an online application, but others may require you to make an appointment in person to present your documents. If you want to open a student bank account, then you will need to prove that you are currently studying.

Getting a job

As a student in the UK, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, usually at the national minimum wage. Any income earned from part-time jobs is a supplement to your planned sources of funding – and not to cover those expenses.

Everyone who works in the UK pays National Insurance (NI) contributions via their NI Number. After you apply, it can take up to 16 weeks to get your National Insurance number.

Please contact the Careers and Employment Service for further information on how to apply for an NI number once you arrive at HIC. The team can also provide support with finding work and appointments are available on both College Lane in the Hutton Hub and on de Havilland in the Enterprise Hub.


Here are some tips for managing your money when you arrive in the UK

  • Buy used textbooks and furniture
  • Buy shop-brand food
  • Drink tap water
  • Set up direct debit bills – just make sure you always have the correct amount in your account, otherwise you could be charged an overdrawn fee.
  • Look into which transport is the most convenient and cheapest, and make sure you use concession ticketing
  • Buy a British SIM card for your phone
  • Finally, student discounts are available:
    • NUS Card can be applied for via the NUS website for student discounts in many major high street stores.
    • You can apply for a rail card or coach card for discounted travel tickets.
    • By entering your university login details on the Unidays website, you are able to unlock a multitude of discount codes for retail stores.

Similar to Unidays, Student Beans offers discount codes after logging into your university portal via their website.

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