Final Considerations Before Departure
Final pre-departure considerations and checklist.
Before travelling please make sure that you have completed the Coming to Northern Ireland form and checked if there are any travel restrictions in place.
Please also check if British Government self-isolation guidelines are still in place.
Please continue to check these web pages for accurate and up to date information.
Preparation is everything. Take time to find out before you travel about when you need to arrive, where you need to be and what you need to bring with you and it will make your journey and stay at university much less stressful.
When can you arrive in the UK? The “valid from” date on your visa is the date from which you can legally arrive in the UK (generally one month before your course starts if you are coming for six months or longer, or one week if you are studying with us for less than six months).
When should you arrive on campus? We will be in touch with you about a month before International Orientation and will give you lots of information about our supported self-isolation options and transfers to campus from the two Belfast airports (Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport) in the coming weeks.
What should I be thinking about when organising my flights? Most student travel to Northern Ireland through Heathrow or Gatwick airports and take connecting flights to Belfast. Some students may choose to fly to Belfast from other UK airports, e.g. London Stanstead, London Luton, Manchester, Glasgow. Flights from most UK airports to Belfast take about an hour and there are regular flights throughout the day depending on the airport and airline. The cost of flights from London to Belfast varies greatly and it is worth contacting the main airlines before making a booking.
Please Note! Unless you are an EU student or hold a Tier 4 visa we advise that you do not enter Northern Ireland through the Republic of Ireland as you will not be able to get your passport checked or stamped for the UK and so will not have permission to enter the UK. If you have already booked your travel through an airport or port of entry in the Republic of Ireland, please contact the International Student Experience (ISE) team member for your campus and let us know of your plans.
What clothes should you pack?
In Northern Ireland people can choose to wear traditional clothes from their particular culture if they wish.
On campus we’re pretty casual, students generally wear jeans, t-shirts, casual tops and sweaters.
We recommend that you bring a warm coat, hat, scarf, gloves, socks, strong waterproof shoes/boots, several t-shirts and sweaters (a few thin layers to keep you warm).
During the summer months lightweight clothes such as shorts, t-shirts, dresses and sandals are suitable.
You may want to bring your national costume or something more formal to wear on special occasions but only pack what you can carry.
What else should I pack?
You will have to carry your luggage and there are going to be size/weight restrictions so only pack what is necessary.
Many of the items/brands that you know can be bought economically in the UK from shops such as Poundland, Poundstretchers and B&M so you may not need to bring them from home, for example:
- Toiletries, e.g. toothpaste, shower gel, soap, deodorant
- Bedding – you can request a bedding pack from Residential Services for a fee
- Kitchen utensils – some kitchen utensils will be available in University accommodation
- Adapters for electrical equipment
- AA/AAA batteries
Remember!! Think about the size and weight restrictions for your luggage – check with your airline. Don’t bring anything into the UK/Northern Ireland that is prohibited or restricted – check here and here for more information. Check out this Hot Courses Abroad piece on the “8 Mistakes Students Make When Packing to Move Abroad”.
Make sure to check here for what to pack in your hand luggage.
What If? Lost/Delayed Luggage
Should the worst thing happen and your luggage doesn’t arrive at your destination airport, don’t panic! Speak to the staff at the information desk. You may be asked to produce your flight ticket and provide a description of your luggage, e.g. size, colour. Your details will be noted and you’ll be issued with a reference number, keep this safe. Make sure you give the details of your term-time address or the place where you want your luggage delivered to. Let your accommodation provider know when to expect your delayed luggage.
Travel Insurance – it’s very important that you purchase travel insurance before your journey to the UK. You can purchase insurance through a travel agent or an insurance company in your home country.
Medical Insurance – we strongly recommend that all of our international students purchase their own private medical insurance before leaving home.
Final Check list
- Checked if you need to apply for a Tier 4 (General Student) visa or entry clearance to the UK? You may be travelling on a Short Term Student Visa (previously known as the Student Visitor Visa) but if you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss student who will be studying at Ulster for six months or more you must apply for a Tier 4 visa. Find out more at www.gov.uk/eu-eea and www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
- Arranged your accommodation and made the advance payment if necessary?
- Arranged travel insurance, medical insurance, insurance for your property?
- Obtained any relevant medical records, including vaccination certificates, and have them translated into English if necessary?
- Checked restrictions on goods which can be brought into the UK?
- Packed your luggage and checked the weight to make sure that it doesn’t exceed baggage allowance at the airport?
- Packed in your hand luggage your passport, CAS letter or Short Term Student Visa, original documents, accommodation confirmation letter, a small amount of British Pounds Sterling (about £300) for initial purchases, any medication that you need during your travels?
- Checked on the restrictions on the amount of money you are allowed to bring into the country?
- Packed a laptop or tablet to access course materials and complete assignments?
- Completed the Passenger Locator form?
- Completed your Coming to Northern Ireland form?