Preparing for study as an international student
Wherever in the world your exciting new journey is starting from, we can’t wait to see your Salford story develop - and we’re here to make sure you have an amazing time!
Before you leave, take a look at the information below. We have highlighted the essential items you must bring and key things to check before you travel. It will help you get everything in place, so your first few weeks can run smoothly.
How to prepare your Visa
Find out how to apply for a visa from inside and outside the UK from our Immigration and Visa Help pages.
To start your programme at Salford you must have used your CAS and have made a successful application for a Student Route visa to study in the UK. Find out more about how to apply for your visa.
You can register as a student before getting your visa, but you will need your CAS to complete online registration.
International travel is severely affected by COVID-19 and changes to border access and rules can change at very short notice. It is very important that you read and follow the guidance on our Covid-19 FAQ page, which details the latest government safety announcements. We will continue to update this page and communicate with you as we get any new information.
Free taxi from Manchester airport
If you are travelling into Manchester airport, you can get a free taxi transfer to the University of Salford campus or to your student accommodation in Salford/Manchester. Make sure you also check our FAQs page for any information on additional checks or processes you might need to undertake on arrival.
To use this service you must book at least 72 hours in advance. You will need your University ID, flight details and accommodation address to complete the booking form.
On arrival at the airport, you will meet your taxi driver at the Travelex Service Desk. Your driver will be holding up a sign with your name on, so please look out for them. We advise you to wear a face-covering during the taxi journey to keep yourself and others safe.
If you are travelling into London Heathrow or any other airport, you should book a connecting flight to Manchester Airport. You can then book a free taxi service to your accommodation/hotel from Manchester Airport.
If you are travelling to the UK, it is important that you prepare your plans for self-isolation in advance, as there are different rules you must follow, depending on which country you are flying from or through. Full details about accommodation and self-isolation are on our FAQ page- see the sections called "Accommodation" and "Airports and Travelling to your accommodation".
Before you depart, check that you have all the documents you will need. Make sure you carry all your documents in your hand luggage so that you have them with you at all times. You will need to show some of these documents to the UK Border Force officers and further documents if you have booked a taxi transfer.
Click to see the list
- Your passport - Remove your passport from any protective casing before handing it to the Border Force officer
- Visa - This could be in the form of a vignette in your passport and/or a decision letter proving your right to study in the UK
- Your CAS letter - You may be asked to show your CAS on arrival in the UK
- Your medical card - You may be asked to show a medical card or a TB screening certificate (depending on your country of origin) on arrival in the UK
- Your university offer letter - You will need to show this to the taxi company if you have booked a taxi transfer
- Your airport welcome/taxi transfer confirmation. You will need to show this to the taxi company if you have booked a taxi transfer. You can book a taxi through Advantage.
- Bring a copy of your completed Passenger Locator Form and proof of your negative Covid-19 test
What to bring
When packing, make sure you bring your documentation and some money to get you started. Here is our advice on what items are essential, what items are useful and what you don’t need to pack in your suitcase.
Bring these essential items
Depending on your circumstances, the following documents may be required once you have entered the UK, either for your University registration or for other purposes:
- Passport and Visa
- Travel and health insurance documents
- Documentary evidence of your finances and ability to pay your fees and to support yourself whilst living in the UK
- Your sponsorship letter if applicable
- Documentary evidence of your qualifications (original documents of academic certificates and/or original official transcripts)
- Your offer letter from the University of Salford
- Original documentary evidence of your English language skills (if required)
- Your ATAS Certificate (if required)
- Driver’s license (if you have one)
- Any doctor’s letter outlining medical conditions or prescribed drugs
- Enough money to buy food and essentials with before you open a UK bank account. We recommend bringing an international credit or debit card to avoid using cash and to use during your self-isolation period (if you are required to self-isolate). We have a Santander bank on campus, which will make it easy for you to set up a bank account once you are ready, or there are many other banks to choose from.
- A face covering and hand sanitiser
- A laptop or suitable device for your induction and any online classes.
What you should pack will depend on your individual circumstances. Here are some items we recommend you bring with you:
- Pack at least one warm sweater and a jacket and a rain mac. Cotton or wool fabric are much warmer than synthetic fabrics. You can buy suitable warm clothes at low cost once you arrive. Student support staff or welcome staff can advise where to go for bargains.
- Tshirts and long sleeved clothes are useful for layering up or taking off.
- A dictionary. This can be very useful especially at the start of your studies
- Small personal items such as photographs that can help your new accommodation feel more like home
- Medication – if you require ongoing medication, it is helpful to bring this in its original packaging, along with a letter written in English from your doctor to confirm: your medical condition and required treatment. You can use this to show your doctor in the UK once registered, to help them continue your treatment. If you are bringing medication, it is important to check the regulations about bringing medication into the UK.
You can find more information about what to bring to the UK on the Study in UK website.
What not to bring
Your entire household!
- You can buy all the household items you may need, such as bedding, or kitchenware locally at low cost – we can tell you where to find everything once you arrive.
- Too many books. You can borrow most books you need at the library or they may be available second hand from other students
There are some things you cannot bring into the UK, or are subject to restrictions:
- Banned goods - These include items such as firearms, knives, imitation or ceremonial weapons, certain fur or animal skin products, indecent or obscene materials
- Food products and plants - There are restrictions on bringing certain foodstuffs and plants into the UK. Meat and dairy products are not allowed in most cases, and restrictions apply to vegetables and plants. Restricted goods will be confiscated on arrival, so please check the regulations carefully
- Duty-free goods - You can bring in a certain amount of duty-free/tax-free goods into the UK for your own use. This is known as a ‘duty-free allowance’. If you go over your allowance, you may have to pay duty or tax. There are limits to the amount of tobacco and alcohol you can bring into the country and on the value of other goods
- Cash - You must declare on arrival any amounts of cash in any currency you are bringing into the UK which is equivalent to or more than 10,000 Euro. It is also advised against using cash during the COVID-19 pandemic for hygiene reasons.
Key things to check
There are a number of important things to check before you get started as a student or before you travel. Please read all the sections below thoroughly.
You must have agreed on a payment plan with the University for any outstanding tuition fees before you can complete student registration.
You can pay any balance on your fees in full on arrival to get a 3% discount, or you can arrange to pay the balance in instalments.
For more information visit our askUS pages.
You can also find some troubleshooting information to support you with confirming your payment method during registration on our Welcome FAQ page.
International Right to Study appointment
To register as a student, you will need to attend an International Check-in Appointment online, in order to meet Home Office requirements. Find the full details of how to do this on our International Registration for new students page.
Online registration for your programme
It is important to register promptly and before the start of term so that you can access your learning resources and start your course. See the registration page for more information on how to complete online registration. If you do not register on time you may not be able to join your course and your Student Visa may be revoked.
As soon as you have your CAS you must complete registration, even if you do not yet have your visa. You can update your profile with your visa details once you have your visa. At step 4, if you are asked for your CAS/visa, please click through the screen and in the dropdown, menu select the option that states you have your CAS/visa.
If you are worried about registering without your visa – don’t be! If you receive a negative visa decision, your tuition fees will be refunded in line with our terms and conditions. If you have any concerns about your visa decision, please contact your education agent who can guide you with your visa file and interview.
It is important to make a note of all important dates which relate to your immigration status and set reminders for taking any action required, such as applying for a Visa extension or renewing your passport. You should take note of:
- The date your current Visa expires
- The date your passport expires
- Dates you are meeting with your supervisor (if you are a research student, or a masters student who has progressed to writing up your dissertation)
Our Immigration and Visas website contains a wealth of information, resources and guides to help support you through your time at the University of Salford. If you cannot find the information you need on our website, please get in touch with the Home Office Compliance team in askUS:
- Email: HomeOfficeCompliance@salford.ac.uk
- Telephone: 0161 295 0023
You must provide a UK address and telephone number as part of the University of Salford's registration process.
It is a requirement of your Visa that you inform the University of Salford if either should change.
If you don’t have a permanent address when you register with the University of Salford, you can provide a temporary address.
When this changes you must update your details.
Student Route Visa Orientation
Following completion of your registration, you will receive an email from the Home Office Compliance team inviting you to book on to a mandatory Student Route Visa Orientation session. The Student Route Visa session will equip you with all the essential information you will need while you are an international student in the UK.
Please note that the government have confirmed that students who need to register with the police do not need to do so whilst social distancing measures are in place in the UK.
Before you travel you must follow the guidance on our Covid-19 FAQ page carefully - see the section titled "International travel and regulations for entering the UK" and the other related sections.
Travelling to campus
We are situated just 2km from Manchester city centre - so close you can walk. We are also just 2.5km from MediaCityUK. The 50 bus, operated by Stagecoach, runs every 10-15 minutes from Manchester city centre via the University of Salford’s main Peel Park campus and Salford Shopping Centre, between 7am and 11pm, Monday to Friday, and between 8am and 6pm at the weekend.
Students can travel free between the main University campus, Peel Park, and MediaCityUK on production of their University ID cards.
The X50 runs every 15 minutes from Manchester city centre to the Trafford Centre via Salford Quays. Our MediaCityUK campus is just a few minutes’ walk from the Imperial War Museum stop on Trafford Wharf Road, via footbridge over the Manchester Ship Canal.
Find out more about travelling to campus.
To find out more about transport links in Greater Manchester, visit Transport for Greater Manchester.
We are required by law to inform the Home Office if any student on a Student Route Visa is not engaging regularly and, if so, your Student Route Visa could be revoked. For further details, visit the Visa and Immigration webpages.