International students arrival guide

Students taking a selfie by the lake

You are about to join a community of international students from over 140 countries. Find out the essential information you need to know for when you leave home, arrive on campus, and settle into university life.

Plan your arrival

View our semester and vacation dates.

Please check your CAS carefully and ensure that you make an application for your student visa in good time. If for any reason, you are unable to submit a visa application in time to begin your studies in person for the date you choose during online pre-registration, please update your online registration and contact

Please note that if you have been issued a 30- or 90-day entry clearance vignette as part of your student visa application you must arrive within the dates shown on that document. If your travel is delayed and you are unable to arrive within those dates please email as soon as possible.

Book a Covid-19 test and self-isolate on arrival

Passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result before departing for England

Passengers will need to produce a test result taken less than 72 hours before boarding planes, boats or trains to the UK, and could be fined £500 in border spot checks without a negative result.

You will need to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival, even with a negative test, unless you are coming from one of the limited number of countries deemed low risk on the government’s travel corridor list.

You can find out more about the requirements to book a Covid-19 test on our coronavirus webpages and what support there is available for you while you self-isolate on our MySurrey website.

Medical information for students from the European Economic Area

If you are a visitor/student from the European Economic Area (EEA) and require medical treatment, you need to provide a non-UK valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to ensure you are not charged for your healthcare. Your EHIC will cover you for all medically necessary treatment during your stay.

Read our advice (PDF).

Before you leave

As an international student coming to study at the University of Surrey, there are a number of things you must do before you travel to the UK.

Students studying in our campus restaurant
International pre-departure checklist
Make sure you complete these actions before you get here.
Student and family in halls
What to pack
It's good to be prepared for living in the UK.

Arrival information

Be prepared for your arrival in the UK and travelling to the campus.

Motorway in Surrey
Arriving in the UK
When you arrive in the UK, you will need to go through passport control and customs.
Student arriving on campus
Travelling to the University
We have great connections to Heathrow and Gatwick airports and offer a meet and greet service to meet you in arrivals.

International welcome and orientation

Information, guidance and support for your first few weeks at Surrey.

Students taking a selfie by the lake
International orientation
We prepare activities and support to ensure you settle in well.
Students shopping in the on-site supermarket on Stag Hill campus
UK arrival checklist
Find out what to expect during your first few weeks when you arrive.