International students: Before you arrive

Find out about Bristol, visa guidance, travel advice, health information and important documents to bring.

International student handbook

‌Download the International student handbook 2019 (PDF, 3,751kB) for essential information on living in the UK and services available to support you.

Get to know Bristol

Find out about what's on in Bristolplaces of worship student groups and networks, and welcome events so you can start making friends and building a community as soon as you arrive. You can also take a virtual tour of the campus and city. 

Visa guidance

You will need to check whether you need a visa to study in the UK. Our Student Visa Services can help you with queries about visas, your immigration status and working in the UK.

Important documents to bring with you

We recommend that you bring the following documents in your hand luggage when you arrive in the UK as you may be asked to present them at the border.

  • visa decision letter
  • a printed email showing your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies number (CAS)
  • bank statements
  • accommodation details

Other documents to bring

We also recommend you bring with you:

  • original copies and English translations of relevant certificates and examination results.

The following health documents;

  • details (in English) about any past physical or medical illness requiring medical treatment.
  • a full record of past immunisations.
  • your European Health Card if you have one (EEA students only).

Register online

Online registration is open between Wednesday 4 and Saturday 14 September. You must register online by Saturday 14 September. 

Download your timetable 

Find your Welcome Week timetable so you know where to be when you first arrive.

Plan your travel to the UK

Book your travel to the UK as soon as possible. 

Make sure you check:

  • Your government's restrictions on taking money out of your home country.
  • What items you can bring into the UK.
  • Your luggage weight against your airline's allowance.

We recommend you buy travel insurance and bring these documents with you. 

Where we can meet you

During arrivals weekend (21 and 22 September), we run a Meet and Greet service to welcome you and help you reach your destination. 

Finding accommodation

If need to find private accommodation, check Bristol SU Lettings for a list of available accommodation and register to get updates when new properties become available. They may be able to arrange a video or Skype tour for you. 

If you don't find accommodation before you arrive, come prepared with an idea of your budget and a number of areas of Bristol you would be happy to live in. 

The International Welcome Lounge will be open from 9 September and you can speak to staff if you have any questions about your accommodation search (although we will not be able to find or book accommodation for you).


Check advice from our Students' Health Service on what to do before you arrive.

In the UK if you have a health problem, mental health issue or a disability in the UK you may be able to get free help with equipment, extra time in exams, mentoring or other support to help you achieve your potential.

Contact our Disability Services team, so they can make sure you get what you need from the very beginning. This is available for all students and will not impact on your place to study here.

What to do next


We are an international university and welcome staff and students from over 150 countries.

In the EU referendum, 62% of Bristol voted to remain in the EU. Find out about how Brexit might affect our prospective and new students.

You can also get advice on visas, following Brexit, from our Student Visa Service.

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