The information on this page explains your options for travelling to the University, and what to expect on arrival as well we also have some advice on what to do before you travel. We recommend where possible you plan to arrive in Birmingham on Saturday 20 or Sunday 21 September. You should read the information on this page before booking your flight to the UK.
Travelling to the UK
If you travel to the UK you will probably arrive by flying to London Heathrow or Birmingham airport. Please note that the UK and the Republic of Ireland are part of a Common Travel Area, travelling to Ireland before coming to the UK can cause a problem for non-visa nationals who have not applied for entry clearance before travelling. This is because you will not pass through the correct UK immigration control, you will be entering the UK as a tourist and you will not have the correct permissions to study in the UK. We strongly advise that students do not travel to the UK via Ireland.
Meet and Greet Service
The University of Birmingham provides a meet and greet service for new international students arriving at London Heathrow and Birmingham airports on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September.
You will be met at the airport by our friendly meet and greet team and coaches will take you to the University campus free of charge. If you would like to use this service there will be a limit on the amount of luggage you can bring on the coach: one large item of luggage and two small items. If you are bringing more luggage please make your own arrangements for these extra belongings to be sent Birmingham.
You can book onto the following services:
London Heathrow, Saturday 20 September
London Heathrow, Sunday 21 September
Birmingham Airport, Saturday 20 September
Birmingham Airport, Sunday 21 September
Finding your own way to the University Campus
If you are unable to use the meet and greet service, please check the following information to help you plan your journey to our campus.
Arriving at Birmingham International Airport
Option 1: Taxi - costs approximately £25, takes approximately 30 minutes
Signs in the airport will show you where you can get a taxi, and the taxi can take you directly to your University accommodation.
Option 2: Train – costs approximately £15, takes approximately 60 minutes
There is a free monorail service between the airport and Birmingham International train station. At Birmingham International train station you will need to take a train to Birmingham New Street. Trains also run between Birmingham New Street and University train station, however you may find it more convenient with heavy luggage to take a taxi from New Street Station directly to your University accommodation. There are regular trains between 06:00 and 23:00 (search the train timetable).
Arriving at any other UK airport
Birmingham is well connected to other parts of the UK by rail, however, travelling by coach is more convenient if you are carrying heavy luggage. You can travel to Birmingham Coach Station , situated in Digbeth, and then take a taxi directly to your University accommodation.
What happens when I get to the UK?
If you arrive at an airport you will pass through immigration control before collecting your luggage. You need to have your immigration documents ready to be checked, along with documents relating to your studies such as your offer letter, and finances, you should also remove any sunglasses if wearing them. You must be prepared to be asked questions by the Border Force Officer in English and answer in English.
If you are arriving in the UK as a Student Visitor, check that you have been given entry as a Student Visitor.
If there are any problems please ring the ISAS immediately on 0121 414 8464 to speak to an advisor.
After immigration control you will be able to collect your baggage from the carousel. If any of your luggage is missing you must find a member of staff from the airline and complete a lost luggage form before leaving the carousel area.
You must check the rules on what you can bring to the UK carefully.
You will need to go through the area marked as customs and will have to declare certain items. If you do not declare these items you will be committing an offence and can be fined:
Money over 10,000 Euros, or equivlaent in other currencies in cash, bankers drafts and cheques incuding travellers' checks must be declared.
Alcohol, tobacco, perfume and souvenirs above the permitted duty/tax-free allowances must be declared.
Food is also restricted and certain products including meat and dairy are not allowed into the UK.
If you don’t declare banned or restricted goods:
You could face long delays
The goods will be seized and destroyed
You may be prosecuted.
UK travel companies and useful websites
National Express & Flightlink Coaches
From France tel: 0170 706 099
From Belgium tel 02 4006776
From elsewhere tel: +44 (0)1777 777 879