Travelling to the University

welcome team

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 strongly recommend where possible you plan to arrive in Birmingham on Saturday 19 or Sunday 20 September. You should read the information on this page before booking your flight to the UK.  We strongly advise you to carefully pre-plan how you are going to get to the University from the airport or destination that you arrive at in 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.

Using the airport collection service

It is strongly recommended that where possible you aim to fly into Birmingham Airport. It is also strongly advised that you arrive at the University on Arrivals Weekend (Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September). If not, you will miss Arrivals Weekend and Welcome Week.

The University provides a free airport collection service for our international students at the following airports:

Birmingham Airport

  • International students can book coaches from Birmingham Airport to the University of Birmingham campus between Friday 18 September - Tuesday 22 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 that you can bring on the coach: one large item of luggage and two small items.
  • The journey time is approximately 1 hour
  • Times and booking details will be available here at the end of July.

London Heathrow Airport

  • International students can book coaches from London Heathrow Airport to the University of Birmingham campus between Saturday 19 September - Sunday 20 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 that you can bring on the coach: one large item of luggage and two small items.
  • The journey time is approximately 2.5 hours
  • Times and booking details will be available here at the end of July.

Gatwick Airport 

  • International students can book coaches from Gatwick Airport to the University of Birmingham Campus between Saturday 19 September - Sunday 20 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 that you can bring on the coach: one large item of luggage and two small items.
  • The journey time is approximately 3 hours
  • Times and booking details will be available here at the end of July.

Using the coach and rail stations collection service

If you arrive at either Birmingham Coach Station (Digbeth Coach Station), Birmingham New Street train station or Moor Street train station in the City Centre on 19 and 20 September there will be a free University provided shuttle that will bring students to the University Vale, Jarrett or Pritchatt accommodations.

Further details about this service will be available in August.

Finding your way to the University Campus

If you are unable to use the ‘meet and greet services’ descibed above 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.  This is the quickest way to get to the campus from the airport and is particuarly recommended if you are arriving late in the evening (due to constrainsts of public transport availability) or if you have heavy luggage.

Option 2: Train – costs approximately £15, takes approximately 60-90 minutes

There is a free monorail service called 'Air Rail Link' between the airport and Birmingham International train station.   You can board the Air Rail Link from the second floor of the Terminal 1 Departures area at the airport.  The Air Rail Link takes two minutes to get to Birmingham International train station and operates between 05:15 and 02:00 daily.   You will then need to take a train to Birmingham New Street train station, you can check the timetable in advance

Once you are at Birmingham New Street train station you will need to either:

  • Get a taxi from Birmingham New Street train station to the University.  Follow signs for the taxi rank.  This will cost approximately £15 and will take approximately 10 minutes.
  • Take a train to University station. this is a cost effective way to travel, however you may find it more convenient with heavy luggage to take a taxi from New Street Station directly to your University accommodation. If you decide to travel by train, please check this map to help you to get to your accomodation from the University station.  Depending on the distance, you may find calling a taxi the easiest way to get to your accommodation.

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?

Passport control

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.

Collecting Luggage

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.

Customs

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 and taxi companies and useful websites

Coaches

National Express & Flightlink Coaches

Trains

National Rail:

Eurostar:

  • www.eurostar.com
  • From France tel:  0170 706 099
  • From Belgium tel 02 4006776
  • From elsewhere tel: +44 (0)1777 777 879

 Taxis

TOA Taxis:

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