Pre-arrival Information

This page will be updated soon with information for 2020!

Congratulations on receiving a place on the Birmingham International Summer School. The below pre-arrival information will help you with the next step of making your preparations and arrangements.

Visa Information

Once you have met the conditions of your offer the Admissions Office will issue you with a letter to assist you in obtaining your Short-term Study visa.

You can check if you require a Short-term Study visa before you travel to the UK by visiting the UKVI website.

If you need more assistance, please visit our support pages where you can find out how to submit an online query and receive further guidance on your application.

Please note: you must ensure that you fly directly into a UK airport. Do not fly via the Common Travel Area (this includes the Republic of Ireland) as the entry granted is only as a visitor (tourist) and does not permit study and we would be unable to admit you to the Summer School.

When to arrive

Accommodation for the course will be available from 12-noon on Sunday 14 July 2019.

Airport greeting at Birmingham International Airport

If you are arriving at Birmingham International Airport between the hours of 10:00 and 18:00 on Sunday 14 July 2019, please let us know in advance via our online Travel Information Form.* A greeting and pick-up service will be available.

Arriving at London Heathrow Airport

If you are arriving at London Heathrow Airport please note that there is no pick-up service available. 

The easiest form of transport from Heathrow Airport to Birmingham is via coach. The coach station at Birmingham is in Digbeth. Digbeth coach station is a short walk from Birmingham New Street train station. There are frequent local train services to University station or might find it more suitable to take a taxi to the accommodation.

Please visit the National Express website for information on tickets and train times.  (Typical return tickets fares are estimated between £25 - £35.)

If you are travelling from a different airport or part of the country, information can be found at Travelling to the University.

* Students will be sent a link to our Travel Information Form in due course, which we would like for you to complete.


All Summer School students will be assigned self-catering accommodation in The Metalworks, Selly Oak, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the main campus.

Please visit the The Metalworks website for information on location and facilities.

Your room will be available from 12-noon on Sunday 14 July 2019.  

Accommodation facilities and services include:

  • Queen size en-suite bedroom
  • Communal area and kitchen with cooking utensils and crockery. Kitchen and lounge area cleaned once per week. A complimentary clean of bedrooms and bathrooms will be provided once during your stay.
  • Bed linen including sheets, duvet & duvet cover, pillow & pillow case.
  • Internet Access
  • Onsite Laundry (subject to fee)
  • 24 hour security
  • Common Room

    (Please note that rooms do not include clothes hangers and towels)


Rooms will need to be vacated on Saturday 3 August 2019.


As part of the registration procedures for the Birmingham International Summer School, you will receive an email with instructions for completing your online enrolment. You will need to enrol online prior to joining the programme.

You will need to undergo a ‘Right to Study Check’ on your arrival. Please ensure that you bring the following documents to registration:

  • Your passport and a photocopy of the photo page
  • Your visa and a photocopy of this
  • Your completed important information form

You will also receive your student ID card at registration.

Registration will take place on Monday 15 July in the Learning Centre (R28 on campus map). A BISS team member will meet you at your accommodation prior to Registration.

Travel Insurance

You are advised to purchase individual travel insurance before travelling to cover yourself for your return journey and the duration of your stay. Insurance should cover any expenses incurred as a result of lost or stolen property, late arrival, early or delayed departure, or cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.

We will ask for your travel insurance provider on arrival, as well as emergency contact details.

As you will be in the UK for a period of less than six months, you will not be covered by the National Health Service (NHS) unless you are from the EEA or a country with a reciprocal arrangement (in which case you will be eligible for some, limited, free NHS treatment). You can check whether your country has a reciprocal arrangement on the NHS website.

All overseas students are advised to carry appropriate insurance to cover any treatment required. If you are not covered by the NHS you must ensure that you have adequate and appropriate insurance for your stay in the UK.

Packing Guidance


Although it will be summer in the UK when you arrive, the temperatures may well be less than what you are used to, so be sure to pack some warm clothes and wet weather clothing just in case!  The UK is renowned for having changeable weather so be prepared for sun, rain, and wind.  Summer temperatures range typically between 18 – 30°C (66 - 86°F) although it may get cooler in the evenings and at night. It is advisable to bring Clothing suitable for all weathers – a waterproof jacket is recommended!


Please ensure that you bring:

  • Money for food as the accommodation is self-catering
  • Spending money
  • Travel costs to and from the airport (depending on which airport you fly to, this will vary)
  • Any extra-curricular activities.  As there are free days, students may wish to explore Birmingham and the surrounding area.

Mobile Phone

You can buy pay-as-you-go SIM cards for a short stay in the UK for making local calls and texting.  You can also save money by using the wireless network on campus to make calls via Skype or Google Talk to friends and family overseas.

The University Centre (R23 on campus map) has a number of shops which provides a range of phone services. You can purchase International Phone cards from the shop ‘Unique’ and mobile phone accessories from ‘Salco Phones.’

Travel Adaptors

The UK uses a three-pin plug.  You can buy adaptors for UK plug sockets in your home country or in the airport on arrival. The UK operates on 220V, so you may want to consider a transformer if you are bringing any electric devices that operates at a lower voltage which does not already have a built-in transformer.

You can purchase travel adaptors from John Smith's Student Store at the University Centre.


Pack your passport, travel documents, UoB documentation, and insurance documentation in a safe place in your hand luggage. Make copies of all these documents and pack them separately.


Any prescription medicine and a letter from your doctor to explain any pre-existing medical conditions should you see a doctor in the UK.

University Facilities

Summer School students will have access to the same University facilities that full degree students do. This includes:

Once you have registered with the University, you will have access to the IT system and will be able to access the resources available to all students.

Food and Drink 

On campus:

The University’s main campus has a good range of facilities that should provide you with the necessary services and essentials on a day to day basis. They include banks and shops, and a choice of places to eat.

Near accommodation:

The Metalworks Accommodation is situated in Selly Oak, surrounded by a number of shops and restaurants. Local food supermarkets include ‘Aldi’ and ‘Tesco Express’, which are located 5 minutes’ walk from the accommodation.   


One of Europe’s most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. The city offers culture and diversity, and most of the students studying in Birmingham fall in love with the city.  Approximately 40% of our graduates stay on to live in the city after graduation.

Take a look at some of things that you can do in Birmingham the City.