International students Pre-arrival

We have gathered useful information to help you before travelling to the UK and to help you settle in the first few weeks.

Non-EEA nationals will be required to have immigration permission to study in the UK.  Unless you are going to be the dependant of a Points Based System (PBS) Migrant it is likely you will be required to apply for a Tier 4 visa before travelling to the UK.  Please check out our handy guide to help you through the application process.

Glasgow’s Airports

Glasgow is served by two airports: Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport is just a few miles outside the city centre and is the main airport for transatlantic and worldwide flights.  There is a regular bus service into the city centre costing around £9, while a taxi from the airport to the University will cost around £25.  We would recommend the taxi option as you will no doubt be carrying lots of luggage. It is possible to pay with your debit or credit card.  You can book your taxi online.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport 

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is approximately 30 miles away from Glasgow city centre and is a smaller airport mainly used by low cost airlines offering domestic and European flights.  Prestwick Airport is connected to a train station which is accessed via a covered walkway and journey time between the airport and Glasgow city centre is approximately 50 minutes.  Passengers are entitled to a 50% discount on the train fare if they show their flight ticket/confirmation (the standard fare is approximately £9).  The University of Strathclyde is around a ten minute walk from Glasgow Central railway station or a short taxi journey (the fare is approximately £7).


You should arrange suitable travel insurance to cover your luggage when travelling, and you should arrange insurance for your possessions (particularly expensive items such as laptops or cameras) once you arrive in Glasgow.

Travelling via the Republic of Ireland*

When planning your journey to the UK, it is best to avoid travelling via Ireland. Please see the most up to date guidance produced by UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs).

Travelling to the UK – Covid-19 Additional Information


Before you travel to the UK, you should provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate.

You will be able to complete the passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. If you have a seat number for your journey, please include it on your form.

Every person arriving into Scotland (other than a small number of exempt categories) must complete the form, and must provide evidence of having done so on arrival if requested to do so by a Border Force official. 

If you do not complete this form and present it when asked on arrival, you may be fined £60 in Scotland. You also may not be allowed to enter the UK (unless you are either a UK citizen or a UK resident).

Hand luggage

When arriving in the UK, it is essential to carry the following in your carry-on luggage:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid entry clearance (sticker in your passport) if applicable
  • Your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) if applicable
  • Documents used to make your original application for your visa
  • Your visa decision letter which explains the visa you have been granted and the date you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit
  • Your plane ticket and/or flight itinerary showing your journey from your country of origin to your arrival in the UK
  • Health certificate and medication if necessary, including TB Screening Testing if required
  • Some cash in GBP Pounds for your first few days in Glasgow (before you open a bank account and can transfer money) or travellers cheques
  • Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic you must also be able to provide evidence of your completed Passenger Locator Form.

For more information on preparing for your arrival in the UK, see UKVI's advice on entering the UK and  UKCISA.

Please refer to our International Arrival Support page for details of our free taxi service from Glasgow Airport.


University accommodation

The University of Strathclyde has 2,000 rooms in halls of residence on campus which creates a “student village” feel.  You can apply for University Accommodation online as soon as you have a conditional offer from us.  Please see for full information on the application process, eligibility and to apply. 

This year, in order to maintain safe social distancing measures, if you have booked university accommodation you must book an arrival appointment to collect your keys.  Appointments can be booked between 12 September and 26 October.  To book your appointment and to find out more please refer to the Accommodation web pages.

Private halls of residence

In addition there are a number of privately run halls of residence in the city centre, situated very close to the University’s John Anderson campus. If you choose this option you will live with students from other universities and colleges in Glasgow.  If you are looking for accommodation close to the University you should check for postcode area G1 1XQ – the centre of the main campus.

For more information go to 

Temporary accommodation

If you book University accommodation, you will be sent information on when to arrive. Similarly, if you arrange accommodation with one of the private housing providers, you will be given a date when your contract starts.  You will not be able to access your accommodation until the date specified, therefore if you plan to arrive early, you will have to book temporary accommodation for a few nights.  The same advice applies if you are planning to arrange accommodation once you arrive in Glasgow.

If you do need temporary accommodation for a few nights when you first arrive in Glasgow, it is important to book in advance.  There will be several thousand new students arriving in the city within a few days therefore hostels and private halls may fill up early.  For more information go to:

Alternatively, the private halls of residence listed under “Accommodation” (above) may be able to provide short term accommodation.

Private rented sector accommodation

A room in a shared flat can vary between £105 and £150 per week plus your share of bills. For example it may cost £400 per year for heating.

The University’s Accommodation Office has information on private sector accommodation.  Alternatively, the  Advice Hub at the University of Strathclyde Students Union can provide you with information and advice on the private rented sector in Glasgow and other scattered private flats around the city. Price and quality of accommodation will vary widely.  You should always view the property before you sign a contract. 

Bear in mind that with both University and private accommodation you will be asked to sign a lease or tenancy agreement, which is legally binding.  If you are not happy with your accommodation it will be extremely difficult to break this contract, so pay attention to the terms of the contract, what is included in the price and your responsibilities as tenants.

Managing your money will be one of the most important things for you to consider during your stay in the UK.  Check out our guide to Cost of living

If you're bringing family with you to Scotland, we're here to help and give you support! You'll find lots of useful information on our dedicated pages.

What to bring

Check what is included in your accommodation, most things will either be provided or will be easy to purchase when you are here, but if you can’t live without your favourite pillow, bring it with you.  Our accommodation office have put together a handy guide of what to bring if you are living in University accommodation.

You will be able to buy books and supplies for your studies here; however you might want to bring your laptop with you.  If you do, be sure to arrange insurance (either from home or when you get here).

Don’t forget to bring some photographs of your friends and family and other mementos from home.  However, do not attempt to bring any plants or foodstuffs into the UK.


The UK may be much colder/wetter/milder than your home country; therefore you will need suitable clothing, particularly good waterproof shoes and a warm winter coat.  The Scottish are well known for talking about the weather, and it’s for good reason – Scottish weather is very unpredictable and Glasgow’s weather is no exception.  In Glasgow we joke that we can experience four seasons all in one day!  On the whole, we do not experience extremes of weather: summers are warm, but not hot with temperatures around 15° - 20°C and winters are cold and frosty with temperatures around 0°C.  Spring and autumn are generally quite mild.  The west coast of Scotland can get a lot of rain, so a waterproof jacket and shoes are a must.  Generally several light layers of clothes are better for staying warm than one thick sweater.  Glasgow has a huge selection of shops, so suitable clothes can be found to meet any taste or budget.

Culture shock

While usually temporary, culture shock is common among international students arriving in the UK. You will notice differences between the way things are done and what you are used to at home. These include the way people dress, speak and behave, teaching and learning styles, food - potentially all aspects of life.

See more at

Campus Life 2020

The University of Strathclyde is committed to making the campus safe for all students, staff and visitors and you can find out our plans at

Below is a list of Facebook Groups that you may wish to join to connect with other new students, University Services and Societies.

Strathclyde International Society

International Student Support Team

University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA)

University of Strathclyde

Accommodation Office