At the Airport
London Heathrow is the most convenient airport for the College. However, other airports such as Gatwick,Birmingham etc. are linked with trains and coaches from and to Oxford. It is also possible to arrive in London on the Eurostar train from Paris or Brussels, which travels through the Channel Tunnel.
If you arrive by air, you should follow the signs for 'Arrivals', unless you are transferring to another plane at the same airport. This will take you through to Immigration Control. There are separate channels for passengers who have UK or EU/EEA passports, and for all other passport-holders. Make sure you join the right queue.
» Immigration Control:
Be prepared to produce your valid passport or national identity card. The Immigration Officer will not stamp anything in your passport, as you will have a right of residence while you study.
You will have already obtained your visa prior to entering the UK but you will still need to a letter stating that you have been accepted onto a full-time course at the college and evidence that you will be able to support yourself financially during your course (such as recent bank statements, banker's draft, letter of sponsorship, etc) The Immigration Officer may still ask you several questions to satisfy them that you are a genuine student and that you intend to leave the UK upon the completion of your studies.
Non Visa Nationals
In order to demonstrate to the Immigration Officer that you are genuinely entering the UK as a student, be ready to produce the following documentation:
* A current, valid passport;
* A letter stating that you have been accepted onto a full-time course of study;
* Evidence that you will be able to support yourself financially during your course (such as recent bank statements, banker's draft, letter of sponsorship, etc);
There are lots of things to organise when you arrive at the College. Don't be overwhelmed and try to do everything at once! There will be lots of staff and students around to help you. You will need to be patient, however, as there will be many new students all trying to do the same things at the same time, and you are bound to spend some time queuing! This checklist will help you to remember the top ten most important things you need to do:
1. Attend Induction Events.
2. Register as a student of the College.
3. Obtain a College Student Card.
4. Register with the Medical Centre.
5. Register with the Dentist.
6. Register with the Police (where applicable).
7. Open a bank account.
8. Insure your belongings.
You may be asked several questions about yourself, such as why you are coming to the UK, and whether you have enough money to cover the cost of your stay. This is a matter of procedure to satisfy the Immigration Officer that you are a genuine student, and that you intend to leave the UK upon the completion of your studies. The Immigration Officer may occasionally arrange for you to be briefly examined by a medical officer, and sometimes to have a Chest X-Ray taken.
Students with Entry Clearance:
The length of your stay and the conditions that apply to it will already have been decided at the overseas Mission and will be stated on the entry clearance sticker in your passport. Once the Immigration Officer is satisfied that the visa is valid and in a genuine passport, they will stamp your passport to indicate which port you arrived at and on what date.
Students without Entry Clearance Once the Immigration Officer is satisfied that you are a genuine student, they will grant you 'leave to enter' the UK in the form of a stamp which will be inserted into your passport. This stamp indicates how long the leave is being granted for, which may be for one year, or for the length of your course. If you are only given one year, and your course is longer than this, you can extend your stay later, if you continue to be a full-time student. The stamp also indicates what conditions are being imposed on your stay, for example, employment regulations.
Problems & Help:
If you are carrying the required documentation, it is very unlikely that you will experience any problems at immigration. However, if any problems do arise, ask the Immigration Officer to contact the Admissions Office at the College between 10 AM - 5 PM Mondays to Fridays.
Once you are through immigration control you can proceed to the baggage reclaim area, where you can collect your baggage. Above each baggage carousel is an electronic display unit. You should look for the one which has your flight number and place of departure on it. This will be the carousel which your baggage will appear on. Collect a trolley and wait next to the appropriate carousel for your baggage to come through. If any item of baggage does not appear, find a representative of the airline on which you travelled and fill in a lost baggage form. Once you have collected your baggage, you can proceed through Customs Control.
At airports there are normally three exits through customs:
* A GREEN channel if you are travelling from outside the European Union and have nothing to declare;
* A RED channel if you are travelling from outside the European Union and do have goods to declare;
* A BLUE channel if you are travelling from an airport within the European Economic Area, where luggage has already been cleared through customs control.
The notices in the customs area will tell you if you need to declare anything you have brought into the country. You can also check with one of the customs officers before passing through customs control. Even if you pass through the green channel, the customs officer may ask you to open your luggage for checking. If you arrive at one of the channel ports you will also have to pass through customs control. If you use the Channel Tunnel, customs control will be carried out either in France or on the train.
Airport Information Desk:
Once you have passed through customs, you have officially arrived in the UK. If you are not sure what to do next, head straight for the general information desk. You will find these located in every arrivals lounge at Heathrow, Birmingham and Gatwick Airports. The staff at these desks will be able to advise you on transport, changing money, etc.