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Arriving in the UK

Arriving in the UK

Once you arrive in the UK, there are many things to think about and to organise. This information will help with the transition to life in Bournemouth and in the UK and ensure you know exactly what to do when you arrive.

We are really looking forward to meeting you and introducing you to the International Team here at AUB.

We conduct international orientation to give you the chance to meet other international students joining AUB and familiarize yourself with all of AUB’s support services.

For BA and MA international orientation, please sign up here:

For Foundation international orientation, please sign up here:

If you need a Student Route visa to study in the UK and you have been issued a travel vignette (Entry Clearance) in your passport, you'll need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card from a local Post Office within 10 days of arriving in the UK. When you're issued with your 90-day Entry Clearance vignette in your passport, you'll also receive a letter confirming your visa and telling you which Post Office you'll need to collect your BRP card from. Please keep your BRP safe, it is an important part of your visa.

If your course finishes later than 31 December 2024, your BRP will likely experience before the end of the course. Don’t worry, this isn't a mistake; UKVI are gradually switching to digital visas, and you'll have digital permission to cover the rest of your stay in the UK.

When you apply to open a bank account, you will be asked to provide a letter to prove that you are a student at AUB. Once you have fully enrolled, you can download a 'bank letter' for your application. You will not be able to download the letter until you have completed your enrolment at AUB. It is a good idea to shop around for banks as some offer good deals, while others have very high charges for International students. If you want to do some research on UK banks before you arrive, check them out on the internet.

You can find a list of the major UK banks and their websites below:

  • Santander
  • NatWest
  • Barclays
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • TSB
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland

When choosing a bank or building society, consider the following:

  • How easy it will be for you to visit/contact the bank and what internet services they offer.
  • How easy it will be for you to transfer money from your home country and how much it will cost.
  • Any monthly or overdraft charges that may be attached to the account.

The Arts University Bournemouth Students’ Union (AUBSU) organise ‘Freshers’, which will take place during the first two weeks of your course. Freshers includes a Fresher’s Fair on the AUB Campus, themed events and socials, all designed to help you settle into AUB life and its community.

More information about Fresher’s Fortnight can be found: AUBSU, AUBSU Facebook, AUBSU Instagram

You may also like to think about joining an AUB Students’ Union Club or Society, where you can meet with other students who share an interest in your hobby or sport.

GPs are fully trained doctors (Dr) who work at a local Medical Centres or Surgeries and can diagnose a range of illnesses and conditions or make referrals to other specialist services. Appointments with a GP under the NHS are usually free. AUB’s Student Services work in partnership with the local Village Surgery to provide dedicated medical surgeries each week. The GP and Nurse Practitioner hold surgeries on campus during term times.

For appointments at AUB, or at the Village Surgery, please contact the Village Surgery directly on 01202 525252. You will need to register with the surgery at least 24 hours before your appointment.

We strongly encourage you to register with a local GP as soon as you start your studies with us to make sure that you can see a doctor quickly if you fall ill or need routine medical care during the course of your studies.

There are many options when it comes to organising a mobile phone in the UK. Many students will arrive with a mobile phone from their own country which is not attached to a particular network and can accept a SIM card from any network. SIM cards are readily available in the UK from airports, supermarkets and high street shops. It will definitely be cheaper for you to use a SIM card bought in the UK instead of using a service from your home country. Please explore the following options:

1. Pay Monthly

With this option, you can take out an agreement with usually a 12-month minimum, but it can be anything up to two years. The agreement (contract) will state how many minutes, texts and data you can use per month (allowance), and you will pay a set monthly fee(this is often referred to as a ‘plan’). If you go over your allowance, you must pay extra. You will also be provided with a phone as part of the contract – sometimes you will need to pay an extra amount at the beginning of the contract for your phone, depending on the handset and plan you choose.

2. Pay Monthly (SIM only)

This option is the same as above, except a phone is not included in the contract. This would be a good option if you also have a phone that you would like to continue using, as these plans are usually much cheaper. You will need to make sure your phone is ‘unlocked’ or ‘network free’, so you can use it with the new SIM card.

3. Pay as you Go

This option does not involve signing a contract and does not usually include a phone. You will need to regularly ‘top up’ your SIM, so you have enough credit for calls, texts and data. Most providers offer Pay as you Go plans. In some cases, if you top up £10 each month, you will receive a certain amount of minutes, texts and data to use each month. This works a little like Pay Monthly, except there is no contract, and you can stop at any time.

The most popular networks in the UK are:

EE

Three

O2

Vodafone

GiffGaff

You will also find that some supermarkets offer phone plans too.

University Bus Services

AUB is on several main bus routes, including the Unibus service - a route, especially for students. It regularly runs between some of the most popular student areas in Bournemouth and Poole.

More information about the Unibus service will be provided at Orientation and can also be found on their website: Unibus

On Foot

If you live in the areas local to AUB, such as Wallisdown, Winton or Charminster, you may choose to walk to and from the campus, which can take between 10 and 30 minutes. When walking around Bournemouth, take care when crossing roads and use designated pedestrian crossings; Bournemouth’s roads can become very busy with cars and cyclists that won’t always stop.

By Bike

Cycling is a very popular option for students when travelling around Bournemouth and Poole, which has several cycleways. There are also a number of covered cycle racks on the AUB campus and throughout Bournemouth and Poole. When possible, always use a designated cycle rack to secure your bike with a D-lock type bike lock and avoid using lamp posts or fences. You can find more information about the cycling routes on the Bournemouth Borough Council website. If you decide you would like to travel by bike, students can enjoy discounts from some local bicycle shops and can also get a free high-visibility jacket for safety.

For more details, please contact the AUB Students’ Union. If you choose to cycle when it is dark, it is the law to have a front white light and back red light on your bike; if you do not, the police can stop you and give you a fine. It is also illegal for bikes to use most pavements. We recommend that you read the Highway Code to give you an understanding of the rules of the road and the best way to get around by bike safely. It will also be a good idea to invest in a good cycling helmet and wear it at all times when cycling to limit injury in the event of an accident.

There is so much to do and discover in both Bournemouth and the surrounding area. Explore more in Our Guide to Bournemouth.