Planning your travel

Coming to study with us will be an exciting time in your life and, like most things, you'll need to plan ahead.

The most important things you need to do before you arrive are:

  1. organise your accommodation before you travel. If you would like University accommodation it’s best to apply early, especially if you have a limited budget.
  2. arrange your finances so that you can pay your tuition fees and have enough money for your living costs (rent, food etc.). If you're not sure how much money you will need in the UK there is a sample budget in our Pre-departure Guide.

Pre-departure and arrival guides

These guides will answer most of the questions you may have about planning your arrival and living in the UK.

Pre-departure guide – Part 1: Planning your arrival

Pre-departure guide – Part 2: Arriving and living in the UK

Arrival guide – Cambridge

Arrival guide – Chelmsford

Our guides include:

  • University semester dates
  • International Orientation and Welcome information
  • how to apply for university accommodation
  • how to pay your tuition fees
  • a guide to the cost of living in the UK
  • travel information to our campuses
  • how to apply for a student visa
  • arrival in the UK - what to expect at the airport
  • healthcare provision in the UK
  • University contact details.

Making your travel plans

Finding a suitable flight can be difficult so we advise you to make your plans as early as possible. If you can arrive on 7 September, you could take our Heathrow airport transfer service.

Always try to arrive in the morning, ARU is open from 09:00am and there will be more public transport options than if you arrive at night. If you know you will be arriving late at night you might prefer to stay in an airport hotel and travel to ARU the following day.

London Heathrow Airport is usually the main option for students travelling from outside of Europe. Heathrow is a large airport with five terminals so always check your flight details before arranging any transport from the airport. If you are coming from mainland Europe we advise you to fly to London Stansted as this is the closest airport to our Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses.

If you can’t take our Heathrow airport transfer you can find further information about different ways to travel to our campus in our Pre-departure guide (Part 2).

Preparing for your studies

At ARU we understand that it can take time to get used to the way we teach in the UK. Once you arrive we can help with your English Language as we offer free English classes as well as advice on study techniques via our ‘Study Skills Plus’ sessions offered by Student and Library Services.

Doing some preparation before you arrive will help you adapt quicker to your course. You can visit websites such as prepareforsuccess.org.uk; these self-access materials can help you refresh your English language and improve your study skills over the vacation period before you arrive.

Pre-departure briefing for September 2022 arrivals

We are offering a virtual pre-departure information session on Thursday 18th August. A week before the event all offer holders will receive the web link directly to the email account used to apply to ARU - so keep checking your email.

This briefing will be cover everything you need to prepare for travelling and arriving in the UK. Such as registration instructions, finding accommodation (if you are still searching), information about travelling to the campus, welcome week, what to bring with you and what to expect as you arrive in the UK.