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International student support

Pre-arrival information

Helping you plan your travels and arrive at your new home fully prepared.

There is a lot to do to prepare for travelling to the UK and for studying at York St John so we have created a handy digital booklet that should help answer any questions you may have.

International Pre Arrival Booklet

View and download the International Pre Arrival Booklet below:

Download the booklet: International Pre-Arrival Booklet 2024 (PDF, 2.6 MB)

If you cannot download the booklet don't worry, we've put all the information below.

Keep an eye out on your emails as we will send you regular updates with essential information from now, until you arrive at York St John.

List item One

Apply for your visa

You cannot apply for your visa until you have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. Once you have received this, follow the instructions on the UKVI website to apply for your visa.

We also have visa webpages on our website which may answer further questions and you can contact our friendly Visa and Compliance Team on

Once your visa has been granted in your home country, you will receive an Entry Clearance Vignette sticker in your passport. This is valid for 90 days and you must travel to the UK within that 90-day period.

Once you are in the UK, you will need to collect your BRP card from the university, which is your visa for the duration of your course of study. More details on collection will be emailed to you.

Remember to check your passport is valid and does not expire within 6 months of your arrival

List item Two

Find your home

It is essential that you arrange your accommodation in advance of arriving in the UK. The university has very limited accommodation available and none for students coming with dependents. You can apply on our Accommodation pages. Please note that undergraduate students are given priority and that the earlier you apply, the more likely you are going to be to get a room. International students can apply later than the deadline stated online, so even if you think it is too late, please submit your application.

If you are using a private accommodation provider, please take a look at this helpful list: York accommodation contacts (xlsx, 21kB)

You can also search for private accommodation in York via any online search engine, using key words including “rooms/houses for rent in York” or “student accommodation in York”. We do recommend, that if possible, you use a dedicated student accommodation provider, as the cost will include all bills and excellent services as well as an instant network of student friends. You will be able to find providers in the list above.

If you are seeking cheaper accommodation, or family accommodation, please always consider the cost of bills and commuting, as this can push the price up significantly. However, if you are staying far away from campus, you are able to book one of our limited commuter rooms for up to 3 nights at a time. Please refer to the advice for commuting students webpage for more details. 

We are unable to assist with contracts for private accommodation so please always read your contracts carefully and understand that, once signed, a contract is legally binding.

Once again, please note, that we are limited in how we can support you with finding accommodation in the UK but you will find our House-hunting page useful.  It is essential that you fill out our International Arrivals form, as soon as possible, to provide us with your arrival and accommodation information (does not apply to anyone on the Study Abroad programme).

List item Three

Let us know your travel plans

It is essential that you fill in our International Arrivals Form to let us know when you plan to arrive. The sooner you can do this, the better.

List item Four

Plan your journey

Please visit the UK Government’s guidance for entering the UK.

eGates are now in use at UK airports. If you are travelling on a short-term study visa you must not use the eGates. Please watch this video to make sure you understand whether you are able to use the eGates: eGates eligibility and how to use them (YouTube).

If you have an emergency at the UK border, you can call our Visa and Compliance Team on +44 (0)7773 043159.

Once you arrive on campus, you will be able to find us in our international hub every week day,  in Holgate. This is where you can collect your important welcome pack and ask us any questions.

We understand that international travel can be unpredictable at times, can easily get delayed, or you may have to arrive outside of working hours. If you arrive in York and for any reason find yourself in a confusing or unsafe position, please make your way to the campus and visit Campus Security.  The Security Lodge, is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call +44 (0) 1904 876 444 or you can call or text +44 (0) 7885 201 182. Contact details are on the Security Services webpage.

When it comes to packing, it’s up to you how much or little you bring with you! York has all the shops you could need so you can buy anything within the city centre. If you have particular clothes you wear in your home country it is always nice if you can bring at least one outfit with you, to wear at some of our international events and celebrations.

We’ve compiled a very simple list of packing tips that you may find helpful:

Checked in bags

  • Find out what you can and cannot bring into the UK by watching this UK Customs film.
  • Try to pack only what you will really need.
  • Check your airline’s baggage and weight allowance in advance.
  • It’s worth packing a few adapters for your electronic devices. In the UK, the main voltage is 240v and the frequency is 50Hz.
  • Label all your checked bags with the University address, so in case they get lost or delayed, they can be easily forwarded on to us: Your name, York St John University (Porter’s Lodge), Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX, United Kingdom.

Hand luggage

  • Always carry valuable items and documents in your carry-on bag.
  • Remember your passport and tickets. It’s worth taking photos on your phone and printing off copies, in case you misplace the originals. Keep a copy yourself and give one to a parent or carer.
  • Keep evidence of acceptance by York St John University (unconditional offer letter or similar acceptance letter) at hand.
  • Make sure you have some British pounds sterling in cash that you can use upon arrival. Try to get your money broken down as small as possible (£5 notes, £1 coins, and a few 50p, 20p, 10p coins).
  • It’s good to have a few spare passport-sized photographs with you, as you may need these for different registration forms after you arrive.
  • It is worth packing your toothbrush and one change of clothes in your hand luggage, just in case your checked bags get delayed or lost! But remember not to put any large liquids, gels, or aerosols in your carry-on bags! The size limit is 100ml
List item Five

Read up!

Life and study in the UK might be different to what you are used to. We will do everything we can to support you but it is worthwhile doing a little extra reading as well. 

You can follow our Global Campus Instagram account, @YSJU_Global where you will be kept up to date with all our activities as well as competitions and other information. It’s also a great way to connect with other members of the Global Campus community.

Some of our current international students also write blogs for YSJLife – why not take a look? Get acquainted with your campus!

The UK Council for International Student Affairs has a website with a whole host of information for international students. Take a look at their ‘Info & Advice’ section of the UKCISA website so you know what kind of information is available. 

Great British Mag is a digital magazine dedicated to helping overseas students adjust to life and study in the UK. Browse Great British Mag articles for tips on how to make the most of your time in the UK and have a look at their survival service package. 

This free course from Future Learn will help you prepare for your time in the UK, by teaching you about UK culture and higher education expectations. 

Now is also the time to start getting excited about what lies ahead! Visit York St John Students’ Union website and check out all the sports clubs and societies you can join when you get to YSJ and find out who your student reps are. The Union is a  a democratic organisation that functions to empower, represent and entertain the students of York St John University.

Contact us

If you have any questions contact

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