Once you have been accepted on to the study abroad programme we will send you a pre-arrival document.

You will receive it a few weeks before you depart for Manchester, providing you with essential University information on important dates, insurance, banking, working, registration, courses and more.

In the meantime let us help you get a head start with your preparations.


Students coming to study with us for a full academic/calendar year must obtain a Student Visa prior to their journey to the UK. The International Programmes Office will automatically generate a CAS (which is a reference number you need for your online visa application) for you. CASs can't be issued any earlier than mid-June (for September start dates) or mid-October (for January start dates).

Students joining us for one semester only are expected to obtain a Short Term Study Visa, not a Student Visa. Some nationalities (called ‘non-visa nationals’) can simply receive this visa as a stamp in their passport upon arrival at a UK airport, whereas other nationalities (‘visa nationals’) must apply for this visa in advance of leaving their home country. You should check the UK Visa and Immigration website to confirm requirements for your nationality. No CAS is required for this visa type.

If you are unable to find the information you need, please email the International Advice Team at Please note that the International Programmes Office cannot give any immigration or visa advice directly.

Arrival and orientation

We offer a comprehensive programme of orientation events to help international students settle in following their arrival in Manchester.

Our orientation programme offers practical advice about starting your life and studies at the University, alongside valuable information to introduce you to the city of Manchester. The Welcome social events offer fun and informal opportunities to meet other students and are especially useful for our new arrivals on study abroad, worldwide exchange or Erasmus+.

Plan your first week at Manchester with our orientation information

Student ambassadors are available to support you and answer any questions you may have.

If you have any queries or concerns about your arrival, please email us at Alternatively, please feel free to ask any questions you may have on our Facebook or Weibo pages.

What to bring with you

Travel light. Remember that you will need to get your luggage through the airport, on and off a bus or train, from the bus stop to your accommodation and possibly up the stairs at your residence.

The weather in Manchester can be changeable, so make sure you have a jacket to hand for your arrival. Don't forget to label your luggage inside and out with your name and address, and attach a distinctive ribbon or strap to it so that nobody else mistakes it for theirs at the airport carousel.

Make sure you have all relevant documentation in your hand luggage, as well as the full address and telephone number of your residence in Manchester. Make a copy of your passport, driving licence, prescriptions etc and keep them in your hand luggage. Leave a copy with your family at home too. Pack any prescription medications in your hand luggage.

You can purchase a bedding pack when you arrive at your residence, so there is no need to bring bedding over in your luggage. Most students will already have a cellphone but may find it cheaper to purchase a pay-as-you-go phone when you arrive in Manchester, rather than bringing a non-UK phone.

Do not carry large quantities of cash, but make sure you have enough local currency (pounds sterling) to pay for your transportation from the airport on to your residence. Speak to your bank before you leave to check whether it has any partnerships with UK banks. This may allow you to withdraw money from your current account using your debit card, without incurring transaction fees.


All students must ensure they arrange sufficient personal insurance (covering health and travel) prior to travelling to the UK. The University of Manchester does not have a policy for students to purchase – all participants, whether studying with us for a semester or a year, must source their own insurance.

We are unable to advise on suitable policies, as insurance needs vary according to individual circumstances. Please seek advice from your home university.

Getting to Manchester and the University

We operate an Airport Support Service on designated days at the start of the academic year in September. If you are arriving outside these dates/times, or if you are not arriving via the airport, you may wish to check out the following sites for information about your onward journey: 

What's on in the city

There's always a lot going on in Manchester. Find out more about what the city has to offer: