What do I need to do when planning to travel the UK?
The most important thing to do is to ensure you follow the most up to date guidance in relation to travel to the UK. The
UK Government and
Welsh Government are consistently monitoring the situation across the world in relation to the Covid 19 pandemic and as a result, the travel, testing, arrival and self-isolation guidance is regularly updated.
It is important to ensure you know which rules apply to you and that you make the necessary preparations to make your journey to the UK as trouble-free as possible. Please be aware that countries may be added or removed from the UK’s Red list at short notice and requirements may change. If your flight is due to land in England, you will need to follow
the rules for travel to England. These rules may differ if you are
travelling directly into Wales.
My country is on the Red-list. Am I permitted to travel to the UK?
Although there is currently a travel ban for people who have been in a red-list country in the previous 10 days before travel, you ARE permitted to travel from a red-list country to the UK if you are a British or Irish national OR you have residence rights in the UK. If you have been granted Student or Tier 4 Student permission to enter the UK, you ARE permitted to travel.
Countries may be added and removed from the UK’s Red-list at short notice so it is important that you regularly check the
UK Government Website.
If your country appears on the Red List, before you travel to England you must:
You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.
Once you arrive in the UK you must:
- quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel (the day you arrive in England is day 0)
- take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining – these are included in your hotel package
You must follow these rules even if you’ve been fully vaccinated.
If you break the quarantine rules you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.
For full details about the managed quarantine hotel costs, booking and testing requirements, use this
Do I need to self isolate on arrival in the UK?
This will depend on whether you have been fully vaccinated. You will qualify as fully vaccinated if you:
- are vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme
- are vaccinated under an overseas vaccination programme with an approved proof of vaccination to the UK
- have had a complete course of an approved vaccination i.e. 1 or 2 doses as prescribed by the vaccination programme
- have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in Wales
Check which vaccines are approved and the list of countries and territories with approved proof of vaccination.
I qualify as fully vaccinated, what does this mean?
If you qualify as fully vaccinated and you have not been in a red-list country 10 days prior to travel to the UK, you must:
If you are fully vaccinated and have travelled from a country that is not on the red list, you must take a PCR test on or before day two following your arrival into Wales. The day you arrive is day 0. You must self-isolate until you receive a negative PCR test result, after which you can leave isolation.
If you test positive you must remain in isolation for 10 days from the date of your test.
Post arrival PCR tests must be booked before your arrival into Wales. These tests cannot be free NHS tests. They must be booked with one of the
providers listed on GOV.UK.
NHS PCR tests can be booked via the
international arrivals NHS test ordering service and private sector tests can be booked from a private provider listed on GOV.UK.
Should your address or contact details change whilst you are in Wales then you must update this as and when required by
submitting a new passenger locator form (on GOV.UK).
How do I prove I am fully vaccinated?
Before you travel, you will need to prove you have been fully vaccinated by:
- declaring that you have been fully vaccinated on your passenger locator form (or are on a formally approved UK clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccines, or under 18)
- show proof of your vaccination status to your carrier (ferry, airline or train) when you travel
Find out what proof of vaccination is accepted.
I do not qualify as fully vaccinated, what do I need to do?
People arriving in Wales who are not fully vaccinated and have not been in a red list country in the previous 10 days must:
- complete a
passenger locator form
proof of a negative coronavirus test, taken no more than 72 hours before departure (not required for children under 11)
- take coronavirus tests during your 10 day isolation (not required for children under 5) at
day 2 and at
- isolate for up to 10 days (not required for under 18s)
Post arrival tests must be booked before your departure either:
If you choose a private test provider from GOV.UK, you should only buy ‘self-swab at home’ tests. Please note, any reference to your arrival in England on the GOV.UK pages for day 2 and day 8 test providers include arrival in Wales.
Should your address or contact details change whilst you are in Wales then you must update this as and when required by
submitting a new passenger locator form (on GOV.UK).
If I am not fully vaccinated, will I be able to receive my vaccinations in the UK?
The answer is yes! The UK Government has confirmed that international students who are over 18 years old will be eligible to receive vaccinations for free here in the UK, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. If you receive any emails, calls or text messages asking you for payment to receive your vaccination, you MUST NOT pay and should inform the university by emailing
It is recommended that you register with a doctor (GP) as soon as possible to get an NHS number and to access the vaccinations.
If a person has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered. It is recommended that you bring with you evidence of any vaccinations that you have already received.
Although it is not compulsory to be vaccinated in the UK, it is important that you are aware that in order to enter certain venues in Wales, including nightclubs, cinemas and theatres, as well as large events, anyone aged over 18 is required to show an
NHS Covid pass to prove they are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test result within the past 48 hours.
Accommodation - what do I need to know?
It is important that you consider your accommodation options and understand the full costs associated with living in Cardiff. As attendance at ALL face to face classes is mandatory and is a requirement of your visa, it is important that you find somewhere to live that is in a commutable distance to your campus of study. The location of your accommodation will not be accepted as a valid reason for not attending your classes nor is it a reason to request online study.
For information about accommodation options, please follow
IMPORTANT – This year, there is a very high demand for privately rented shared student accommodation and also for family accommodation in Cardiff and the surrounding areas. You should therefore be prepared to consider alternative accommodation options such as student halls of residence. Student halls of residence is not suitable for families, only for single students.
We would also recommend that you do not travel to the UK with your family to start the search for suitable accommodation. Your family should only join you once you have secured a suitable home for them. Children will only be able to start school once they have a local address. We recommend that you start researching accommodation before travelling to Cardiff but you should only sign the contract/tenancy agreement after you have viewed the property in person.
When do I need to pay my tuition fees?
It is important that you make arrangements to pay your tuition fees on time. Your offer letter will state the deadlines for payment of your fees. Failure to pay on time or to clear your balance by the deadline could result in sanctions and potential withdrawal from your course. This will also affect your visa.
For more information about paying your fees, follow
Will I be able to get a part-time job to support my studies?
We know that part-time work is important to many international students in supporting their studies and career aspirations. The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the UK labour market in recent months. Restrictions at the current time are lifting and more employment sectors are gradually re-opening. However, you cannot rely on the availability of part-time work to fund your life in the UK you should ensure that you have sufficient funds to pay for your studies and your life in the UK.
Will I need to bring a laptop with me?
Yes, all students should bring a laptop with them to enable full engagement with their studies.
There is a dedicated Cardiff Met helpdesk for students who have queries or issues with their IT equipment during their studies. They are always happy to help.
What should I do if I feel unwell whilst self-isolating?
For advice, you should call NHS direct on 0845 46 47 or visit https://111.wales.nhs.uk/. This is a free service. You will be asked about your symptoms and given advice about what you should do. You should not go to the hospital if you are self-isolating. If you would prefer to speak to you in your own language, you can ask for an interpreter/translator. See here for more details:
I am self-isolating and feel unwell (not Covid-related) but I need to get some medication, what should I do?
If you are not registered with a doctor in the UK, but you need medicine, you can purchase medication from a pharmacy online such as
Boots. You can only register with a doctor (GP) once you have a UK address (Not a temporary address where you are self-isolating). When you have moved into your accommodation, you must register with a doctor’s surgery located near to your new home. This is a list of surgeries in Cardiff. For information about registering, check the surgeries’
What if I have coronavirus symptoms?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you develop one of these symptoms, you should:
COVID-19 online symptom checker (on NHS 111 Wales) can tell you if you need medical help. Use the service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or your condition gets worse. If you do not have internet access, call 111. For a medical emergency only dial 999.
I am self-isolating but need to get shopping, can I go to the shops briefly?
Do I have to live in Cardiff whilst I am studying?
You will be required to live in or close to Cardiff to allow you to attend all of your classes on a full time basis. Please note, although it is possible to start your studies from overseas whilst you make your way to the UK, once you have arrived in the UK, distance learning is
This is an immigration regulation. Your UK address must be within a commutable distance to your study campus to allow you to attend all classes each day.
Do I need to wear a mask/face covering?
On our campuses, we ask that you:
Wear a face covering indoors when walking around our buildings and public spaces
Wear a face covering in public spaces unless you’re eating or drinking
Wear a face covering in lectures and teaching spaces
where social distancing isn’t possible
If in doubt, wear a face covering and help stop the spread.
Staff, students and visitors to our campuses are required to wear face coverings in all shared spaces, including teaching spaces. There are a few exceptions where it is acceptable to remove face coverings, when eating or drinking, for example, but they are mandatory in the majority of indoor spaces on campuses.
our policy on face coverings exceeds Welsh Government guidance, it reflected risks around increased transmission of new variants circulating in the UK.
Face coverings should also be worn outdoors where it is not possible to maintain social distancing or where it is required by risk assessment.
I need to open a bank account, how do I do this?
You will need to bring a Mastercard or visa debit/credit card with you to the UK to use whilst you go through the process of opening a UK bank account. If you need to isolate on arrival in the UK, you will also need a card to purchase groceries and essentials online because you WILL NOT be permitted to leave your room for 10 days after arrival.
To open a bank account,
students MUST be enrolled and living in their long-term accommodation. It may not be possible to open a bank account if you are staying in a hotel or temporary accommodation. The banks will require a letter of introduction and this can be produced for you by the Global Student Advisory Service. The letter will not need to be addressed to the specific bank.
To request a letter to open a bank account after enrolling and arriving in the UK, email
firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your student number, full name, course title, UK address in the email.
What should I bring with me?
- We recommend that you bring a laptop to allow you to fully engage with your studies via blended learning. You must engage with studies as soon as the course induction begins and your engagement will be monitored in accordance with Student Route immigration regulations
- A face mask/face covering for use on the airplane and public transport
- Hand sanitiser to ensure you keep your hands clean
- A Mastercard or Visa debit /credit card to ensure you can purchase online groceries when you are self-isolating as you will not be permitted to leave your room. After self-isolating, many shops are also insisting on card payments only to avoid handling cash and risk spreading the virus. Cardiff Met is also a cashless campus.
- A mobile phone with international roaming switched on. This is essential to allow people to be tracked and traced if there is a coronavirus outbreak
- Evidence of any Covid 19 vaccinations that you have had if applicable.
Will I be able to study the whole of my course online?
No. In line with UK Government guidance, we are pleased to confirm that your teaching will be a mixture of both on campus seminars in non-socially distanced groups of up to 30 and online delivery for some lectures and/or tutorials. Your course is not an online course and therefore, attendance at all on campus sessions is compulsory and an essential requirement of your course.
How can I travel to campus?
Find a bus route using the Cardiff Bus
website and go to ‘plan a journey’ and ‘routes and maps'.
You may wish to take a taxi which you can order online or via an app:
You must wear a face covering or mask to travel using public transport. If you do not have a face covering, you will not be permitted to travel.
How can I get a part-time job?
There are a variety of opportunities available in some employment sectors, such as food retail stores and the care industry, but other sectors remain limited:
- Contact Cardiff Met’s
Careers Service for advice and help with CVs
- Cardiff Met SU can also advise on CVs etc.
- Contact local food and retail outlets directly
- Search online for “part-time jobs in Cardiff”
- Or search engines/employment agencies such as
Indeed or Total Jobs
What if I have any problems, who should I speak to?
- If you have problems or questions about your course please contact your Course Director or Personal Tutor. Your school administrator may also be able to help
- The Global Student Advisory Service offers a range of support including welfare, immigration and academic advice. To contact them:
- Email: email@example.com
Tel: 029 2041 6494
- Video appointment via Microsoft Teams: Use this
link to book an appointment with a member of the team
- For any other issues that may be affecting you,
Student Services offer a range of services such as Wellbeing and Money advice
I don’t understand what is expected of me with my assignments. Can someone help?
How do I enrol?
You will be sent an email in January with a link to complete your online-enrolment.
How can I collect my BRP?
Post Office Collection
Once your visa application has been processed, you will have received confirmation that your biometric residence permit (BRP) has been delivered to a named Post Office. You will need to collect your BRP from the Post Office once you have arrived in the UK. The UKVI will send your BRP card to the Post Office closest to the term time address that you have stated on your visa application.
Please note, your term time address
MUST be in or within a commutable distance to campus to allow you to attend all face to face classes.
Students required to self-isolate on arrival to UK
If you are required to self-isolate on arrival to the UK, you should collect your BRP from the Post Office AFTER you have completed your self-isolation period. The letter from UKVI will state that you need to collect your BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK. However, if you are required to isolate for a period of 10 days, you must not collect your BRP until this period has passed. As soon as your isolation period has passed, you should collect your BRP.
Students not required to self-isolate on arrival to the UK
You should collect your BRP from the Post Office within 10 days of arrival in the UK.
Once you receive your BRP, please send a copy of the front and back to
Where can I get information about the Graduate Route visa?
The UK government launched the new Graduate Route on 1st July 2021. From this time, students holding a valid Tier 4 or Student visa, who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider, will be able to remain in the UK and work, or look for work, for 2 years after they have completed their studies (or 3 years if they have completed a PhD).
In order to be eligible to apply for this immigration route, students are required to study the whole of their course in the UK, however there are concessions in place for students who have been studying remotely or from a distance since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Students who begin a course of 12 months or less this autumn or early next year will need to enter by 6 April 2022.