Airport Welcome

Airport Welcome



1. What is Cardiff Met's free airport welcome service

This is a free service arranged by the Global Student Advisory Service. If you decide to take advantage of this, transport will be organised to take you from your airport of arrival to your accommodation free of charge.

2. When is the free airport welcome service?

The next airport welcome service will be from London Heathrow Airport on the following dates: 

For students travelling from Green and Amber list countries

  • Wednesday 15th September 2021 - Booking deadline: Tuesday 7th September
  • Thursday 16th September 2021 - Booking deadline: Wednesday 8th September
  • Friday 1st October 2021 - Booking deadline: Thursday 23rd September
  • Saturday 2nd October 2021 - Booking deadline: Friday 24th September
  • Monday 18th October 2021 - Booking deadline: Sunday 10th October
  • Tuesday 19th October 2021 - Booking deadline: Monday 11th October 
  • Wednesday 3rd November 2021 - Booking deadline: Tuesday 26th October  CANCELLED due to lack of bookings
  • Thursday 4th November 2021 - Booking deadline: Wednesday 27th October CANCELLED due to lack of bookings

3. How do I book this service?

In order to book a space on one of our airport welcome services please complete the online form.

​Please ensure that you complete the form by the relevant deadline date so that arrangements can be made for you. Once you have submitted your online form, you will receive an email to confirm that your space has been booked as well as further instructions. Please note that specific details of your airport transfer will be sent to you by email about a week before you are due to arrive.  If you do not inform the international office of your arrival details, there will be no arrangements made for you. Please contact the International Office if you have any queries:

4. What should I do if my flight information changes?

If your flight information changes, for example you have cancelled your flight or your flight has been delayed and you have booked a space on our airport welcome service, it is very important that you inform us as soon as possible. If you do not inform us of any changes to your flight, members of staff at the airport will be expecting you to arrive based on the information you have provided. This will cause delays for the other students who will be waiting to leave the airport to travel to Cardiff. 

You can contact us by emailing or by telephone on 02920 416494. 

5. What if I miss the last bus for airport welcome?

If your flight is delayed and you have missed the last airport welcome bus, please do not panic. You can easily travel to Cardiff from Heathrow Airport using the National Express bus service. You can purchase a bus ticket for approximately £45.00 from the National Express ticket desk at the airport. The National Express bus will drop you off at Cardiff bus station where you can catch a taxi to your accommodation. Usually, there are a number of taxis waiting for passengers at the bus station but if there are no taxis available, you can book one by calling 02920 555 555 (Premier Taxis). If you would like further information about the National Express bus service, please click here to view their website. 

If you have arrived very late, you may prefer to stay in a hotel near the airport and travel to Cardiff the following day by National Express. If you decide that you would prefer to stay in a hotel when you arrive at the airport, please ask for help from the information desk and they will be happy to help you. You can also find hotel accommodation around Heathrow Airport by clicking here

6. What if I cannot arrive on the dates of the free airport welcome?

If you are not arriving on the dates of the airport welcome, we'd still like to know your arrival plans so we can prepare for your arrival. Please complete the online Arrival Form.

It is likely that when you travel to the UK your flight will be scheduled to arrive at a London airport (Heathrow or Gatwick). However, it may be possible to book a flight to Cardiff International Airport if you are not taking advantage of our free airport welcome service from London Heathrow Airport. If you would prefer to travel to Cardiff rather than London, the major international flights that arrive at Cardiff International Airport are with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. 

You will need to book a flight from your home country to Amsterdam and then a connecting flight from Amsterdam to Cardiff. Arriving at Cardiff Airport is a very convenient way to travel as the airport is only 30 minutes from the city of Cardiff. Alternatively, the second most convenient option is to arrive at London Heathrow Airport.

Arriving at Cardiff Airport: The most convenient way to travel from Cardiff Airport to the city centre is via the Cardiff Airport Express Bus Service (bus number: T9) which departs from the airport every 30 minutes. A bus ticket will cost from £5 and the journey will take approximately 30 minutes. For further information, please view the Cardiff Airport Express website. The bus will drop you off at Custom House Street, Cardiff, it is likely that you will be required to take a taxi to your accommodation from here. 

There are usually taxis waiting for customers at Custom House Street, but if not, you can book a taxi with Premier Taxis using the following telephone number: 02920 555 555. Taxi fare is calculated according to the distance travelled. However, an extra amount may be added for luggage, therefore it is advisable to keep £10-£15.00 aside for your journey within the Cardiff area.

Arriving at London Heathrow Airport: There is a bus which travels directly to Sophia Gardens, Cardiff from Heathrow Airport which is called National Express. A one-way National Express bus ticket will cost approximately £45.00. On the National Express website you will see timetables, ticket booking information and general information about luggage allowance. (Please note that National Express will only carry two medium suitcases at 23kg each and one piece of hand luggage per person). 

If you travel by National Express, you will need to get off the coach at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff and then take a taxi to your accommodation. There are usually taxis waiting for customers at the bus station, but if not, you can book a taxi with Premier Taxis using the following telephone number: 02920 555 555. Taxi fare is calculated according to the distance travelled. However, an extra amount may be added for luggage, therefore it is advisable to keep £10-£15.00 aside for your journey within the Cardiff area.

7. What can I expect to happen at immigration control and what should I bring with me?

When you arrive at a UK airport, you will need to pass through Immigration Control. In order to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible, it is essential that you are prepared and know what to expect to happen at Immigration Control. Please check the UK Border Force's top 10 tips for a smooth arrival to the UK. 

We would strongly advise you to read the guidance notes provided by UKCISA and that you prepare the items listed below in advance of your journey to the UK.

  • Valid passport containing student visa/ entry clearance
  • Travel tickets
  • Money - some cash in British Pounds (sterling) PLUS travellers cheques or a credit card for use on arrival until you can open a bank account
  • X-ray report/medical certificate (ask the British Council in your home country if you require this)Vaccination certificates if required
  • Any prescription drugs that you are taking as well as a letter from your doctor explaining what they are
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University letter which states that you have accepted a place on a course
  • Documents showing money to fund your studies in the UK (e.g. recent bank statements, proof of sponsorship)
  • Originals (or certified true copies) of any degree certificates/qualifications
  • English language test scores
  • Detail of onward travel arrangements in UK
  • Address where you will be staying
  • Warm items of clothing to wear on arrival.

8. How much money should I bring to the UK when I arrive?

It usually takes about two weeks for students to open a bank account in the UK, so please ensure that you have enough money and/or a credit card available for this period. If you are going to find privately rented accommodation, you should have approximately £500 available to cover the cost of your first months' rent and deposit as both must be paid before you get your keys to a property.  Also, if you have booked into temporary accommodation, such as a hotel, please budget for this. We encourage all students to carry their money in a secure form, e.g. visa card, travellers cheques. 

9. Social activities

Please click here for more information about Social Events.

​10. Living in Cardiff

Please click here for more information about ​Living in Cardiff.

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