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International student support

Travelling to York

Travel advice and information about our collection services. All international students must fill in the International Arrivals form to let us know your travel plans.

During peak arrival times in September and January we provide free arrival services.

Find out when the services are available and book your place using our International Arrivals form. 

International arrivals form

Outside September and January we offer advice and support in planning your journey to York St John University. We can help you with: 

If you have any questions contact

Arriving at an airport

Booking your flights

We recommend flying into Manchester Airport.

We offer free airport collection to York St John students from Manchester Airport during peak arrival times. To find out more and book your place on this service fill in the International Arrivals Form

Manchester is the most convenient airport for travel to York. There is a station in terminal two, and trains depart every hour for a direct journey to York. 

Instructions for travelling from Manchester Airport to York (PDF, 55 KB).

Arriving at the airport

When you arrive at an airport, you pass through immigration control first before collecting your luggage). There are usually two main queues: one for European Economic Area and Swiss nationals, and one for everyone else.

Know which gate to use at the airport. e-Gates are now in operation at most UK airports. Even if you are eligible to use the eGates you should not do this if you are a non-visa national applying as a short-term student at the border, as you will need to ensure you get a stamp in your passport. Make sure you understand whether you are able to use the e-Gates by watching this e-Gates eligibility video.

Be prepared. Read the UK Border Force's 10 Top Tips for passing through Immigration and Customs control on arrival in the UK: Border Force Top 10 Tips (PDF, 0.2 MB)

After immigration control, you will be able to collect your baggage. At most airports baggage is unloaded on to one of a number of moving belts ('carousels') in the baggage collection area. Look for your flight number and the name of the place your flight departed from on the screens, or above the carousels, and wait for each item of your baggage to appear. If any item does not come through, find a representative of the airline you travelled on and fill in a lost baggage form.

Arriving at the train station

The station is 0.8 miles from York St John University.

If you have heavy bags, it might be worth getting a taxi to the university. There is a taxi bay outside the station, or you can pre-book one. The journey will cost no more than £10, but make sure you have cash on you as most taxis only accept cash payments.

Getting to your university accommodation

If you are staying in university accommodation, you can see where it is on our Accommodation map.

Arriving during the September or January arrivals weekend

After you have checked in at the International Welcome Desk in Holgate Student Centre, you will go to collect your university accommodation keys. If you have any problems or questions regarding your accommodation, a member of staff will be able to help you. 

Arriving at other times of the year

If you arrive at any other point in the year, you will need to organise your key collection with the Accommodation Services Team by emailing

Arriving out of hours

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 out of hours, please go to the Security Lodge, which is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Contact details are on the Security Services page.

Packing tips

Know what to pack. Find our what you can and cannot bring into the UK by watching this UK Customs film

When you pack:

  • Try to pack only what you will really need. You may feel like you are leaving familiar civilisation, but remember that there are plenty of shops in York.
  • Always carry valuable items and documents in your carry-on bag. Never pack these in your checked baggage as there is much more chance that they could be stolen.
  • Check your airline’s baggage allowance in advance. Many airlines allow one free checked bag for international flights, and if you have more than one you might have to pay for it. You don’t want to be surprised by unexpected fees when you go to check in!
  • Find out your airline’s weight allowance for checked bags, and make sure you weigh your bags before going to the airport! You could end up with extra weight charges, or even worse, have to buy another bag at the airport to put your extra items in!
  • Try not to bring too many toiletries as these add a lot of weight to your bag and you can buy these items after you arrive. If you do bring toiletries, buy very small, travel-sized ones that won’t weigh down your bag.
  • Remember not to put any large liquids, gels, or aerosols in your carry-on bags! The size limit is 100ml for such items, and they must be placed in a clear plastic bag before going through Security.
  • Label all of your checked bags with the University address, so just in case your bag does get delayed or lost, it can be easily forwarded on to us: York St John University (Porter’s Lodge), Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX, United Kingdom

Hand luggage

In your hand luggage you need:

  • Passport - Tier 4 student visas will be placed in your passport
  • Travel documents (flight confirmations, e-tickets, and so on)
  • Evidence of acceptance by York St John University (unconditional offer letter or similar acceptance letter)
  • Any valuables you wish to bring: laptop, mobile phone, camera
  • An English dictionary (if necessary)
  • British pounds sterling in cash that you can use upon arrival for snacks, taxi fare, phone calls, or anything else you may need. Try to get your money broken down as small as possible (£5 notes, £1 coins, and a few 50p, 20p, 10p coins).
  • A few spare passport-sized photographs with you, as you will need these for different registration forms after you arrive.

It is a also a good idea to pack your toothbrush and one change of clothes in your hand luggage, just in case your checked bags get delayed or lost!

Checked bags

In your checked bags we recommend you bring: 

  • A variety of clothing for each term, as the weather varies greatly in the UK
  • A good pair of walking shoes is essential, as most UK cities are very pedestrian-friendly. You might want to bring a pair of dress-up shoes as well, because many pubs and clubs do not allow trainers or casual shoes on weekend nights.
  • At least one formal, dress-up outfit for meals out or special occasions.
  • A set of traditional or native dress from your home country, for any cultural events held at the University.
  • Some photos of family and friends to decorate your room, as these might help you feel less homesick when you first arrive.
  • Adapters for your electronic devices. In the UK, the main voltage is 240v and the frequency is 50Hz.

Try not to bring too many large checked bags, as you will probably have to lug these up and down at least a few sets of steps or escalators! Also, there is often limited luggage space on trains and some buses.

Travel tips

We recommend that you:

  • Weigh up the best ways to travel. Keep in mind cost, distance, and time, but also how tired you might be, or how heavy your luggage is.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash on you when traveling. Carrying large amounts of cash can make you an easy target for theft.
  • Keep your belongings close to you during your journey. Do not leave them unattended. Keep your most valuable document or belongings with you at all times.
  • Consider taking out travel insurance. This should help you financially if something does go wrong with your travels.
  • Keep in contact with people you trust to let them know when or where you are traveling.
  • Make copies of your passport and visa, in case you misplace the originals, and keep the copies with you. This will help you to get another document more quickly.
  • Book as much as you can in advance as this will make it cheaper. Make sure you give yourself enough time, taking into account baggage reclaim or walking distance.
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