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International Students

Pre-Arrival Information

Information for International offer holders about when to arrive, visas, orientation, induction and more.

Congratulations on holding an offer to study at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen! We look forward to welcoming you to the University.

We hope to help provide you with some useful information to help you prepare for your departure, and your first few weeks as an RGU student here in the UK.

Before you leave home

Visa Information

Our Student Admissions Service are dedicated to supporting you throughout your visa application process.

We have a specialist team in Immigration that can help you with your Student Visa application.

Study Equipment and Technology

Whilst it is easy to pick up notebooks and pens to help with your studies when you arrive in Aberdeen, you may wish to bring with you a laptop or personal computer. This will allow you the independence to study wherever and whenever you want, and can be used for watching online lectures, blended learning, completing assignments and also note taking during classes.

A laptop or personal computer is recommended to fully access all RGU’s systems and networks, as joining via a phone or tablet can offer a limited functionality.

Suggested minimum specification:

Windows laptop

  • Operating System: Windows 10.
  • Minimum Screen Size: 10 inches
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive Size: 250 Gb, preferably more
  • Wireless connectivity
  • At least 1 USB Port
  • Camera, microphone and speaker
  • Anti-virus/anti-malware protection

Apple Mac OS

  • Operating System: Apple iOS 11.x (2017) or later ^
  • Minimum Screen Size: 10 inches
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive Size: 250 Gb, preferably more
  • Wireless connectivity
  • At least 1 USB port
  • Camera, microphone and speaker
  • Anti-virus/Anti-malware software

Get prepared – helpful research

We recommend that you visit the British Council’s Study in the UK website, as this has lots of helpful advice to prepare ahead of your departure from your home country. 

Before you start packing, please familiarise yourself with the UK Government’s rules on what you can bring into the country. There are several food stuffs you are not allowed to enter the country with, as well as there being a limit on the volume of alcohol and cigarettes you can carry with you.

Don’t worry about packing items you think you will not find here. Aberdeen is a multi-cultural welcoming city with many international supermarkets which cater for a variety of cuisines.

Travelling to join us in Aberdeen 

If you are planning to travel to the UK during the 2022-23 academic year please ensure that you follow the Government requirements that you need to adhere to. These differ depending on the country you are travelling from (including those you travel through in the 10 days before arriving in the UK).

Full information is available from the Scottish Government website. This information is regularly updated, so we recommend checking this often as countries can change status quickly:

Further RGU guidance:


At this time, you do not need to be fully or partially vaccinated for COVID-`19 to enter the UK. If you wish to become vaccinated after you arrive (following the completion of any self-isolation or quarantine), the Scottish government has confirmed the national COVID-19 vaccination program will include international students. This aims to protect international students during their studies in Scotland as well as to prevent any possible further transmission of COVID-19. There is no cost to international students for this vaccination.

If you have been fully or partially vaccinated in your home country, please bring details of your vaccination (e.g date, type, batch number) with you when you travel to the UK as this will help your UK vaccination clinic to understand your status.

Travel By Air 

If you are planning to travel to Aberdeen by air, many of the major airline carriers will allow international  students a complimentary extra baggage allowance with proof of study, such as your Unconditional offer letter or student visa. This must be arranged in advance of travel so please speak to your airline at the point of booking your ticket.

Aberdeen International Airport (ABZ) is a small, single terminal airport, with several international connections from London, Amsterdam and Paris each day. If Aberdeen is your first point of landing in the UK, you will travel through UK Border Control here. If you transit via other UK airports, such as Heathrow, Manchester or Glasgow, you will pass through UK Border Control there.

For students arriving in the UK at this time, it is mandatory to complete a Passenger Location Form, 48 hours ahead of arrival in the UK. You will be asked to present this at UK Border Control.

Face coverings are also compulsory at all UK airports at this time, for all arriving and departing passengers, so please remember to pack one in your hand luggage. 

Options for onward travel from Aberdeen airport to your student accommodation include:


There is a regulated taxi rank outside the terminal of the airport, which has taxis 24 hours a day. It will cost approx. £30 to travel to Garthdee campus from the airport. Unregulated taxis are not allowed into the grounds of the airport.


There is a regular bus service, Jet 727, which runs 24 hours a day from outside the airport terminal and takes you to the bus station in the city centre. A ticket costs around £3.50. 

Travel By Rail/Bus/Coach 

Aberdeen has both a train station and a bus station located in the city centre, both with regular services to other UK cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. 

There is a taxi rank located at the train station, which runs 24 hours a day. It will cost approximately £18 for a taxi to the Garthdee campus from the city centre. There is also a very regular local bus service which operates from a short distance away from the train and bus stations, on Union Street. This bus service connects the city of Aberdeen, with many different routes offered. If travelling to campus, please take First Bus, Route 1 or Route 2.

Money Matters

We advise all international students to travel with a small amount of cash with them, to cover your expenses for the first few days until your new bank account is set up. Ideally you want to bring this cash in £GBP, £250-£500 should be enough.

As it will take you a short while to set up your UK bank account, you may wish to consider a pre-paid credit card from your home country which will allow you to make withdrawals with ease in the UK. Some example companies which offer this are WeSwap and Revolut.

Information about how to set up your UK bank account is included in the Welcome Toolkit you will have access to on CampusMoodle, once you have enrolled online. This information includes how to set up a UK bank account whilst in self-isolation. Please note, you will require a bank support letter and proof of address to set up your bank account, which you can request from the Student Help Point, or via AskRGU. More information about this is included in the ‘Finance and Banking Advice’ section of the Welcome Toolkit on CampusMoodle:

Enrolling and commencing your studies with RGU 

New students will receive an invitation to enrol via email from the Student Admissions Service. If you have conditions to your offer, these will need to be met before you receive your enrolment invitation email.

If you are a visa national, prior to receiving your enrolment invitation email you will be sent a Student Immigration Agreement Form to complete. This confirms that you understand your duties and responsibilities as a sponsored student at RGU (the terms of your visa states that RGU is your sponsor). You must also confirm that you will start studying (whether online or on campus) from 26 September 2022 or 23 January 2023.

Once you have confirmed that you will start studying on 26 September 2022 or 23 January 2023 you will be able to proceed to online enrolment. Following that, our Student Immigration Team will contact you to understand your travel plans.

On arrival to the UK the Student Immigration Team will complete your Online Welcome Check.  The team will request that you send a photo of your passport and stamped visa vignette page to passport@rgu.ac.uk

Once you have completed any mandatory quarantine or self-isolation, you must pick up your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).   You should then send the Student Immigration Team a photo of the front and back of the card or send your digital immigration status share code to passport@rgu.ac.uk.

Whilst normally you are expected to collect your BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK, at this time the Home Office is allowing a concession which says you can collect it after your period of quarantine or self-isolation is complete. You must not collect your BRP until you have finished your full self isolation or quarantine period. For more information: 

Studying at university level will require a lot of independent study so we advise that you bring with you a reliable, internet compatible, laptop with you. Please note the voltage and plugs used in the UK may be different to what you currently use.

Induction and Freshers Week Events

For everything you need to know about Freshers Week events

Welcome Toolkit

Our guide for new International students provides essential information about visa and immigration support, as well as lots of useful advice to help you settle into life in Aberdeen and the UK. Students can access this online through CampusMoodle once you have enrolled.

Pre-Arrival Events

Before each intake, we run a range of pre-arrival events for our new international students. These are a great opportunity to get your last minute questions answered as well as pick up some helpful tips on preparing to join us.

Don’t forget, you can chat to some of our current students who are an excellent source of advice and guidance.



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