Find out the latest guidance and information about the impact of COVID-19 on the University.

COVID-19: Advice for Staff, Students and Community
Pre-Arrival Information

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 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years 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) as this will inform you if you need to follow the advice relevant to coming from a Red, Amber or Green list country.

This information is regularly updated, so we recommend checking this often as countries can change status quickly.

If you are from a Red Listed Country

You will need to buy a COVID-19 test and take this test in the 3 days before you travel.

When boarding your plane, you will need to provide proof that you have taken the test, and that the result of the test was negative.  You may also be asked to provide proof of a negative test when you arrive in Scotland.

Whether vaccinated or not, you will need to:

On arrival in Scotland you will be escorted to your booked hotel accommodation.

IF YOU ARE TRANSITING VIA ANOTHER UK AIRPORT ONWARDS TO ABERDEEN (e.g Heathrow, Manchester) YOU MUST BOOK YOUR HOTEL MANAGED QUARANTINE  AT YOUR FIRST POINT OF ARRIVAL IN THE UK.

If you are from an Amber Listed Country

  • You will need to buy a COVID-19 test and take this test in the 3 days before you travel.
  • When boarding your plane, you will need to provide proof that you have taken the test, and that the result of the test was negative.  You may also be asked to provide proof of a negative test when you arrive in Scotland.
    Scottish Government - Testing for people travelling to Scotland

Not fully vaccinated?

If you’re not fully vaccinated and been in an amber list country in the 10 days before travelling to Scotland you must:

  • complete a passenger locator form
  • take a COVID-19 test before travelling 
  • book and pay £136 for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel tests - you must book your testing kit using the CTM Booking Portal – any other type of testing kit, such as free NHS kits or those sold by private businesses, cannot be used for these tests
    COVID Travel Tests

On arrival in Scotland you must:

Fully vaccinated?

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re fully vaccinated in one of the following countries

  • UK (including as part of UK vaccine rollout overseas)
  • EU member states
  • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland)
  • Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City
  • USA

‘Fully vaccinated’ means that you’ve had your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through approved sources, at least 14 days before you arrive in Scotland. 

You must also:

  • declare that you have been fully vaccinated on your passenger locator form
  • take a COVID-19 test before travelling 
  • book and pay £68 for a COVID-19 test – you should take this test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland and must book your testing kit using the CTM Booking Portal:
    COVID Travel Tests
If you’ve not been fully vaccinated by approved sources

You’ll need to follow the amber list rules for those who are not fully vaccinated, so that mean self-isolation upon arrival.

If you are from a Green Listed Country

  • You will need to buy a COVID-19 test and take this test in the 3 days before you travel.
  • When boarding your plane, you will need to provide proof that you have taken the test, and that the result of the test was negative.  You may also be asked to provide proof of a negative test when you arrive in Scotland.

Whether vaccinated or not, you will need to:

  • complete a passenger locator form
  • take a COVID-19 test before travelling
  • book and pay £68 for a COVID-19 test. You must book your testing kit using the CTM Booking Portal – any other type of testing kit, such as free NHS kits or those sold by private businesses, cannot be used for these tests
    COVID Travel Tests

You will not need to isolate unless:

the result of the COVID-19 test you’ve taken on day 2 after arriving back in Scotland is positive

NHS Scotland Test and Protect contact you to let you know that you need to isolate as you’ve travelled with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

RGU Support for New Students from Red and Amber List Countries

We have in place support measures related to the costs incurred from mandatory hotel managed quarantine for new students coming from Red list countries. If you are travelling from a Red list country, please check your email for our communications to you about this support.

If you are travelling from an Amber list country, 10 day self-isolation accommodation packages are available at our student accommodation. This is offered to students planning to live with us throughout the semester,  and also for those who do not intend to stay permanently in RGU student accommodation beyond the self-isolation period.

Find out more about our COVID-19 guidance for staying in student accommodation:

Vaccinations

At this time, you do not need to be fully or partially vaccinated 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:

Taxi 

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.

Bus 

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.

From the 22 June 2020, face coverings are mandatory on all public transport in Scotland. 

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 20 September 2021.

Once you have confirmed that you will start studying on 20 September 2021 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 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 self isolation if arriving from a Red or Amber list country. 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 Freshers2021 Week Events

For everything you need to know about Freshers Week 2021 events


What our return to campus looks like

We are looking forward to seeing you at the start of term. Take a look our video to see some of the measures we have in place to ensure your safety.


Welcome Toolkit

Our guide for new International sutdents 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.


Contacts

 

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