Before you leave for Aberdeen you will need to check that you have everything you need in place.
A checklist is available to help you ensure you are ready. We will also provide you with a helpful Pre-Arrival Guide, which will be emailed to you 6-8 weeks before you are due to start your course. The guide contains lots of helpful information that you will need when making preparations to study with us.
Our pre-arrival guide contains lots of helpful information you will need when making the preparations for joining us in Aberdeen. View online or download a PDF.
How do I get to Aberdeen?
Aberdeen has its own international airport which connects to many European destinations. It is the only airport serving Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland. You can fly to Aberdeen from the London airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton), as well as other major UK airports (Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol). You may find it easier and cheaper to arrive in Aberdeen via Paris or Amsterdam airports.
During enrolment periods we will have students helpers on hand at the airport to greet you and help make your transport arrangements on to your accommodation - look out for the Robert Gordon University information desk when you arrive.
There are direct rail connections from London to Aberdeen - the average journey time is about 7 hours, and prices vary according to when you travel.
There is a city link bus service which connects all major Scottish towns and cities.
Please click on the links below for information about train times and for further information on Aberdeen Airport:
What to Bring
There are many things that you will need to consider before coming to Aberdeen.
There is no restriction on bringing money into the UK. However, you must declare to UK Customs if you bring more than the equivalent of €10,000 (approx. £8,000). This includes currency, travellers cheques and bankers drafts.
DO NOT CARRY LARGE AMOUNTS OF HARD CURRENCY IN YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS. It is simply not safe to do so, and once the money is lost it cannot be replaced.
The best and safest way to bring money is to either bring Sterling travellers cheques or arrange two bank drafts:
- one payable to Robert Gordon University for your fees, with your student number and name on the back or as the reference details, and
- one for your living costs, payable to your own name
In addition to these, you should bring around £200 - £300 in cash/travellers cheques for your first few days in Scotland. Do not bring it all in cash for safety reasons. If you are planning to bring some of your own currency, check first that you are permitted to take it out of your country, and secondly that it can be changed in the UK.
Whilst you are a student in the UK, you will need to have certain documents with you for administrative and local tax purposes, such as visa extension applications or to receive a UK National Insurance number. The most important are:
- Your passport
- Your Unconditional Offer Letter
- Affidavits of support from your parents (if you applied for your visa with them)
- Letters of sponsorship from company, government or sponsor agency
- Your police registration certificate (if you have one)
- Bank statements - don't throw them out
- Pay slips you receive from part-time work
There is no requirement in the United Kingdom to carry official documentation with you in your daily life and there is no national compulsory system of identification. Therefore, there is no need to carry your passport or any similarly important documents around with you every day.
All students who apply to extend their student visa are required to give biometric information (fingerprints and photographs) so that an ID card can be issued. Visa information will then be held on the ID card and not in the passport. The identity card is not a travel document and when you travel you must take both your passport and your identity card with you.
Given the difference in climate, it would be a good idea to think about what type of clothing you will need to help you cope with Scottish weather.
There are lots of places in Aberdeen where you can buy warm clothing at comparatively cheap prices and there are also many charity shops where you can pick recycled clothes. Lots of international students choose to do this, as they won't need these warmer clothes when they return home.
The electrical system operates on a voltage of 220 volts and electrical sockets use a 3-pin system. You will need to bring an adapter with you or these can normally be bought at airports or large department stores in your home country.
What NOT to bring
It is illegal to bring certain items into the UK. These include some foodstuffs such as dairy products, meat products and dry foods. It would therefore be safest not to pack these items at all.
Aberdeen has a good number of halal and Asian food shops and a large Chinese supermarket, so you will be able to get many of the foods you enjoy at home, in Aberdeen.
Please also remember that it is a criminal offence to attempt to bring drugs into the UK and the penalties for possession of drugs are strictly enforced.
To avoid any confusion when you arrive, ensure any medicinal drugs whether pharmaceuticals or traditional remedies (such as Chinese medicine or Ayurvedic treatments) - are in clearly labelled bottles or sealed packaging.
HM Revenue & Customs - Information for Travellers (opens in new window)
What to Expect
Studying in a new country is an exciting and enjoyable experience for the majority of people who chose to do this.
However, it is important to expect a period of adjustment to your new surrounds, new culture, new approach to studying.
To help prepare yourself as much as possible, try to research things:
- How will your timetable be structured?
- How many classes a week will you have and what percentage of your time will be spent on independent study?
- How will your course be assessed - groupwork/ exams/presentations/ essays?
Once your offer becomes Unconditional, you will be given access to Your Gateway, the student portal which will provide you with lots of personalised information including details of your modules, assignments and timetables ahead of you beginning your studies here at Robert Gordon University.
Tuition fees are listed under each course entry on this web site under Areas of Study. Once you have selected the course you wish to study go to the ‘Course Fees’ section.
Room and Board
Information on the types of accommodation and costs can be found at Accommodation There is a mix of off-campus halls and private provider accommodation options.
Security Report - Missing Student resident procedure
If you are located within the university off-campus accommodation and you are reported missing we will contact your next of kin (provided by you confidentially at enrolment) within 24 hours. We will also contact Grampian police. The procedure can be found by downloading Accommodation Missing Person (Resident) Procedure.
Information on travel in Aberdeen can be found at Transport Information
Registration with a General Practitioner
Information regarding registration with a General Practitioner including preventative health measures is available from Student Medical Services
Some courses will have specific requirements. You will be notified of these by your School separately.
Services and Facilities for Students with Disabilities
Information regarding the support the university provides for students with disabilities can be found at Disability and Dyslexia
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
The institution’s student Drugs policy can be found at Student Policies - internal
Drug-related offenses will be subject to a non academic misconduct investigation under Academic regulation A3, Section 2: Student Misconduct Procedure on the Academic Regulations page.
Please refer to the cost of living guide pre-arrival guide for further information
Other information that you may find helpful during your preparation for arrival in the UK can be found at After you Apply in the Pre Arrival information section.
We are able to welcome international students from all over the world to study on our campus. Find out how the Student Immigration Team can help you with your visa application.