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

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 Route Visa application.

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 

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. 

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 

Enrolling online

Due to COVID-19 all students will enrol and complete their registration for their programme online, this year. This means that even if you cannot travel before teaching starts, you can start your lessons and study virtually, so you will not miss a thing.

Once you have met all your conditions and received your CAS letter to apply for your visa, 2 days later our Student Admissions Service will send you an email with detailed instructions on how to enrol online. Please follow these instructions step by step, and you will officially become an RGU student!

This will start with setting up your RGU account, and move through to the online enrolment site, and will end with introducing you to CampusMoodle, RGU’s virtual learning environment (VLE) where you will find all our Welcome Toolkit for new students.

It is vital that as soon as you complete your online enrolment that you immediately engage with your studies and classes online. You do not have to wait until you secure your visa for the UK. If you do not engage with your studies, miss important classes and coursework deadline dates you may have to be withdrawn from the course. By keeping on top of your studies whilst learning online, we hope that won’t have to happen.

International & EU Welcome Presentation

All International  and EU students should read through our Welcome Presentation to inform you about essential information to help you settle into university life, including:

  • How to register with a doctor
  • How to open a UK bank account
  • University support services available to you

Induction and Welcome Week Events

This year our normal on-campus Induction and Welcome Week events have been transformed into a virtual experience for all our new students, with live and recorded events and information provided over the week.

A programme of over 50 ‘live’ events will be delivered daily commencing on 18 January. Events will be held between 12 and 2pm each day, and will include a range of topics such as:

  • How to use Campus Moodle effectively
  • How to access your timetable
  • How to study online
  • Top Ten Tips from RGU Library
  • RGU IT Essentials and many more.

In addition to these events, RGU:Union will be hosting daily, fun, social activities as a way for you to make new friends and feel part of the RGU community straightway. These will start every day from 5pm.

Key Dates to Remember

  • Monday 18 January - Teaching starts online, so wherever you are, check your timetable 
  • Friday 22 January - Last date for online enrolment

Remember, we have provided you with the ability to enrol online, so if you are delayed with your arrival to the UK, you can start your studies online and travel as soon as you can. It is essential that you keep up with your studies and attend lessons ahead of beginning your on campus studies so, Enrol now! 

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.



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