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Download our handy guide which will help you come prepared: Download Pre Arrival Guide 

At the airport 

You will have to go through both passport control (immigration) and a customs check when you land in the UK.

If you have obtained entry clearance in your home country, you should be entering the UK with the immigration status of a ‘student’. Non-visa nationals who are studying for six months or less and who are not required to obtain entry clearance before travelling to the UK will now have their passports stamped as a ‘student visitor’ by an immigration officer. These students will be prohibited from working in the UK. ‘Student visitors’ cannot extend their visas whilst in the UK.

What can I bring into the UK?

You should seek advice from the British Embassy or High Commission in your home country as to what you can and cannot bring into the UK.

Personal belongings are normally permitted as long as they are for your own use and will be taken home at the end of your stay in the UK.

For more information, please visit www.defra.gov.uk.

Arriving in the UK

We know that arriving in a new country can be exciting but also a bit scary, so we offer an airport pick-up service please contact info@waterlooacademy.co.uk for more information. We also arrange welcome events to help familiarise you with your new surroundings and make new friends. These take place before your classes’ start, so you can adjust to your new environment, catch up on any lost sleep and sort out any personal matters.


Find out about the accommodation options.

Social attitudes

Life in Britain will almost certainly be different from what you are used to. It is difficult to define exactly what the ‘British’ way of life is as attitudes and outlooks vary considerably according to where you are in the country. As a home to residents from many different parts of the world and a variety of ethnic backgrounds, Britain has a vibrant, cosmopolitan feel. It won’t take you long before you are accustomed to your new life here and are able to adapt to a whole variety of situations; everything from understanding British etiquette and mannerisms to cooking your own food and running your own bank account.


Alcohol is available to anyone aged over 18. It’s perfectly acceptable for adults to drink alcohol in moderate amounts. For many British people, drinking is an established part of social life – ‘going out for a drink’ is how they relax or spend time with friends. This doesn’t mean that you have to drink alcohol. If you don’t want to you can always ask for a non-alcoholic drink instead.


Many people in Britain smoke. However, in some ways smoking is less acceptable than drinking, and smoking is banned in all pubs, clubs and restaurants in England, as well as other public places including buses and the London Underground. If you smoke in these places, you have to pay a fine. Some non-smokers find smoke unpleasant and uncomfortable. If you are eating or drinking with friends – especially at someone else’s house – it is polite to ask before you light your cigarette.

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