If you take a look at the right hand side on the blog’s home page, you will see a countdown until the Fall Term starts. You may do a double take once you see the number of days left but it is correct. Summer is coming to an end and as the time comes for you to make your journey to the Castle, we wanted to give you some advice to help you prepare for your upcoming adventure!
First up – How to Pack
- Roll your clothes – rather than folding them or just throwing them in your suitcase, try rolling your clothes to make everything more compact and save space.
- Dividers or pouches for your suitcase – by using dividers or pouches, you can keep things together so you know where to find them instead of rummaging through if you need something.
- Check your bag weight – one of the worst things when traveling is getting to the airport and finding out that your luggage is overweight when you thought you were ok. Be sure to weigh it before hand and a good rule of thumb is to make sure that you can lift it (since you will have to drag it around)
- Multi-use clothes – Jackets or coats that be used for multiple weather conditions are always a good idea when traveling since it saves you from bringing extra items.
- Be wary of liquids in your suitcase – Toiletries can sometimes spill in your suitcase and make a huge mess. To avoid this, be sure to wrap them in bags that cannot leak and hold liquids well. Ziplock bags are amazing when traveling for holding various things.
- Test out your bag before – On a recent trip, my friend found out at the airport that a wheel on her suitcase didn’t work. It sucks to be traveling and dragging a bag behind you. Be sure to test out your luggage so you have a smooth trip.
- Do NOT pack your important paperwork (i.e. Letter of Attendance) in your luggage, make sure you have all of it in your carry on!
*Also keep in mind that you are going to the UK and not to a desert so you can get many of the things you may need there. If you do forget something, don’t freak out -
- You will be sitting for a while – Have a good stretch before. Try walking around the airport. You have hours to sit on the plane, so enjoy not doing that for a bit.
- Stay hydrated – Be sure to drink lots of water and not get dehydrated.
- Relax and take it easy – Grab your favorite book, movie, tv show, etc. and settle in for the ride. You will be surprised just how fast a flight can go when you are glued to a book or screen. Personally, I like to watch a set of movies or read a series of books. The best flight I ever had was the one where I decided to watch all three Star Wars movies (Episodes IV – VI) on the plane.
- Noise cancelling headphones – Screaming babies, loud passengers, snoring sleepers: all these things can be fixed with a nice pair of headphones that block out that sound. Be sure to listen for the plane announcements though!
- Comfort beats style – this is always up for debate but personally, I prefer to be comfortable rather than fashionable on a flight. Wear your favorite clothes that you can just relax in. Be sure to grab a extra layer to stay warm and make sure you can take it off easily if it gets too hot. I once sat next to someone in a onesie (I don’t recommend that…wearing one or sitting next to that person…)
- Don’t take any medicine or pills you haven’t taken before – if you need something to help you to sleep or you are feeling under the weather, being on a plane thousands of feet in the air probably isn’t the best place to try something for the first time. You don’t want to have an allergic reaction or anything like that so make sure you know what you are taking.
- Take a laptop, tablet, dvd player, etc. – Some planes have tvs for everyone for long flights. In case yours does not or you just want access to your own media library, bring a laptop or tablet to entertain yourself. Some planes even have plugs for power so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice.
- Know your airport – It is always a good idea to know your way around the airport or just have an idea of where to go. Be sure to check out their website so you know where you need to be: http://www.heathrowairport.com/
- Have some spare change / local currency in case you need it for emergencies – You never know when you will need to make an emergency call or pay for something, so be sure to be prepared.
- Keep your luggage on you at all times!
- Keep an eye out for the BISC Student Services team in yellow shirts if you are arriving at a scheduled pick up time!
First Time Student Arrivals 10 Top Tips
As part of your preparations for your studying in the UK this year, Border Force want to make sure you have everything you need to get through the UK border as efficiently as possible. Follow these top tips for a smooth journey through the UK border:
- Have your passport ready.
- Ensure you complete a landing card (if a non EEA National).
- Have your university Certificate of Acceptance Studies (CAS) number ready. If you don’t have a CAS number please brings details of your course of study.
- Keep any medical documentation, recent bank statement and details of where you are staying in your hand luggage, we may ask to see this information.
- Do not bring in any meat or dairy products from outside the EU.
- There are also restrictions on other food products such as fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark).
- There are also restrictions on the amount of tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring in the UK. If you exceed your duty-free allowance and do not declare them, all of your items could be taken away from you.
- Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, offensive weapons or indecent or obscene material. Some items are restricted and will require a licence or permit.
- You must declare any sums of cash of ?10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.
- Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents).
These are just some tips we have for you as you prepare to head to the BISC. We are sure that you have some additional ideas on how to make everything go smoothly and we would love to hear them. Be sure to send us a message or comment below and we can’t wait to see you at the BISC in just a few short days!
Awaiting your arrival,