International students

International freshers Aston
This page is for new international students arriving at Aston University in September 2017, and contains lots of different information to help you get to the university and settle in quickly.

Use the links below to jump to a section:

Before you arrive

After you arrive

Before arrival guide

We understand that going to live and study in a different country can be a scary and nerve-wracking experience, so we want to provide as much help and support as possible to our international students.

All new international students will receive an electronic Welcome Handbook before they arrive, containing lots of information from accommodation and health, to money matters and what to pack in your suitcase.

Until you receive your handbook, please see below for important information about visas, travel from the airport and the Meet and Greet service, the e-Mentor programme and accommodation.


If you are from outside the EU, it is likely that you will need a visa to study in the UK. If you do, it’s important to start preparing for your visa application as early as possible. Please make sure to read the entry clearance section on our website here carefully.

If you have any questions at all about visas, we have a team of expert immigration advisers who are ready to help. You can get in touch with one of these advisers by emailing astoninternational@aston.ac.uk or by calling +44 (0)121 204 4567. It’s also possible to arrange a Skype appointment, so just get in touch.

For any general questions about coming to the UK, please email thehub@aston.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 204 4007.

e-Mentor Programme

All new international students have the opportunity to take part in our pre-arrival e-mentor programme – this is where we’ll put you in touch with a current Aston student who knows how it feels starting at Aston as well as moving to a new country, remembers the questions they had when they were in your position and can share their experiences to help you to settle in quickly.

Planning your travel

It’s a good idea to think about your travel plans from the airport before you arrive in the UK.

Meet and Greet Service – 10:00 – 20:00 – Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September 2017

To take the stress out of getting to campus, Aston Students' Union will be providing a free Meet & Greet service for new international and EU students.

If you arrive at Birmingham airport between these times, you will be greeted by our friendly and welcoming Aston Aunties - current students who volunteer their time to welcome new students to Birmingham and Aston University.

The Aunties will point you in the direction of the shuttle service to take you to campus.

You'll need to register for this service - click here for more information.

If you arrive at Birmingham New Street Station or Digbeth Coach Station during the meet and greet times above, our Aston Aunties will be there to welcome you to Birmingham and to point you in the right direction for onward travel to your accommodation.

Make your own way

If you’ll be arriving at Birmingham airport outside of the Meet and Greet times, you’ll need to find your own way to your accommodation. The campus is about 10 miles from the airport, and the journey takes about 30 minutes in a taxi. 

Alternatively, you can get the train directly from Birmingham Airport to Birmingham New Street station for local train and bus connections.

You can find more information about transport in Birmingham here.

Follow the directions in the video below!

MyAston App

If you have a smartphone, make sure to download the myAston App before you arrive on campus. The app contains loads of useful information for Aston students, including your timetable, location information and a campus map, library features, news and events, find a room function, calendars and even which washing machines are available in the laundrette!

Find more information about the app here

After arrival guide

After you arrive at Aston, there are a number of important tasks that you will need to complete in order to enrol on your course and to comply with your visa conditions (such as registering with the police). See below for more details. 

You may also want to open a bank account and speak to a member of staff about paying your tuition fees - you can get help with all of these tasks by visiting The Hub and Finance Centre in the Main Building, this is also where you will find our specialist Immigration Advisers and various other services. 

Collecting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

If your Tier 4 visa is for longer than 6 months, you will need to collect your BRP card when you arrive in the UK.

The easiest way to do this is to choose Aston University as your collection location when you apply for your visa – check here for details about how to do this. If you don’t choose the university as your collection location you’ll need to collect it from the Post Office in the city centre.

When you receive your visa decision letter it will tell you where you can collect your BRP – just remember that you must collect it within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

You can collect your BRP card when you attend face to face enrolment.


Stage 1: Pre-Enrolment and Photo Upload: Online using MAP (My Aston Portal) 

If you have firmly accepted an unconditional place at Aston University, you will be e-mailed your University network account login details from mid-August onwards. These login details are personal to you and will be used throughout your studies at Aston University, so please keep them safe. 

The e-mail will also include details of how to access our web-based portal, “MAP”, to update your personal details and check we have all the correct information for you. 

As part of the pre-enrolment task, you’ll need to upload a photo of yourself. This photo is for your student uniCARD, which will stay with you for a few years, so smile and be happy. 

Once you have completed this initial stage of enrolment, you will gain full access to the University Portal and a range of other useful information and tasks.

Email not arrived?

Firstly, please check your email’s junk folder, as sometimes emails get directed there by accident.

If you didn't provide an email address when you applied, or it has since changed, please contact the admissions staff for your programme. Their contact details will be on any offer letter you have received from us, or may be found at the bottom of your School’s web page – ABS / EAS / LSS / LHS

If you have supplied us with the correct email address, but have not received an email with your login details, please send an email to regenrolment@aston.ac.uk.

Stage 2: Passport and Visa Upload: Online using MAP

Once you have completed your pre-enrolment task online, you will be sent a link to access the Passport and Visa MAP task, where you can upload details of your UK visa or immigration permission. 

Once you have completed this task you’ll be ready to come to your face to face enrolment appointment. Make sure to bring your passport and visa with you so that we can check they match with the scans that you uploaded.

Stage 3: Face-to-Face Enrolment - 15th, 16th and 17th September 2017.

Face-to-Face Enrolment is the final stage before you become a fully enrolled Aston Student. We’ll send you an email to let you know what time and day you can enrol. 

If you have applied for a Tier 4 visa and you used Aston University as your collection point, then we will also have your BRP card ready for you to collect. 

What should I bring to enrolment?

You should bring the following relevant documents:

• Passport and visa

    • You should have already uploaded scans of these before you come, but we’ll double check them at enrolment.

• Original Qualifications

    • These are the qualifications that we have used to offer a place on your course.

Once you have completed enrolment and moved into your accommodation, you can get involved with some of the fun activities and events that we have planned for Welcome Weekend and Freshers’ week!

Welcome Weekend and Freshers’ Week – 16th - 22nd September 2017

Aston Freshers' 2017 is open to all new students to help you settle into your new home. There will be a mixture of academic, practical, cultural, social and fun activities. Many are free, and all are designed to help you make new friends, prepare for your studies and settle in to life at Aston quickly and easily.

There will be a number of activities for international students, including an intercultural communication workshop and a talk about life in the UK, where you can find out about everything from accessing healthcare to how to use the buses in Birmingham.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to meet home students and get to know the campus before the start of your course.

You can find more information about Aston Freshers’ week here. Check back regularly for updates about the events and activities on offer.

Registering with the Police

If you are from outside the EU and you need a visa to study in the UK, you may need to register your details with the local police station.

To find out if you need to do this, check the entry visa in your passport: if it says something like ‘Pol. Reg.’, you will need to register. If it doesn’t say anything, then you don’t need to do it!

To register with the police, click here to make an appointment when you arrive in the UK.

We have arranged with the police to have some days that are exclusively for Aston students. When you make your appointment, try to choose one of the following days:

  • 18th September
  •  21st September
  •  22nd September
  •  29th September
  •  6th October
  • 13th October

 If you can’t get an appointment on one of these days, just choose the next available appointment slot.

You’ll be given a Police Registration Certificate – please bring this to the Hub so that we can scan it.

Opening a Bank Account

Most banks in the UK will allow international students to open a basic bank account. This account will normally enable you to deposit money, use online banking services, pay for things using a debit card, and also set up direct debits to pay for things like bills.

To open a bank account, you’ll need a student status confirmation letter, your passport and your valid visa (if you have one).

You can request the student status confirmation letter in MAP after you have completed enrolment and then collect it from reception at the Hub.

Take these documents to the bank of your choice and make an appointment to open an account with them.

You can find more information about banking in the UK for international students here, including the differences between the basic accounts on offer. 

FAQ freshers

What if I can’t arrive in time for enrolment on 16th and 17th September?

If you can’t make it in time for Welcome Weekend, you will also be able to enrol throughout Freshers’ week in the library (just make sure to complete online enrolment and upload your visa and passport scans first).

If you arrive after Freshers’ week is over, you’ll need to visit the Hub in order to enrol on your course.

I don’t know if I need a visa / I have questions about my visa application – what should I do?

If you have any visa related queries, there is loads of immigration related information on our web page here.

If you still have questions, contact our friendly team of qualified immigration advisers by emailing astoninternational@aston.ac.uk or calling 0121 204 4567.

How do I know if I should have a BRP card?

If your course at Aston is more than 6 months long and you have applied for a Tier 4 visa, then you will get a BRP card when you arrive in the UK.

If your course is for less than 6 months, then you won’t get a BRP card. Instead you’ll just have a visa sticker in your passport which covers the length of your course.

Where can I collect my BRP card?

When you complete your visa application, you can choose to collect your BRP card from the University. For instructions about how to do this, check our website here. We strongly recommend that you choose this option.

If you don’t select the university as your collection location then you’ll need to collect your BRP card from the post office in the city centre.

Can I still apply for accommodation on campus?

Yes. Applications for accommodation are still open. Check here for details of the accommodation on offer and submit your application online. 

New students contacts

Aston Welcome queries – astonwelcome@aston.ac.uk

General queries – thehub@aston.ac.uk

International Student Support team (immigration queries) – astoninternational@aston.ac.uk

Aston Student Homes / Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) – advice@aston.ac.uk