International College Portsmouth

Before You Leave Home

Before You Leave Home

Now that you are preparing to leave to come to Portsmouth we thought you might like a few checklists and a little bit of information to help you prepare for your arrival.

Important documents

Here is a list of important documents you will need to bring with you:

    • Your passport or national ID card
    • BRP letter (please note you cannot travel to the UK before the 'Valid from' date on your entry vignette)
    • Your travel tickets
    • Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) or offer letter
    • All your original certificates and diplomas, as listed on your CAS or offer letter
    • Your accommodation contract or letter if you have booked a place in halls of residence or evidence that you have arranged accommodation at a private address in Portsmouth
    • If needed, bring your Tuberculosis (TB) screening
    • Your emergency contact telephone numbers
    • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, please bring any medication you require and copies of your medical notes to show your doctor when you register


Here is a quick look at what to bring and what needs to stay behind when you pack.

    • Money in cash/bank draft/bank cheque format. Make sure to have enough British Pounds (£) for the first few days
    • UK power adaptors
    • Clothing: UK weather is unpredictable so pack a good mix of summer and winter clothing
    • You may wish to bring something that has sentimental value for you, i.e. a picture of your family
    • Cooking spices in small quantities
    • You may wish to bring some bedding
    • Some basic toiletries to have with you on arrival
    • Laptop and computers
    • Medication for personal use (large quantities must have doctor’s letter)

What not to Pack

  • No liquids (over 100ml) in your hand luggage
  • Cooking equipment
  • Food items such as grains, rice, pickles and fruit
  • Frozen or cooked food

How to reach Portsmouth

Transportation Options

Portsmouth is situated 70 miles South-West of London. International connections normally arrive at London Heathrow an London Gatwich and the journey from both airports is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes by car. 

Aiport pick-up 

Travel by train - closest train stations are Portsmouth and Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour

Traveling by coach - closest bus stops are The University of Portsmouth and The Hard

If you arrive in Portsmouth outside of college opening hours make sure you arrange an out of hours check-in with your accommodation provider. If this isn’t possible you should arrange to be taken to a local hotel for the evening ready to come to ICP the next day. For more information on hotel options you can find it on our Travel to Portsmouth page.

If you are not staying at any of the accommodation providers we offer please let us know. If you are staying in private accommodation, it's important that you give us the details of the provider's address and telephone number.

London to Portsmouth Map

London To Portsmouth Map

Finance Advice

Opening a UK bank account

When you arrive in Portsmouth you may wish to open a UK bank account. It is advisable that you research the different options available to find the one that best suits your needs. Almost all banks offer standard student accounts, however with some banks students can also get additional benefits including freebies and interest-free overdrafts. A few examples of banking options in the area are Lloyds, HSBC, NatWest, Barclays and Santander, all located within 10 minutes walking distance. You will need to prove your student status when opening your account and the Student Services team can provide you with a letter of enrolment to support this once you complete your registration.

Please note you will not be able to open a bank account until you register at the university and are able to provide proof of student accommodation. 

Student Discounts

You are eligible for student discounts when you arrive that will make it more affordable for you when purchasing services and products. Here are a few of the options you have:

  • NUS Card can be applied for via the NUS webiste for student discounts in many major high street stores
  • You can apply for a rail card for discounted train tickets
  • By entering you university login details on the Unidays website, you are able to unlock a multitude of discount codes for retail stores
  • Similar to Unidays, Student Beans offers similar discount codes after logging into your university portal via their website
  • Some of the most popular supermarkets are Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Co-op. Most of them offer loyalty cards which give you access to discounts and special deals when shopping in-store. 


In the winter it gets dark at 4.00pm whereas in the summer it only gets dark at 9.00pm and shops close from 5.00pm-6.00pm. Although the winters can get very cold, with temperatures reaching 4⁰ C, the UK has experienced some of the warmest summers that it has ever had in the past few years, with temperatures reaching 27⁰ C which is lovely for beach days and no need for jackets. We suggest that you invest in the following winter essentials so that you are well prepaired. A long warm waterproof jacket, gloves/mittens, strong reliable pair of trainers, thick socks, warm trousers.

If you would like to look at the weather forecast you can got to the BBC Weather Forecast to find out more about the exact temperatures compared to your home.