New International Students

Coming to Scotland to study offers many exciting opportunities. At Edinburgh Napier University we like to do everything we can to help you make the most of your time here and feel right at home as soon as you arrive.

While you’re settling into life in Edinburgh, from time to time you might need a little help along the way. There are lots of great resources on campus to help you sort out everything, from legal issues to finding a new flat.


Entering the UK

UK airports are phasing in e-Gates (electronic security gates) to enhance the passenger experience.

We have been advised that students entering the UK on Short-term Visas should not use these e-Gates and should speak to a Border Force Officer in order to obtain a stamp in their passport.

Further information regarding this can be found here.

Overseas Visitor Registration - Registering with the Police

If your visa advises you to register with the Police, you will be required to do this as soon as possible on arrival to the UK and further information regarding this can be found on the Police Scotland website: Overseas Visitor Registration - Registering with the Police - Police Scotland


Visa & Immigration

When you first arrive in the UK you will need to go through immigration and customs control. You’ll be asked to present the immigration officer with your valid passport and entry visa, and may be asked to show some documents including evidence of where you will live, an offer of admission and proof that you have money to cover any fees and living expenses you’ll have while you’re here. 

Arriving in the UK via Ireland

You might travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland. However, it is important to understand that both countries are part of a Common Travel Area (CTA). The CTA streamlines arrival in the UK from the Republic of Ireland for most travellers, because there is no immigration control on arrival in the UK. However it can cause a problem for some students on short courses who did not apply for a visa before travelling.

If you already hold a UK visa (i.e. you applied for a visa before you travel to the UK)

There is no problem if you have applied in your home country for a Student Visa or short-term student visa/entry clearance before travelling. Your UK visa/entry clearance will not be date stamped on entry to the UK, but this is fine. You should keep evidence of your travel in case your date of entry ever becomes important or relevant. If you do travel and re-enter the UK later, for example after a short trip elsewhere in Europe (other than Ireland), your entry clearance will simply be date stamped on re-entry. 

Note also that any immigration permission you are given on arrival in the Republic of Ireland is for the Republic of Ireland, not for the UK.

Our Visa and International Support Team can give you further advice. Email:


Visiting Students

The Global Mobility team at Edinburgh Napier University are the first point of contact for visiting students to the University so regardless of if you are an Erasmus+ exchange student, a free mover from Europe, or a visiting student from a non-EU institution, they will be a key contact and are here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions about starting your studies at Edinburgh Napier can be found in the FAQs section but if you can't find the information you're looking for, email

Find answers to your questions using the FAQ
Students taking a selfie in front of Edinburgh Castle

Pack your bags


The weather in Edinburgh is predictably unpredictable all year round. Like most of the United Kingdom, the climate is temperate, which means we don’t experience huge extremes in temperatures throughout the year. In July and August the average temperature is roughly 19°C, while during the winter months the average temperature is a little over freezing. It’s not unusual to get snow during the winter; however it’s usually no more than a light covering that melts away after a few days.

Because of the city’s northern location, daylight hours vary significantly between summer and winter. On the longest day of the year in June the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm, while on the shortest day the sun sets just after 3.30pm. For many students coming to Edinburgh Napier University from warmer climates, adjusting to the lack of sunshine is the most challenging aspect of life in a new city.

Useful Information 

How do I open a bank account?

To open a bank account, make an appointment with your bank of choice and bring with you your passport, student card, student status letter (available from any of the iPoints) and proof of address. You will need to show the bank your accommodation acceptance letter if you’re living on campus, along with proof of your home address. It’s also wise to ask when making the appointment if there are any other documents you require to get an account opened.

Where can I get insurance?

In the UK there are a number of insurance providers that offer everything from contents to travel insurance. Many people choose to take out insurance policies through their bank. You can also find a policy to suit you on a price comparison website, which will help you secure the best deal.

Do I have access to healthcare?

In addition to the Student Visa application fee, applicants will also be required to pay an immigration health surcharge at the point of submitting their visa application. This is not optional and will apply to all applicants and family members applying to come to the UK as their dependants for more than 6 months. The fee will apply to all applications, whether inside or outside the UK. The charge will entitle the visa holder and dependants to free health services under the National Health Service (NHS) once inside the UK.

What if I need medication?

If medication is prescribed to you by your GP you will be able to get this free of charge at your local pharmacy.

Police registration

Some nationalities may have to register with the police once they have arrived in the UK. If you have to register with the police it will state this on your visa. Further information can be found on the Police Scotland website.

Can I work during my studies?

Your Biometric Residence Card will advise you if you are eligible to work during your studies. As you will be studying a full time course at a Highly Trusted Sponsor institute your BRP should state that you can work up to 20 hours in term time. Further information can be found on the UKCISA website.


Keeping in touch

Moving away from friends and family is a difficult adjustment for many international students who come to study at Edinburgh Napier University.

Staying in touch with loved ones back home - as well as all the new friends you'll make while you're here - doesn't need to be difficult. One of the biggest challenges many of our international students have is the change in time zones and finding the right time to talk, but with a little creativity and some modern methods most manage to keep connected with no trouble at all.

The easiest way to stay in touch during a busy semester is with a mobile phone. If you want to keep your phone from back home, you can purchase a SIM card from a local provider or opt to buy a new phone once you arrive. There are many different tariffs that offer everything from international calling to mobile internet and unlimited texts, and almost all will offer a pay as you go service. To keep your bill down, it's also a good idea to invest in a calling card that you can make use of when making long distance calls. Text messaging is another affordable and convenient way to keep in touch on the move.

The internet also helps make it easy - when you arrive at Edinburgh Napier University you'll be set up with your own private student email address for course work, which you can also use to keep in touch with your classmates, lecturers, friends and family. Free services like Skype also offer the opportunity to video call loved ones back home for a face-to-face catch up. For most students, social networking also plays a huge part, and makes it easy for you to share all the things you've been up to in Edinburgh with your social circles.

Mobile phones

There are various mobile phone networks available in Edinburgh.  You may have to visit various stores to see what company can provide you with the best offer for your needs.  Again, there are a number of mobile phone shops on or near Princes Street:

Contact the International Support team

The International Support team is dedicated to advising and supporting international students on all campuses.

Visit International for further information or email