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 now also have e-Gates (electronic security gates) to enhance the passenger experience.

Travellers with biometric passports from the following countries are be able to enter the UK using eGates:

  • an EU country
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • USA

Nationals from these countries entering the UK either as a visitor or as a Student, are no longer required to seek out a Border Force Officer on arrival. If you are travelling on a Student visa from one of the countries above, you can use the eGates but you must retain evidence of your boarding pass as the University will request to see a copy of this when registering you as a student. All other nationals on a Student visa should see a Border Force Officer.

Students that are studying for less than 6 months can enter as a Standard Visitor visa. You may be able to use the eGates depending on your nationality (see above list), if you are not a nationality of the above countries then you will need to see a Border Force Officer. When a traveller from one of the eligible countries uses an eGate and does not already hold Entry Clearance in advance of arrival, visitor status is automatically granted so if you have applied for a Student visa, do not enter the UK until you have your Student visa granted. Please ensure to keep a record of your boarding pass or flight ticket so the University can record your date of entry.

Find out more about arriving in the UK.


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 can 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. If you do arrive via Ireland, please keep evidence of your boarding pass or flight ticket. 

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 such as Compare the Market, 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

Police registration is no longer required.

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 at a Higher Education with a Track Record of Compliance, your BRP should state that you can work up to 20 hours in term time if you are studying a full-time degree level course. 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