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Travelling to London

7: Book your free airport pick-up

We will be operating a pick-up service from Heathrow Terminal 3 on 3rd September 2019 and 21st January 2020. The service is free, but you must book on our website to reserve your place.

Getting to St Mary's from the airport

London Heathrow

The cheapest route to campus is by bus. From Heathrow Central Bus Station take the 285 (towards Kingston) or the X26 (towards Croydon) and get off at the Teddington Broad Street stop. From the same bus stop you can then take the 33 towards Hammersmith. This journey will only take a few minutes and you should get off at the 'St Mary's University' stop on Waldegrave Road.

For route and bus stop maps please see the Transport for London website  and enter the number of the bus you would like to take.

You can also get to campus by taxi  (approximately £40).

London Gatwick

Take a train from the South Terminal to Clapham Junction Railway Station. At Clapham Junction, change to a train towards Strawberry Hill Railway Station.

St Mary's is a five minute walk from Strawberry Hill station. Turn left when you leave the station, then walk past Premier Wine and the Post Office on your left and take the second road on your right, which is Waldegrave Gardens. At the end of Waldegrave Gardens, turn right onto Waldegrave Road and St Mary's main reception will be on your left.

8: What to pack

Studying in a different country is a big deal and it’s good to be prepared. But when it comes to packing for international travel, there is one rule and one rule only: less is more.

To limit airline baggage charges and make it easier for you to get around, try to bring no more than one suitcase and one backpack. Remember, you can easily buy toiletries and small electrical appliances once you’re here.

We’ve put together some checklists to help you with your packing below, or you can download it instead to print off:

Packing Guide for International Students (PDF)

Hand Luggage Checklist:

  • Purse / Wallet with credit or debit card
  • Passport or ID
  • Driving Licence (if you plan to drive in the UK)
  • Mobile / Cell
  • Mobile / Cell charger
  • iPad or laptop and cable
  • Headphones
  • USB stick
  • Pounds Sterling (we don’t recommend bringing large amounts of cash though)
  • Offer letter from the University
  • Accommodation letter / details of where you will be living
  • Small wash bag (small toiletries bottles, toothbrush and toothpaste)
  • A light change of clothes

Check-In Luggage Checklist:


  • Warm weather clothes – t-shirts, shorts, dresses
  • Cold weather clothes – jumpers / sweatshirts, warm jacket / coat (the weather in the UK is variable!)
  • Waterproof / raincoat
  • Swimming costume (there’s a swimming pool 10 minutes’ walk from campus)
  • Flip flops
  • Pyjamas
  • Slippers
  • Sports clothes


  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses

Electrical items

  • Selfie stick

Study items

  • Pens
  • Notebook

Stuff for your room

  • A favourite book or two (for a cosy night in)
  • Towel
  • A favourite pillow case or duvet set (if you're living on campus, you'll receive a bedding pack that includes a pillow, duvet, duvet set and sheets when you move into your room)
  • Earplugs and eye mask 
  • Any medication you like to have to hand e.g. plasters, throat lozenges, pain relievers

Things you might buy when you get here:

  • Books from your programme reading list
  • Extension lead
  • Speakers (if you like your music!)
  • Hairdryer, straighteners or curlers (if you want to bring these with you from home, please be aware that UK wall sockets have their own plug style)
  • Adaptor - to physically plug something from home into the wall, you’ll need a plug adaptor. You may also need a converter or transformer. You can find a handy guide to plug and voltage information online.
  • Batteries
  • Scarf and hat
  • Dressing gown
  • Evening dress or smart jacket (we do have some fancy events on campus – these are optional but fun!)
  • Toiletries
  • Some kitchen items of your own depending on where you live – glass, mug, bowl, plate, tin opener, bottle opener
  • Stuff to do in your free time – books, Frisbee, football

Top tip from Ola, St Mary’s international student:

“Be prepared for any kind of weather!”

Top tip from Kristen, International Student Experience Manager:

“A word of warning: although your baggage is very unlikely to go missing, it has been known to happen. Make sure that any valuables (like laptops) are in your hand luggage!”

9: Pre-departure information

We will send you a tailored series of pre-departure emails in the weeks before you join us. Please be sure to read these for important information you'll need to know as you make your final preparations.