Pre-departure and arrival

You will be issued with a Student Handbook before departure to the UK which will give you vital information on your time in London and Exeter.  We will also send out full arrival instructions so that you can book your flights, arrange for your visa and pack the right clothing.  You can find information about this below, but if you are unsure of anything the International Office team are happy to answer any questions.


If you are a European Economic Area or Swiss national you do not require a visa to study in the UK.  Students from other countries require a student visitor visa in order to enter the UK and take part in the programme. The process for obtaining a student visitor visa is different for visa nationals and non-visa nationals. A list of visa national countries is available on the UK Border Agency website.  If your country is not on this list then you are a non-visa national. 

For visa nationals, entry clearance as a student visitor is required and you must obtain this prior to arrival in the UK from your nearest British Embassy or High Commission with a visa section.

For non-visa nationals, prior entry clearance is not required to come to the UK but you must request entry as a Student Visitor when you arrive at the UK airport.

Both non visa and visa nationals will require a letter from the International Office to confirm their attendance at the International Summer School.

Important note: If you require a Student Visitor visa but do not obtain one, we cannot register you for the programme.

If you have any questions about the obtaining the correct visa please email

Medical Insurance

If you are an EEA student or Swiss national you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card which will entitle you to the same access to public sector health care (e.g. a doctor, a pharmacy, a hospital or a health care centre) as nationals of the UK. You must be an EEA resident who is 'ordinarily resident' in the EEA for this to apply. The International Office will require a copy of your European Health Insurance Card before you arrive in the UK. Further information is available on theEuropean Commission Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion website.

If you are not from a country with a reciprocal agreement, you are not entitled to free health care under the National Health Service. Health care in the UK can be very expensive. It is a requirement of the International Summer School that you take out comprehensive medical insurance (including cover for hospitalisation and repatriation) before you leave your home country. Please check with your Embassy/High Commission whether you have a reciprocal health agreement.


If you are currently taking medication, you will need to make sure you bring adequate medication for the duration of the summer school and inform International Office staff.

The programme begins with a 3-day orientation in London from 2 July - 5 July.  

You can either meet University of Exeter staff at Heathrow Airport from 11am or join us directly at the hotel.  We will be staying at the Travelodge Covent Garden which is easily reached by public transport and it is possible to check-in from 2pm.

The first event of the programme is a welcome talk at 7pm when we will be giving out important orientation information – you should arrive at Heathrow by 3pm or at the hotel by 6pm in order to attend the talk.

You will be accompanied throughout your stay in London by staff and a number of student ambassadors from Exeter.  Coach transport will be provided from London to Exeter, so you can relax and enjoy the visit! 

Full arrival instructions and travel information will be included with offer letters.

Summer School departure

At the end of the International Summer School a coach will be available to take you from Exeter to London Heathrow and London Victoria. It will depart Exeter early on 23 July.  It is recommended that you book a late afternoon/early evening return flight from London on 23 July or arrange accommodation to enable you to stay in London until 24 July.

Tourist information in and around Exeter

Here are just a few of the things there are to see and do in Exeter.  

Exeter Cathedral

Pilgrims and visitors have been making their way to Exeter Cathedral since medieval times.  It is one of the great cathedrals of England, and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Europe.

Exeter Quay

Used as a port since Roman times, the Quayside is one of the most interesting areas of the city and is home to a wide range of bars and restaurants, an eclectic mix of shops and a number of summer events. It is also the start point for a number of outdoor activities including cycling, walking and canoeing.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)

Exeter’s world-class museum is home to a wide range of collections which reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections as well as one of the largest natural history collections in the UK.

Exeter’s Underground Passages

View the passages underground Exeter’s City Centre, which date back to the 14th century.

Red Coat Guided Tours in Exeter

These free guided walking tours are a great way to explore Exeter and learn about its history. Tours begin outside the Royal Clarence Hotel in Cathedral Yard, or from the Quay House Visitor Centre and take place between three and four times per day.


Exmouth is approximately a 30 minute train journey from Exeter. The two miles of beach and the beautiful views of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast are two of the town’s main attractions. Exmouth offers a variety of activities including water sports.


Dartmoor National Park is located in the South West of England. Dartmoor is an area of moorland with beautiful scenery including rivers, impressive tors, and wildlife.


Plymouth is the largest city in Devon. There is a lot to do in this interesting city; you could go shopping in Drakes Circus, or take a walk down the historic Barbican, or visit Plymouth Hoe, which has spectacular views over the natural harbour.


Teignmouth is a small picturesque seaside town with a Victorian pier, parks and a promenade.

I had an amazing time over in England. I loved the fact that my study abroad trip was international. I learnt from many different cultures eg China, India, Ghana - I truly valued my experience. I felt the programme was well balanced giving just the proper amount of lectures and course work along with free time and day trips. All in all, I felt the programme was an eye-opening experience, and I would absolutely do it again if I had a chance.
Joshua Leigh, University of South Florida