Congratulations and welcome to Trevs – we can’t wait to meet you!
Here’s all the information you need and a checklist for before you arrive:
- Most information can be found through the links at: dur.ac.uk/international/newstudents
- It is recommended that you try to arrive on either September 28th (Wednesday) or September 1st (Thursday) 2016. This will give you time to settle in before Freshers Induction week begins (You may be jetlagged, and things such as bank accounts take time to set up). If you’re from Europe then it may be enough for you to arrive on Saturday, depending on how much time you think you need to adjust!
Have you done the following?
- Sent an email AS12 acceptance of your University offer.
- Returned by courier all the forms and photographs to Trevelyan including:
- ‘Early Arrivals’ form for accommodation and meals in College and, if appropriate,
- Ordered a bedding pack from College which will be in your room on arrival
- Followed the online enrolment procedure and uploaded a digital photograph (otherwise it will be taken during first week).
- Made an online booking for the International Student Welcome Service at https://www.dur.ac.uk/international/newstudents/airport_trainstation_welcomeservice/durham_autumn/ (Deadline is September 27th!)
- Gotten the necessary vaccinations (meningococcal type C) and checked if you need a tuberculosis certificate (check https://www.dur.ac.uk/welcome/health/ for more info)
- Made sure to check your email regularly? That is one thing you’ll need to get used to!
- Sent me (Melissa) a message/email to have a chat, ask questions and get excited!
Have you got the following?
- CAS for your visa. This will be have been processed by the International Office/Admissions Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and sent to you by email for checking and then by post.
- Transfer of money or Banker’s Draft.
- Travellers’ cheques or currency (pound sterling) for the first few days in Durham.
- Basic Insurance cover is included in your Residence charge but you may want to have some personal possessions and travel insurance.
- A supply of prescribed medication.
What to expect during Freshers Induction Week?
- Passport (and visa) check
- Verification of identity (in College)
- Collect campus card and meal card
- Online enrolment and module choices
- College and University matriulations
- Introduction lectures by your department
- Formals, Freshers’ Bop, Freshers’ Fair, etc.
- Meeting a bunch of amazing people
- Police registration (not everyone)
- Academic Language Test (not everyone)
If you are travelling by air, the nearest international airport to Durham is Newcastle Airport (30min away). However, you may arrive at London Heathrow or Manchester Airport instead. Below are the methods of coming to Durham through various airports:
Tickets are usually collected at the station or sent to you for a fee rather than printed off (depends on the deal). If you’re coming from Newcastle airport then it’s easiest to buy the tickets on arrival since those tickets don’t change prices closer to departure.
Train tickets can be purchased at:
The earlier you buy your tickets, the cheaper they will be, especially if your trip is long. If you plan to travel by train quite a lot throughout your university life, it is recommended that you purchase a Young Person Railcard which can offer you 1/3 discount on train fares!
The International Office offers a Meet and Greet Service from Newcastle Airport and Durham Railway Station which you need to book before September 27th.
There will most likely be taxis waiting at Durham station to drive you to Trevs when you arrive, but just in case they’re all busy, you can find some taxi numbers here: http://www.durhamstudent.co.uk/thedirectory/taxis/
Recommend to bring or to buy after arrival (check the Handbook for more!)
- Toiletries and Medication
- Drying rack (If you’re early, you may get a second hand drying rack)
- Laptop (UK plugs are 3-Pin plugs so you may need an adaptor and extension lead)
- Bedding – Pillow, duvet and covers, unless you ordered a bedding pack
- Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) SIM card
- A PAYG SIM card is more advisable than contract SIM card as some phone companies might ask you for bank statements which understandably you might not have, given that you have just arrived. So, it may be useful to get a PAYG SIM card upon arrival and decide whether or not you want a contract one afterwards.
- Students can then make their choice on which phone companies to use. Some of them can be pre-ordered online.
- Good shoes – Durham is quite hilly and can get muddy depending on the weather.
- Wet/cold weather clothes – Durham is quite high up north and temperatures range from 3oC in winter to 30 oC in summer
- Sports gear, swimwear – who knows what societies you may end up joining!
- Formal dresses and suits (Lounge Suit/Black tie) for Formals, black/white for Matriculation
- Fancy Dress – There are a lot of occasions at Durham that you may want to dress up according to the theme (eg. Halloween, Beach, Jungle, Masquerade, Pirate ). The Freshers’ Bop is a fancy dress bar night, check the Handbook for themes in Freshers’ week and maybe pack some fun accessories and masks! There are affordable fancy dress shops in Durham though too so don’t worry too much about it.
- Photos or decorations for your room and to help you through potential homesickness! Bringing your favourite traditional snack or tea may help in that case too
- My personal tip: bring something from home that you can share with your new landing mates – snacks, traditional candy, tea, games
Living in Trevs
Most freshers will be living in college during their first year, whilst changing rooms once every term. You may choose to share a room in the first term by filling in the form attached, or you can decide that you would prefer to share in second or third term. It’s always a great chance to make new friends! I know several people even opt to share a room with the same person for another term (like me!) and they eventually become best friends and housemates! It may also be nice to have a single room during exam term (3rd term).
There are laundry rooms at college with washing machines (£2.50 per wash, soap is included), tumble dryers (50p per use) and iron (free to use), a drying rack is recommended. All the payment can be made through your laundry fob (it’s like a little electrical key) which you will obtain in the first week. To save money, use ‘Colour Catchers’ so you can do your washing in one load (You can buy these in Tesco or other shops in Durham)
Each landing has the use of a pantry, where you can find a microwave, a fridge, a toaster, a kettle, a sink and sometimes even a hotplate. Please do not bring or buy electrical appliances as you are not allowed to have these in your room. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided in the dining hall and you will have to show your College meal card at every meal. Brunch is served every Saturday and packed lunch is also available upon request, if you’re not in College during lunch.
There is Wireless internet coverage across most parts at Trevs. However, it may take more than a day to set up your log in account so please have a backup plan if you want to contact your family on the first few days of arrival. There are also computers in College which you can use. Printers and computers are available at the IT suite. For printing charge please see https://www.dur.ac.uk/cis/printing/payment/ .
Phone signal is relatively weak at Trevs however experience tells me that Giffgaff and O2 receive the best signals at College.
Durham University’s preferred mode of payment is Direct Debit (a way of paying regular bills from your account to the University’s account) which is linked to a UK current bank account. In Durham city there are branches of all the major banks: HSBC, Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds, Santander, Halifax and the Co-operative Bank. From experience, use a Bank which is easy for money to be transferred into and out of from your home country. (HSBC is popular with students from Asia). Here are the steps to opening an account at a bank:
- Decide which bank you want to open an account with. This link may help you: https://www.bba.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/AE249_BBA_International_Students_Oct12.pdf
- Have your identity verified (passport check) and complete the online enrolment procedure.
- In College, order a bank letter – which has to be specific to the bank you want to open an account with – from Anne Allen (this may take a few days to process).
- Make an appointment with your bank, ASAP since they are very busy at that time.
- Go to your chosen bank with the bank letter, your passport, and depending on the bank some other documents (e.g. a letter confirming that Trevs is now your address, maybe your UCAS confirmation letter), and hopefully your account will be set up soon after!
International Freshers’ Welcome Week
In the International Freshers’ Welcome period you will get the opportunity to do a little tour around Durham, so we can show you the most commonly used banks as well as the main stores and shops, ATMs, Restaurants, Pubs, and other useful places. We’ll also help you with Wi-Fi and whatever you need help with. On top of that, there will be a few events, including some organised by the International Office, so get excited for that!
Anne Allen is your college contact for anything regarding enrolment, arrival, registration and other administrative things. She’s really nice and always helpful, don’t hesitate to give her a call or write her an email! (email@example.com, tel.: +44 (0)191 334 7057)