Hi, it’s Katelyn! This post will be about my arrival in London and travel to Leeds!
I traveled to London with my friend Kyra, and after our 8 1/2 hour flight, we arrived in London at 11 in the morning. Before our flight landed, flight attendants asked passengers whether they needed a “landing card.” I never even heard of this, so I asked the flight attendant and apparently non-EEA citizens coming to the United Kingdom all have to fill out information like your passport number and duration of stay on this card before you can go through immigration. However, these cards were also available at the airport in front of the immigration line, so if you do not get one on the plane, you can just fill it out at the airport.
Another thing I did before the plane landed was watch an informative video that was on the plane’s tv about what to do when you arrive at the airport. The video was helpful, but I was still very anxious about immigration. I am studying abroad for less than 6 months, so I was able to obtain my short-term study visa at the airport in London. In order to do this, you have to prepare paperwork for the immigration officer to check, so that you can get your visa stamp. The visa requirements are different depending on things like location and travel duration, so you should make sure to look up your specific requirements because they may be different from mine. I looked up information about immigration on the University of Leeds study abroad website, and I also emailed its study abroad office to make sure I prepared everything that I needed. Do not be scared to contact the study abroad advisors at the university you are going to! They are really nice and want to help you!
Even though I prepared all of the documents that were required and suggested for the visa stamp, I was still scared that I would not have the right documents and would not be able to stay abroad. However, the immigration process for me was very easy. The immigration officer was really nice and only asked for my university’s acceptance letter, and then, I got my visa stamp and was cleared to study abroad. The immigration line was also very short, so the whole process was very fast (it literally took like 5 minutes), and we had plenty of time before our bus to Leeds left. However, my other friend, Lucy, went through the same immigration line at a different time, and she said the line was long, so I would still make sure you had plenty of time between your arrival at the airport and your departure to your accommodation or wherever you plan to go next.
After we went through the immigration line, baggage claim and check, and ate some food, Kyra and I got on our bus and rode the 6 hours to Leeds. Even though the bus ride was really long especially after just riding on a plane for 8 1/2 hours, it was not too bad because the bus was roomy, and the view outside the bus window was really pretty because it started to snow. However, if you want to travel time to be shorter, you can also take a train to Leeds, but it is more expensive. However, if you buy tickets in advance early enough, you can get pretty cheap train tickets.
So, that’s about it for my travel experience to Leeds. It took a whole day of traveling, but we made it to our university accommodations without too much trouble! Thanks for reading!