Local Bristol Information

  • Universities and Colleges
  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Bank Accounts
  • Shopping
  • Useful Information
  • Imports
  • Recreation
  • Churches

In Bristol, there are 2 universities and a number of colleges and language schools which provide many courses which you may be able to join. You would need to contact the universities or colleges directly for more information about the courses and how to apply.

Once you arrive in the UK, you can travel to Bristol by coach or train.  National Express is the main coach company & this is often the cheapest way to get to Bristol. National Express run coaches direct from Heathrow and Gatwick airports to Bristol. If you are flying to Bristol Airport, there is a regular coach service to the city centre from the airport called the Bristol Flyer. The UK also has a good railway network. Catching a train is usually more expensive than a coach but your journey may be considerably quicker. Once in the UK, you might want to look into buying a student discount card at a railway or coach station.  These can save students up to one third of the price of their journeys. It is also a good idea to buy train and coach tickets over the internet in advance as it will usually be cheaper than buying them at the station on the day you want to travel.

You can see online timetables for coaches, trains and the Bristol Flyer via the links below.

You need to contact the accommodation office of the University or college that you are going to. They will be able to advise you on how to find accommodation. They may also be able to provide you with a list of guest houses to stay in when you first arrive in Bristol.  There are some helpful addresses below.

You will almost certainly need to open a bank account when you come to Britain.  Below is a useful page with information on how much it might cost to live as a student in the UK and the different rates the high street banks offer when you set up a student account.

There are many shopping areas in Bristol. The main areas are Broadmead and Cabot Circus which are located in the centre of Bristol and Cribbs Causeway Shopping Mall which is located on the outskirts of Bristol. Each area of Bristol has its own range of shops and supermarkets. Clifton and Gloucester Road are two popular shopping areas for students. If you are looking to buy academic books why not buy them on the internet? It is often much cheaper.

You may find, once you have arrived in Bristol, that you need to buy a few things. You may decide you would like a bicycle to help you get around more easily, or you may want to sample English television channels and therefore need a TV and license. You might want to find a job or have queries about your VISA. BISC has produced a series of leaflets to help answer some of these questions which can be viewed by clicking on the links below.
There are strict controls in place on bringing certain products into the UK to protect the country from crime, pests & diseases.  Banned or restricted items include food, plant & animal products.  Please do check the regulations before you enter the UK as an international student.


So are you wondering what to do when you arrive in Bristol? The Student Unions of the universities and colleges put on many events for students.  They also have many clubs and societies you can join to find people with a common interest, learn a new skill or sport or just have fun. There are also cinemas, theatres, plenty of live music, pubs and clubs in Bristol.  You can often get student discounts but will need your NUS (National Union of Students) card.  You get this card when you enrol on your course.

If you are looking for a church when you arrive in Bristol, then here visit this page for some useful links which may help you make contact before you arrive.

When moving to a new city, there is so much information to take in. Hopefully, this page will help you as you settle in Bristol and get to know this wonderful city.

If you do not find the information that you were looking for, please contact us or visit the BISC centre, 45 Woodland Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1UT and we will try our very best to point you in the right direction.

BISC is not responsible for the content of external websites.


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