The Welcome 2017welcoming international students to Bristol.

Are you coming to study in Bristol in Autumn 2017?

Leaving home to go and study at university can be a little daunting, even more so when the university is in a completely different country! Different language? Different currency? Different culture? Not sure what to expect? Where to go? What to do?… that’s why we are here to help.

During the month of September we run a ‘Welcome Programme’ to meet and greet overseas students arriving in Bristol from all over the world. In conjunction with the University of Bristol (UoB) and the University of the West of England (known as ‘UWE’), we will have a team of volunteers to help you when you first arrive in Bristol. Based at ‘Welcome Desks’, either in the ECC (Exhibition and Conference Centre) or the Community Hub in the Octagon Centre on UWE Frenchay Campus or at the Bristol Bus Station and Temple Meads Train Station. Our aim is to make you feel welcome and assist you in getting you to where you need to go. This may be straight to your new accommodation, to the accommodation office, or maybe a guesthouse or youth hostel. We are here to help by providing transport to your location and helping you settle in, especially during your first few days in Bristol. Our service is free of charge.

The following information should help you know what to expect and the sort of help available.

The Welcome - Further Information

  • Airport Arrivals
  • UWE Students
  • Bus Station
  • Train Station
  • Arrival Time?
  • Getting started

Arriving at Heathrow Airport
If you are arriving at Heathrow airport, there will be a Meet & Greet welcome scheme in operation run by an organisation called Friends International. Look out for their volunteers in yellow T-shirts: they will be able to assist you in the next stage of your journey. For more details, have a look here.

Arriving at Bristol Airport?
There is an express coach service called ‘The Bristol International Flyer’ that operates between Bristol International Airport and Bristol’s bus and train stations (Temple Meads). The Airport Flyer departs from the airport up to every 10 minutes almost around the clock. The journey time is approximately 30 minutes. The service operates two alternating routes, the A1 and the A2 linking Bristol Airport with the Railway Station, the City Centre, and the Bus Station. DO check which route you will need before you travel. A single ticket costs from £7.00 and a return costs from £11.00. There is no need to pre-book, simply pay on board. For more information or to view the timetable, click here.

If you are a student for the University of the West of England (UWE) BISC will have a Welcome desk to greet you at the ECC or in the Community Hub at the Octagon Centre at UWE; on the following dates and times:-

Friday 8th – Saturday 16th September (excluding Sundays)

If you have university accommodation, once you have collected your keys and signed your relevant papers, we will gladly transport you and your luggage to your new home if it is not on campus. If you do not have university accommodation, UWE and BISC staff can help you to find accommodation, by contacting local landlords on your behalf, and then BISC can arrange for a driver to take you to view the property. Please note BISC cannot assist with this prior to your arrival.
BISC will also have a Welcome Desk at Bristol Bus Station or Temple Meads Train Station. Look out for the BISC volunteers in Blue T-shirts who will assist you in getting to Frenchay Campus, your new accommodation or wherever you need to get to. These Station Welcome Desks are in operation on the following dates and times:
Tuesday 5th – Thursday 14th September (excluding Sundays), 9.15am – 5pm

During September we will have a Welcome Desk at Marlborough Street Bus Station to welcome you to Bristol.  Look out for the BISC volunteers wearing blue t-shirts who will be able to assist you on the next stage of your journey.  We will operate a welcome desk on the following days and times:

Tuesday 5th – Thursday 14th September, (excluding Sundays), 9.15 – 5pm

Our desk will be located inside the station, near Bay 1. If you are travelling from Bristol Airport on the ‘Flyer’ bus service and will be arriving between 9.15am-5pm on any of the dates listed above, we recommend you get off the bus at Temple Meads Train station, as this will assist us with arranging onward transportation for you due to parking restrictions imposed at the bus station.

During September we will have a Welcome Desk at Temple Meads Train Station to welcome you to Bristol. (We regret that there will be no Welcome Desk at Bristol Parkway Train Station). Look out for the BISC volunteers wearing blue t-shirts who will be able to assist you on the next stage of your journey.  We will operate a welcome desk on the following days and times:

Tuesday 5th – Thursday 14th September (excluding Sundays), 9.15 – 5pm

The BISC welcome desk will be located outside the train station, by the main entrance/exit and close to where the Bristol International Flyer bus service stops.

If you know the date and time that you are due to arrive in Bristol, and would like some help upon your arrival, then please let us know. Simply click on click ‘Contact BISC’ at the top of the page to send us a message. Please note, we can only meet you within the times and dates that our welcome desks are in operation.

If your travel details change nearer the time, please remember to update us. We will then be able to look out for you at the bus/ train station when you arrive.

For information about studying and living in the UK we recommend the following website:
Friends International: A practical guide to living and studying in the UK

You can access other useful information about Bristol by clicking onto our ‘Local Bristol Information' page. If you can’t find the answer to your question at any of these places, please contact us or speak to us when you arrive. We think you’ll find the ‘Useful Information’ section helpful, this includes information about where to buy bedding/crockery etc, how to get connected to a telephone, where to buy a UK sim card for a mobile phone, how to get part time work, where to buy a bike etc. Take a look.

Bedding and Crockery: At BISC we have a small selection of second hand Bedding and Crockery that you are welcome to take away with you to your new home. Simply visit us at the BISC Centre, 45 Woodland Road, Clifton, BS8 1UT to view what we have on offer. There is no specific charge, but you are welcome to make a small donation if you feel the need.

Our service is free of charge and operated by a friendly team of volunteers made up of people from the following organisations: Bristol International Student Centre, the Christian Unions from the University of Bristol (UoB) and the University of the West of England (UWE), University Chaplains, International Café Team and local Church people within the city.

And Finally...
We look forward to meeting you in September, and wish you a safe and pleasant journey to the city of Bristol. If you have any queries in the meantime, then email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will do our best to help. Please note that we are closed for some of the summer so your email may not be answered straight away, please be patient.

Welcome Meals

We realise that as a newcomer to the city you may feel a bit lonely in the early days. Therefore, at BISC, we will be serving evening meals in our centre to welcome you, provide you with some good food, and an opportunity to meet other newcomers as well as local people. Your first meal is free! -after that each meal costs £2. Meals are served between 6.30-8.30pm and operate on a ticketed first come, first served basis. There is no need to book, just turn up. Vegetarian options are available. Meals served on the following dates:

Friday 8th September – Tuesday 19th September (excluding Sundays)

Guided Walks

BISC will be arranging guided walking tours to help you find your way around. Get to know Bristol! Learn about the city’s history! Do some sightseeing! Make new friends! The walks are free, but you must book your place in advance as there are limited places available (maximum 25 people per group). All walks start promptly from the BISC Centre (45 Woodland Rd, Clifton, BS8 1UT) and last approximately 1½ hours. Book through the BISC office (0117-915 9826) or online.

Tuesday 12th September, 4pm from BISC
Friday 15th September, 4pm from BISC

Trips and Events Programme

Each term BISC arranges a programme of events and activities for international students in Bristol to enjoy. We believe that it is important to take a break from your studies to explore the country that you are studying in and BISC provides the perfect opportunity to explore historic cities and places of interest, as well as promoting cross cultural understanding and exchange through weekly events and cultural evenings.

View the term programme here.


BISC Trips and Events

View the full BISC termly programme and book online early. Trips and events fill up very quickly

Latest Programme