International Welcome

This section explains the range of international welcome support that is available to students, before and after they arrive.  

This information was updated on 11 July 2023.

This page will give you more information on: 

  • Key teams 
  • Suggested text to signpost International Welcome services to students 
  • Preparation and pre-arrival 
  • Travelling to Leeds 
  • Settling in 
  • Three steps you can take to encourage a positive Welcome experience for international students 
  • Intercultural connections for all students 

Key teams

The International Student Office leads the delivery of International Welcome services, working in collaboration with other key teams for international students, our student teams, and partners across the University. 

Student Information Service are the first point of contact for international students’ enquiries, and can help them with preparation and settling in,as well as with questions during their time in Leeds.

Suggested text to signpost International Welcome services to students 

If you have the opportunity to include signposting information in emails or communications to students or postgraduate researchers, please use or adapt this text: 

If you’re coming to Leeds from outside the UK, visit our Prepare for Leeds webpages for essential information to help you plan your journey.  

You’ll also find information about when to arrive, what to bring with you, and how to book arrival support, including our airport pick-up service from Leeds Bradford Airport and Manchester Airport.  

When you arrive, check our website for processes to complete in your first weeks in Leeds and don’t miss our International Orientation programme. You’ll be able to join orientation sessions, tours and social events, including our Global Café, to help you feel at home and meet new people. 

If you’d like to make connections with another Leeds student/postgraduate researcher, apply for the University Buddy Scheme. The scheme will match you with another student/postgraduate researcher who shares similar interests to you, then it’s up to you and your Buddy to contact each other and arrange to meet .  

If you have questions about preparing to travel to Leeds or what to do when you arrive, please contact our Student Information Service. 

Travelling to Leeds

Our Prepare for Leeds pages  help students prepare for their journey to Leeds, including travel, arrival, what to bring and immigration information. 

When to arrive

Our when to arrive page explains recommended arrival dates and other things students need to bear in mind before booking their travel. 

Arrival Support: airport pick-up and welcome food box 

We offer a free pick-up service from Leeds Bradford Airport and Manchester Airport for all international students and postgraduate researchers arriving in Leeds for the first time. Service dates and how to book are on our Arrival support page

To book their airport transfer, students should: 

  • book their transport to the UK. If travelling by plane, students will be asked for their flight number 
  • have an accommodation address. This can be a temporary or permanent address 
  • complete our arrivals form at least five days before arrival 

Students arriving at any other UK airport should be signposted to our Travel to Leeds pages. 

We offer a free welcome food box for new International students. Students use our arrivals form to request their welcome food box to receive on arrival. The welcome food box can be requested whether they book their airport pick-up service or not.  

Find out more about arrival support. 

Settling in

Our Your first weeks in Leeds pages give information on start-up processes to complete on arrival and details about our International Orientation programme. 

International Orientation 

As well as attending their School induction, international students should also be strongly encouraged to take part in International Orientation; a week-long programme of in-person and online information talks and bespoke webinars, social events and campus and city tours. 

Three steps you can take to encourage a positive welcome experience for international students

  1. Promote our arrival support services 

  1. Encourage students to attend International Orientation Week

  • Promote the main International Orientation talks alongside your School inductions and include the sessions in your students’ timetables.  
  • Promote our bespoke online webinars on banking, healthcare, disability and support for international families. 
  • Signpost to International Orientation social events, campus and city tours  
  1. Support international students and postgraduate researchers by sharing our International Orientation Resources page. You can also signpost students arriving outside of key arrival times to these resources to ensure a positive welcome experience. Here students can: 

  • download sessions and talks slides 
  • access a recording of our talks and webinars  
  • get a list of links to useful resources 

The resources will be available all year round for students to check whenever they need.

Intercultural connections and community building for all students  

Being able to make connections with home students forms a big part of our international student experience.  

Equally, we want to encourage international and home students alike to feel a sense of belonging to our vibrant Global Community of students and staff at the University of Leeds and to make the most of the experience. 

The following initiatives have been designed to encourage inclusive interaction between all students and postgraduate researchers, no matter who they are or where they are from, all year round. 

Global Café

Global Café is for everyone, from everywhere. An inclusive space for all students and postgraduate researchers to meet, chat and enjoy free refreshments in Leeds University Union Common Ground.  

  • During the Welcome period, Global Café events will happen every day from Monday 18 – Friday 29 September (17:30 – 19:30) in LUU Common Ground. 
  • After the Welcome period, Global Café will take place regularly every Monday (except bank holidays) in LUU Common Ground. 

University Buddy Scheme

University Buddy Scheme is open to all students and postgraduate researchers. Apply for the scheme to be matched with another student/postgraduate researcher with similar interests from the same study level. 

The scheme offers peer support and connection and it’s open all year round, meaning that students can apply at any point of their student journey.