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|Advance information for International Students|
If you are arriving in Britain by air, we strongly recommend you fly directly into Leeds/Bradford International Airport. This can be most easily done either via Amsterdam or via London Heathrow. The University aims to have staff at the Airport to meet all flights from Heathrow and Amsterdam which arrive on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, 15, 16 and 17 September 2000, and may be able to arrange free transport to the University. If you wish to be met at Leeds/Bradford Airport please email the University on email@example.com and provide your name and date of arrival and (if available) your flight number.
Wherever you are starting from, by far the most convenient route is to fly all the way into Leeds/Bradford International Airport. You will then just be a short taxi ride away from the University.
Leeds/Bradford International Airport (coded LBA) has four or five connecting flights daily with London Heathrow and with Amsterdam, and slightly less regular connections with Paris and Brussels. We recommend that you arrange to fly to Leeds/Bradford via either Amsterdam (the personal preference of those of us who travel regularly) or London Heathrow. The connecting flight to Leeds/Bradford will in each case take about an hour, and you rarely have to wait more than three hours at Amsterdam or Heathrow. You will be able to book your ticket (and your luggage) right through to Leeds/Bradford from your original airport - we certainly recommend you do this.
Amsterdam is the best route in terms of overall convenience. It is a very easy airport to use. All signs are in English, and there is only one terminal. You also do not need to go through any immigration or customs procedures. It might not be the cheapest route, as your travel agent may not be able to offer you student rate flights, but the convenience should outweigh the extra cost. The only disadvantage is that occasionally passport holders from some countries (the Dutch authorities will not tell us which) may be asked to obtain a Dutch transit visa before they travel. It may be worth contacting the Dutch Embassy in your own country to make sure that this does not apply to you.
London Heathrow is slightly less convenient for transit passengers, as you will almost certainly have to change terminals. It is also a much busier airport, and subject to delays. You will also have to undergo immigration procedures on arrival at Heathrow, rather than waiting until you get to Leeds/Bradford.
Immigration and customs procedures at Leeds/Bradford are quick, and are not crowded. Once you have completed them, you pass straight out onto the airport forecourt, where taxis will be available.
The taxi to the University of Bradford will cost about £13, and will take 20-30 minutes. Make sure to ask for Bradford University (otherwise you may be taken to one of the Universities in nearby Leeds - an expensive mistake). See "Arriving at the University" for details of exactly where to ask the taxi to take you.
Some intercontinental flights arrive directly at Manchester. Manchester Airport is about 80 km (50 miles) from Bradford. You can take a taxi, but it will be very expensive (about £65). It is better to take a coach from Manchester Airport to Bradford Interchange (an hourly service costing about £8 and taking about 90 minutes), and then take a taxi from the Interchange to the University (about £3). Some journeys involve a change of coaches in Manchester City Coach Station.
If you arrive at London Heathrow Airport and you propose to fly on to Leeds/Bradford, you will need to clear immigration first. However, in most cases you will have been able to check your luggage directly through to Leeds/Bradford from your original airport.
You may, if you wish, break your journey in London; or decide to travel on to Bradford by coach or train. In this case, you will need to clear both immigration and customs immediately. However, we very strongly recommend that you do not do this. Transit from London Heathrow to train and coach stations in London is expensive and difficult, especially if you have heavy luggage, and travelling to Bradford this way adds many hours to what is already a long journey. If you merely want the opportunity to see London, we recommend that you get settled in Bradford first, and then pay a visit to London some weekend.
However, there is a direct coach service from Heathrow to Bradford, operated by National Express, and the route number is 240. The coach departs from Terminal 4 and from Heathrow Central bus station, near to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. The journey to Bradford Interchange takes just over five hours, and the single fare is about £24.
It is possible to get to Bradford by train from Heathrow, but it is a long, complicated and expensive business, and we strongly recommend you avoid this route.
If you arrive at Gatwick you will have to clear customs and immigration immediately. You may travel on to Bradford by coach or train. We strongly recommend you avoid arriving at Gatwick, however, if at all possible. Even if you get a cheap ticket from your original airport to Gatwick, the inconvenience and expense of the journey onwards to Bradford will almost certainly outweigh the saving.
However, there is a direct coach from Gatwick to Bradford. It is the same service as from Heathrow, but takes about 6 hours to get to Bradford Interchange, as it calls at Heathrow on the way. A single ticket will cost about £24.
If you are travelling from within Europe, you may prefer to come by train. You can get to London direct from Paris or Brussels through the Channel Tunnel. Ferries from the continent to Dover or Folkestone will be met by a train that will take you to London Victoria, while the train from Harwich arrives at London Liverpool Street. You can get a direct coach to Bradford from Victoria, or a train from King's Cross station.
If you are bringing your own car, you can take the short (and relatively cheap) ferry crossing to Ramsgate or Dover and drive to Bradford via the M2, M25, M1, M62 and M606 (280 miles, 450 km). Or you can take the more expensive but more convenient crossing to Hull, and reach Bradford via the M62 and M606 (70 miles, 112 km).
Make sure you only take a registered taxi, which will have the word TAXI prominently displayed. Outside London, taxis do not necessarily look like the black London taxis so familiar from television and movies. Please remember that, relative to many countries, taxis in the UK are expensive
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