Pre-departure guide

Passport and Visa: EU / EEA / Swiss students will not require a Visa to study in the UK, but still need to bring their valid national ID, passport or travel document when entering the UK. For students outside the EU, a valid passport with UK Visa or travel document is necessary for entry to the UK. International students must have these documents with them at the passport desk. 

Documents for enrolment: To register onto the courses and begin studying at the College, new international students must show the following documents at enrolment:

  • A valid passport
  • CAS statement
  • Original offer letter
  • Original proof of qualifications (including documents listed on CAS letter, school certificate and any English Language qualifications) 

Flight ticket: If students have confirmed their place at Ashton Sixth Form College and received their Visa, they are suggested to book their flight ticket as soon as possible, especially during high season (June to September). We also expect new international students to arrive in the UK one week before their course start date in order to attend our orientation programme. It is recommended that flights are booked to Manchester Airport as this is the nearest airport to the College. Students can book their flight via local agents or the airlines directly.

Insurance: We expect new international students to have travel insurance to cover possible loss that might be caused by delays, medical emergencies, lost belongings, etc. Students can obtain insurance services from their local banks or insurance companies. We are happy to assist students to contact British local insurance companies if needed. For students who need our help, please email to:  

Apart from travel insurance, EEA students or students who enrol on a course that lasts less than six months must have comprehensive health insurance prior to their arrival, as their medical / health care is not covered by the National Health Service (NHS). Comprehensive health insurance can be obtained from their local insurance companies.

Meet and greet: Ashton Sixth Form College provides Meet and Greet services to new international students, including pick-up services from the airport and an orientation programme. To help us to organise these activities, we expect that students complete their application form and send it back to us as early as possible.  

Money: International students are advised to carry a small amount of cash (British Sterling) during their journey in case they are required to pay for transport or in the case of an emergency. Several one pound coins may be helpful at the airport where students wish to use a trolley or telephone.

To reduce the risk of possible loss, the College accept different payment methods to tuition fees, which include cheque, bank draft or bank card, so that students do not have to carry a large amount of cash whilst travelling.

Health and medical care: For international students who are entering the UK for the first time, they would be required to show their health certificate and vaccination certificate at the immigration desk. Students who fail to do so may be required to undertake an instant health check at the airport.

More advises:

Travel information from the UKBA:
National Rail:
National Express Coaches:
Manchester Airport:
Tourism Website for Greater Manchester:
UK Council for International Student Affairs:
UK International Student Blogs and Forum:

Useful contacts:


  • Emergencies: 999
  • Non Emergencies: 0161 872 5050

Ashton Sixth Form College: +44 (0)161 330 2330

Taxi company: Street Cars: 0161 228 7878

Manchester Airport:

  • General enquiry: +44 (0) 871 271 0711
  • Flight information: 090 10 10 1000          

National Rail Enquiries: +44 (0) 845 748 4950

National Rail Enquiries from overseas (Please note: International rates apply): +44 (0) 207 278 5240

Meet and greet

Taxi pick-up service

Ashton Sixth Form College has negotiated a taxi pick-up service for new international students from the Manchester Airport or Manchester rail stations to Ashton Sixth Form College or the accommodation. Details will be published soon.

If you want to use this service, please complete a pick-up service application form which is contained in your offer pack or email to to request a form.

Host family pick-up service

Some host families would be happy to offer pick-up service to their students. We will contact you if your host family is available to do so.

Induction week

The induction week is an orientation programme offered by the College to help new international students settle in and get familiar with their new environment. We organise the programme one week before the term starts. The activities in the induction week will include enrolment; a presentation by the principal and course directors; staff introduction and buffet lunch; College tour and facilities introduction; guidance for settling in (i.e. registering with the police, registering with a doctor, opening a bank account, etc.); social events; city tour; and a BBQ weekend at Tameside park and the boating lake. A specific timetable of the activities during the orientation programme will be given to students in the enrolment session.

Transport guide (from airports to Ashton Sixth Form College)

If you prefer not to use our pick-up services, below is some information which may be helpful for your travel.

From Manchester Airport

The most convenient way of travelling from Manchester Airport to Ashton Sixth Form College is by train or taxi. The distance between Manchester Airport and Ashton Sixth Form College is about 17 miles, and the taxi fare would be approximately £25 – £30. Alternatively, students can travel to the College by train from the airport. There are two rail stations near Ashton Sixth Form College: Ashton-under-Lyne station and Stalybridge station. There is a direct train service from the airport to Stalybridge station. If travelling to Ashton-under-Lyne station, you would need to change train at Manchester Piccadilly station. It would only take 5 minutes by taxi from either Stalybridge or Ashton-under-Lyne station to Ashton Sixth Form College. Apart from train and taxi, students can also travel to the College by coach. The coach fare is normally about £3, but it takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to get to the College.

From London Heathrow Airport

There are two cost-effective options for students travelling to Ashton Sixth Form College from London Heathrow Airport. Students can choose either train or coach services.  It would take about 4 hours for students to travel to the College from Heathrow Airport by train and cost £78 – £95, whilst it would take around 7 hours for students to travel to the College from the airport by coach and cost around £45. Sometimes there are special off-peak offers if travelling by train. Students can check the latest special offers or pre-book the tickets on the websites displayed in the Pre-departure section. Please note that the service availability and costs are subject to the arrangement of the service operators.  

Visa application or extension guideline

EU / EEA / Swiss students: According to the instructions of UKBA, EU / EEA / Swiss students do not need to apply for a Visa for their entry and study in the UK, provided that they hold a valid national identity card or passport issued by an EU State. Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK.

For more information about the immigration rules for European nationals, please refer to the link:

Students from other nations: Students who are from outside the EEA and not a member of an EEA family must apply for a Visa to enter and study in the UK. To study at Ashton Sixth Form College, students need to apply for a Tier 4 Visa under the new UK Point Based System. Ashton Sixth Form College is a Highly Trusted Sponsor, so we can produce a valid CAS number to evidence your study in the UK. The documents required for the Visa application include:

  • Original passport
  • A valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence to prove that the student has sufficient funds to cover the expenses in the UK (i.e. bank statement / saving certificate with deposit book, etc.) – it must show that the money has been held for minimum 28 days and be dated no earlier than one month before the application submission
  • Other documents listed on the CAS letter
  • Original proof of English language qualifications (must be on the UKBA list, such as IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Two photographs
  • Completed online application form (a “Print and Send” form)
  • Portfolio / Sketch book (for art and design students)
  • Consent letter from parents / legal guardian (for students under the age of 18)

For more information about the Visa and immigration rules for Non-EU overseas student, please refer to the link:

Further Visa information

Information about UK visa and immigration regulations: 

Online visa application portal:

Online visa application tracking system:

British Council Education UK website: