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Pre-Arrival Information

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Durham very soon! This webpage contains information for your arrival and important things you may need to do before you arrive.
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Durham Cathedral and Framwellgate Bridge over the River Wear

Induction/Term Dates

Academic Year 2024/2025  
Induction Week 30 September 2024 - 6 October 2024
Michaelmas Term 7 October 2024 - 13 December 2024
Epiphany Term 13 January 2025 - 21 March 2025
Easter Term 28 April 2025 - 27 June 2025

Postgraduate Business students only, exams will take place early January 2025 (Michaelmas Term) and during May 2025 (Epiphany Term). Dates TBC.  The dates will be provisional and are subject to change.

Orientation Session

The International Office will hold an in person compulsory Orientation Session for all incoming exchange students. All new incoming exchange students are expected to attend. The session covers important information such as registration, module enrolment and other practical arrangements.

Michaelmas arrivals

Friday 4th October 2024
Time TBC

Venue TBC

Epiphany arrivals

Monday 13th January 2025
Time TBC

Venue TBC

University Induction Planner

Each student can create a personal induction planner to help you plan when, where and what you need to be doing in your first week. The university will release an Induction Planner nearer to the time of your arrival.

 

 

 

Calendar

Calendar and Important Dates

The academic year at Durham runs from October to June. We recommend that you arrive in time to attend the Orientation Session, see above for further details.

Dates for all years can be found here

Travel

By Air

The most direct way to get to Durham is to fly to Newcastle International Airport. From there you can travel by ‘Metro’ to Newcastle Central Station (there is a Metro station in the airport). From there, you can take a train to Durham. The journey from the airport to Durham takes around one hour. Alternatively you can take a taxi directly from Newcastle Airport to your College or private accommodation;  this should cost approximately £45.

You may choose to fly to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick Airports and then take the train or bus north. From whichever airport you fly into you will need to travel into London before proceeding on to Durham.

If you arrive during the main arrivals period of the Michaelmas term, we offer a Meet and Greet pick up service from Newcastle International Airport. You must book in advance for this service. Further details on this service can be found here.

 

By Train/Bus

Durham is well connected to the national railway network and is easily accessible by train. Estimated travel times from:
London (Kings Cross Station) – 3 hours
Edinburgh (Waverley Station) – 1.5 to 2 hours

Once at Durham station there are taxis which can take you to your College or private accommodation. The journey takes 5-10 minutes and the taxis are not expensive – approx. £5-10.

Find out about train connections to Durham on the National Rail webpages:
www.nationalrail.co.uk and www.thetrainline.com

 

Travelling into London
Flying into London you will normally arrive at either Gatwick or Heathrow Airports. In order to travel on to Durham by train or bus/ you will have to get to either Kings Cross Station (train) or Victoria Coach Station (bus). The best way to travel into London is by public transport. Taxis are very expensive.


From Heathrow Airport you can use the Underground (tube). The journey takes about 45 minutes. It is a well sign-posted railway system but, before you buy your ticket, look at the map to make sure you know where you are going. You may have to change trains, depending upon where you wish to go. At Heathrow Airport it is also possible to take a bus into Central London - follow the signs for the Airport Bus to Victoria Railway Station. If you wish to travel directly on to Durham, then you need to go to Kings Cross Station using the Underground (Victoria Line).
From Gatwick Airport take the British Rail train called the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station (ca. 30 min.), then the Underground (Victoria Line) to Kings Cross Station. There is also a bus to Victoria if you prefer.

There is also a national network of buses (long distance). Victoria Coach Station is a 10 minute walk from Victoria Railway Station and you can catch a National Express bus or Megabus which will take you directly to Durham. Coach journeys take longer (approximately 5 hours but sometimes much longer depending on traffic. Make sure you bring food for the journey as not all buses stop!) but are generally cheaper than travelling by train. Further details including timetables, costs and to book tickets online can be obtained from the web site at: www.nationalexpress.com/coach or www.megabus.com

 

Cheap Fares for Students
For travelling in and around the UK, either by train or bus, it is cheaper to buy either a Young Persons Rail Card or Young Persons Coach Card which will give you up to a 34% reduction off the price of travel. These cards can be issued to anyone between 16 and 25 years.
For details how to buy a Young Persons Rail/Coach cards please refer to www.youngpersons-railcard.co.uk

Getting Around Durham

Walking and Cycling
Durham is a very small city, so most places are in easy walking distance, and a lot of students find that this is the easiest way to get around. Cycling is a great way to get around the city easily for free. There are bike sheds to park and lock up your bike at Colleges and around campus. Recyke y’bike, located near Durham Bus Station, stocks a great selection of refurbished second-hand bikes for sale at excellent prices. They also offer cycling accessories and parts (both new and refurbished), cycle training and Bike servicing and repairs www.recyke-y-bike.org

 

By Bus
Local buses run regularly with many stops throughout Durham. Most buses stop at Durham Bus Station and Arriva run a selection of services in and out of Durham City Centre. There are several different providers, and therefore easiest way to find information for your journey is to look at the Durham County Interactive Public Transport Map, which shows the different routes available and links to their timetables.

Driving in the UK
Before you drive any vehicle in the UK you must have a current valid driving licence, insurance, the vehicle must be registered in the owner’s name and the vehicle must have valid road tax.
If you break the law by driving without the right documents you can be fined or banned from driving, and any further offences could result in you being sent to prison. For further information visit www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence

Train
Trains to Newcastle in the North, and Darlington to the South, run on a regular basis. Train times and fares are available at National Rail. A 16-25 Rail card will allow you up to 1/3 off the cost of your rail ticket. These can be bought from any railway station. Please note: rail tickets can be very costly so if possible book in advance, as it is more expensive to buy tickets on the day of travel.

 

A chalkboard with 'Welcome' written on it

Meet & Greet Service

New international students who arrive at Newcastle Airport prior to Induction Week can book our free Meet and Greet Service.

Meet & Greet Booking Service

Enrolment and Registration

All students are required to complete the enrolment process to be fully registered at Durham University. This process will activate your Durham University account and give you access to the systems that you need..

To begin the enrolment process:

  • You will receive your username and password via email (separate emails) approximately 56 days prior to your arrival.  These will be emailed to you by our Student Records Team.  Please check your junk/spam folder as they can sometimes go in there.  If you have not received the emails please contact student.records@durham.ac.uk to request that they be resent.
  • You are required to change your password within two weeks of receiving your username and password. You would need to contact the IT service desk to resolve any issues with passwords by calling them on +44 191 3341515.
  • You cannot complete the process until you have been allocated to a College for either accommodation or membership only - you will receive an email from the Accommodation Office confirming your allocation.
  • Whilst you have received provisional module approval before you arrived in Durham, you will meet with an Exchange Coordinator on arrival to confirm or make changes to your modules.  Departmental appointments will be emailed to you.
  • You must complete ALL sections of the enrolment process to be full registered.

There are six steps to complete the enrolment process, however, you are not required to select the modules that you have been provisionally approved for prior to your arrival unless the department have advised you to do so via email. You will complete this part of your registration when you meet with the Department to finalise your selection.

On arrival you will meet with the Exchange Coordinator in each department to finalise your module choices and make any changes needed.

 

Computer screen and keyboard

Enrolment and Registration Guide

A copy of the guide will be emailed to you prior to your arrival.

Online Enrolment Guide

The Enrolment and Registration Guide will help you smooth your entry to the academic departments in Durham..

Academic Departments

As an incoming exchange student, you are able to select modules from up to three academic departments. 

If you are a European student, your main department (otherwise known as your direct department) would be the department with whom your home university has a partnership. All other departments are considered indirect departments.

As a non-European or Fee-paying incoming exchange student, your direct department would usually be the one with whom you are taking the majority of modules (a minimum of 50%).


Module Choices

Your selected modules will have been approved provisionally before arriving in Durham, these may change during the module registration process due to time table clashes and some modules may not run due to numbers. You will be given appointments within each of the departments you have selected modules which will take place during the first week of term. These appointments are essential as the Exchange Coordinator will work with you to confirm your modules and make any changes if necessary.

A Durham student would normally take 120 UK credits each year usually made up of 6 modules across the year. If you are spending the full academic year in Durham, you would be expected to take the same course load as a home student.


Assessments and Credit

If you are studying in Durham for the full academic year you are required to undertake all assessment for any modules on which you are enrolled. This is the case regardless of if your home university allows you to not take exams at the end of your year abroad. Full year students will only be exempt from assessment in exceptional circumstances.

If you are in Durham for less than a full academic year, you will be required to arrange alternative assessments with the module leader of each module on which you are enrolled. This is to be arranged within 4 weeks of your arrival and confirmed to you by the relevant department. Please see the information below about how alternative assessment will be recorded on your transcript.

Credit for your year abroad will be confirmed by your home university using their own grading scales.


Transcript of Records

If you are studying in Durham for the full academic year, you will receive your official transcript during July/August.  

If you are studying in Durham for Michaelmas Term only, we will aim to get your transcript and transcript appendix to you during February/March. For Business Students here for Michaelmas Term only, these will be sent to you in April.  If you are studying until the Epiphany Term then you will receive the documents at the same time as the full year student in July/August.  Please be aware that your marks will not be presented on the official transcript of records and will be given on a transcript appendix document produced by the Global Opportunities Team.

All transcript of records/transcript appendices will be emailed to the email address that was given in your original application form.  If you require a copy to be emailed to your home university then you will need to email the Global Opportunities Team with the email address to send this to.



 

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Student Support & Wellbeing

The University's Student Support & Wellbeing offers a support network for all students in addition to support offered by your College and Academic Department.

Student Support & Wellbeing

As an international student you are part of and can contribute to our vibrant student community and you will have a unique perspective on life at Durham University.

 

Durham SU

The Durham Students Union (Durham SU) offer a wide variety of support, events, groups and spaces for students during their time at Durham. As an incoming exchange student you are able to access the same facilities as every other student. The Durham SU is based on New Elvet and has a number of social spaces and event spaces for student use. We would recommend getting involved with the Students Union as a way of integrating with UK students.

 

Erasmus and Exchange Society (ESN)

The Erasmus + Exchange Society are a point of information and contact for incoming and outgoing students. They put on events and parties and to generally ensure that the incoming exchange experience is the best it can be! They also aim to promote exchanges and international study with outgoing students.

The ESN aims to make sure that students get the most out of their exchange. It aims to give new students a sense of comfort and security in their new home. We want to achieve cohesion with other Durham students so that they feel a part of the University.

For contact and queries, please email esndurham@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ESNDurham

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/esn_durham/

Whatsapp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Jh4GgUBuuK10e0wiqfxJ4G

 

 

Junior Common Room (JCR)

Each college has what is known as a Junior Common Room. The JCR is run by an Executive Committee of students who are elected each year. The JCR not only works with students on academic and pastoral issues, but also provides a very active social calendar throughout the academic year! We would recommend that you get involved with your college JCR to integrate fully into Durham College life. There is usually a small annual fee for becoming a member of the JCR, but this varies by college.

During Fresher’s Week the JCRs organise welcome events for all undergraduate students and would love to have our study abroad and exchange students take part.

Each JCR has a contact and if you are interested in getting involved in social activities with other members of your college, you should contact your JCR once you have received your college allocation:

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Contacts

The Global Opportunities Team is based in the Palatine Centre on the Science Site. Rachael Bird, International Coordinator is responsible for the administration of incoming exchange students coming to Durham. Queries should be emailed to incoming.exchange@durham.ac.uk

Exchange Coordinators (department queries)