Orientation occurs during the week prior to the start of classes. At this time, students arrive at the University, get settled into their accommodation, carry out various tasks leading to advisement and registration for courses, meet faculty and administration and, best of all, make new friends.

What to expect at Orientation

Academic Orientation

During orientation week, there will be several advising and registration meetings that will enable you to meet Registry Services staff, faculty, be advised and register for courses. You are required to take diagnostic assessments in English and (for some majors) in Maths.

These assessments are designed to help us place you in the English and Maths classes that are suited to your current academic level. English and Math are both part of Richmond’s “Liberal Arts Core” requirements. Some students with advanced transfer credits will be exempt from these tests and will be informed upon check-in. If you do not take the tests, your registration will be delayed. You cannot study for these assessments–just take them and do your best!

After you receive your test results, you will see an academic adviser as part of an “advising and registration session”, who will help you choose your courses. If you have transfer credits, you will be provided special assistance by the Registry Services team. The Registry Services staff and faculty are very helpful and will answer any questions you have.

The Social Side of Orientation

During the evenings and over the weekend there are activities planned to give you time to relax and meet the other new students. Most activities are free, though some may cost a few pounds. All activities are open to new students regardless of whether they live on or off of campus.

These activities may include a quiz night, boat trip down the Thames, a West End show, or an excursion within London. Full details are available at Orientation. In the meantime, check out what orientation events have already  been planned.

The Basics

Orientation also helps you with all of the essential practicalities of living on campus and in the UK, such as registering to use the wireless network and library, paying your fees, registering with a doctor, and opening a bank account. The sessions that will help you learn about being a student at Richmond and living in the UK include:

  • Campus Tours
  • Computer and Library Orientation
  • National Health Service Registration
  • Safety in the City
  • Living, Studying and Working in the UK

Student ID

Prior to arriving to Richmond we encourage you to send a copy of a recent passport size photo in jpeg format to Admissions. Richmond University requires a passport style photo of all new students in order to process their ID cards. Your photos must show a close-up of your full head and shoulders. It must be only of you with no other objects or people, facing forward and looking straight at the camera. The photo must meet our standards or your photo will be rejected and you will be required to resubmit a new image.

In order to avoid long waiting times on orientation day, please use the following web application to take a passport photo of yourself  www.epassportphoto.com. Once your photos are ready, please save them as a JPG file with your full name and send them to admissions@richmond.ac.uk.

Meals During Orientation

All meals on campus are available to ALL new students both on and off campus throughout Orientation for FREE!

Hotel Discounts

Richmond Hill Hotel

If you book with the Richmond Hill Hotel and quote that you are connected with Richmond University (a family member of a student for example) during booking, you could receive a 10% discount on their Best Available Rate *.

*There are certain peak times of year when this discount will not apply. Speak to the Richmond Hill Hotel directly for more information.

The Richmond Harbour Hotel & Spa

If you book with the The Richmond Harbour Hotel & Spa and quote that you are connected with Richmond University, (a family member of a student for example) during booking, you could receive a 15% discount on the Best Available Rate. You could also enjoy some of these additional benefits:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary use of the HarSPA facilities (indoor pool, steam room, stone sauna) and full Gym facilities. All areas are refurbished.
  • The Gate Kitchen – Bar – Terrace is our new concept with seasonal food and an al fresco garden.
  • 3 great social events & meetings areas
  • 10% off the Food & Beverage (excluding Saturdays)

Orientation FAQs

Have I done the important steps?

  • Richmond Photo ID: If you have not done so already, then send a copy of a recent passport size photo in jpeg format to Admissions. See instructions above on how to submit your photo
  • Dietary Requirements: If you have food allergies, fill in the Food Allergy Request Form and email it to Catering to notify them of your specific dietary needs. Email: catering-hill@richmond.ac.uk
  • Finance: Have you confirmed your finances are in order? If not, please try to do so before arriving on campus fees@richmond.ac.uk. (This will mean you can avoid any queues to speak with finance when you arrive and can spend more time getting to know other students and settling in)

What should I bring with me?

We surveyed students and asked them to provide a list of what they couldn’t live without from home and what the really could live without. Here are the results!

What can I not live without?

  • Warm sweaters or hoodies (wool is best, but not absolutely necessary)
  • A raincoat (preferably with a hood)
  • An umbrella small enough to fit in your bag
  • A winter coat, gloves, hats, and scarves
  • A few mementos from home like a small stuffed animal or family pictures
  • Bring at least one set of towels and linens & buy the rest when you arrive
  • Favourite little snacks from home
  • Copies of important documents: passport, loan application, acceptance letter, bank letters,
  • Medical records
  • A pair of heels or dress shoes, sneakers, flip flops, rain boots
  • If you like to party, then nice trousers, dress shoes, and a collared shirt (for guys), nice dress or outfit (for girls)
  • National or State ID (or passport) – you will be asked when purchasing alcohol or tobacco
  • Your preference of painkillers or medicine
  • Medical prescriptions
  • Contact lenses (they might be cheaper back home). Contact solution is readily available here
  • Consider bringing some school supplies, although they are available for purchase here

What can I leave behind?

  • Appliances as non UK equipment poses a fire hazard even with the correct adapter
  • Hotplates or cooking implements with open coils (Possession of these items can incur a fine of £500)
  • Radios, hair dryers and other commonly used items (can be bought inexpensively in the UK…check out the store, Argos)
  • Candles, shisha pipes, incense or other smoking instruments as they are not allowed in dorm rooms (Possession of these items can incur a fine of £500)
  • Shampoo and soaps (Bring some to last the first couple days, then buy the rest here)

TOP TIP Don’t pack too much! Living space is a lot smaller over here!

Have a question about orientation or student life that wasn’t answered above? Visit our FAQ’s section for more information.