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Returning to your home country after study

How to organise leaving the UK after university, from travel arrangements to shipping your possessions.

Making travel arrangements

You should book early to save money on fares, as prices can go up closer to the time of the journey. Shop around to find the best deal.

Sending your belongings home

Check how much your airline charges for baggage allowance before travelling. It might be cheaper to send items using a freight company.

Make sure you have not packed anything that your home country does not permit. Contact your country's embassy or consulate if you are unsure. The authorities in your home country may also charge excise duties on goods you are importing.

When you leave, you can take part in our Leave No Trace campaign to recycle your unwanted items and make a positive impact on the environment.

Sending your belongings by freight

You can search for freight companies online using sites such as We recommend contacting several companies and comparing prices. Many companies offer a student discount.

If you want to send goods by sea, the shipping company will need to know the dimensions of your items before they can give you a quote. If you send something by air freight, you will need to give the weight.

You should take out an insurance policy to cover your goods. We recommend checking what it covers. Many freight companies will offer insurance as part of the quote.

Who to tell that you're leaving

There are several offices and services you should tell that you are planning to leave the UK.

Your bank

Discuss with your bank whether you should close your account before leaving the UK, or leave it open to clear outstanding bills.

If your bank advises you to close your account, they will tell you the procedure for doing this. Tell your bank if you have any Direct Debits or standing order payments you want to cancel.

Settle all your debts before you leave the UK. Your UK bank may be able to collect the money from your home bank and being in debt to the University may prevent you from graduating.

Your landlord or accommodation office

Tell your landlord or University accommodation office that you are leaving. Check your tenancy agreement to see how much notice you need to give.

If you are in private accommodation, arrange for the landlord to inspect the property so that you can get your bond or deposit back before you leave.

Utilities companies

Make sure you have paid all utility bills (gas, water, electricity, telephone). If the bills are in your name, notify the companies that you are leaving or they may continue to charge you.

Mobile phone companies

Check your mobile phone contract to see how much notice you have to give if you will be leaving before it ends.


VAT refunds

You may be able to claim a refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain goods that you bought in the UK. This only applies to anything you are taking outside the EU within 3 months of buying them.

Find out more about tax-free shopping and VAT refunds.

If you are leaving work

You may have to tie up a few loose ends if you worked during your time in the UK.

Leave money in your bank account

Try and leave a small amount of money in your UK account to keep it open. This will mean that you can receive any payments due to you, such as late payment from your employer.

Reclaiming overpaid tax

If you have paid too much tax from your wages, you can reclaim it using the P85 form. Do this as soon as you leave your employment. You must get your P45 from your employer.

Find out more about claiming a tax refund.

Download the P85 form to reclaim tax.


If you have any questions, please contact us.