This section provides information on how to book and prepare for your travel to the UK. We have also included hints and tips for any recreation travel you may wish to arrange during vacation periods across your fellowships to explore the UK and surrounding areas.  

Travelling to the UK to undertake your fellowship

Your Chevening Fellowship includes a return economy airfare for your travel only. The process for booking your flight is outlined below. Please do not book your tickets until you have received your visa, because if you need to cancel or amend a booked ticket you will need to pay any costs associated with this. Fellows are provided with the option to book individual flights (group flights cannot be arranged), so that flights accommodate individual circumstances. Please ensure that when deciding on flight details you consider the following:

  • Arrival date: we recommend that this is made for the weekend immediately prior to the commencement of your fellowship and that you have confirmed accommodation for the day of your arrival (where this is pre-arranged by your host university dates of check in will be advised by the institution when known).
  • Departure date: must be after the final day of the programme as advised in the final award letter. Fellows wishing to stay longer in the UK for recreational purposes should ensure that suitable accommodation arrangements are made.
  • Flight options and baggage allowances: Diversity Travel will offer up to three flight options which are in line with the Chevening Fellowship travel policy (below) and fellows are permitted to select their preferred option (where applicable). Baggage allowances are often determined by the airline and are not set by the Chevening Secretariat or Diversity Travel. It is the travellers responsibly to check the baggage allowances with the respective airline.

Procedure for booking your flight

You must ensure that you have the following details at hand:

  • Which airport you are travelling to and from
  • The dates of your arrival and departure
  • Your passport details
  • Contact details of an emergency contact

Then proceed with the following:

  1. Go to the Diversity Travel portal.

  2. Read and agree to the Chevening Travel Terms and Conditions.

  3. Read the FAQs.

  4. Tick the box indicating you have read the Terms and Conditions and the FAQs; this will create a popup box asking you to login.

  5. Login using your Chevening reference e.g. XXVF-2015-xxxx.

  6. Complete the online travel booking request form, ensuring all fields are answered.

  7. Submit your form online.

  8. Diversity will send you confirmation of your booking request for your records.

  9. Diversity will email you with up to three travel itineraries (where there are three options that meet the Chevening fellowship travel policy). You should reply to Diversity as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours) to confirm your preferred itinerary. 

  10. Do not submit your online form more than once, as this will create a delay in booking your travel.

Diversity Travel will make arrangements for the issue of the ticket to you directly. Please check the details of your ticket carefully. If changes are needed you should inform Diversity by 5:00pm on the day that the ticket is issued. Any delay may result in charges being applied for changes.

Please note the following when you are booking your flight.

  • Diversity will require quick responses to their enquiries during this time, as such please make sure you will have regular access to emails when proceeding with your booking.
  • We recommend that you do not book your flight until you have received your visa. As per the Chevening Fellowships travel policy, if you need to cancel or amend your booking once it has been confirmed, you will be responsible for any additional costs associated with this. If you choose to book a flight before you have your visa, you do so at your own risk.
  • Diversity does not have influence on the baggage allowance included on your flight, as this is organised by the airline. If you wish to upgrade your allowance, you will need to cover these costs yourselves
  • In deciding your travel dates you should take note of your fellowships and accommodation dates. A reminder that allowances are paid for the period of your award only (as per your final award letter) and any additional time spent in the UK will be at your own costs

Please remember that Diversity operate standard UK working hours, and if you have any queries after sending your initial email, please contact Diversity via email.

What to pack

When preparing to travel to the UK, fellows should ensure that they pack the following essentials along with their belongings:

  • Important documents – passport with visa, Final Award Letter, travel itinerary, travel insurance
  • Warm clothing – the UK can be quite cold and rainy, particularly during the winter months. Please ensure that you bring an umbrella, a warm coat and appropriate clothing for the weather
  • Medication – if you suffer from any illnesses, it is a good idea to bring some medication with you until you can register with a doctor in the UK
  • Plug adaptors – the UK uses a plug that has three rectangular prongs
  • UK currency - you should carry a sufficient amount of UK currency to meet the expenses arising from your immediately arrival. 

Travelling within the UK

Some international travel may be included in your fellowship and will be outlined in the course ‘outline’ and details provided by your UK host university. Outside of this, if you wish to explore the UK, it has a great variety of things to do and see, both in cities and in the beautiful countryside.

When you wish to travel in the UK, we would advise booking tickets in advance to get the cheapest deals. Cheap tickets are released on websites 12 weeks in advance. Usually travelling by coach is significantly less but the journeys often take longer.

You may be eligible for a young person’s railcard, for 16-24 year olds. It costs approximately £30 for the year and you get a one third reduction on rail fairs. Please see the national rail website for further information.

Diversity travel is also able to assist with booking private/recreation travel.

Please ensure you comply with your travel entitlement, which is set out in the travel policy.

Useful travel sites:

Chevening travel policy

Please make sure you have read the travel policy. By accepting your fellowship, you agree to adhere to the terms set out in the policy.

Frequently asked questions

If you are unsure about something travel related, please refer to our FAQs.