If you are an international student who wants to study in the UK, then it can get a little overwhelming to deal with all the requirements. This is especially true if it is your first time studying at a foreign university. Recent studies show that most of the international students who go to the UK for studies are undergraduates. If you look at the requirements like tuition fees,
health insurance, and bank accounts it is a bit daunting. This is the reason it is a good idea to take a step-by-step approach as mentioned below.
Plan your funding and research scholarships
The first thing you need to do before anything else you should make sure that you have the finances to fund your degree. The funding that you will get depends on which country you are from and the date that you enroll in the university or college. Before Brexit came into the picture, students from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland were able to
access student finance similar to the UK students. However, now things are different.
Plan your student visa
Students from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can come to the UK and study without any special preparation till the 31 st December 2020. However, if you are from elsewhere then you need a student visa for the UK. For this, you need to make an application that should be accepted by the immigration authorities. For this, you can study some websites including the government visa
website, to understand what all is required.
Prepare for a new culture
The UK is very diverse culturally and is also welcoming of people from around the world. There will be a lot of international students on the campus where you study and you will not have to make any special efforts to fit in. Most of the educational institutes have societies to help you meet like-minded people and people who are from a similar background. Here it needs
mentioning that UK has a very cold and wet climate and you need to be prepared with warm clothes. On a student budget, you may not be able to have the heating on all the time, so warm clothes are the best option.
Sort out your student accommodation
It is ideal to have accommodation finalized before reaching the UK. It is not a good proposition to land in the country and have nowhere to stay. The first place you should go to after settling down is the university or college where you are going to study. You have the choice to live in the university accommodation where available or rent a room from a private landlord. Unlike
American universities, in the UK the accommodation in the universities is single occupancy. This means that you don’t have to adjust to another person. Living in the university provided room is best and you have the choice of self-catered rooms where you have access to the kitchen to cook for yourself. This kind of accommodation is cheaper than the one that provides
cooked food at a canteen.
Make sure you have health insurance
All international students from inside as well as outside the EU have to prove that they have health insurance. This insurance should be sufficient to cover them for healthcare which they may need during their visit to the UK. It is a good idea to consult an immigration agent for the type of health insurance that you should buy.
You should have a student bank account
If you are staying in the UK for a time period longer than a semester then you should set up a bank account. This will make it easier to pay your bills, avoid foreign currency charges and keep your money safe. It can be a lengthy process to set up a bank account because the banks need a lot of information to verify your identity and credit rating. You should check if you can get the
the procedure started from your home country itself.
Find the cheapest way to make international calls
The UK operates on GSM cellular frequency that is most popular throughout the world and hence your current mobile phone will work in the UK as well. However, if you are from Japan or America then your current phone will not work in the UK. It is advisable to get a SIM card in the UK because this is much cheaper than using your current SIM. Otherwise, you will end up paying huge phone bills to make calls back home.
Find out about public transport
All cities in the UK have a local bus service, which is the most convenient method of traveling around in the city. It is also a good idea to opt for a student bus pass because that will save you some cash. Larger cities also have a subway system along with the buses like the tube in London or the metro in Newcastle. Here again, a yearly pass will be a more economical option. If you are visiting other cities then of course there is air travel, but the trains in the UK are the quickest and most comfortable way to go around the country, not to mention cheaper than air travel.
Find out how many hours you are allowed to work
If you want to make some extra money while studying then you need to find out how many hours you are allowed to work. If you are from a country outside the EU and EEA then you can work up to 20 hours per week while the course is on and full time during holidays. If you are from a country within the EU, EEA or you are from Switzerland then you can work as many hours as you wish. However, bear in mind that you should not rely on part-time work for covering your living expenses as they can just be a boost to your finances and not your main source of income.
Now that you know what you need to do if you want to study in the UK, you can tighten your belt and start preparing for the interesting time that you will spend in this wonderful country.