Tips for International Students in the UK
Choosing to study in the UK is a big decision. You will be living in the UK for the duration of your course, which is often longer than a year. Can you afford it? Will you enjoy it? Will you be safe? Research is the only thing that can help you answer these questions. Below we have some tips to help ensure yourself this is the right decision, as well as saving money and being safe when you are here.
-- Research thoroughly before applying and accepting a course. Is it right for you? Will you enjoy it? Will it enhance your future prospects?
-- Check if you need to register with the police.
-- Make sure you bring clothing for cold and warm climates. In the winter, a thick coat is essential in the UK, but it is usually nice and warm during the summer. Just be prepared for a little of all weather, from cold, rain, snow, and sun.
Money and Finance
-- The UK doesn’t have to be expensive. Students in the UK are eligible for a discount card from NUS, with discounts for theatres to shops and museums to holidays. Also, always carry your Student ID, as they can sometimes get you discounts too, and it’s also a form of ID for when you're buying alcohol.
-- If you are studying in the UK for more than 6 months, get a UK bank account. Alternatively, see if you can use your current credit/debit card in the UK without too many fees.
-- Budget your expenses to avoid spending too much too quickly.
-- Consider buying a ‘pay-as-you-go’ phone in the UK, or bring your current phone and get a UK SIM card. This saves you having to pay expensive roaming charges. If you are calling home, consider using Skype, which is free if you are calling someone else on Skype or cheap if you are calling a landline or mobile.
-- Get an Oyster Card for travelling on the bus and trains, it’s a lot cheaper. If you are booking a rail or coach ticket, book in advance.
-- Look out for special events at clubs or bars, as drinks are usually cheaper. Also, most museums in London are free.
-- Don’t carry large sums of money on you. The UK is a safe country, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any crime.
-- Photocopy any documentation, such as Passports, Driving Licences and acceptance letters. To be extra safe, scan them and put them on a website like Google Docs.
-- Get out and make friends. It may be hard, as some may not even think that you are not only new to the university, but also to the country, but just talk to people and you will make friends. You should also consider joining an international society at your university, if they offer one. This can be a good way to meet friends in a similar situation to you.
-- If your English isn’t perfect, take a class.
-- Manage your time effectively. Put deadlines on everything you do, no matter how small or big.
-- Make sure you have health insurance valid in the UK if you are not eligible for the NHS.
We hope these tips help you. Good luck in your new university adventure. If you are looking for apply to a UK university as an international student, then Compare the Course can help you every step of the way.