When it comes to studying abroad, the United Kingdom is the top choice for students from all around the globe. The United Kingdom is a place full of opportunities. It offers a friendly and welcoming environment for students trying to make it big in this highly competitive world. The thought of studying and living in the UK on your own can be quite intimidating for many. Let’s look at a comprehensive guide to studying and living in the UK that will help get in and start your life here, especially your educational migration. If we talk about moving to the United Kingdom, there are a few factors that should be considered:–
Table of contents
Don’t have much time to read? Please watch this short video instead.
Plan it wisely
Before you even start thinking about moving to the UK, start planning your finances and funding. The funding requirement may vary based on the country of application and the date of enrollment.
Student finance is an option, but it is not accessible to everyone. In case of no financing, you will need to fund your degree yourself. For self-funding, the fees may be anywhere between £10,000 and £35,000 a year.
On top of it, evidence of funds sufficient for tuition and living expenses is required for the visa application.
If you don’t have the money to pay for yourself, there are scholarships, bursaries, and funding options. You must research and apply according to the criteria provided.
Guide to Studying and living in UK- Apply for a Visa
As an international student pursuing education in the UK, you need to organise your visa and apply for it. Visa rules are different for different countries. Before Brexit, people coming from EEA and Swiss didn’t require a visa. However, now they also need to apply for a visa.
There are different types of visas. The first one is a visit visa, which applies if your course completes in under six months. If your course duration is more than six months and you want to work, a student visa that replaces Tier 4 student visa will be required.
The following documents will be required for your student visa application:
- Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – This will be a 14-digit code received from your university to confirm your application.
- Proof of finances – You will have to provide evidence to support you through the first year. This includes your tuition fees, along with £1,023 – £1,334 for living expenses per month for up to nine months. All this can be either self-funding, sponsorship, or an education loan.
- English language skills – You need to prove that you meet the minimum level of English language proficiency by taking a Secure English Language Test
- The cost of a student visa is £348 from outside the UK. If you are inside the UK and are planning on switching visas, the cost will be £475.
- You will need to pay a healthcare premium on your visa application as well. It could be £ 235 for six months or £470 for the whole year. This will enable you to use NHS.
When To Apply for A Student Visa?
You can apply for a student visa and come six months before your course starts if you apply from outside of UK. You get a response within a few weeks. You should apply as soon as possible to ensure that your processing is done in time.
Be ready to adjust and adapt
The UK is extremely diverse, with people flying in every year from all around the globe. Everyone is welcomed wholeheartedly by the people in the UK! The best thing for students is that every university has societies for international students.
Student societies help them meet like-minded people and adjust to the new life. These societies help new international students feel comfortable. It allows them to socialise with people coming from similar and diversified backgrounds.
You can always search for social media communities to look for acquaintances and take their help before even arriving there.
The weather in the UK is a combination of chilly winds and rainy spells. It would help if you took plenty of warm clothes and waterproof coats and jackets. Summers are surprisingly pleasant and not very hot. Just keep in mind that warm clothes are essential.
As a student, you cannot keep the home warmers up all the time. You have to manage your budget accordingly.
You need to decide on your accommodation as well. You can choose to use the university-provided accommodation, which is cheaper. Or you wish to live on your own. For the latter, you can find assistance from the student’s or find an agent’s directory.
Set up a student bank account
If you’re staying in the UK for longer than a few months, we recommend setting up a bank account. A bank account is necessary if you are staying in the UK for more than a semester. Having a bank account will ease your life in many ways. You can pay your bills easily, and your money is safe.
Setting up a bank account is not that easy. It’s a long process and requires multiple identification and credit rating checks. The best scenario is to find out if your bank in the home country has any links in the UK and go through that route.
Student bank accounts are a worthy option. However, all banks do not offer international students a bank account. As mentioned, opening a bank account is time-consuming. Further, getting a debit card takes another ten days to arrive.
The best suggestion for you would be to carry cash or a prepaid card to cover the first month’s expenses. Bear in mind, carrying cash is not the safest option.
Know about your permitted working hours
While you are a student, you may want to explore the option of working and making some extra cash. If you are on a student visa, you will be allowed to work for 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during holidays. Holidays will include your before and after course gaps.
Eating in the UK
The UK is diverse when it comes to food, with countless options available. The best option for students is to prepare their meals themselves or with other students and share the cost. This is the most cost-effective way of eating.
Apart from it, many low-cost restaurants and food markets are available for students on a tight budget. You can try food from all over the world, including Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and Thai cuisines. You can find very cheap food options at the supermarkets to cut down on the cost of living.
Use public transport
The best way to travel anywhere in a new place is via local transport because it is cheap and efficient. Similarly, the most convenient way of getting around in the UK is the local bus service, which is present in all cities.
If you are not going to be living too far away from your campus, then walking is a better option. You should consider making a bus pass if you’re taking longer routes. When travelling in cities like London and Newcastle, you could use the subway or Metro. For these, make a yearly pass to minimise the cost.
For inter-city travelling, it is best recommended to opt for a coach or a train. If you plan to travel via train, plan ahead to get the best fares. The train is the quickest and pocket-friendly way to travel across the UK. However, coaches are a cheaper alternative to trains, but they consume more time. And for longer distances, you can always travel by plane, but that comes at a cost.
If you are still struggling with planning and managing your UK living guide, contact our experts for professional advice and consultation.