When you are planning to pursue a Master’s program in the UK, the process requires a lot of pre-planning organization. At the end of the day, you want to avoid any unforeseen problems when you land in a foreign country. That’s why you must have a well-thought-out pre-departure list to ensure you have everything you’ll need once you reach your destination.
If you have received an offer for a master’s program in the U.K. and are wondering where you start your pre-departure preparations, this post is for you.
In what follows, we provide you with detailed insight into a complete pre-departure list that can greatly help international students traveling for a master’s program in the UK For your convenience, we have divided the pre-departure list into several critical components, including necessary travel documentation, health considerations, money matters, and more.
So, let’s get started.
Master’s Programme in the U.K. – Pre-Departure List for International Students
To avoid last-minute preparations and rush, you must take out some time beforehand and prepare for the things you will need once you reach the foreign land. Here’s a list to guide you throughout the process
Pre-Departure List Component 1: I.D. Proof and Important Documents to Carry to the U.K.
The most significant thing you should include in your pre-departure list as you prepare for a Master’s program in the U.K. is all your essential documents. You must carry all your important documents and photocopies of some of the most critical documents. Some important documents you may require on your travel to the U.K. for a master’s program include.
Check that your passport is valid till the completion of your degree program. If your passport is about to expire in the next few months, you need to renew your passport before you travel.
Make sure you have your original passport with you along with several copies of your passport in more than one luggage. Also, ensure that your guardians in your home country have a copy of your passport with them back home.
For a Master’s degree in the UK, you will need some visa paperwork done. The university to which you got admission may assist you during this process. However, always double-check that you carry all your visa-related details with you as you travel.
Admissions Letter to a Master’s Programme in the U.K.
Your chosen university will provide you with a letter of acceptance that you should keep with you before you travel. The letter is critical as it assists in the visa application process when you enter the campus and throughout your travel from your home country to your destination.
Some of the other important documents you must carry to the U.K. as you travel for a Master’s program in the U.K. include the following.
- Your resume,
- Letter of Recommendation,
- Your Bachelor’s degree and transcript,
- Bank Account Details and other official financial evidence,
- Sponsor Letter
- Address Book and email contacts
- Accommodation Contract and
- Enrollment confirmation from the university.
Pre-Departure List Component 2: Money Matters
Students who intend to pursue a Master’s degree in the U.K. need sufficient funds to afford their education in a foreign land. Hence, your bank account should reflect your ability to bear the expenses in the U.K. You must set up a bank account, which you can conveniently do by using your student visa. It’s, therefore, a critical element of your pre-departure list.
Setting up your bank account in the U.K. before your departure can save time and inconvenience following your travel. Moreover, you will be able to pay for your rent and utilities following your arrival in the U.K. Furthermore, setting up a bank account before your departure also allows you to conveniently credit your salary to your account if you choose to work upon arrival in the U.K.
Apart from setting up a bank account before your departure, you must also plan your budget accordingly. Apart from your university’s tuition fee, you will need an average of GBP 12,500 – 15,000 annually to manage your expenses in the country. If you have received a scholarship that covers your accommodation, food, and transportation, your need for extra money to manage your expenses will be limited. Moreover, the cost varies significantly from city to city, so your actual expense will depend on where you live.
Pre-Departure List Component 3: Health Considerations
Students travelling for a Master’s program in the U.K. must get a complete health check-up before departure. Make sure it’s on your pre-departure list so you can get a check-up done in time.
The pre-departure check-up ensures that the student is in good health and meets the vaccination requirements. Apart from the COVID-19 vaccines, students must also be tested for Tuberculosis as part of their pre-departure health check-ups.
Some universities in the U.K. may encourage their students to opt for medical insurance that covers the student’s medical expenses throughout the period of enrolment. Given this preference of certain universities, insurance providers offer specifically designed insurance plans for students catering to their specific needs based on their overall health and fitness.
Pre-Departure List Component 4: Accommodation Booking
Apart from the most important documents and health considerations, booking your accommodation before your departure is critical. Make sure you don’t miss it on your pre-departure list. You need to decide where you intend to live over the course of your program. Typically, international students travelling to the U.K. can choose from the following types of accommodation.
- On-campus accommodation,
- Off-campus local rentals, or
- Move in with a family living in close proximity to your university.
While most universities offer on-campus accommodation, most international students travelling to the U.K. for a Master’s degree opt for an off-campus stay. However, the choice of stay depends heavily on the student’s budget and personal preference for room specifications.
Pre-Departure List Component 5: Programme-Specific Information
While you prepare for the finances and make arrangements for your accommodation, don’t overlook the program-specific instructions. Once your admission is confirmed in a university, the concerned departments will notify you about registering yourself at an online portal and using the portal to select your courses. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the program-specific information by staying proactive.
Moreover, while most international universities offer a post-arrival orientation for international students, some universities may offer virtual orientation. Hence, you need to constantly check the correspondence from your university and be vigilant so you don’t miss out on any important details.
Before you move to a new country to pursue your master’s program in the U.K., you should be aware of all the essential things you need to do before you travel. With this insightful guide, you can create your personalized pre-departure list and work accordingly as you travel to the U.K. for a master’s program in the U.K. Get in touch with us to find out more about studying in the U.K.
What are the entry requirements for international students pursuing a Master’s program in the UK?
The requirements for admission may differ based on the institution and the specific Master’s program. However, international students are generally expected to possess a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent qualification and may be required to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language.
What is the application process for international students?
International students have the option of applying to UK universities either online or through a local representative. As part of the application process, students may be asked to submit academic transcripts, references, a personal statement, and evidence of their language proficiency.
What financial support is available for international students?
Universities in the UK may provide scholarships or bursaries for students from other countries, and some governments also offer scholarships for their citizens studying overseas. Additionally, international students may have the chance to work part-time on campus.
What should international students expect in terms of cultural differences?
When studying in the UK, international students should be prepared for certain cultural differences, such as variations in academic standards, communication styles, and social conventions. It is crucial to maintain an open-minded attitude, inquire about unfamiliar customs, and look for assistance from both fellow students and faculty members.
What should international students include in their pre-departure checklist?
International students ought to compile a list of essential items for their studies abroad, including travel documents such as passports and visas, financial documentation like bank statements and scholarship letters, accommodation arrangements, a packing list, and contact details for the university and any nearby representatives. Furthermore, researching the local area and getting ready for potential cultural changes are vital.