Studying abroad, as exciting as it sounds, can be a daunting exercise considering the cumbersome process of discerning, application, visa, insurance, documentation, accommodation, bank account set up, and more.
For many students pursuing their international degrees, this may be their first solitary experience in a foreign country; and certainly so, a challenging experience.
This article presents detailed step-by-step assistance for international students going to the UK.
Best Accommodation Options
- Accommodation for students in the UK can be in halls of residence, private student halls, private rentals, or homestays. Choosing the right option can certainly be confusing.
- Universities offer students assistance with seeking accommodation.
- While choosing the right accommodation budget, location, and proximity to the university/ college should be factored in to narrow down on the right option.
- Halls of residence are commonly chosen accommodation options by most international students. These are managed and maintained by the university.
- Private halls accommodate students from different universities. Students have to pay for the amenities they use.
- It is important to choose an accommodation that best fits your budget, and aligns with your lifestyle.
Also check out, India’s top Education consultant for Study in UK.
Student Travel Card
- The cheapest way to travel in London for international students is by purchasing an 18+ Student Oyster Photocard.
- Using an 18+ Student Oyster Photocard, students can purchase an annual travel card to avail of discounts.
- This travel card opens unlimited access to London’s bus service, tube service, and DLR.
- To travel in the UK, students can buy a 16-25 Railcard and avail of attractive discounts on train tickets.
- Student discounts are readily available at grocers, cafes, cinemas, and many other places.
- Some places advertise student discounts while some don’t. International students may ask if outlets, grocers, restaurants, etc. have special discounts for students, thus use every opportunity to avail of discounts.
- TOTUM Cards, UNiDAYS can help in availing the best offers and exclusive deals; in other cases, a student university card should suffice.
Also check out, Why Study in UK.
- Living in the UK can be expensive for international students, and finding a cheap gym membership can be difficult.
- Students can avail of gym facilities at their university or enroll in a membership at a gym partnered with their university.
- Student gyms give students heavy discounts.
Opening a Bank Account
- Opening a bank account is an important step.
- It is highly advised to open a bank account with a bank in the UK. Having a UK bank account ensures feasible transactions and access.
- While considering a bank, a student must check the facilities, services, and perks offered.
- Overdraft limit, and the most 0% extended interest overdraft must be checked. However, it is important to pay off the overdraft as earliest as one can.
- The UK has one of the most robust health care infrastructures in the world. The National Healthcare System (NHS), is the most commonly availed service in the UK.
- Depending on the type of visa and duration of stay, a student will be able to access the NHS.
- Health care services in the UK are not limited to the NHS. One can rely on private health institutions’ services as well.
Maintaining a Budget
- Adjusting to currency conversion may take time, and may lead to overspending.
- It is best to plan a budget to keep track of expenses and avoid unnecessary spending.
- Living and adjusting to a foreign country can be difficult. It will help to research the weather, neighborhood, culture, hospitals, etc. so as to get a sense of the neighborhood and prepare accordingly.
- Connecting with students from the same university or area will paint a clearer picture and give deeper insight.
Weather and Packing Right
- Autumns in the UK can be cold and chilly, while summers can be warm and comforting.
- International students should check the weather before venturing out; the weather can be quiet, and uncertain.
- Prepare a checklist for items to carry to the UK. Avoid carrying unnecessary items.
- Check what is and what’s not allowed in customs.
- Pack according to the weather, so as to carry the essentials required.
Travel and Explore the UK
- The UK is blessed with picturesque and serene landscapes.
- Explore, walk around and experience the beauty UK has to offer.
Stress in a new city
- Making new friends, adjusting to a new city, settling down, etc. can be very stressful.
- Take each day as it comes, and approach things one step at a time.
- Make new friends, and take breaks when tasks overwhelm you. Do not rush into things, and take the time to figure things out.
- Confide in someone if the stress becomes overwhelming to bear.
Geography of the UK
The UK comprises four nations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. International students who want to pursue their studies in the UK can choose schools from any of the four countries.
Each one of these countries has its own history and culture which international students are able to explore such as different food styles, accents, political systems, and customs.
While the UK is comprised of many different nations it has many of the same traits. British people are courteous, have an incredible sense of humor, and are proud of their heritage.
Students studying abroad will discover that manners are especially important in the lives of British people. Tolerance, politeness and timekeeping and respect each play a major influence on how British people conduct themselves. For instance, many people will say “sorry” before speaking up or making a statement. Another example is opening the door for those behind them or remaining silent on your own on public transportation.