Things you need to know when studying in the UK
Savethestudent page lists student visas, bank accounts, how to call mobile ... are things that international students must know when studying in the UK.
1. Planning for financial aid and scholarships
When studying in the UK, you need to make sure that you can afford to finance during the study. Indigenous and EU students receive financial aid from the United Kingdom, meaning that the cost of studying is paid with a loan and will be repaid thereafter. Non-EU students (except in certain cases) will not receive support. In addition, non-EU students have to pay much higher tuition fees than native and EU students.
When the visa application is successful, you will need to provide proof of financial ability to pay tuition fees from £ 10,000 to £ 35,000 a year, as well as living and lodging expenses. If you're not eligible, find out about grants and scholarships for international students, and consider educational loans as well as student exchange programs.
2. Know your student visa
To study in the UK, you must apply for a visa, but this depends on the country. Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizens will not need to apply for a student visa, but can study in the UK with a normal passport.
International students outside these areas will need to apply for a student visa, depending on the length of their study. If you study in the UK for less than six months, you will need to apply for a short-term student visa, but with this type will not be allowed to work more. If the course is longer than 6 months, international students need a student visa to level 4.
An application for a UK student visa includes:
- Your current passport.
- Visa support letter issued by the school you enroll. This gives you 30 out of the 40 points needed to get a visa approval. Your school must be on the list of schools that have been registered with the UK Border Agency.
- Proof of financial. This step provides the remaining 10 points for visa approval.
- Proof of the qualifications on which the school considers to accept you into the course.
- IELTS certificate.
- Other papers related to finance.
3. Familiarize yourself with life in the UK
UK culture is diverse and there are people from all over the world. If you come to the UK to study abroad, you will easily meet many international students. Schools have many associations that help you meet people with similar interests and aspirations.
To integrate into the environment and culture quickly, international students should join the university's Facebook groups. Almost every school has its own groups created by international students and when you join, you can discuss, talk with people, and even make friends before you even go to study abroad.
Besides, the UK is famous for its cold and wet weather. Before coming here, bring lots of warm clothes, waterproof clothes for the winter months.
4. Choose your accommodation carefully
International students usually live in the school dormitory or rent a private room outside. However, for first year students, it is best to stay in a dormitory because it will help avoid many problems when renting a room.
In addition, many universities also have halls for international students, making it easier for international students to make friends. Unlike American universities, most rooms in dormitories and both private houses outside are single rooms, meaning you will have your own room, not living with others.
UK students living in hostels will have two forms of "self-catering" food, (you go to the kitchen to cook for yourself) and "to be served" (down to the canteen to eat). If you want to save money, you should choose the form of self-service.
5. Make sure you have health insurance
All international students arriving in the UK need to prove they have sufficient health insurance to cover any health care they need. Depending on whether you are a student inside or outside the EU, the insurance procedures will vary.
EU students only need to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get free or reduced cost visits when using national health services in the UK. If not, you only need to register for an insurance company in your country.
Non-EU students will have to pay medical surcharges when applying for a student visa. This allows you to use national health services in the UK during your stay. Also, check for any type of insurance you have, as it can also help pay for your expenses abroad.
6. Setting up a bank account in the UK
If you stay in the UK longer than a semester, you should set up a bank account. This will help you pay your bills easily, save money and avoid the foreign currency charges that will be incurred if you use a non-UK bank account to pay for expenses incurred here.
Setting up a bank account in the UK will take a lot of time because banks need information to verify your identity and credit rating. If possible, check that your local bank account is linked to any UK bank.
To open a bank account in the UK, international students will need the following:
- Passport valid.
- Valid visa (for students outside the EU).
- Proof of current address in the UK (such as a rental agreement, utility bill ...).
- Proof of address in your country.
- Proof of student status (you will receive this when you enroll in the university).
7. Save money on mobile calls
The UK works on the same GSM band as most countries, but if you're from Japan or North / South America, your phone might not work.
If your phone doesn't work, sell it and buy a new one. Do not use your existing SIM card to call home, as well as to local numbers because the cost is very expensive. Instead, be aware of the following to save on mobile costs.
To call local numbers: If you already have a mobile phone, you need to buy a new SIM card. With the Pay As You Go SIM card (PAYG - Call when you pay that time), you'll need to top up to use. This is a great way to track spending but can also get in trouble if your credit card expires at the right time.
Making a monthly mobile contract is usually better because you will be given unlimited minutes and texting, but will have to pay every month and be responsible for the long term.
If you do not buy a new phone and use the old phone at home, you will have to unlock it to install a new sim card.
To call home: In recent years, there have been many telecommunications companies offering cheap international calls, such as Lebara, LycaMobile or RebTel. According to the survey, RebTel offers the best rates with calls under a minute and the first call will be completely free.
In addition, you can use social software such as Skype, Facetime (on Iphone), Viber, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to make free audio and video calls.
8. Learn about public transport
For city travel: All UK cities have a local bus service, making it the most convenient way to get around the city. See how far you live from school to sign up for student bus service.
Larger cities have metro systems like Tube in London or Metro in Newcastle. You can apply for an annual ticket to save money. Particularly for London, you can make Oyster (electronic passport) to use many different public transport.
If you are confident enough, you can travel by bike, environmentally friendly, and save money.
For travel outside the living city, you can use a bus or train. Trains are often the fastest and most comfortable way to get around the UK. However, you should book as soon as possible to save money. Buses are cheaper than trains, but will take more travel time, sometimes twice as much as trains.
Alternatively, you can use the plane if there is a need to travel between cities in the UK, but it will be very expensive.
9. Number of hours allowed to work overtime
If you want to work part-time while studying abroad in the UK, you need to know some regulations. If you're a non-EU student, you can work up to 20 hours extra per week while studying, and full-time during holidays, as well as before the course starts. For EU students, you are free to work as many hours as you want, and continue working even after graduation.
However, you should not take part-time work as the main source of income to pay for living expenses in the UK. This is a great way to increase your income, but it's not enough to live and long work shifts will distract you from your studies.