10 Things to Know Before Studying in the UK
- July 11, 2018
- Posted by: administrator
- Category: Study in UK
After lots of meticulous research, you have finally settled on a university in London. The experience to study in universities in UK is a mixed bag for the foreign students. For it gives them exciting avenues to explore as well as many challenges to overcome. From saving money to finding the student accommodation that suits your lifestyle, here are the 10 things that you need to know before you choose to study in the UK.
The most important thing to sort out is your visa. The students coming from an EU country do not have much of legalities to meet and they are not required to have a visa to study in the UK. Although the aftermath of Brexit may have some ramifications, the students are likely to stay unaffected in the current year. Foreign students i.e. the students arriving outside of the EU will likely need a Tier 4 Student Visa. The visa documents are lucid and easily understandable but in case you face any difficulty to understand the terms and guidelines, feel free to ask the university’s student services for help.
If you are planning to work whiles studying in the university in the UK, you are advised to apply for the same on your visa beforehand. Another thing to be noted is that the students of the non EU countries are limited to 20 hours a week whereas the students of the EU nations are under no such limitations.
The accommodation dilemma
The types of accommodation in the UK are self-catered, shared housing or even large halls. Likely as it is that these types of accommodation can make a student confused, the universities in UK can have a guide book that explains all the types of student housing options. Similar to the American dormitories, the halls are most traditional type of accommodation. There are catered halls where all amenities are part of the package including dining facilities. The availability of self-catered halls lets you choose your own meals. It is important to choose accommodation that suits your personality and lifestyle.
London is HUGE
Some people don’t realize that London stretches to a lot of geographical area. Parts of it are pretty accessible on foot, but you will definitely be using public transportation, especially if your student housing isn’t in central London. Use the Google Maps app to figure out how to get from point A to point B anytime you’re exploring London.
Students get discounted public transportation
The students who study in the UK can get 30% off travel cards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. This discount can be availed through an Oyster photo card.
You can also get a 16-25 rail card, which gets you ⅓ off rail and pay as you go tube fares for just £30 for the year. If you plan to take the train to other parts of the UK on the weekends, this extra add on will pay for itself in just a couple of trips.
The Brit Rail pass is another feasible mode of transportation on day trips or weekend travel around the UK while studying abroad. It gives you unlimited train travel for a number of days each month. You can only order it while you’re still back at home, so do this in advance of your departure date. If you’ve not done that, then go for the 16-25 rail card mentioned above.
Weather is mostly pleasant
Most of the students who are already present in London and other areas in UK to study abroad would agree that the UK does not have the best of weathers. Nevertheless, the people in the UK are welcoming for such volatile weather as well. You’ll notice people enjoying outdoor activities even when it’s quite cold, going for walks in the park even when it’s raining, and then when the sun DOES come out, you will not find one Londoner sitting inside!
So don’t let the weather hold you back from doing anything while studying abroad in UK.
Where to bank
In order to save yourself from the hassle of foreign currency charges and complex billing systems, it is most advised to set up a UK bank account. As is the common case scenario in the banking system, most banks in the UK will require a passport, proof of address (such as a bill). The proof of address should be both of your home and current accommodation along with the proof of student status.
To prove your student status, your university acceptance letter should suffice. If the student does not have any bills then student housing services should be able to provide a proof of address. The bank may also carry out a credit check by conducting a short interview to confirm that you are eligible to open an account.
The benefits such as a joining bonus is one of the excellent benefits. Some banks are also equipped with an interest-free overdraft although it may be unavailable to some international students.
The needful regarding healthcare
Healthcare is given utmost importance in the UK. A student from an EU country can become the beneficiary by procuring the European Health Insurance Card soon as they arrive in London. This give them the advantage of the reduced cost of most of the health services through the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). As for students from the non EU countries, they need to purchases their own health insurance even though they may still be registered on their parent’s insurance.
Due to the availability of so many modes of conveyance, one may get baffled with the alternatives that are present as far as going around in the UK is concerned. Hence, as a foreign student studying in the UK, the more simplified choices you get, the easier it is for you in terms of convenience and affordability. For most of the travel done locally, getting a student pass for availing public transport is most feasible along with biking.
There is also the Stage coach, a bus company within UK that offers a pass valid for a year known as a UniRider. This mode of travel can help you save a lot of money all year round. Another swift and efficient way to travel within London is the tube. Furthermore, one can even find a correct option of travel in Oyster Card, by far the cheapest option.. Trains are often the quickest and most comfortable way to get around the UK. Tickets should be booked as early as possible to save money (as much as 80% off) on advance fares. The First Transpennine Express is the fastest train service which is also the cheapest as there are no booking fees.
Though coaches are a cheaper alternative to trains, they can take double the travel time to arrive. Megabus is one of the best alternatives for saving money as the journeys start at £1 between the major cities. As for travelling back home, air route is perhaps the only choice for foreign students who are pursuing their studies in the UK.