Contrary to popular belief, international student life in the UK is not perfect. It’s more than just traveling to another part of the world, studying, and hanging out with friends. Just like other endeavors in life, international students also experience tough times while staying in another country.
To make international students’ stay in the UK much smoother, here are some tips they can follow.
Plan Your Finances
Planning for your finances, including your monthly budget should begin as soon as you’ve decided to study abroad. Studying abroad is not a type of decision you just think about overnight, it needs proper planning, especially if you are planning to stay there for one year or more. Your finances abroad include your tuition fees, rent, utility bills, and other costs for your daily life, such as food, transportation, and so on.
You can start by saving enough money to study abroad and looking for financial aid where you are eligible to apply.
Some options for getting financial aids are the following:
- Student loan programs (from other organizations, banks, or your own country’s student loan schemes)
- Grants and scholarships that you can apply for through your chosen institution, the UK government, or other non-government organization
- Your own family, with the help of your parents or relatives
Set-Up a UK Bank Account
If you are staying abroad for a long time, it would be useful to open a UK bank account. A bank account in the UK will make financial transactions easier, especially when paying for your tuition fees, rent, utility bills, and receiving your salary from work. Also, when you withdraw your money, there’s no need to pay extra for foreign fees.
As soon as you arrive in the UK and after settling down, you should open a bank account. Below are the requirements for opening a bank account in the UK:
- Valid passport
- Other identifying documents (student ID, driver’s license, birth certificate, etc.)
- Proof of residence
- Letter of acceptance from your institution
- Money to deposit (if applicable)
Stay on Top of Your Academics
While you should also enjoy your time abroad, do not forget to stay on top of your academics. Some of the things you can do to maintain good grades while studying in the UK include:
- Regularly talking and seeking advice from your personal academic supervisor. Also, letting them know if you are having a hard time with your studies.
- Being punctual in your classes. Also, absences without valid reason may not look good on your record while studying abroad.
- Making a study timetable, setting your goals, and learning to say no to some social activities.
Ask For Help
Student life in the UK involves many ups and downs. That’s why to protect your well-being, do not hesitate to ask for help no matter the problem. You can ask for help from your friends, counselor, or your school’s international student advisory service. However, if you don’t want to involve people you know, you can call UK organizations such as the Samaritans and HOPELINEUK to get immediate help when you are feeling down.
Learn more tips about living abroad including how to fund your education. To start, check out MSM Unify’s article on How to Get Financial Assistance as an International Student in the UK.