21 Tips for International Students Moving to the UK

international students moving to the UK

It’s time to write a new story! Are you ready?

As we all know, moving out can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time, it can also be stressful to manage everything on your own. So, we are here for you as you start your journey of dreams on the British island.

Our team has researched and incorporated every useful detail to make it easy for you while you are moving out. Make sure to check out these tips for international students moving to the UK.

1. Visa & Paperwork

The visa and paperwork mark the onset of your journey. This is a very crucial and important step, so make sure you get all the information handy. As you are going as an international student to the UK, you will need to apply for a visa, depending on which country you are from.

To get a visa, you will require the following (this is not an exhaustive list) –

  • Visa application form
  • Photographs
  • Valid Passport
  • Bank records
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Detailed travel itinerary
  • Tuberculosis Test Results
  • Biometric information
  • Visa invitation letter (if applicable)
  • Paid UK visa fees

2. University Scholarships

There are many scholarships available for international students in the UK. The majority of the scholarships pay for your tuition fees, living allowance, as well as a return flight from your country to the UK and various things. Both Government Universities and Private institutions have listed scholarships for multiple courses. Make a list of Universities and the course you wish to apply in and check out their websites for all the information.

1.Chevening Scholarships – This is for outstanding emerging leaders from all over the world, wishing to pursue a one-year Master’s degrees in the UK.

2.The Commonwealth Scholarships – These scholarships are offered each year to students coming from the Commonwealth countries, wishing to pursue a Master’s or PhD and develop professionally

3.The Royal Society Grants – This is dedicated to promoting excellence in science, and thus, offers a significant number of scholarships to talented and promising students.

3. Student Accommodation

Make sure to sort out where you will be living beforehand. While many universities provide campus accommodation, it is always a good idea to explore more options. There are many student housing options available in the UK with mouth-watering facilities. Do check out this link to know more about student accommodation in the UK.

4. Research

My tips for international students moving out will be to gather all the information about the seasonal & weather changes and prepare accordingly (clothes, medicines, etc.). Also, study about the local neighborhood and culture. It is always a good idea to know these things beforehand so that you can be prepared. Try and connect with the students already studying in the same university who can give you a deeper insight.

5. Open a Bank Account

With all the hustle-bustle going around you, don’t forget to open a bank account in the UK. While many banks work internationally, it is advisable to create a new bank account to make it more feasible for you. Check out for the student banking options available.

Consider these points when looking for the right bank account for your requirements:

  • Overdraft limit.
  • Go for the most extended 0% interest overdraft.
  • Check the associated perks of opening with a particular bank.
  • Check your credit rating before applying.
  • Budget to clear off your overdraft as soon as possible

6. Health Insurance

Many students often forget about this one. UK has one of the most famous healthcare system named as National Healthcare System (NHS). Depending on your stay and visa type, you will be able to access it through it. There are various private healthcare institutions available too.

7. Set up a Budget

I know this doesn’t sound exciting but planning a budget is essential to keep an eye on all your financial expenses. This will save you time and ensure that you are not spending at the wrong places. You might go overboard with the expenses so a budget will keep you on a check.

8. Local Transport

Oyster card will make your traveling easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. This is a travel pass, i.e. pay-as-you-go travel, used for many transport services in London. It is a very convenient method and saves you some bucks too. So make sure you get this if you are going to London. Also, local buses, coaches, metro and underground transportation are available. You can avail a student pass in any transport service as per your needs and comfort.

9. Master the Essay Writing

One of the biggest challenges you will face while studying in the UK is to write gazillions of essays. And more importantly, every new one should be better than the previous one. So make sure you are prepared beforehand. Start with reading past year’s student essays, work on tone, vocabulary, and grammar.

10. Learn the lingo

The best way to blend in a new city is by getting used to the lingo. There is much British slang that you wouldn’t have heard of before. This will help you communicate in a better way and won’t make you feel alien. The best way to get the hang of the language is by talking, listening and learning.

  • Knackered – someone is extremely tired
  • Fag – a cigarette
  • Ledge – shortening of the word “legend.”
  • Trollied – being drunk
  • Taking the Mickey – to make fun of a person

11. Staying healthy

With so much to explore, enjoy and eat plus to get used to the new routine, our health tends to take a setback. Staying healthy is as important as studying. Don’t neglect your body needs and add it to your priority list. Try going back to the basics-stay hydrated, eat right and sleep well. Most importantly, strike a balance in everything that you do.

12. Dealing with stress

Moving out, new city, new friends, new life! With so much to indulge in, it can be very stressful for some of you to keep sane. We know it’s a lot to take in at once. So go slow, baby-steps, you don’t have to figure out everything at once. Take your time, breathe and make the most of the moments. And remember “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Here are some of the best tourist destination in the UK –

  • The Buckingham Palace, London
  • Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
  • York Minster, York
  • The University Towns of Cambridge and Oxford
  • Canterbury Cathedral, Kent

13. Get your Vaccinations done

No matter where you are coming from, moving to a new place can be shocking in many ways. It is a compulsory process for some students in the UK to get the vaccination done. Also, get checked if you are prone to any allergy and carry necessary medications.

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for the United Kingdom –

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps and rubella (MMR), 
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia 
  • Influenza.

14. Packing hacks

Prepare a checklist to keep everything organized. Don’t overdo anything. Keep it simple and useful. Try to take the important stuff along with you and have the rest of them shipped. This will solve your baggage issues too. Also, keep a check on weather changes to carry the essentials.

15. Cooking and Eating outside

It is quite evident that you will try out new things and you must. London has mouth-watering eating options, from the best restaurants to the city’s exceptional local food and junk food. Don’t make it a daily habit. Try and learn some of your favorite dishes. Also, cooking is a great way to give you home feels. Invite your friends over and try cooking together to have a great time.

16. Download useful apps

Living in a technology-savvy city, you’ll be bound to use apps that make your life a bit easier.

Some useful apps that might come handy in the UK are –

  • Citymapper (best app to find the shortest route from point A to point B)
  • Tube live (information about tube and station facilities)
  • Dice app (an app that helps you plan the best night out)
  • ATM hunter (as the name says, to find the nearest ATM) and many more.

17. Sim cards & international calls

The first thing to do as soon as you land in the city is to get a new sim card. Go for pay-as-you-go (often referred to as prepaid in some countries) offer initially, and you can upgrade later as per your needs. For international calls, you can consider low-cost international call providers like Rebtel, Lebara, and Lycamobile for good quality cheap calls.

18. Find a new hobby

Go out, explore your local neighbourhood and wander around the city. You will surely come across something that will interest you. Indulge in some hobby or activity that you love doing. This will also help you meet like-minded people and make new friends. You are in a new city! Don’t sit around and make the most of your time. This is the best advice for international students moving to the UK.

19. Working while studying

If you wish to save extra bucks and gain some interesting experience, work it out. There are many jobs available that have flexible work hours for you to choose and manage it well with your studies. Look out for authorized jobs, and you can also contact student union for the same. This will help you grow as an independent individual too.

20. Travelling & exploring

You are in a new city, a new country, go out and have the best of your days. We know adjusting to a new place can be tiring plus managing your studies and so many things. Don’t forget to enjoy the beauty around you. Go out, take a walk around the city and you will see amazing things. Take a bicycle and go out, exploring the local neighbourhood. Plan your days accordingly so that you can make the most of your time.

Here’s a list of some of the things to do in the UK –

  • See a Shakespeare play in his hometown
  • Have afternoon tea at Bettys in York
  • Wander around a dreamy Italian-style village in Wales
  • Visit The Beatles’ childhood homes
  • Bathe like a Roman in Bath
  • Take a perch on Arthur’s Seat

21. University societies

There are plenty of options available to choose from while looking at university societies or social groups when international students are moving to the UK. This a fantastic way to take a break from studies and indulge in something that you like. You can always make friends and try new things too. Look out for your hobby or anything that interests you. Don’t miss out on this one as this offers one of the best college experiences.

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