Marlix Student Living

International Students: Things to Consider before Studying in the UK

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It’s an exciting prospect to not only be studying and broadening your horizons, but to be doing it abroad! Here are Marlix’s top tips for international students to consider before moving to the UK.

Plan your Funding and Research Scholarships

Making sure you have the money to fund your degree is our first piece of advice. It’s common knowledge that University fees for international students in the UK are quite high, so it’s important that you’re aware of your costs. It’s not just your course you’ll be paying for. You must factor in maintenance costs such as accommodation, necessities such as food and medical supplies. You can see why your outgoings may start to add up quicker than you think! It is estimated that international students can expect to pay anything from £10,000 – £30,000 per year.

No need to worry, you could potentially be entitled to a helping-hand in the form of a Scholarship. The funding available to you depends on where you’re from and the date you start your course. Students from outside the EU have rarely been eligible for Student Finance in the UK. So, if this is you, you’ll have to fund your degree yourself. And don’t forget, as part of your visa application, you’ll need to provide evidence that you can cover these costs.

Organise your Student Visa

If you’re from a country outside the EU, then you will need a visa to study in the UK. If you are planning to be studying in the UK for no more than six months, then you’ll only need a Standard Visitor visa. I’s important to recognise that you can’t work in the UK if you have this visa unless you are on a placement as part of a dentistry or veterinary course. So, If you want to work during your stay, you’ll need to apply for a Student visa.

It’s sensible to apply for your visa in plenty of time before your course. We recommend between 3-6 months before your course start date. This is to avoid any delays that may occur during this process as visa processing times tend to vary for each country.

Make sure you have health insurance

If you’re an international student coming from a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you’ll have to pay the health surcharge as part of your visa application. This will give you access to the NHS during your stay here.

It’s also important to see if you can get any additional health insurance if you haven’t already. It may cover you whilst living in the UK. This can save you a huge amount of money in unexpected medical costs! It’s always better to be fully prepared for these situations.

Work out the cheapest way to make international calls

Whether you are new to living abroad or not, moving to a foreign environment can make even the toughest of us feel a little homesick. It’s important to factor in the best way to contact your friends and loved ones whilst you’re in the UK. Having a strong support network is essential for good mental wellbeing. So, check that your phone is compatible with UK networks.

If your phone isn’t compatible with UK networks, we recommend either selling it for cash or buying a new one. If you’re on a budget, then you should investigate buying a refurbished phone. However, do not keep your current SIM card in your phone while studying in the UK. You’ll pay extortionate rates for calling abroad, as well as local numbers. So do your research. You don’t want to have any nasty surprises!

Prepare for British Life

And lastly, prepare yourself for British life. Relocating somewhere new can trigger a culture shock for anyone. However, rest-assured, the UK is culturally diverse and welcoming of people from all around the world. All Universities have plenty of international students, and most have societies to help you meet like-minded people and those from similar backgrounds. We recommend searching for Facebook groups related to your uni. They often have groups specifically for international students in the UK, so you can discuss any questions you have with like-minded people sharing your situation.

If you’re accustomed to warmer climates, then be prepared for Britain’s cold and wet weather! We suggest you pack plenty of warm clothes for the winter months. Don’t worry though, the summer months will be sure to bring you a much sunnier and warm environment!

If you are still searching for accommodation, then please check out our range of suites here.

For further information about living in Derby, including the City Masterplan, restaurant, bar and shopping recommendations, and so much more, please visit our location page here.

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