International Student Guide: What You Need to Know About Studying in the UK
Britain has a reputation as one of the best places in the world to study, with prestigious universities, excellent facilities and a welcoming multicultural feel. Choosing to study in the UK is one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll make, and our guide can help international students get the most out of their time here.
We understand that travelling to the UK can be daunting for international students, which is why we’ve put together a complete guide on everything you need to know about being a student here. From visa applications and healthcare to overcoming homesickness, we have all the information you need to settle in and enjoy British life as an international student.
Use the links below to look around and find the information you need.
- Before You Arrive
- What to Expect on Arrival
- Organising Your University Life
- Staying Safe and Healthy
- Settling In and Meeting People
- Shopping as a Student
- Working While Studying
- British Culture
- Studying in Ireland
Before You Arrive
There are many things to consider before travelling to the UK to begin your studies. First, you’ll need to apply for a student visa, which takes time, and then arrange things like your accommodation and finances. In this guide, we cover visa requirements for both non-EU and EU students, before providing helpful information and resources on accommodation and tuition fees.
What to Expect on Arrival
Arriving in the UK can be an anxious time for international students, particularly as you make your way through customs and have your visa checked by immigration officials. In this guide, we seek to ease your worries about arriving in the UK, explaining what will happen at the airport and how to arrange onward travel – for a smooth and stress-free university transition.
Organising Your University Life
Once the scary bit of getting here is out the way, you can begin to settle in and enjoy your new life as a university student. Here, we list the things you’ll need to organise in your first couple of weeks, including registering on your course, opening a bank account and getting sorted with a new phone that works in the UK.
Staying Safe and Healthy
With all the excitement of living independently away from home in a foreign country, it can be easy to forget about simple things like healthcare and personal safety. However, it’s vital that you arrange healthcare once you arrive in the UK, and take steps to manage your own health and safety. This guide covers everything from registering with a doctor to organising insurance – and we’d recommend that parents read the information, too.
Settling In and Meeting People
Adjusting to life in a new place can be challenging, and the shock of living away from family, often for the first time, can quickly lead to symptoms of homesickness. Here, we provide helpful guidance to combat homesickness and culture shock, as well as practical tips on how to make friends and meet new people as an international student in the UK.
Shopping as a Student
Managing your money is vital as a student, and, depending on your budget, may require some thriftiness. Thankfully, there are lots of special deals and discounts you can take advantage of as a student, so you can enjoy a little guilt-free spending. This guide covers everything you need to know about shopping as a student, from how to get the best deals to the cheapest places to do your grocery shopping.
Working While Studying
Working part-time during your studies is a great way to supplement your student budget while learning valuable life skills. However, there are restrictions and rules on working in the UK as a student that you need to know. Here, we offer advice on working hours and pay, and list helpful resources where you can look for work.
Life in the UK may seem very different to what you’re used to back home, and there many unique customs and traditions that you should be aware of before you get here. Our guide to British culture can help you get to grips with some of the quirks of living in the UK, and help you settle more quickly into life in your new home.
Studying in Ireland
There are some slightly different laws in Ireland, as well as minor cultural differences. So, if you are planning to study in Dublin, this page will provide the additional information you’ll need during your time in Ireland.