Studying and Living for International Students in the UK
The UK possesses a long history of welcoming international students from around the world. Every year, many thousand students from different nations come to the UK to study. Most UK schools, colleges and universities hold a welcome event for international students, wherein the staff members, students all get together. This is a great way to get to know other people.
Also, many UK schools, colleges and universities have an international society to assist international students settle in and make friends. International societies tend to offer social activities such as parties, and meet-ups, trips to visit local tourist attractions and other necessary support.
There are many accommodation options available for international students in the United Kingdom.
Halls of Residence
Halls of residence refers to accommodation owned by school, college or university. A hall of residence usually has a member of staff living on the premises to check the hall runs smoothly and to give you advice or support. Most halls welcome both female and male students, with separate halls for both the students. Facilities like kitchen, bathroom, food etc are available. The cost for Halls of Residence start from about £50.0 per week, moving up to around
£80.0 per week for few larger universities.
Boarding schools are suitable for students up to the age of 18. Boarding school has a bedroom or a bed in a shared room or dormitory. Meals and laundry are made available to students.
Private Accommodation refers to renting a place on your own, or in a shared house. It helps to reduce your costs. The costs range from £35.0 per week week upwards depending on the standard of accommodation.
Homestay is where you live with a UK family in their own home. It serves as a great opportunity to experience UK culture first-hand.
The living expenses vary depending upon your lifestyle and needs.The ballpark figure is:
- Food: £25.0 to £30.0 per week
- Telephone (Landline): BT has a base rate of £10.0 per month for line rental. Therefore, calls would be charged £2.50 per week.
- Internet: Most companies charge a base of £5.0 per week for standard DSL in the UK.
- Bills: Costs can be £10.0 per week for all bills (Electricity, water etc.) depending on the time of year.
University fees for international students vary depending on the course, location etc. You can expect to pay between £6,000 and £9,000 per year for courses. If your course is specialized, such as a clinical program for doctors, this can be as much as £18,000 per year.
Fees range up to £10,000 for a course. If you are taking an MBA program, the cost could be in the region of £10,000 to £16,000 or more per year.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses
English as a second language course will generally cost £100 to £200 per week - but this can rise up to £1,000 per week if meals, accommodations and other things are included.
Working While you Study
Working alongside your studies is a fantastic way to gain skills for your future career. Many international students in the UK take a part-time job while others go for a work placement or internship as part of their curriculum. International students in the UK can work up to 20 hours a week and 40 hours ducting vacations.
Volunteering: Volunteering is a great way to acquire new skills and boost your CV too. There are many kinds of volunteer activities that can be performed like coordinating a charity event, helping old people, working in a museum etc.
Health and Safety
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provides medical care, dental care and other health services. Most NHS services are free of charge. The following NHS treatment is free to everyone, including all international students: some emergency treatment, family planning services, diagnosis and treatment of certain communicable diseases and compulsory psychiatric treatment.
The United Kingdom is generally a safe place to live and study. But whenever you go to a new land, it is important that you look after yourself. In an emergency, dial 999 to reach the police, fire brigade or ambulance.
It is very easy to travel around by public transport in UK.
- Trains: You can get discounts on train fares if advance reservations are made. You can made advance bookings online at National Rail or Translink . If you’re between 16-25, you’re eligible for a ’16-25 Railcard’, which costs £30.0 and saves 1/3 on rail fares throughout the UK. You can get 16-25 Railcard online at RAILCARD
- Buses: Buses are the most popular form of transport if you want to travel locally and throughout the country. You can buy a ticket from the driver when you board. To travel throughout the UK, the National Express bus service runs to all regions of the UK. To know more about their service, please visit National Express
- Coaches: Coaches cover longer distances and you may need to book in advance. If you’re between 16-26 years and a full-time student, you can buy a Coachcard from National Express and save up to 30%. For Scotland, Citylink is the main coach service provider. Register with My Citylink to save 20% on online bookings. For Northern Ireland, Register at Translink .
- Cars and Taxis: Taxis are convenient but can be expensive. Use a taxi licensed by a local authority.
- Driving a car: You need a valid driving licence and insurance. The car must be registered and taxed. If your car is over three years old, you must get it tested every year with an MOT (Ministry of Transport) test to check it is still safe and road-worthy. The ‘Highway Code’ sets out the rules for driving in the UK. If you hold an international driving permit you should review this code before driving in the UK.
Many other facilities like Internet, Phones, etc. are being provided to the students.
Most UK schools, colleges and universities provide free internet and computer access for a particular academic year or term. Wireless internet access is available in many coffee shops, public places and trains.
The UK country code is 44 for people dialling the UK from abroad. Public telephones are generally located near to public transport stations, post offices or on high streets. The schools, colleges or university too have telephone on campus. Mobile phone deals and International Telephone Discount Cards are widely available.
Student NUS Card
When you enroll as a student in the UK you will get an NUS card which is a student ID card from the National Union of Students. With this card you will be capable to obtain discounts at many national stores.