If you are thinking about moving to the UK to study it’s important to do your research and find out how much it will cost you. As an international student you will incur some additional costs so make sure you do as much research as possible on what exactly the costs of being a student in the UK are and prepare a month-by-month budget.
Calculating your budget
A number of apps and online tools are available, including the International Student Calculator, to help you forecast how much your regular expenses will amount to. And don’t forget the university that you will be attending will know the local rate for things like rent and transportation, so get in touch with the international office or look on their website.
Most universities also host webinars or social media chats which are a good way to ask specific questions.
According to the National Union of Students the average cost of living, excluding university fees, in England is £12,056 per year and if you are intending to study in London it is higher, at £15,180.
When creating a budget make sure you include the following items:
- Course fees
- NHS surcharge, medication and fees for the dentist and optician
- Books and other course materials
- Mobile phone/Internet
- Bank fees
- Transportation local, trips, going home
There are plenty of student discounts and deals around which you can access by signing up for an NUS card or an International Student’s Identity Card.
There are also a host of websites that have discount codes for students such as Student Beans and UNIDAYS. And if you like travelling you should definitely get a Student Railcard – which will get you a 1/3 off train fares anywhere in the UK.
If you need to buy a lot of pricey books or equipment, the first place you should check is with your university because third year students want to sell their books. You might also be able to get your reading list as e-books which could save you some cash too.
Working part-time as an international student
You may want to work part-time for a bit of extra cash, just be aware if you have a tier 4 visa and are studying at degree level then you can work up to 20 hours a week but students from countries in the European Union are not subject to any restrictions.
In order to work part time, you will need to apply for a National Insurance card. And the current minimum wage for people 25 and over is £7.20. For 21-24 year olds it is £6.95 and it is £5.55 for 18 to 20 year olds.