Study in UK: A survival guide for Indians

Indian students prefer to study in UK primarily because of its rich academic heritage, research and innovation-driven economy, centuries-old prestigious institutes, multicultural society, and new stay-back options.

There is a lot for international students to think about when studying in the United Kingdom, from visas and tuition fees to health insurance and bank accounts.

While it can be an enriching experience for Indian students because they will be studying and living in a foreign country with many challenges to overcome and exciting avenues to explore, such as finding appropriate housing, finding work, and saving money.

Student Visa

If you intend to study in UK, you must first obtain a visa. You can only apply for a UK student visa three months before the start of your course. It is best to apply as soon as possible because responses can take up to a few weeks.

You should apply for a short-term student visa if your course lasts less than six months or up to eleven months. This visa, however, does not allow you to work, even part-time.

If your course offers placement, you should apply for a Tier 4 visa. If your education is less than six months long, but you need to work, you can apply for a Tier 4 (general) student visa.

For a Tier 4 UK student visa application, you will need the following documents:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) is a 14-digit reference number that you receive from your university once they accept your offer.
  • Proof of finances – You must clearly show that you can pay your first year’s tuition fees or your entire course if the duration is less than a year. Also, you have to prove that you have £1,015 (£1,265 for studying in London) per month for living expenses.
  • English language skills – You will have to provide the minimum level of proficiency in the English language by taking IELTS.

As part of your UK student visa application, you will pay a healthcare surcharge. It costs £235 for six months and £470 for a year and entitles you to NHS services (National Health Service). The NHS is England’s publicly funded national healthcare system. Here are the visa processing times for each country.

UK Scholarship

The majority of scholarships for Indian students studying in the UK cover tuition, a flight from India to the UK, a living allowance, and other expenses. Scholarships for multiple courses are available at both private and public universities. Well-known UK scholarships include the Chevening Scholarship, the Commonwealth Scholarship, and the Royal Society Grants.

You can inquire with your respective universities about the funds given for your studies. You can also find some external charities that will provide you with financial assistance in the form of a scholarship to study abroad.

You can also visit the Scholarship portal website to see what scholarships are available in the country where you want to study to help you finance your studies abroad.

Remember that for your visa application to be approved, you must provide proof that you can cover this cost along with your living expenses.

Here is the guide to tuition fees for international students has more information on how much UK tuition fees cost for international students and the eligibility criteria for UK Student Finance.

Student Accommodation

As a young international student leaving home for the first time, you feel ready to take the plunge and live independently.

Before you arrive in the UK, you must arrange for accommodation. Your first point of contact should be your university, as they will usually guarantee housing to all students who apply before a set date.

Many international students studying in the UK either live in university accommodation known as ‘halls’ or rent a room from a private landlord.

Living in halls is thought to be the best option for the first year of study because it alleviates the burden of finding a suitable room elsewhere. Some UK universities also have halls dedicated to international students, making it easier to make friends.

Halls are either self-catered (you have access to a shared kitchen to prepare your meals) or catered (your meals provided). If you want to save money, self-catering is by far the most affordable option.

The vast majority of rooms in halls are single occupancy, meaning you won’t have a roommate and instead will have a space for yourself.

If you don’t want to live in halls and prefer to live in private housing, it will be available in June after the academic year and exams have ended. During the summer, students return home and thus vacate their current accommodations.

If you already have some friends studying in the UK, it will make your job easier because you can look for a house together. If you’re on your own and want to live in a house, many other students are looking for roommates.

SpareRoom, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, and even Facebook groups are good to look for accommodation in the UK.

You can register at HostelsWorld to stay in many countries at a lower cost. Also, register for an international student identity card at ISIC. It will help you get discounts on lodging in a variety of locations.

Bank Account

If you intend to stay and study in the UK for more than a few months, you should open a bank account. Opening a bank account will help you keep your money safe, avoid foreign currency charges, and pay your bills.

Setting up a bank account in the UK for Indian students can be a time-consuming process. It is because banks need a lot of information to verify your identity and credit rating.

You can also see if your current bank has any ties to UK banks, making the process go more smoothly.

To open a bank account while studying in the United Kingdom, you will need the following documents:

  1. A valid visa,
  2. A passport in good standing,
  3. Proof of residence in the country where you were born,
  4. A utility bill or a tenancy agreement should suffice as proof of residence in the United Kingdom. If you live in a residence hall, student housing services will provide you with proof of address
  5. A letter of acceptance from the university should suffice as proof of student status
  6. Income documentation –This may include a credit check and an interview to determine your ability to maintain the bank account.

Opening a bank account takes time, it’s best to have enough cash on hand to cover the first month’s expenses. Because carrying money is risky, we recommend using prepaid cards.

Public transport

 It can be challenging to become acquainted with the UK public transportation system.

Local travel: Local transportation, such as buses, trams, and trains, is the most convenient mode of transportation. You obtain bus and train passes, which will significantly reduce your costs. You can also hire a taxi, but it will be relatively expensive. Local bus services are available in most UK cities. It is frequently the most convenient mode of transportation in a city. Figure out how far you’ll live from campus and whether a student bus pass is worth the money.

Subways, such as the metro in Newcastle or the Tube in London, are available in large cities. In this case, you can save even more money by purchasing a yearly pass.

Commuting by bike is a great way to save money and help the environment if you’re confident enough.

National travel: If you’re visiting the United Kingdom, you’ll want to see a few different cities. You have two primary options: coach or train.

Trains are the quickest and most comfortable mode of transportation in the United Kingdom. Coaches are a less expensive alternative to trains, but they take twice as long.

Traveling by plane is another option if you want to travel a longer distance, perhaps from London to Edinburgh. However, flying can be expensive.

Megabus is another option for saving money, with journeys between major cities starting at £1. The Britrail pass is an excellent way for Indian students studying in the UK to save money on transportation.

Hours of work and the minimum wage

You can supplement your income while studying in the UK by working up to 20 hours per week. During the holidays, as well as before and after your course begins, you can work full-time.

However, being dependent on a part-time job to cover all of your expenses won’t be enough. In the United Kingdom, the minimum wage is £7.83 per hour.

A few blue-collar jobs will allow you to work part-time to support your income for expenses or entertainment.

Some universities also host career fairs with various industries, which are a great way to meet people and network.

How will WSFx help you?

WSFx has been the go-to guide for international students who travel abroad for over 30 years today. Customizing a student’s foreign exchange needs from assuring safe transfers of university fees to helping parents transfer money abroad online to their children and providing the country with the smartest prepaid foreign exchange card, WSFx has cracked the code to manage your overseas living expenses.

WSFx is here to assist you in obtaining the best multi-currency forex card for students, the best rates, and safe outward remittance from India in a jiffy. Additionally, you can get yourself a free ISIC Card when you transact with WSFx! The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is specially designed by WSFx for students studying internationally. It’s an Annual Membership card which allows you to save maximum money and avail of amazing discounts on Food, Travel, Accommodation, Entertainment. All you have to do is transact with WSFx to get this complimentary card.

Additionally, get your Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) account made at no cost with WSFx and transfer funds to your account from India to Canada in jiffy.

With trusting WSFx as your secured forex partner, you can leave all your foreign exchange woes to Dr. Forex and trust him to give you the best plan to manage your study abroad financial goals with ease.

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