It is important you arrange your finances before you arrive at university as it is vital that you have sufficient funding in place before commencing a course of study. Your finances will need to cover your tuition fees, accommodation, books, stationery, food and general living costs.
Please note that you should not transfer money for your personal living costs to the university account with your tuition fees, as you will not be able to withdraw this money from the UK.
You should not travel to the UK or begin a course without making sure that you have enough money to cover all your academic fees and living expenses. It is very difficult to make arrangements for financial support after you have left your own country. You should not rely on a part-time job in the UK to pay for your tuition fees.
Living in the UK can be more costly than living in your country. Therefore it is essential that you work out a budget when planning to come and study in the UK. UKCISA and UNIAID have teamed up to create an online tool to help international students plan and budget their finance to study in the UK. Why not have a go at using the International student calculator? However, remember it is very difficult to estimate an individual's living costs as we all have different lifestyle requirements and spending habits.
Students coming to the UK for a course of six months or more are entitled to receive full healthcare provided by the National Health Service (NHS) on the same basis as other UK residents, from the day of their arrival in the UK. You should be aware that charges are made under the NHS for medicines, eye care and dental treatment.
Personal possessions insurance
You are strongly advised to insure your personal belongings against theft, loss and damage. Many companies specialise in low-cost insurance for students. Endsleigh Insurance Company, recommended by the National Union of Students (NUS), has a policy designed for international students studying in the UK. We strongly advise you to shop around for the most competitive quote. You will be able to obtain further information from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
Council tax is a property-based tax set by local authorities (councils) in England, Scotland and Wales to help pay for services that they provide, such as libraries, the police and the fire brigade. If you live in university halls or a house occupied solely by full-time students, you will be exempt from paying council tax whilst you are enrolled.
Find out more information on council tax exemption.
If you are living in a student residence or alone and you own a TV or other device to receive and record TV programmes, you are required by law to hold a valid TV licence.
If you live in a shared house, a separate tenancy agreement (contract) would normally mean your room is classified as a separately occupied place. If you have a television in your room, you will need your own TV licence.
If your house is classed as one place shared by all tenants, you will only need one TV licence for the property.
A charge for the TV licence is £145.50 for a colour licence. You will need to renew your licence every year. It is a criminal offence to watch TV without a licence and could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Further information on TV licences.
An app to help you manage your money
Managing a tight budget is a big challenge for many international students, especially in the first few weeks working with a new currency. The XE Currency App has live rates for every currency and provides quick and easy conversions.
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