If you’re ready to take the next step in your academic adventure and are coming to study in the UK, you may want to check out this useful advice before you make the transition from home…
Remember why you chose the UK
Before the sinking feeling of self-doubt sets in, first take a minute to reflect. What was it that drew you to the UK study experience?
Perhaps it was the cutting-edge city landscapes of London, filled with architectural delights such as the Leadenhall building and the glorious Gherkin. Or maybe the Welsh countryside treasures like the Caernarfon Castle and the sights of Snowdonia reeled you in.
Whatever the reasons may be, there were, we know, many great factors that influenced you to study in the UK. So, if you ever worry about your choices, you should always remember why you championed the UK in the first place.
And while the thought of flying over to a foreign country and immersing yourself in another culture can be scary, you should never let fear hold you back. Take that leap of faith and reap the rewards it brings you!
Ensure that you have all your essentials
Ensuring you have all the essentials you need to start your time in the UK is a crucial step in getting ready to embark on your new adventure. Typically, your university will have all these steps covered and send you all the information you need, but double-checking is always helpful.
Once you have received an unconditional offer from a university, you can start to organise some essentials before you arrive, such as choosing accommodation in the UK, preparing your finances, and if you’re an international student, applying for a Tier 4 Student visa.
For international students from outside the EU, a Tier 4 Student Visa is the most important step toward getting yourself ready to study in the UK. You will usually receive a list of documents you need to prepare either from your university or educational agency. You can also check what these are online through www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa.
The most important documents will be a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement given to you by your university and documents evidencing you are able to support yourself financially and pay your tuition fees. You will also be required to pay a health surcharge in addition to your visa fees in order to use the National Health Service (NHS) while studying in the UK.
Set up your student bank account
One of the most important things you’ll have to do when you study in the UK is set up a UK bank account.
A common issue that international students face is that it can take weeks, or even months, to set up a bank account.
Instead of being one of the many that face this issue, you may want to consider applying for a UniZest account BEFORE you arrive in the UK. The application process takes just 10 minutes and you don’t need to have a UK address confirmed. All you need is the unconditional offer from your university and an identity document.
This makes the process of setting up an account a lot easier. You can start using your account while in your home country and then receive a Contactless debit card at your UK accommodation address when you arrive. What’s even better is that with their integrated and customised foreign exchange (FX) service, you and your parents can transfer money into the Aspire Account, which means less stress about paying your fees, accommodation instalments and any other expenses.
The account has exclusive features for international students such as cashback rewards and is the best way to financially prepare for your studies.
You can learn more about how UniZest works from their online user guide.
Prepare yourself for UK’s unpredictable weather
The UK is known for its unpredictable weather, from rare days of sunshine to frequent outbursts of rain, sleet and snow.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to prepare yourself for the ever-changing weather that may be drastically different from your home country! While it depends on the location of your chosen university, remember to pack your waterproof jacket, warm scarves, coats and gloves. Usually, the further north you go, the colder it tends to get. But remember not to worry if you don’t already have these things ready to go; the UK has great high street retailers that will give you more than what you need at great prices (some even do amazing student discounts!).
Bring keepsakes to personalise your space
After the first couple of months or even weeks of being in the UK, you’ll settle into your new surroundings and begin to familiarise yourself with the local way of life.
But there may come a time when you miss home. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed or homesick during the early stages of your university experience. In fact, it’s all part of the journey of becoming independent and living away from home.
A great way to feel more at home when you’re studying abroad is taking a few memorable items like photographs of beloved friends and family or tokens of your childhood. Keepsakes have the power to provide you with comfort.
Take a moment to relax and enjoy your journey
After reading all this information, your adventure to study in the UK may seem stressful. That’s when you need to remember that it’s an exciting time of your life that you will enjoy and always remember.
Some of you will enjoy it right from the beginning and some of you might be nervous. It is a big change for most students and sometimes change is difficult. But always take a step back and remember you are going to attend your dream university, learn a lot, and create new memories. It will be an exciting and enjoyable adventure.
Studying at a UK university is a great accomplishment and moving to a different country is an incredible act of courage. So lastly, congratulations to you for your hard work and good luck with this new phase of your life!
Are you an international student coming to study in the UK? Apply now for your Aspire Account!