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6 tips for International Bachelor's Students moving to the UK

Ready to study for your Bachelor's degree in the UK? Here are our top need-to-knows before arrival to make your life and studies easier.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Study Abroad

Plan your Funding and Research Scholarships

Make sure you have the money to fund your Bachelor's degree. Funding options vary according to where you're from and the start of your program.

EU students, students from the EEA, and Swiss students

UK, EU, and EEA students are grouped with all other overseas students.

  • Unless individual universities set their fees for EU students, EU/EEA students pay the same fees as students from outside Europe.

Students from outside Europe coming to the UK.

  1. In most cases, students from outside the EU have never been eligible for Student Finance in the UK.
  2. In this scenario, you'll have to fund your degree. You'll pay higher fees than UK students, ranging from £10,000 to £35,000 a year.
  3. As part of your visa application, you must provide evidence that you can cover this cost and your living expenses.
  4. Other options are available if you need more money to pay for yourself. Our guide to scholarships for Bachelor's Students in the UK covers loads of funds you might be eligible for.

Organize your Student Visa

International students coming to the UK to study for a Bachelor's degree might need to apply for a visa.

EU students, students from the EEA, and Swiss students

  • Citizens from countries in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who do not have EU-settled status (or pre-settled status) require a student visa to study in the UK.

Students from outside Europe coming to the UK

  • You need a Student Visa to study in the UK if you're from a country outside the EU/EEA (excluding Switzerland).

Student visas

You'll need the following documents for your student visa application:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – This is a 14-digit reference number you'll receive from your university once you accept your offer.
  • English language skills – You'll need to prove that you have the minimum proficiency level, usually by taking a Secure English Language Test (SELT).
  • Proof of finances – You'll need to prove you have enough money to pay for your first year of tuition.
  • You need to show you have £1,023 (£1,334 for those studying in London) per month for up to nine months to cover your living expenses through one of the following means:
  • self-funding,
  • an official sponsorship
  • an education loan.

The Student visa costs £363 if you're applying from outside the UK or £490 if you're in the UK and want to extend or switch to this Visa.

You may have to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your visa application, costing £235 for six months or £470 for the whole year - allowing you access to the NHS.

International students applying for a student visa from outside the UK can apply up to six months before their Bachelor's degree starts. Students applying from inside the UK have three months to apply for their student visa, and you must apply before your current Visa expires.

Organize your Student Accommodation

Organize your accommodation before arriving in the UK. Universities can typically house all students who apply before a specific date. Most students will live in university accommodation, which helps make friends as you will be surrounded by local and international students. Rooms in student halls are single occupancy affording you privacy and quiet time.

Student accommodation in the UK can be either self-catered, allowing access to a shared kitchen to cook your meals, or catered, where a cafeteria provides your meals.

TIP you'll save money if you opt for self-catered student accommodation

Alternatively, you can avoid university student accommodation and rent a room from a private landlord close to your campus.

Inspired to study for a Bachelor's Degree in the UK?

We have hundreds of Bachelor's Degrees in our Database.

Find your Perfect Bachelor's Degree

Set up a Student Bank Account

A UK bank account will make it easier for you to pay bills and keep your money safe, potentially avoiding foreign currency charges you'd pay if you have a non-UK bank account for payments.

Opening a bank account in the UK can be a long process as banks must verify your identity and credit rating. Make the process smoother by checking if your current bank has links to UK banks.

Make sure you know the hours you're allowed to work

With a student visa, you can work up to 20 hours per week while studying for your Bachelor's degree. You can work full-time during the holidays and before and after your program start date.

EU-settled status students can work as many hours as they wish and work for as long as they want after graduation.

Research Public Transport

Public transport in a new country can be daunting, so it's helpful to research your options before arrival.

Local travel close to your university

  1. All UK cities have a local bus service, which is often the best way of getting around. Buying a student bus pass for traveling between your student accommodation and campus might be cheaper.
  2. Other options include the Tube in London or the Tram in Manchester. Students can buy cheaper tickets or invest in an annual student pass. and might have a subway system.

National travel in the UK

Exploring the UK by visiting new cities and attractions is reasonably straightforward. Your two main options are coach or train.

Trains are the fastest way to travel around the UK. Students can purchase a 16-25 railcard or a 26-30 travel railcard to save a third on all rail fares. This is a wise investment rail travel in the UK can be expensive if tickets are not booked in advance.

You can travel to nearly every corner of the UK via coach, it's much cheaper, yet the journey time might be longer. Megabus and National Express offer a long list of routes.

Studying and moving to the UK as a Bachelor's student is exciting but also scary; we hope our tips help prepare you for your move.