What should you research before moving to the UK?
Studying in the UK can be a big move. Here we have a list of things you need to research before moving to the UK.
In this article:
- The city and university
- Visa and immigration laws
- Currency exchange rates
- Healthcare system
- Public transport
- International mobile phone charges and the internet
The city and the university
You will have researched many cities and universities while starting your study abroad journey. Now that you know the specific city and university you are going to, you can look at the finer details. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Search the web to learn about the locality and culture of the city. A simple google search will show many articles and videos you can refer to.
- Go through your university’s website and find out more about student life, societies, and student clubs it offers.
- Talk to friends who currently live or have lived in the city you are moving to.
- Chat online with students from your university. Many universities have chat rooms for future students to talk to current students. You can also look for your university’s group on social media platforms.
- Take virtual tours of the city and the university; there are plenty on YouTube.
Visa and immigration laws
Immigration laws are strict, and a violation of those laws can cost you your visa. It is important to go through UK immigration restrictions before moving. Some of the important ones are:
- You cannot work for more than the permitted duration.
- You cannot work in roles that are not permitted as per your student visa.
- You cannot get involved in criminal activities (this one's obvious).
- People from certain nationalities need to register with the UK police. This will be mentioned in your visa. If you register with the police while entering the country, you need to notify them of any changes if ever in personal details like the residential address within seven days.
For more on this read, Immigration Rules.
Currency exchange rates
As an international student, you will be sending and receiving money from your home country during the course of your education. It is essential to know the currency exchange rates to manage your finances. Getting used to the value of the pound in comparison to your home currency can also help you budget your everyday expenses well.
You will be eligible to benefit from the NHS, the UK's healthcare system. It’s helpful to know these following processes:
- Finding a doctor.
- Registering with a GP.
- NHS benefits for regular medical check-ups.
- NHS benefits while handling medical emergencies.
To know more about the UK's healthcare system read, International student's guide to the UK's healthcare system.
Be it for sightseeing new places or travelling to your classes or part-time jobs you will use public transport. You need to explore the different modes of transport available in the city of your choice and their charges. Also, note that the UK offers many travel subsidies for students, with the main ones being:
- Train – A 16-25 railcard will help you save one third on fares throughout the UK for £30 a year.
- Underground – If you are going to study in London, Newcastle, Glasgow or Liverpool you can use underground trains for subsidised rates using student cards.
- Buses – Student bus passes are available for bus services in most towns and cities in the UK.
International mobile phone charges and internet
International phone charges can be high. You need to check the plans offered by your provider beforehand. Many international students get a local sim card and mobile phone in the UK after landing. This way you can use the phone you bought in the UK for calls inside the UK and use Wi-Fi and make internet calls to talk to people back at home.