London is one of the most-visited cities in the world. People from different countries visit the city to experience its diverse culture, people and history. London does not only receive millions of tourists; students also move to the city to experience education from its colleges and universities.
Being a foreign student opens doors to new experiences but also presents new challenges. From arriving in the country to finding accommodation and buying your course books, here are a few tips if you’re a foreign student planning to study in London.
Apply for Your Visa
If you’re a student coming from other countries in the European Union, applying for a visa, at the moment, is not required. On the other hand, if you’re a student coming from outside the EU, the successful application for a student visa is your priority. Students who are offered a course in a university can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa three months before university starts.
Save on Accommodation
When choosing accommodation, where you live will depend on the location of your university, lifestyle and, most importantly in London, your budget.
Universities usually have a guide with information about different housing options. Many universities provide catered halls where amenities such as dining facilities and laundry services are included in the fees. A number of affordable student apartments are also available for rent around London.
Purchase Affordable Books and Textbooks
Aside from tuition and miscellaneous fees, the expense of course books can add up. One way to save on costs is borrowing from the library. The library, however, will not be able to supply all books. Another option is to shop for second-hand books at stores near or in the university, online or from recent alumni.
Ask for Discounts
Be on the look-out for student discounts. Many places offer student discounts when you show your National Union of Student card; as well as cutting the cost of public transport, many stores and restaurants offer reductions for students, so get into the habit of asking for student rates.
Moving to a new country can be daunting for foreign students finding their way in a new culture. With enough preparation and proper budgeting, the financial challenges of settling down will be less stressful and your first year of university will be a fun experience.