Moving out of your home and into university is a huge step and if you are moving to an entirely different country, you can’t even imagine the kind of experiences that await you! If you are an international student, counting down your days before it is time to fly to the UK for your further studies, don’t worry! You are not alone. There are thousands upon thousands who are on this journey with you and you will inevitably cross paths with a few of them, forming friendships that might never have been possible otherwise! Well, before you make the actual journey, we want to share a few things from personal experience that might help make the whole process much smoother for you! Here are a few tips for which you can thank us later!
Time is your Best Friend!
Everything in the UK is super-organised, from the public transport, offices and to the people. This means that making plans in advance is infinitely less risky than anywhere else in the world. Therefore, we suggest that you do everything that you possibly can, remotely, even before you arrive at the destination. For example, you can save a lot of money and last-minute anxiety by booking your student accommodation in UK online. It also means that if you book your flight and even the ticket from the airport to your accommodation ahead of time, you can end up saving a considerable sum! The best part, you can do everything online, including getting a virtual tour of the accommodations!
Do Not Overpack!
The last thing that you want to do is carry a large bag of clothes, utensils, food, etc. all the way from your country only to find that you haven’t exactly touched or used a majority of the things. As far as fashion is concerned, the UK has a distinct way of dressing and trust us when we tell you that you will not want to wear anything other than what the locals are wearing. The clothes are affordable, stylish and everywhere! The only trick is to know where to look. Personal tip: try Primark, for literally everything!
Don’t Buy Your Books Beforehand!
Several international students walk in with crisp copies of books on their first day of class much to the amusement of everyone else. The cause behind this amusement is that no one buys new books, not at least if they can help it. Join a Facebook page of your uni or college and you will find the previous first-year students selling entire bundles of your course books for the price you can actually end up paying for one new book. Once here, you can also look for second-hand books in the many bookstores that you will find around campuses. Additionally, there are several online portals that sell second-hand course books for a fraction of the price.
Laptops Can Be Cheaper Here!
In the UK, you will find even the topmost brands like Apple offering considerable discounts to students, as long as you are able to show a student ID. All we are saying is to simply research and compare and if it is cheaper to buy a laptop or a gadget here, then there is no point lugging it all the way over from another country. You can easily free up the space to put something else or actually travel lighter.
Always Double Check Your Paperwork!
It is advisable to keep all the paper handy before you travel. This can mean having signed copies of your transcripts, travel documents packed and ready, any contracts that you might have signed with your accommodation partner and all the health insurance paperwork. We suggest that you invest in an organised folder which can hold all your documents with ease. Do make sure to carry passport size photographs as you might need those for your University ID, library card, travel pass, etc.
Do Carry a First-Aid Kit!
Although you will find a pharmacy at almost every corner and in every shop. It is advisable that you carry the basic medicines for allergies, flu and cough with you. If there are any prescription medicines that you might need, do make sure to get a valid prescription document from your doctor. First-aid kits can also come in handy in case you scrape or scratch yourself and do not actually need to go visit a doctor.
Educate yourself Financially!
Even before you travel, do make sure that you have at least a vague idea of what it might cost you to stay in the UK per month. When calculating, you can do your research to find out how much your monthly rent would end up being, how much you are expected to spend on food every month, how much would your books cost, what will be your travel expense to the university. When calculating income, simply multiply the number of hours you expect to work in a week and multiply it by the basic pay offered in the area. Anything you earn over it can simply be the surplus.
Now that you are taking your first steps into adult life, we want you to know that it is going to be packed with learning curves and fun moments that might end up shaping who you are. Brace yourself for a roller coaster ride and we hope you have the best experience possible!