December 7, 2022

7 Useful Tips for International Students to easily settle in the UK

For international students, settling in the UK after finishing their higher education can be overwhelming and challenging, too. Some students wish to work while they study in the UK. The country, with its world-class education system with top-notch facilities, has attracted many international students to study in the UK. 

If you are among those who desire to settle in the UK, you are surely in the right place. We understand how important it is to get the right guidance before stumbling upon making a life-changing decision. Therefore, we have brought you a few detailed, useful tips to settle down in the UK.

1. Plan and research your budget and the scholarships available

You will likely choose a course program based on your area of interest. You can also look up these 10 high-paying career-specific jobs to help make up your mind. Once this is done, international students should ensure they have the financial backing to fund the degree. The studies’ funding depends on the student’s country of origin and the date they begin their educational program. Prior to Brexit, students from Europe were able to access Student Finance akin to the UK students.

EEA, EU and Swiss students

From the academic year 2022 onwards, EU and EEA students are grouped with all other overseas students. This implies unless individual universities set their own fees for EU students, new (not continuing) EU/EEA students at a university in the UK who joined on 1st August 2021 or later must pay the same fees as students joining from outside Europe.

It is slightly different for EU/EEA students who enrolled at a UK university before the academic year 2021/22. This is because they are still eligible for Student Finance in the UK; therefore, their tuition fees can be covered by a loan.

Students from outside Europe studying in the UK

Apart from exceptional cases, students from outside the EU are not eligible to apply for Student Finance in the UK.

If you are someone coming from outside the UK, you will have to fund your degree yourself. You’ll also have to pay higher fees than what UK students pay. The fees could range from £10,000 – £35,000 a year.

If the students do not have enough money to pay for their education, there are various options available for them. One of the best options is to avail scholarships. There are many UK higher-education institutions that offer their own scholarship programmes. These scholarships are offered based on a various factors, which can be broadly divided into the following categories:

  • Academic, merit and excellence scholarships
  • Performance-based scholarships
  • Subject-specific scholarships
  • Equal access or sanctuary scholarships
  • Disability scholarships

2. Organise the Student Visa

If the course the student is enrolled in lasts longer than six months (or less than six months, but they wish to work), then he will need a student visa. 

Following are some of the documents the students will need for processing visa applications:

  • a current passport or other valid travel documentation
  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – students will need to prove that they have enough money to pay for the first year of tuition fees. Above all, they will need to prove that they have £1,023 (£1,334 for those studying in London) per month for up to nine months to cover the living expenses. 
  • English language test score  – this is to justify that the students meet the minimum level of English language proficiency, usually by taking a Secure English Language Test (SELT).

 3. Research the city where you wish to study

If you know where you want to study, you will be able to understand what to expect. For instance, if you are looking for a place where the sun shines more often compared to other cities, Brighton is the city for you. Alternatively, Coventry might be a good choice if you want to study in a city with a culturally rich background. Want to explore other study destinations? Read more about these popular cities for international students to study in the UK.

 4. Prepare for the English life

The UK is the most culturally diverse and welcoming to people from across the world. All the universities have numerous students and have societies that help international students to meet and make friends with like-minded people.

In case you are unaware, the UK is popular for its cold and wet weather. Therefore, students must pack their warm clothes and a waterproof coat for the winter months and should not expect summer to be too hot.

 5. Making new friends to drive away that ‘by-yourself’ feeling

It is okay to not know anyone before you move to the UK. You feel like you’re by yourself, which is an obvious part of moving to a new place. That said, you will have plenty of opportunities to make new friends who will eventually become part of your community, and it will make life much easier. You shall be able to settle in the UK easily and happily. 

6. Take a break from studying

International students who opt to study in the UK must understand the importance of taking a break to maintain a healthy mind. There are several places to explore in the UK, which can be a refreshing option for students who are tired of continuous studies. It becomes even more important when you are working while studying. It is good to have a variation to break the monotony in life.

7. Know the Permissible Working Hours

If international students want to make money while studying in the UK, they should explore the options and rights to work in the UK. With a student visa, the students will be able to work up to 20 hours per week while studying. They can even work full-time during the holidays, as well as before and after the course begins.

However, the rules are different for the EU settled status. After graduation, students are free to work as many hours as they wish and can work for as long as the students want.

International students cannot rely entirely on a part-time job as their sole source of income to fund their living expenses in the UK. If you need more tips, check this post on working while studying in the UK.

That said, there are a lot more helpful tips while you pursue your study program in the UK. We provide extensive information to ensure you have all the help you need as an international student.