Tips for International Students Moving to London

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Studying in London is like a dream come true. Every year, hundreds of thousands of students come to London for study purposes because London is one of the best places in the UK to live and study, because of its vibrant student life. However, the process of settling down in London can be pretty overwhelming. 

If you are an international student moving to London, there are quite a few things that require your attention immediately after you land. These things include but are not limited to finding good and cheap accommodation, a bank account, a student job, health insurance, etc. 

It is good to be aware of all the things you will be dealing with as an international student moving to London so that you can prepare yourself beforehand to tackle all of them. This guide aims right at that, as it contains useful tips to help you settle down with ease and enjoy your student life in London. 

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Get your documents in order

If you are an international student, you will require a Tier 4 student visa to enter the UK. For that, you need all the necessary documents such as your CAS number, accommodation proof in London, medical certificate, bank statements, and much more. Head over to the UK Government website to find out more. 

Having your documents in order is not only necessary for getting a visa, but you will also require them when opening a bank account in London, enrolling in your university, getting health insurance, and whatnot. So, it is better to have everything ready and by your side always. 

Opening a UK Bank Account

The first step you should take after moving to London is open a bank account. You will require a bank account for various purposes like receiving money from back home, depositing your savings, or getting your pay if you are working part-time. 

It is highly recommended to have a UK bank account instead of keeping your home country bank account. It will bring ease to your life and help you pay monthly bills and other payments without having to pay extra currency exchange charges. 

Getting a cheap accommodation

One of the hardest tasks for an international student in London is finding good and cheap accommodation. To enjoy your student life in London, you would want to live in a student-friendly area close to the city center. You will find plenty of options if you feel okay sharing with other students. 

Another option is opting for cheap accommodation with less space while saving your extra stuff in STORED self-storage services available all across London. These storage unit services are great for students on a budget as it allows them to store their extra belongings there and save money from extra house rents. 

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Managing your expenses

Student life in London can be exceptionally great if you can manage your expenses well. London can be pretty expensive if you are not keeping track of your money. On a rough note, your money will be spent on food, traveling, health insurance, phone credit, internet, clothing, and some other misc. expenses. 

Ideally, monthly expenses in London can be managed to be around £1000 down from a recommended £1265 per month. This extra money on top can be used to enjoy your student life in London to its maximum. 

Additionally, if you feel the need, you can save more money by opting for a small accommodation and a cheap STORED self-storage unit for keeping your stuff. 

Travelling Issues

Traveling is not that much of a concern if you have a valid student card. Being a student entitles you to many perks and transportation discount cards are one of them. Get the train card and/or the student bus service card instantly and your student life in London shall be at peace. 

Dealing with the weather

Weather is an issue that most students moving to London or the UK will probably face. Rain is not very frequent in London; however, it can get pretty cold during the winter days and snowfall can make things worse. 

It is better to come prepared with fur jackets, long coats, wool gloves, and any other thing you deem necessary for yourself to survive the extreme winters. If you plan to shop for these things from London, be warned. It can get pretty expensive for you. 

Bring extra warm clothing from home if possible and use a STORED self-storage unit to keep them for later use whenever required. Do not forgot to abide by necessary precautions to keep your clothes safe from insects or any bacterial development if you are keeping them at a STORED self-storage unit. 

Health Insurance 

In London and all over the UK, National Health Services (NHS) is the primary department dealing with public healthcare. How to get your health insurance depends on whether you belong to a European country or a country outside of Europe. 

For European students living in the UK before 2021, getting UK health insurance was neither expensive nor an exhausting task. All they needed is a simple European Health Insurance Card (NHIC). You can get your NHIC through your home country’s national health insurance department. 

However, things are a bit different for non-European students and also now for European students following the Brexit deal. Your visa application will contain a mandatory insurance payment that will cater to your healthcare needs during your stay in the UK. No extra procedure is involved. 

Cheap STORED self-storage units

As accommodation in London can be expensive for students, STORED self-storage units can be found almost everywhere. They offer you space that you can rent out for a month or more for a reasonable price to keep your extra belongings safe. This way you can opt for a smaller spaced accommodation to save rent money. 

These STORED self-storage units are widely popular in students and you might want to consider them as an option if you are looking to save money and enjoy your student life in London to its fullest. A small STORED self-storage unit starts at around £76 a month.  

Part-Time Work

International students working part-time to manage their expenses is common all over London and all of the UK. However, there is a limit on working hours on Tier 4 Student Visa to avoid any distraction from studies due to overwork. 

You are allowed to work 20 hours a week while studying. This limit is no longer valid during holidays when you are not studying, and you are allowed to work as much as you can. Some jobs you can do include working as a bar waiter, cleaning, a worker in a warehouse, etc. 

Do keep in mind that as an international student, you cannot do food delivery jobs and driving jobs such as Uber or Lyft, so beware of that since doing these jobs might get you into legal trouble. 

Follow these tips when you go to your dream city to study and you will be just fine!