Article writen by: Sarah Chan
If you are an international student coming to stay in our Leicester student accommodation or our Loughborough Accommodation, whether that be from the EU or further afield, Student Beehive has put together some helpful tips to try and make your move less overwhelming (especially if this is your first time at university).
There is a long list of different things you will need to consider before moving overseas to study; this can be anything from visas and tuition fees to health insurance and opening a bank account. First and foremost, plan your funding and research scholarships.
One of the first things we would suggest is to make sure you have the finances to fund your degree. The funding you can access is all dependant on whereabouts you are in the world and what date you are enrolling into university. As Brexit has happened, things are a little different for students coming from the European Union, the European Economic Area & Switzerland. You will no longer be able to access student finance compared to students who already reside in the UK.
It has been confirmed that EU, EEA and Swiss students are now considered as overseas students, as from the academic year 2021/22. Meaning that new (not continuing) EU/EEA students starting university from the 1st August 2021 onwards will need to pay the same fees as students coming from outside the EU. Students coming from outside the EU to the UK are not eligible for a loan. No matter when you start your degree, the funding would need to be sourced yourself (Apart from specific circumstances).
Do not forget, when applying for a visa, for your application to be successful, you will need to provide evidence that you can fund your degree plus living costs.
Organising your student visa
Being an international student coming to the UK, you might need to apply for a visa depending on which country you are coming from.
From 1st January 2021, things will be changing for EU, EEA and Swiss students coming to the UK, however, if you are already living in the UK or plan to move to the UK before 31st December 2020 your rights will not change up to this date. We would still recommend you apply for the EU settlement scheme; this will allow you to work and study in the UK as you can now. Including access to benefits and services. If you want to stay in the UK, you have until 30th June 2021 to apply for the scheme.
Students coming from outside the EU, EEA will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK. If you are studying for a short period, there are short term visa options available, but do be mindful that short term visas do not allow you to work in the UK, this does include work placements as part of a course.
An example of applying for a short-term visa would be if your course is more than six months, but no longer than 11 months. You would need to be aged 16 and above plus studying an English Language course.
The cost of a short-term visa is approx.—£ 97 and ranging to £186 for 11 months. You can apply for a visa up to three months before your planned travel date to the UK. If when studying in the UK your course is longer than six months or less than six months, but you need to work whilst here, you will need to apply for a tier 4 visa (General) Student visa.
Below are the documents you will need to have to apply:
Confirmation of acceptance of studies known as (CAS)
A 14-digit reference number will be given to you from your university once you have
accepted your offer.
Proof of your finances
This will include proving you have sufficient funds for your tuition fees (first year) or even for your whole course if this is less than one year. You will also be required to show that you have enough money for general living costs whilst studying and in the UK. Including things like rent, food and travel costs etc.
The finances can come from your personal funds, family or an official sponsorship or an education loan.
English language skills
You will need to meet the minimum level of English language proficiency; this is usually by taking a secure English language test (SELT) The cost of the visa is roughly £348. If you are applying from outside the UK, you will be required to be in your home country to apply. Additional costs that may occur are healthcare surcharge, as part of your visa application. You can choose to pay this either for six months which works out roughly to £150 or £300 for the whole year. The surcharge will then allow you to use the NHS as and when needed.
Preparing for British life
The UK is such a diverse country, welcoming people from all over the world. You will find plenty of international students like yourself at all universities, here at Student Beehive we welcome many international students each year, staying with ourselves you will be sure to find like-minded students from similar backgrounds. We would recommend you join Facebook groups, related to your university; you will be able to ask questions and even make
some new friends. As the UK is known for its cold and wet weather, pack lots of warm clothes and even a waterproof coat for winter months. At Student Beehive, all bills are included when staying with us, so no need to worry about an additional heating costs to keep warm.
The good news about summer, it may not be what you are used to if you are coming to the UK from a hot country, but our summers are warm enough most days to leave your coat behind when out and about!
Best local supermarkets to shop at in Loughborough
For all your groceries and essentials, we'd recommend popping by these shops which are only a walk or bus trip away:
Best local supermarkets to shop at in Leicester
Student Accommodation booking
You will want your accommodation sorted before you arrive in the UK. We understand booking your accommodation without being able to view can be tricky but we have you covered with 360 tours available on our website under all our halls of residence, to make booking your accommodation easier and give you peace of mind knowing you're going to be living in a safe and friendly environment. You can find some more helpful information about staying with Student Beehive as an international student HERE. When booking your accommodation remember to check what's included for the price you are paying, this will also help you budget whilst in the UK, for example, all our accommodation includes the below in your rental fee:
✓ Gas and electricity
✓ Free parking at most of our accommodations
✓ PLUS Kingfisher Hall, Forest Court, Forest Rise in Loughborough and Renaissance
Accommodation in Leicester have their own gym, cinema and games rooms.
Last few tips to remember when studying in the UK
Opening a student bank account: if you are staying in the UK for longer than a few months we would recommend setting up a bank account, you will be able to pay bills easier and protect your money. Opening a UK bank account means you can avoid paying foreign currency charges that you would expect to pay if using a non-UK in Britain. We would recommend exploring if you can make a start opening a UK bank account from your home country, some foreign banks have links to UK ones, and if this is the case for you, the process will be a lot simpler.
To open a bank account while you are here in the UK, you will need the following:
A valid passport
A valid visa – Non-EU students only
Proof of address in the UK – A tenancy agreement or utility bill should suffice.
Proof of address in your home country
Proof of student status – You'll typically receive this once you enrol at university
Proof of income – This may mean a credit check and interview to establish you will be able to maintain the account.
Student bank accounts are a great option, as they offer numerous benefits including an interest-free overdraft of up to £3,000. However, it is worth knowing that not all banks offer student bank accounts to international students (you will still be able to open a regular current account, don't worry!)
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