UK Student life
If you're seeking academic excellence, then you've certainly come to the right place. However what they don't tell you about studying in the UK is that, whilst it's certainly a challenge, it's one of the best life experiences you'll ever have.
Whether you are studying for an undergraduate, graduate or PhD level degree, studying in the UK is an opportunity like no other. Academically, there'll be plenty of hard work ahead, some surprises and perhaps some experiences you never expected to have.
It's always worth remembering that, at the end, a degree won't be the only thing you'll walk away with. Making friends for life goes hand in hand with the UK student experience. That's why all our residences have a real sense of community. We can't guarantee that the lectures won't be challenging, but your social life – that'll be a breeze.
How to Book
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Opening a bank account
Living in the UK you'll find it easier, and much more economical if you have a UK bank account. British High Street banks offer students a range of competitive deals so do some research to find the account that suits you best.
When you've decided, your Urban Study residence contract will count as proof of address so all you'll need is two other forms of ID (such as a driver's license or passport) and you're good to go. Just make sure you have access to funds before you come to the UK as setting up your account could take up to a week. For more information, visit the UK Council for International Affairs website.
Most of our international students choose to pay for their accommodation at Urban Study in one up-front payment. If you wish to split the cost and pay in instalments then you will need to have a UK-based guarantor, which is common practice when renting accommodation. Having a UK guarantor ensures your rent will be paid in full in case of any default. Guarantors must have been resident in the UK for more than three years and classified as a resident by HMRC with a fixed abode, proof of address and photo identification. They must be in full time employment or able to show they could pay your rent should you get into financial difficulty.
If you need a guarantor there are agencies that can help. Housing Hand specialises in dealing with international students who cannot provide UK guarantors. Visit www.housinghand.co.uk for more information.
If you're a foreign national you'll need a UK student visa in order to take up your offer of a place of study. If you need more information about how to apply for a student visa then the UK Council for International Student Affairs is a helpful website to visit.
What do I need to book?
To reserve a room in an Urban Study building we'll need to see a copy of your university offer letter and if you've opted to pay in instalments, evidence of a rent guarantor. Don't worry if you're experiencing a delay in your student visa – you won't need this to book a room.
As a UK student you're entitled to travel discount cards on national bus and train networks. If you're 25 and under, a Young Persons Rail Card (£30 to buy and valid for one year) will give you 30% off train travel. Likewise, a Young Persons Coach Card will give you 30% off National Express bus journeys for only £10 a year. You should also check with local transport providers to see if you qualify for a discount on buses and trams operating around your place of study.
Register with a Doctor
As a full-time student you may qualify for free NHS treatment, so it is always worth registering with a doctor. Your university will be able to provide you with details of its medical and dentistry practices. However, due to changing rules in qualification for free medical care in the UK, it may be wise to consider your own private health insurance. See UKCISA's page for more advice on this.
Most of our residences come with inclusive contents insurance up to £7,000 for belongings kept inside your room if lost by fire, flood or theft. Your tenancy agreement will detail the exact cover you qualify for but it may be prudent to consider taking out your own policy. Endsleigh provide specialist insurance for students. Check out their website here.
To keep costs down it's definitely worth buying a UK SIM card for your mobile phone. Most telecom providers offer pay-as-you-go SIM cards (as opposed to contracts, which might prove difficult to take out if you haven't lived in the UK before), so shop around for the best deals. You can also buy international calling cards to use with your mobile, which usually offer a better rate per minute than standard network rates.