As ‘A’ Level results day approaches and you start to plan your move to the UK, we thought we would share some advice from international students who have been studying in the UK for a few years.

We recently surveyed our customers to find out some of the key things they learned during their time in the UK. We know that moving to the UK is exciting, but that it can also be daunting, so we gathered the most practical information we could from our students.

The first week

Our students told us the most important things to do when you arrive in the UK are;

  • Check in at University
  • Purchase a mobile sim card
  • Open a UK bank account

It is worth being aware that you can’t open a UK bank account until you arrive and that is can take a couple of weeks to sort this out after you get here.

What to bring

The students we surveyed highlighted the importance of bringing a mobile phone, lap top and relevant personal documents. As long as you bring these most important items, other slightly less important things can be purchased on arrival. Most students shopped for the following items in their first week of arrival;

  • SIM Card
  • Bed linen
  • Toiletries
  • Groceries

It is worth budgeting for these things and ensuring that you have a method of payment for them. Whilst on the subject of budgeting it is also vital to be aware that if you are staying in private accommodation (rather than university operated) it is common to be asked to pay your rent upfront if you don’t have a UK based Guarantor. This can be expensive so if you need to pay in instalments consider UK Guarantor for £299.

Making new friends

Once you have sorted the essentials, your thoughts might turn to making some new friends. The best ways to do this, according to our students are

  • Joining a society
  • Attending lectures
  • Visiting freshers events

Freshers events are held at the Students’ Union and are specifically designed to welcome new students. They are a great way of meeting people as well as providing you with an opportunity to join a society.

The most popular societies for international students to join are cultural societies, closely followed by sports societies. Not only are these a great way of making new friends, they can also help develop your language skills. Just over 40% of our students dealt with a language barrier when they arrived in the UK. Of these students 66% of them recommended making a wide circle of friends to help you develop your language skills on.

If you are eagerly awaiting you’re A level results this year we hope that you have found the tips from the students that have already been through this experience useful. Remember if you have not yet sorted our your accommodation we can help with that too, just visit our support page.

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