Studying Abroad


Study in the UK

The following section features important information for students studying abroad in the UK, including planning your expenses, whether you need a visa and personal safety.

It's important to plan your expenses as an international student in advance. Use the following section for advice on budgeting

Planning your expenses

Practical information

We do not advise carrying large sums of cash with you on arrival. We recommend that you bring enough cash with you to cover your first two weeks in the UK - no more than £250 for your immediate needs. It is safer to bring large sums of money in travellers' cheques which can be cashed in banks, post offices and airports, but be aware that there is often a minimum commission charge. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in the UK, MasterCard (Access) and Visa being the most common. Diners Club and American Express are less commonly accepted. You can withdraw money from a cash machine (also known as an 'ATM' or cash point) if you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for that card.

You may want to inform your current bank that you are moving to the UK and ask if you can use your card here.


Currency across the UK is the pound sterling (£GBP). One pound is divided into one hundred pence (100p). Notes are issued to the value of £50, £20, £10, and £5, and coins to the value of £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p. Please note that £50 notes are very uncommon and should be avoided as they can often be the target of counterfeiters.

Bank accounts

UK banks are open 9am to 4.30pm on weekdays, and some are open on Saturday mornings. If you are going to be here for longer than six months, we strongly recommended you open a UK bank account when you arrive.
For further advice on opening bank accounts in the UK visit the UKCISA site.

Living costs

It is important to plan for the cost of living in the UK in advance. It is estimated that an average student needs approximately £650-£750 a month to cover their basic living expenses. This is just an indication and should be adjusted depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. To help you plan your finances, you can use an international student cost calculator.


Do you need a visa?

To study abroad in the UK a visa is generally needed if you (or your family) are nationals of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa is called "entry clearance" because it gives you permission to enter the UK.

If you are a national of the EEA or Switzerland, you do not need immigration permission to enter the UK.

You can check your status and whether you need a visa on the UK Border Agency website.

We advise that you check these websites for up to date information on visas:


Which visa do you need?




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