It's important to plan your expenses as an international student in advance. Use the following section for advice on budgeting
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.
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.
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. Click here for an international student cost calculator to help with planning your finances.
Do you need a visa?
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:
While you're unlikely to be affected by crime as a student in the UK, it is important to take basic security measures. Health and safety in-centre is everyone's responsibility, and if you do see something that concerns you or your classmates, please report it to our reception staff who will make sure it's dealt with immediately.
At each of our centres we provide students with an emergency contact number which can be used at any time, day or night. You can also report a crime at any time by phoning 0800-555-111. This call is free from anywhere in the country. The police use this system to receive information without asking the identity of the caller.
Uniplan medical and travel insurance
Uniplan Insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy designed for international students in the UK. Full medical and travel insurance is mandatory for all INTO students, and Uniplan insurance will automatically be added to your course fees unless proof of suitable cover is provided.
Students under 18
Under the law of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, any person under the age of 18 is regarded as a child, and is the responsibility of their parents. INTO Student Services look after the welfare of all INTO students, but particularly those under the age of 18 who may need extra help and support. Our Student Services staff have extensive experience in providing pastoral care for international students, and in some cases have been overseas students themselves.
To parents of students under 18
While INTO will do everything possible to care for your child during their studies, we cannot take full parental responsibility for them. We strongly recommend that you appoint a guardian who is a resident in the UK for your child. A guardian is someone who can act in your place if there are any problems or emergencies. They will provide an added level of care for your child and give you extra peace of mind.
1. If you have a trusted friend or relative living in the UK who is over 21 years of age, they will be eligible to act as your child's guardian
2. There are a variety of guardianship agencies in the UK. You should look for one that is a member of AEGIS