Advice about coming to and living in the UK
Before You Arrive
Research Your Course: Before coming to the UK, thoroughly research your course and the institution you'll be studying at. Make sure it meets your educational and personal goals.
Apply for Your Short-Term Study Visa: Most international students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will need a Short-Term Study Visa to study in the UK. You can apply for this visa online through the official UK government website: https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa.
Financial Planning: Plan your finances carefully. Consider tuition fees, accommodation costs, daily expenses, and possible emergencies. Ensure you have access to funds during your stay.
Airport Transportation: Upon arrival in the UK, familiarise yourself with transportation options from the airport to your destination. Many airports have direct train or bus services to major cities.
Accommodation: Finding suitable accommodation is essential. You can search for accommodation through websites such as: Spareroom: https://www.spareroom.co.uk/ and Lingoo: https://www.lingoo.com/en/uk-host-family
Bank Account: Open a local bank account to manage your finances efficiently. Information on some of the best bank accounts for students can be found here: https://wise.com/gb/blog/best-uk-bank-accounts-international-students
Healthcare: Register with a local doctor (GP) and understand how the UK healthcare system works. International students may need health insurance. You can use the NHS service to find a GP near you at: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-gp
During Your Stay
Study Resources: Be sure to take advantage of the resources available to you, such as libraries, study centres, and academic support services.
Cultural Experience: Immerse yourself in British culture and make friends with locals and fellow international students. Participate in cultural events and explore the UK's rich heritage.
Travel: The UK has excellent public transportation. Plan your journeys in London using Transport for London’s Journey Planner: https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/.
If you are eligible, make sure to apply for an 18+ student oyster photocard at: https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-discounted-travel/18-plus-student-oyster-photocard to Save 30% on adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.
Explore different regions during your free time. The National Rail Website: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ is a great resource for train travel.
Safety and Well-being
Emergency Contacts: Save important phone numbers, including the local emergency services (dial 999) and your embassy or consulate.
Safety Precautions: The UK is generally safe, but it's essential to be aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling alone. Keep your belongings secure and avoid risky areas at night.
Mental Health Support: If you face challenges or stress during your stay, don't hesitate to seek support from BSGS College’s support services or local mental health organisations.