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Before you move to the UK

Moving to a different country can be very stressful, especially as an international student. Between documents, packing, and university preparations it is normal to feel like you are forgetting something.

1) Sort out your visa

Your top priority should be sorting out your student (Tier 4) visa. You can apply for this up to six months in advance. Due to Brexit, you will also need to apply for a visa if you are coming from the European Economic Area (EEA).

2) Sort out your healthcare

You will need to pay the healthcare surcharge to be able to access healthcare via the NHS. You will also need to ensure you’ve had all the recommended vaccines. It is likely you already have all the vital ones, but there might be diseases that exist in the UK and not in your home country.

Although it is not mandatory (the government is still debating it), it is advisable to get both Covid-19 vaccination shots before coming to the UK.

3) Funding and/or scholarships

Have a look at all the funding and scholarships that you are eligible for and be ready to apply as soon as your place is confirmed. These things take time, and you will want to know how much money you will have as soon as possible. It is worth checking your university’s website for scholarships too as they might provide options you are eligible for.

4) Upload your details and photo for your student ID

You will be able to do this on your university’s website. They will give you instructions on how to do it. Just make sure you have a nice passport-style photo to upload!

5) Book your accommodation

There are many different accommodation options that you can choose from in the UK. From university ‘student halls’ to private accommodation companies. Check with your university to see what they offer, and have a browse to see which private companies have student accommodation.

6) Make sure you have all the documents you need

After you have all your documents make sure to put them all together in a folder so you don’t lose them. This should then go into your hand luggage so that you have everything accessible at all times.

7) Book your trip

It is finally time to book! Make sure to check the travel restrictions before you book your trip as they can change quite often. The UK currently has a traffic light system in place. Make sure to double-check the terms and conditions on your booking in case the flight is canceled or you need to change your trip due to restrictions. And don’t forget the small print!

8) Exchange some money

You will need some cash to live off until you have your bank account and debit card set up. The recommended amount is around £200-£300.

9) Find out how to get from the airport/train station to your accommodation

It is advisable to have an idea of where you’re going pre-arrival. Check your destination before you leave your house and have the address of your accommodation saved into Google Maps on your phone. This will give you a sense of security and take a bit of the anxiety away!

10) Last but not least: make some friends

There are so many forums and Facebook groups that you can join where there will be plenty of people in the same situation as you. Just have a browse through Facebook or your accommodation/university websites. You will be sure to make some friends there. Just remember you’re in this together!

 

This article was published by the Great British Mag content team on 10 August 2021

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