Around 20% of the UK student demographic move to the UK from other countries, making our country one of the preferred destinations for young people looking to earn their degree in a foreign country. Whether this be, to attend one of our more reputable universities, sample our diverse culture or a different reason altogether, moving to the UK is something many people consider across the globe.
Although this sounds like an exciting prospect, moving to England from some of the more obscure regions of the world can be daunting.
With the main reason for travelling to a new country for one’s degree being to obtain a prestigious qualification, we have put together this guide to moving to the UK and what you can expect when arriving; meaning you can get on with the more important aspects of student life.
What International Students Should Know About UK Culture
Below you will find some quick fire tips on what you can expect when moving to the UK, but the most important thing we recommend is to do your research. As soon as you know what part of the UK you will be spending the next few years of your life residing in, get online and start to get to know it.
This will mean that things won’t seem so strange and alien when you arrive and you can also start to enjoy some of the fun parts straight away. There may also be areas worth checking out and also ones to avoid, so be sure to research these well before you arrive, especially if you are heading to a large town or city.
Get Ready for the Weather
This is one you may well have been warned about already but it should not be ignored, especially if you are travelling to the UK from a hot part of the world. If you aren’t used to four seasons in one day and our particularly grey and wet period between December and March, then you will need some time to acclimatise.
In the meantime, we suggest that you invest in some suitable clothing as you may well find yourself a tad chilly in the British winter months. If you think people exaggerate about the weather when moving to England, they probably aren’t.
One of the great bonuses of moving to the UK for your studies is that you can take advantage of our superb healthcare system. It may get some bad press here in the UK from time to time, but the NHS is still far better than the majority of the free services you will find across the globe. So, if you find yourself poorly, especially in the winter if you aren’t used to getting a British cold or flu then our healthcare system could well turn out to be somewhat of a bonus.
If you are moving to England from Europe, then you should arrange a European Health Insurance Card or equivalent from your own healthcare organisation back home. This should mean you are entitled to free healthcare or at the very least, your treatment will be significantly reduced.
If you are moving to the UK from outside Europe, then you may have to organise your own insurance and one of the more popular online services should do the trick.
Check Your Phone Coverage
Something we hear about a lot here at Almero Student Mansions from our international students, is regarding problems with their mobile phones. If you have come from regions such as Asia or South America, then there is a chance that your phone won’t work here in the UK.
If it doesn’t, then it isn’t too difficult to sort out thankfully. Our recommendation would be to trade your old phone in for cash and take advantage of one of the many student deals, if you are going to be in the UK for a few years you will definitely be able to make the most of it and could end up on a better deal than you are on now.
Definitely do not keep your current SIM card in your phone whilst studying in England as the chances are that this will result in an astronomically high bill, and there will be little you can do about this once it’s been charged. You could even take advantage of a Pay As You Go deal from an operator such as GiffGaff, they sometimes offer you more data than the contract services.
These are Almero Student Mansions’s top three things to expect when moving to the UK, but there will of course be all sorts of other considerations and surprising things on the way; making this a very exciting time. Be sure to embrace your new surroundings, enjoy the UK nightlife and immerse yourself in your new student community. We think you will love it and you can see some of the great student accommodation we have across the country, by perusing the rest of our website!