Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life - and it’s all yours to create. One of the reasons a lot of students hold back on taking the leap is because of nerves and how they’d cope with adjusting to a new environment. While it might seem scary at first, it’s honestly super easy to make the switch. Especially if you follow these useful tips for studying abroad in England.
- Use budget airlines
- Open a local bank account
- Get a Pay As You Go phone
- Take advantage of student discounts
- Get travel passes and a railcard
- Buy from discounted websites
- Learn specific phrases
- Tips on overcoming culture shock
Use budget airlines
If you’re looking to visit other cities or countries, sometimes it can be cheaper to fly rather than taking other modes of transport. However, don’t make the mistake of sticking with the biggest airlines as they tend to be the most expensive options around.
Instead, look for cheaper tickets from budget and low-cost airline for big savings. Some universities in the UK even have nearby airports, such as Newcastle International Airport which makes it really easy to travel.
Open a local bank account
Using your current bank card in ATMs to withdraw cash could see you pay an exchange fee so that you can use British pounds. To stop that from happening, open a local bank account to avoid paying these types of fees.
It’ll help you save money and if you choose banks that offer bonuses, you can get student incentives as well.
Get a Pay As You Go phone
While some long-term contract deals can seem tempting with new mobile phones on offer, don’t make the mistake of getting locked down to them. You can end up paying a lot more than the phone actually costs in the first place.
Find a reliable network operator and use a Pay As You Go SIM card. This means you only ‘top up’ the amount you want and when it runs out, top up the amount of your choice again. Do your research to find the best offer as some network operators regularly have offers on mobile data, calls and text message limits.
Plus, for phoning home, take advantage of internet-based calling features like FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype.
Take advantage of student discounts
Unidays, Student Beans, NUS card and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). We recommend signing up to them all so that you can get plenty of discounts where possible. It can be anything from supermarkets to technology as plenty of retailers offer discounts to students.
Whenever you shop, whether it’s online or in person, double check to see if they offer student discounts. To make sure you’re always prepared, keep your details and cards with you so you don’t miss out.
Get travel passes and a railcard
Studying in England gives you plenty of opportunities to see what the beautiful country has to offer. To make travelling easier and less expensive, look into travel passes so you can move from city to city while saving money.
This can include bus companies, trams and even buying a 16-25 Railcard. The railcard only costs £30 for the entire year to help you make some huge savings each time you travel to explore the amazing sights from the Angel of the North to Stonehenge.
Some bank accounts also offer free railcards for students too.
Buy from discounted websites
You don’t need to pay over the odds for items you want. Although you should plan a budget beforehand to save yourself money, look to places like Gumtree, eBay, Groupon and even outlets to find the real savings.
Most of them specialise in offering products at a very low price, so bookmark them when you’re trying to find cheap items to buy.
Learn specific phrases
Whenever you go somewhere new, the locals are going to use phrases that are exclusive to their region. Even if you speak English, you might hear different terms in Newcastle than you might in Manchester.
An important tip is to familiarise yourself with the phrases of the city you stay in when you study in the UK. It makes it much easier to communicate with people, it’s great for your development and you’ll be able to understand a lot more.
Tips on dealing with culture shock
Whenever you go to a place you’re not used to, it’s completely normal to fall into a state of ‘culture shock.’ This happens when your daily routine, the culture you’re used to and the attitude of people is completely different from what you’re used to.
To help adjust to England and its culture easily, follow these eight extra tips:
- learn as much as you can about England and the city you’ll stay in
- ask university coordinators for advice
- set yourself goals to achieve and step out of your comfort zone
- find a healthy distraction or hobby
- talk to other students and international students about how you feel
- push yourself to make local friends and those from a different country than yours
- get involved with activities
- make an effort to learn phrases
By following all of these useful tips, you’ll adjust to life as a student in England in no time.
Remember, it’s completely normal to have feelings of unease when moving to a new place. It would be strange if you didn’t!
It’s worth mentioning that the United Kingdom as a country and England especially is a place made up of all sorts of different nationalities and cultures. This makes it a very liberal and welcoming place.
Know What to Expect From Studying in England
The tips we’ve mentioned will prove to be incredibly useful during your time in England. However, you still need to think about your visa application, accommodation, different types of universities and much more.
Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. To stay ready for what England has to offer and make your stay abroad a memorable one, visit Newcastle's dedicated International Students page.