Overseas students studying in the UK may find that things are more expensive to the prices they are used to paying at home. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that students can save money while living in the UK as a student, and here are a few of the best.
Make cheap international calls
The one thing that you don’t want to be doing is calling home using a standard landline. Overseas calls from the UK can cost a huge amount of money, and you can quickly find your funds diminishing if you spend hours on the phone each week. Cheaper alternatives include:
- Skype, which is free when you video call
- phone cards, some of which are better for some countries than others
- specialist mobile services like LycaMobile, which are ideal for long-distance mobile calls
Find the best travel savings
Travelling is a large part of student life, but it can also be very expensive. However, there can be significant savings to be made if you look around for student fares. For example you should invest in a 16-25 Railcard, which will provide you with a third off nearly all train journeys in the UK, allowing you to save a significant amount of money. Also look into air fares to see if you can get cheaper flights. For example, STA Travel specialises in cheap student flights, so you may be able to sort out your flight back home for less.
Foreign exchange & banking
When you touchdown in the UK make sure you have enough sterling changed up for the first week or so in the UK. Its a good idea to have a Visa or Mastercard credit card for any larger purchases you need to make upon arrival. As soon as possible get setup with a UK bank account – Natwest & Santander banks offer a basic current account for overseas students and transfer funds from your account at home. You’ll incur some fees for the international transfer but once your money is in the UK account you can withdraw cash for free from most ATM’s and you’ll save on exchange rates levied by your bank for currency transfers.
Take advantage of student discounts
You can find deals on almost anything when you are a student, including:
It is a good idea to carry your student card with you wherever you go to take full advantage of special offers, and you may also want to invest in a NUS extra card for even more savings. Sometimes deals are not obvious, so always ask just in case.
Live cheaper as a student in the UK
As you can see, there are many ways that you can potentially save large sums of money as an international student in the UK. The key is to always keep your eye open for deals, ask around as much as possible and always carry your student ID on you. Take advantage of all of the discounts and you could find that you are able to make some huge savings during your time in the UK.
This article was written by John who is a feature writer from the UK.