Finance in the UK Preparing To Study In The UK

How much money will I need to bring?


It is not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash with you to the UK. Most students have access to a debit or credit card, or use travellers cheques to cover their immediate needs. However, you might want to bring cash for your first few weeks; we recommend around £500 for day-to-day expenses such as transport and food (this does not include cost of accommodation).

Students staying for 6 months or longer usually open an English bank account after they have arrived in the UK. For students studying on short courses, it may not be possible to open a bank account, so please check before you leave home to make sure you can use your debit or credit or cash card in the UK.


The cost of living in the UK


The UK Visas and Immigration recommends that international students allow for £1015 per month to cover living expenses. While living in the UK and studying on a full-time course at Bath College, you will need to learn a very useful skill, which is how to manage your money.


One of the main things to budget for is food. The college has a reasonably-priced coffee shop and cafeteria where you can buy healthy food, or you can buy the ingredients and cook for yourself or together with other students in the kitchens if you are in shared accommodation. There are several supermarkets within walking distance of the college, and smaller specialist food shops to meet the needs of most students.


You will not need to budget for a lot of text books but this will depend on the course you are studying. There is also an excellent library and study centre in the college.


Bath College is in the centre of Bath, and most accommodation is within walking distance or a short bus ride of the town centre. However, you may want to take trips at the weekend or during holidays so you should budget for occasional longer trips.

Social activities

Although you will be studying hard, you will also have time for relaxing, and for following your outside interests, whether it is sport, cinema, dancing or visiting other cities.

TV licence

You will need a TV licence (£145.50) if you watch live TV programmes (as they are being broadcast) and you are in your own accommodation, whether it is on a TV, mobile phone or a computer. If you are in homestay, the host will already have a TV licence for the house. If you watch live TV without a licence, you could be fined up to £1000. However, if you only watch programmes which you have downloaded or on ‘catch-up’ services, you don’t need a licence.


The International Student Calculator can help you plan and manage your money and to see how other students have budgeted for life at university in the UK.


For more advice on opening bank accounts in the UK, see UKCISA’s page on Opening a Bank Account


For more detailed practical financial advice, see the section on Money on the Education UK website.

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