|As a prospective International student who will study in UK Higher Education, it is most likely that you will find yourself in a different financial situation from that which you have become accustomed.
The following points are aimed as a guide for International students who will study in UK Universities and colleges and hopefully prevent them from getting into financial crisis.
Top 5 Suggestions
1. Research well before you arrive.
In order to grasp a more realistic expectation and create a preparatory financial plan you will need to investigate all the possible expenditure relating to study in the UK.
2. Plan how much you have to spend each week and do not spend anymore than that. Having a budget which you stick to is a good way to control debt. It is also important to monitor your expenditure on a regular basis so you can revise your budget if necessary.
3. Make sure you have accessible savings in a UK Building Society Account. Should you find yourself in a difficult situation, you will have money available to pay for essentials and hopefully a surplus amountfor an emergency.
4. Secure a permanent, flexible job.
Typically, students who study in UK Universities and Colleges will contribute to daily living expenses with bar work or waiting table which will fit in around their academic work.
5. Hunt out student savings and use them at any opportunity. Those who study in UK colleges can benefit from huge savings on journeys, drinks, text books, clothes and many more items. Go online for student discount sites which show the latest offers and remember to enquire whether student savings are available when out shopping.
Top 5 Pitfalls
1. Do not end up in debt before completing your first semester. Begin each semester from a healthy financial position and start as you mean to go on!
It is certainly not advisable to expect to find part-time work in the first few months of arriving. Therefore, plan your budget without anticipating that you will find work in your first semester.
2. Avoid careless spending. It is not a good idea to shop in centrally located â€˜Metro' or high street supermarkets as they are always more expensive, but instead to plan a weekly shop in a larger supermarket which offers a wider variety of prices on products. Also try not to withdraw more cash than you need as you will spend it more readily, especially after a few drinks!
3. Do not neglect your circumstances should you get into debt. If you receive overdraft warnings and outstanding college fee requests, do not ignore them but take immediate action. Get in touch with a bank advisor before the situation becomes even worse. It is also important to communicate with college staff so that they are made aware of any difficulties you may be having and assist you towards a solution. As soon as you are aware of your monetary situation you should inform financial staff as it is more feasible that they will listen to you and try and solve your circumstances with you.
4. Do not prioritise finances over attending class. Students from overseas who study in UK Universities and colleges will not be allowed to miss class as a result of their financial situation and must attend at least 80% of their classes. Due to strict student visa regulations students who do not attend their lessons and do not have a valid reason are likely to have their visas withdrawn by the UK BA.
5. Do not work excessive number of hours each week. If you require a visa you will need to check your visa to see how many hours you are legally permitted to work each week. Working in a part-time job excessively will not only jeopardize your right to study in the UK, but will also hinder your academic studies.
As you embark on your journey to study in UK higher education, you will quickly realize that the most effective way to manage your finances alongside your academic study is ultimately to plan well and to inform college and bank staff as soon as possible if you anticipate any financial difficulties arising.