Studying in the UK has probably been your childhood dream and it is now actualising. Congratulations on your achievement! It’s no easy feat, so take the time to pat yourself on the back for it.
But amidst all the joy and excitement, you have feelings of sadness. Soon you’ll be leaving your family and moving abroad to chart out a new phase of life, speaking of which, you expect to come across challenges as any other student would. However, yours will have extra trials and problems that come with living in a new city like learning a new language, getting used to new cuisine and customs just to mention a few.
Before you leave for the UK and start life as an international student, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the journey. Below are some of the most important things to consider:
Ensure you have your travel paperwork and visa in order
This might seem obvious, but it’s not. Without the right paperwork and visa, your travel will be cut short, even before you leave the airport. For international students coming from EEA countries, they have the luxury of travelling under the Free Movement Policy (though they still have to apply for the European Health Insurance Card for NHS access).
Being from Thailand, you’ll need to make sure you get your Visa in advance. In fact, most courses will require you to get a tier 4 visa. But in the event that you intend to study for six months or less, a Student Visa would suffice. The best way to confirm what type of Visa you need is to consult an immigration specialist or the institution offering your course. Usually, UK institutions have international coordinators who are tasked with helping international students with travel logistics.
Before you leave for the UK, you should do research on the town you’ll be studying and living in beforehand. This is super important, especially if you had applied to different towns and are yet to decide which you prefer.
During your research, check whether there are groups or societies from Thailand. Joining these groups and societies will help you transition smoothly in the UK town life. Some of these could be having regular meetings or online forums and chats. But regardless of the platform they choose to use, the support offered is invaluable. They will guide you on the cultural difference that might not have come up in your research.
When you finally land a suitable place to stay, ensure that you have the required amount to book the living space in advance. This will help protect you from the stress of having to move. In case you are sharing the apartment, you should request the accommodation provider to introduce you to some of the potential roommates well in advance so that you know who you will be dealing with.
Moving with all your belongings from Thai to the UK can be tricky. You should, therefore leave behind some of your belongings that you don’t need and carry only the essentials. Also, consider making arrangements for baggage solutions to make things easier for you.
Source of Funding
Most UK universities and colleges have multiple funding options, including scholarships and bursaries. Try to be on the lookout for these to help to ensure that your studies are uninterrupted due to the lack of funds. In most cases, these funding options are offered on merit, meaning that it is paramount that you keep your grades up.
By now you have already thought of how you will fund your studies. However, you should take a step further and consider the finer financial details. You need to figure out the bank to open an account with as well as the associated rates. And since you will most probably need some financial assistance from home, consider the fees attached to the money transfer service you will use.
Some banks may have offers and incentives to lure you into opening an account with them. However, as a foreigner, you’ll need to provide lots of documentation before you can have an account, which might be time-consuming and inconveniencing. Besides that, banks have higher transaction fees and exchange rates. This is where money transfer apps like DeeMoney comes in handy.
Your parents, guardian, or even sponsor can send money directly to you or your learning institution quickly, and at affordable rates using the DeeMoney app. With this, you don’t have to wait for days before the transfer comes through, queue for long hours to make withdrawals, provide too many documents, or go through any sort of trouble associated with the banking system.
Studying in the UK is a great experience. It will open you up to loads of opportunities and give you a fresh perspective to life. So, when the opportunity to study in the UK comes knocking, by all means, open the door and let it in.