The UK is one of the world’s most popular destinations for international students. It affords students the grounds to balance up their career. The initial cost of living may cause a sharp intake of breath but it is very important for you to have an idea. This will help you make adequate preparations to study in any of its universities without difficulty. Here are some relevant tips on International Students Living Costs in the UK.
In 2017, international students paid between £10,000 and £35,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £38,000 per year. Postgraduate degree charges for international students, tend to be more expensive than most undergraduate courses. The fees vary depending on the university. Tuition ranks top on international students living costs in the UK.
For home and EU students, loans are available from the government to cover tuition and maintenance (living cost) fees. The upper limit for tuition fee loans is £9,250 per annum. A typical undergraduate degree in the UK lasts three years, meaning that the average student debt amounted to £27,000 in 2017. This does not include repayment of any maintenance loan, which, when added to tuition fee debt, can total between £35,000 and £40,000.
In 2017, the average student rent came to £125 per week or £535 a month. However, students in London can expect to pay an average of £182 a week, or £640 a month. The average annual cost for students is £4,875 (based on a 39-week contract). Most rents include bills of some kind, although one-third of students will pay bills on top of rent. The total cost of accommodation is £14,625. University accommodation costs will vary depending on where in the UK the student is based and which kind of accommodation they opt for.
Other Essential Student Costs
Utility bills (water, gas and electricity) in rented accommodations are approximately £50 per month, with mobile phone bills range from £10 to £30. Broadband internet costs about £20 per month, however, this is split between tenants. Books and university equipment, on average, will cost £15 per week, or £60 per month. Outside London and other major university cities, an average single bus journey is about £1.50 and £45 a month for a student travel card. Students at central London universities should expect to spend £23 a week on travel (covering London Underground, buses, trams and trains) or £90 a month, amounting to an average of £881.40 a year (based on a 39-week term).
Students also benefit from one-third off travel on regional trains with a 16-25 Railcard. For example, a single adult ticket booked on the day of travel from London to Brighton (a popular day trip destination) is £17.50, or £11.50 with a student railcard. On average, a litre of petrol costs £1.16, while a litre of diesel is £1.18. Including self-catered accommodation, food, course costs, transport, socialising and utility contracts, the average living cost a year for 2016 was £8,990 – amounting to £26,970 across a three-year period.
The average weekly food bill in the UK is £50, although this could be lower if you stay in private catered halls. Food bill costs also vary depending on your diet and where you are living in the country. A meal in a pub costs £8 to £12, with a restaurant meal costing about £15 to 25. The average price of a cinema ticket is £7.41, while a Big Mac is £3.19. A pint of beer comes to about £3.60 and a 175ml glass of wine is £3.61. However, prices in London and cities in the South will be higher than in cities in the North.
Gym membership typically costs about £50 a month but many gyms offer a student discount. A typical night out including travel, drinks and club or event entry is approximately £30. Gig tickets range from £5 to £45, depending on the venue and acts.
Available Financial Support
Finance for international students is more complicated as loans are available only to students who have lived in the UK for at least three years prior to starting their course. There are lots of scholarships, bursaries and grants available for overseas students. All students can apply for a National Union of Students (NUS) card, which provides proof of student status and offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on technology, food shopping, eating out, going out, media subscriptions, clothes, travel and university supplies.
There are separate cards and programmes that offer a broader range of discounts, such as UNiDAYS and Student Beans. Many banks offer student incentives such as free railcards, Amazon vouchers and Apple gadgets. Often in university towns, the local establishments will encourage students’ custom by offering discounts.
This article on international students living costs in the UK is simply a guide. It will give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare financially for your study abroad.