WHAT EVERY NIGERIAN STUDENT WHO IS GOING TO STUDY IN THE UK SHOULD KNOW
You are finally ready to take on your study abroad experience in UK. This article will help you with top tips to help you navigate London life and help you get the most out of your time in UK. This is especially important if you’ve never been to London before. This article will go a long way to make sure you are well prepared for life in this magnificent City.
Below are 7 things every Nigerian student who is going to study in the UK should know
1. UK is expensive
The standard of living in the UK can be is very high.
Travel and rent prices are relatively higher than in other parts of the world. For example, the average rent for students living in London is £110 per week, the cost of a single bus ticket is £2.40. You need to know beforehand and start planning your budget towards that.
All sorts of small expenses will certainly add up.
It is essential that you save up as much money as you can because whatever you think you’re going to spend, you’ll most likely spend more.
2. Maximize your student ID card
Being an international student in the UK actually comes with a lot of perks. Did you know that presenting your ID card in different situations can make things a lot easier for you?
Showing a student ID card can get you discounts at retail stores, restaurants and other hang outs. Keep your eyes open for student discounts because they’re absolutely everywhere in the city.
There are transport discounts, gym session discounts, accommodation discounts, cloth sale discounts, entertainment and so much more. You’ve got to make sure you have your student ID in place before you arrive. Student IDs are also known as an ISIC (International student Identity Card).
The ISIC card is an internationally recognized student ID and it makes card holders part of a truly unique club. Another one you should try getting is a NUS card from The National Union of Students.
These cards are very helpful as they will help you to easily access daily, weekly, and monthly offers on everything. This covers your weekly shopping, eating out, travel, clothing, outings and a whole lot more.
3. Get necessary documents
Nigerian students require a visa to study in the UK. Ensure that you have all the relevant documentation and keep them very safe. You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if
- You are 16 or above
- Speak, read, write, and understand English
- Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course
The earliest you can apply for a visa is three months before you start your course and it costs about £348 to apply for this visa from outside the UK. You also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of the application
4. Open a bank account
You should seriously consider setting up a bank account in the UK, knowing that you will be spending over a year. This will give you ease of paying for bills and keep your money safe.
It is also useful in ensuring that you avoid any foreign currency charges you would incur if you use a non-UK bank account to pay for things in the UK.
In order to successfully open a bank account in the UK, the following requirements must be met:
- Identification. A passport is usually required
- Proof of address. You will need both your address here at home and also in the UK. Documents such as utilities are accepted.
- Proof of income. The bank will conduct a credit check and an interview so as to establish that you are capable of maintaining the account
- Proof of your studentship. You are to present a confirmation letter from your school
UK banks are very strict in the requirements for opening an account.
Nevertheless; student bank accounts are a great option as they come with a whole lot of benefits including an interest free overdraft of up to £2000.
Given all these perks and what you stand to gain, I strongly recommend that you consider setting up a bank account once you arrive and have settled in.
5. Get an oyster card
The oyster card is a contact-less travel card that can be used on the UK bus service: both underground and overground. They offer students a discounted rate to travel.
The card will carry your name and photo, so in case you miss it, your money can be transferred to a new account.
Having this kind of facility will greatly reduce your spending.
For example, the price of a single bus ticket without an oyster card costs around £2.40 but using an oyster card you can easily get the same bus ticket for £1.40. Life for students is just awesome with an oyster card.
6. Stay safe
UK is relatively safe.
Still you need to give priority to your safety at all times. Bear in mind that you’re in a foreign country.
Keep an eye on all your belongings.
Don’t stay out late.
Use only registered taxis. Be mindful of the fact that your safety is your responsibility.
Pickpocket is rampant in the UK. You need to always be conscious of that generally. NEVER walk alone at night. It’s best if you don’t even stay out late at all.
Always make sure you tell someone where you are at a particular timeand exactly when you’ll be back.
7. Get helpful Apps.
Here are some helpful apps to get to help make your stay in the UK a lot easier.
- Citymapper. This app will tell you how to get to anywhere via the tube, when walking, or in a bus.
- Tripadviser. Tripadviser lists the top attractions and will give basic info, like how much it costs, the hours and a general description.
- Viber. This app is majorly used for texting and calling with WiFi
- WeHostels. You can use this App to get great reviews of concerts, shows and festivals. It can also be used to find affordable accommodations especially when you’re going off on weekends and small trips.
- Hailo. It is used to find cabs around. You can also pay for them using the App if you’re low on cash in your packet
- Zomato. The Zomato App works by using your location to find restaurants in your area, especially when you’re looking for places on a budget.
Enjoy your stay and remain safe!