Money transfer information for international students
There are many additional cost factors for international student that you should keep in mind if you choose to study in the UK. The International Student Office at your chosen university should be able to answer most of your questions, but here we’ve provided a quick guide to some common international student questions.
Opening a bank account in the UK
Be aware that opening a bank account in the UK can take several days or even several weeks, so leave enough time to get this done before your course starts, especially if you know you will need to use your bank account in the future. Here are some points to consider:
• If a bank only offers you a cashcard (a kind of card where money can only be withdrawn through that bank’s cash machine), then ensure they have a branch near to you.
• See if your bank in your home country has any ties to banks in the UK. If, for example, you use Santander in Spain then you may find transferring to Santander in the UK easier then setting up a new account in a new bank.
• You will need your passport, proof of a place on an educational course, and proof of UK address to apply for a UK bank account. Make sure you have all the necessary documents before setting up a bank appointment because without these three times you will not get very far.
• Always consider what rates you are getting from a bank, and what kind of services are offered.
• There are charges for using foreign currencies in most banks, so try and keep everything to Pounds Sterling.
Post to and from the UK
The UK has a great post service, but posting items back and forth from your country can be costly. Try and make sure that you bring everything you need with you and limit the amount of things you need to send. Take up emailing – it can have all the romance of writing letters without the cost.
If possible use the internet to communicate back home. Skype is free and having a face-to-face Skype call is much more friendly (and cheaper) as compared to ringing a foreign country from a mobile phone or a landline.
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