What to consider when studying abroad in the UK

If you’ve been thinking about studying abroad, and the U.K. is on your radar, you aren’t alone, as hundreds of thousands of students choose to attend universities there every year.

Whether it’s a quiet and lush country setting that you’re after, or if you’d prefer being in the middle of a vibrant city, studying in the U.K. will give you the chance to see new places, befriend new people, and dive into culture, cuisine, and history that might change your life. Before this however, you’re probably wanting to know more about:

  • How much it costs to study overseas
  • How to save money as a student overseas
  • The best things to do (for those study breaks in between), and
  • How to apply to university overseas

How much does it cost to study in the U.K.?

As a general average, tuition and fees might range anywhere from £10,000 to more than £38,000 annually. However, how much you’ll end up paying to study abroad in the U.K. will depend on the school that you choose to attend and the program you’ll be completing. For example, you might be able to find lower tuition costs for schools in Northern Ireland.

In addition to covering tuition and fees, though, you also need to think about the costs of living as an international student in the U.K. Cities like London are typically pricier than rural areas, so this might play a role in your decision making process when choosing between universities. On average, however, you might expect to spend around £1,500 monthly for basic expenses.1

Also, it’s wise to keep in mind that you might need to have a minimum amount of money in your bank account each month in order to satisfy visa regulations.1 When you apply for your visa, read through the requirements thoroughly so you’ll know what’s expected of you based on where you’ll be living and attending university.

Note: Want to get a clearer picture of how much money you’ll have after your home currency has been converted into the British pound? OFX helps you track currency trends with ease so you can budget smarter. How to save money while studying in the U.K.

The English countryside

How to save money while studying in the U.K.

If you’re worried about being able to afford studying in the U.K., the good news is that there are several options for getting the financial aid that you need. As a few examples:

Student loans

You might be able to apply for student loans, grants, and scholarships to help ease the burden of paying for tuition and fees.

Ask your university for guidance

You can find a lot of information on financial aid for international students in the U.K. by doing research online. However, you can also gain greater insight into what options are available by asking your university for guidance.

Use an international money transfer provider for tuition payments

Whether or not you qualify for financial aid, you can save money by using an international money transfer provider like OFX when you need to pay tuition and fees. By doing so, you’ll be able to swiftly and securely transfer funds from your home bank account to your school so you’ll never miss a payment deadline.

London skyline

Things to do while studying abroad in the United Kingdom

There’s no shortage of fun things to do while you’re in the United Kingdom. As an example, you could go shopping or strolling through the countryside by day, and then you can party the night away with your buddies after having dinner at an upscale restaurant.

Regardless of what course of study you’re pursuing, there will be someplace beautiful that you can explore in order to enrich your experience. Including:

  • Historical sites like Stonehenge or Cardiff Castle
  • Tourist attractions like The National Gallery, or the London Eye.
  • Plus, on top of all of that, there are loads of restaurants to choose from like Pollen Street Social in Central London, or the famous Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, which overlooks the rugged Cornish coastline.

Finally, another way to dive into what it’s like being a U.K. citizen—and another way to fund your studies in the process—is by getting a job. With your student visa, you might be eligible for local part-time jobs that can help you pay the bills and feel more financially secure while living abroad.

International students studying abroad

How to apply for overseas study in the United Kingdom

Choose a program

The first step involves searching for the school that you’d like to attend and the program that you’d like to enroll in. There are a variety of universities to choose from as an international student, so you have a lot of options.

Submit your application

Once you’ve decided on which university you’d like to attend, it’s time to submit your application. Bear in mind that requirements will vary from one school to another, so read through the admission requirements carefully.

Apply for a student visa

After you’ve received your acceptance letter, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. In the U.K., the student visa is Tier 4 (General).

You might have to use the reference number on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) when you apply for your visa in order to prove you’ve been accepted into a university.

You can apply for a Tier 4 student visa if you meet several requirements,2 such as:

  • You’re 16 or older
  • You can read, write, understand, and speak English
  • You’re from a country that isn’t in the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland
  • You’ve been accepted to a school
  • You can prove that you have the funds necessary to cover the costs of school and living in the U.K.

When applying for your student visa, expect to pay a fee. You’ll also need to provide other documents, which might include your passport and the results of a tuberculosis test, for example.

Study overseas in the U.K. and make memories to last a lifetime

The United Kingdom isn’t only the place where you’ll find some of the best universities on the planet; it’s also a unique part of the world that truly has something for everyone. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll be able to meet friendly locals, immerse yourself in a new culture, and grow both as a student and as an individual. It’s no surprise that this is one of the go-to places for international students.


1. https://www.studying-in-uk.org/international-student-statistics-in-uk/

2. https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa

3. https://www.studying-in-uk.org/how-to-apply-for-college-uk/

4. https://www.gooverseas.com/study-abroad/united-kingdom


6. https://www.studyabroad.com/in-england

7. https://www.studying-in-uk.org/uk-financial-aid/

8. https://www.educations.com/articles-and-advice/7-reasons-to-study-abroad-in-the-uk-13700

9. https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/documents-you-must-provide

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IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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