Made up of four distinct countries- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom is a very popular study destination for Indian students. The UK is a great place to study in. With excellent quality of institutions and a strong tradition of research, it offers an excellent learning experience. How can you ensure that your time in the UK as a student is well spent?
Once you arrive in the UK you will need to take care of many things before you get busy with your classes and study. Most institutions will organise an orientation days/week for international students where you will be introduced to the institution, class time table, accommodation, health and money matters. We recommend that you arrive at your institution in time to attend this orientation as it will help you settle in faster.
You may find the Education System in the UK very different from what you are used to in India. For one you will be expected to do a lot of self study and contribute with active participation in classroom discussions. You will get assignments that you have to submit within the stipulated time neatly typed. Please note that plagiarism is a serious offence in the UK. Students who are caught copying material from friends, internet, books without giving due credit to the author are penalized and are asked to return to their home country. So do make sure your work is original and you give proper references wherever required. You can contact your personal tutor or attend the Orientation Program organised by you institution in order to find out more about this.
When it comes to finding somewhere to live you will find that most institutions will guarantee accommodation provided you have applied by the deadline date. If you are looking for an alternative, private accommodation available outside the university campus may work out to be much cheaper.
However, remember to factor in costs of transport to and from the university, utility bills for electricity, heating, internet etc. You must travel to the UK 1-2 weeks before your course starts so that you have enough time to look for private accommodation.
It is recommended that you carry at least £500 in cash to cover immediate expenses on arrival such as taxi/bus fare, initial deposit for your bank account, food items, stationery etc.
While packing for your life as a student you might like to include a few basic essentials like a warm coat, pressure cooker, umbrella, good walking shoes, spices, plug adapter etc. Remember, layering your clothing is the way to beat the cold.
No matter where you live either in the university or in private accommodation try and make your room cosy and homely as much as possible by bringing your own bed linen (unless you know its included in your room, you can always buy them on arrival in the UK), family photographs, bath towels etc.
In the UK a variety of pre-paid and post paid schemes are available. It might be difficult to get a post paid scheme soon after arrival as you will need to give proof of residence etc., hence a pay-as -you-go plan might be your best option. Some phone companies may have cheaper options to make calls to India so may be worthwhile to explore them.
Most colleges and universities in the UK provide free e-mail accounts for their students and you are recommended to visit your university library to find out more. If you are thinking of buying a laptop, we recommend you buy it in the UK as it might be cheaper. You would also find that it is easier to get second hand desk tops very cheap from students who are leaving the campus. There might be offers on brand new laptops arranged by the university and it is best to check with the IT Support staff or the Library staff to find out more.