5 essential things you need when relocating to the UK on a student Visa (+bonus tips)

Winner Ajibola


Are you planning to relocate to the UK for your studies? Congratulations! It’s an exciting opportunity, but it can also be overwhelming. Relocating to a new country comes with a lot of challenges, especially if you’re a student from Nigeria, Kenya, or Tanzania.

That’s why we’ve created this detailed guide on the most important things and documents you need when relocating to the UK on a student visa.

1. Student Visa

The first and most important thing you need when relocating to the UK for your studies is a student visa. This is because, without a student visa, you won't be allowed to enter the country.

Usually, after paying your first deposit, it’s the next step to take. You can apply for a student visa through the UK Visas and Immigration website.

After this, book your appointment date. Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as a valid passport, a CAS number, and proof of financial support.

2. Accommodation

Finding suitable accommodation is another crucial aspect of relocating to the UK. You can choose to live on-campus or off-campus, depending on your preference and budget. On-campus accommodation can sometimes be more expensive, but it’s convenient and a great way to meet new people.

Off-campus accommodation could be cheaper, but you’ll need to factor in additional costs such as transportation. It also depends on whether your school is located in an expensive city like London or in more affordable areas like Leeds.

Be sure to start your search for accommodation early, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from your university’s housing team.

3. Bank Account

Opening a bank account in the UK is essential, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period. A UK bank account will make it easier for you to manage your finances, pay bills, and receive payments from your family or employers while in school.

We recommend opening an account that can allow you to make ultra-fast conversions from your local currency to GBP. So, for example, if you need to receive money from your family in Nigeria or even send money back home, you can easily do this with a foreign bank account like Grey.

Unlike other banks that’ll require you to show up in person, with Grey, all you need is your proof of identification and address, like a utility bill.

Another reason to choose Grey is that you don’t have to suffer high international transaction fees and poor currency exchange rates with other options. Plus, you can open one before relocating. Learn more about how it works here.

4. Health Insurance

As an international student, it’s important to have health insurance to cover any medical expenses you may incur during your stay in the UK. You can either choose to purchase private health insurance or register with the National Health Service (NHS).

The NHS offers free healthcare services to UK residents, but you’ll need to pay for some treatments, such as dental care. Make sure you have adequate health insurance before you travel to the UK.

5. Travel Documents

Remember to bring all the necessary travel documents with you when relocating to the UK. This includes your passport, student visa, and any other relevant documentation, such as your acceptance letter from your university. Keep these documents in a safe and secure place and make copies to have as a backup.

6. Student ID Card

Your student ID card is an essential piece of documentation that you’ll need throughout your studies in the UK. It will allow you to access your university’s facilities, such as the library and computer labs, and may also offer discounts on transport and other services. Make sure you apply for your student ID card as soon as possible after arriving on campus.

Tips for a Smooth Relocation to the UK on a Student Visa

Here are some additional tips guaranteed to help you with your relocation to the UK on a student visa:

1. Research Your University

Before you arrive in the UK, make sure you research your university thoroughly. This will help you to get a better idea of what to expect when you arrive and what facilities and services are available to you. Check the university’s website for details on accommodation, student services, and any other relevant information.

2. Plan Your Finances

Moving to a new country can be expensive, so it’s important to plan your finances carefully. Make a budget and stick to it, and remember to factor in costs such as accommodation, food, transportation, and leisure activities.

You may also need to consider the costs of additional expenses like clothing and purchasing health insurance. If you already have a Grey account, you can convert your savings in Naira and shillings to British Pounds at the best rates. Afterward, you can make an instant transfer to your regular GBP account.

3. Attend Orientation

Most universities in the UK offer orientation sessions for new international students. These sessions are designed to help you get familiar with your new surroundings and meet other students. Attend orientation if you can, as it’s a great way to get started on the right foot and make new friends.

4. Join Clubs and Societies

Joining clubs and societies is a great way to meet other students and get involved in campus life. Most universities in the UK offer a wide range of clubs and societies, including sports teams, cultural groups, and academic societies. Joining a club or society that interests you can be a great way to make new friends and get involved in activities outside of your studies.

5. Stay Connected with Family and Friends

Moving to a new country like the UK can be a lonely experience, so it’s important to stay connected with your family and friends back home. Use video calling apps to keep in touch, and consider setting up a regular time to chat with your loved ones back home.

Wrapping Up

Relocating to the UK on a student visa can be a challenging experience, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to explore a new country and culture. Don’t forget to set up your Grey account so you never have to worry about your finances while studying in the UK.

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