Despite the rising cost of higher education, the UK is continuing to be one of the most popular study destinations in Europe. According to HESA 435,500 international students pursued their higher education in the UK in 2013/14, with just under 90,000 students coming all the way from China.**
We all know that studying can be expensive, for international students sometimes even more so. One of the most common finance sources after funding from family would be taking out a student loan to cover tuition fees and cost of living while studying. UK government provides great option for UK students, however, EU students are entitled only to tuition fees loan and non-EU students are not getting any funding from UK government.
There are other funding options for these students and one of them – Future Finance international student loans. However, we will not talk about ourselves or other funding options available here much at this time!
This blog post aims to help international students to budget their student loan funds without compromising too much on the study abroad experience.
1. International Dinners
One of the best things about studying abroad is making friends from all over the world. What better way to get to know people than over a nice dinner (maybe with some grape juice). Eating out is nice, however cooking with a bunch of friends and getting to know different cuisines is way better. Get a group of friends together and start themed dinner nights. You will not just save money on eating out but you will also:
- Emerge yourself in different cultures
- Have a lot of fun with friends
- Impress your family when back home with your international cooking skills
2. Local SIM Card
This might seem very obvious, but a lot of students are not taking this opportunity. Just get a prepaid SIM card to communicate with your new friends in the UK. Try to use free services such as What’s App or Skype – you will need an internet connection for this, but you will most likely have Wifi access at your uni campus and your apartment. Using these services will cut down on your phone bill. Just make sure to turn that Data Roaming off when travelling!
3. Travel – Get Bargain Flights!
A lot of international students want to explore other European countries while studying in the UK. Europe is very diverse and has a lot to offer. Travelling can be expensive though, which is why you should try to avoid high season. Are you not sure where you would like to visit next? Let the price decide! You could use tools like Skyscanner; just type in your travel dates and your departure airport and it will give you a list of cheap flights to all kinds of destinations. For accommodation, make sure you compare prices and not just book the first hostel, B&B or hotel that you find online. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy some travelling on a student loan budget – just make sure you plan it right.
4. Student Discounts
Another obvious one to most of you, however, there are a lot of people that sometimes are too shy to ask if a student discount is available. Keep in mind – it doesn’t hurt to ask! Ask your peers in college for some good student discounts and check out student discount sites such as StudentBeans.com. Join some online forums like the StudentRoom, you’ll find lots of interesting discussions on these platforms and might get some money saving ideas.
5.Think Twice About Joining a Gym
It’s great that you want to keep your fitness up while studying in the UK, however gym memberships can be expensive and there is lots of other fun ways to keep fit. See if your university offers some sports courses or even has its own free gym, join a local team or set up your own sports group with some friends. A good way for you to join teams would be to look for them on Facebook, or student forum sites – not only will you make a bunch of new friends but your wallet will thank you too!
The above are only a couple of things that can help you budget your student loan while studying abroad, however as you know every little helps. Make sure you get the most out of your study experience, in both terms of good results but also from a cultural perspective.
You may also like:
- Fact or fiction? A guide to the UK for international students
- Top 5 UK university cites, what are they like?
If you are currently planning to study in the UK but are not sure how to finance it, visit our website to find information about our international student loan offer.