How Much are the Living Costs of Studying Abroad in the UK?
Studying abroad is one of the most enriching and educational experiences you can have. Though the United Kingdom has long been a top destination for Indian students looking to study overseas, you may be worried because the UK is also known as an expensive place to live. So, what are the living costs of studying abroad in the UK?
The good news: they are probably not as high as you think.
Unless you plan to live in London, Manchester, or a few other large cities, you can probably manage on a budget of less than 1,000 GBP/month.
Read on to learn more about the five primary expenses you should factor into your budget.
#1 — Accommodation in the UK
Student accommodation in the UK generally averages from 380–800 GBP per month, though it may be considerably higher in the larger metropolitan areas. It is much harder to find affordable accommodation in London than in many other cities, so begin your search well in advance. Sites like accommodation.co.uk can help you find high-quality accommodation that meets your needs and won’t break your budget.
Popular accommodation options in the UK for students include the following:
University residence halls — rates as low as 450 GBP/month.
Rental flat — a one-bedroom unit averages 600–700 per month (rates are lower if you share a larger unit with others).
Homestay — prices vary with location, but can be as low as 500 GBP/month and often include partial board.
One thing to consider: many of these options include additional fees for things like utilities, and may also require a bond or first month’s rent up front. Always remember to ask about extra fees before signing any contracts.
#2 — Food Costs in the UK
The average grocery bill for one person in the UK is about 55 GBP/week. You can find the average costs of many staple food items in the UK at Numbeo. Student residence halls may provide cheaper food options through meal plans.
Restaurants are much costlier. You can expect to spend at least 10–15 GBP per meal even at inexpensive restaurants.
#3 — Transportation in the UK
Public transportation in the UK is cheap and easy to use.
Even in London, a single bus fare is just 1.50 GBP, and student travel cards are available for around 50 GBP/month.
Remember, student identity cards can get you discounts on public transportation passes (as well as in museums and other places).
#4 — Student Fees in the UK
You will need to buy books and other learning materials for your courses. Most of these costs are likely to occur at the beginning of the academic year or semester, so budget accordingly.
You may also have to pay special fees depending on your course of study and the materials you will need. For example, science and engineering courses may require laboratory fees, which can range from 100 to more than 1,000 GBP per academic year.
#5 — International Travel Fees to the UK
Before you can study in the UK, you have to get there. Many airlines now charge extra baggage fees, so remember to pack light.
You will also have to purchase your student visa. When applying from outside the UK, the student visa fee is 348 GBP. You may also have to pay an added health insurance fee, which can vary.You can look up how much the fee would be for you here: https://www.immigration-health-surcharge.service.gov.uk/checker/type
Before You Go
With careful planning, you can manage your budget and keep your living costs in the UK to a minimum.
When making your budget, remember that exchange rates can vary from month to month or even week to week. Yahoo! offers a free and easy currency converter that will help you with any numbers you need to crunch. And never be afraid to ask for student discounts, which are available at many businesses and tourist attractions!
I studied abroad in graduate school, and I created this list to answer questions that I myself asked before moving away. Was it useful? If so, please comment or share this article to help others who need answers to these same questions. Safe travels!