Moving to a new country to study can bring up a lot of practical questions. We have put some information together to help with some of the topics international students often ask us about.
Students often choose to open a UK bank account while studying in the UK. It can help to avoid currency conversion fees on your everyday spending, and make it easier to pay and receive money from UK-based companies. We have created a page that explains how you can open a UK bank account. It is also worth visiting UKCISA’s webpage on Opening a Bank Account in the UK.
Banks and building societies have to perform checks on customers wanting to open a bank account with them, to check their identity and immigration status, so please be prepared that it may take several weeks to open an account, depending on your bank and if they wish to hold an in-person appointment. You should be prepared to support yourself financially during this initial period through other means, such as credit and debit cards. You may also use cash, but it is best to avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you or keeping cash in your room for security reasons.
If you change your address or if your credit card or debit card is lost or stolen, you should contact your bank immediately.
Managing your money and bills
If you have any concerns about finances whilst at university, the Student Life Finance team can help. They can give you impartial, non-judgemental advice for a range of issues around money, including advice on how to budget effectively. You can find more information about what they can offer here.
UKCISA have a useful webpage of things to consider when planning and looking for housing in the UK.
You can find further information about UEA’s Accommodation. UEA has limited family accommodation available that can accommodate children (under 18s). If UEA’s family accommodation is full, it will be your responsibility to find suitable accommodation for your family whilst in Norwich.
If students need to find suitable accommodation for themselves and their families upon arrival in Norwich, we advise that the student travels alone first, wherever possible, and secures accommodation before their family travels to join them. This is because it is often easier and cheaper for an individual student to stay in temporary accommodation (like a hotel or Airbnb) whilst looking for a longer-term home for their family. This also ensures that your arrival and commencement of your studies is not delayed by trying to arrange accommodation from outside the UK. If you arrive significantly after the start of teaching, the University may not be able to register you on your course.
We would like to reassure you that Dependants accompanying Student visa holders are not generally required to travel to the UK at the same time as the student themselves. Travelling later should not have an impact on your dependents’ visas, so long as they travel to the UK before the end date on their vignette(s). If you have any questions or concerns about this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
There are many issues you may need to consider when bringing family with you to university, such as housing, childcare and schooling. The Student Life webpage on Childcare and Family Life has some information on finding a school, the UEA Nursery, family housing, play areas and parks.
The UEA Students Union also offer a range of advice and guidance for students that are parents, or for students that are expecting a child.
Student Life International have created a separate page on Healthcare in the UK.
Getting around Norwich
UEA is easily accessible by public transport, bike and car. You can find further information on UEA’s Travel and Transport pages (UEA log-in required). If you will be using the bus a lot, it may be worth getting a bus pass. You can find further information about this here (UEA log-in required).
UEA also has the Safer Taxi scheme, to ensure students can get home safely if they ever find themselves in a situation where they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. The local taxi companies currently taking part in the scheme are listed on the Safer Taxi webpage.
Travelling further afield
Norwich is well connected to the rest of the UK and, if you are planning on travelling outside of Norwich, it may be worth reading UKCISA’s page on Travel and Transport in the UK.
Driving in the UK
Before driving a vehicle in the UK, it is important to be aware of what you need to do and check any procedures and legal requirements that may differ from your home country. UKCISA has a helpful page on driving in the UK, including learning to drive, road regulations and things you will need to consider if you are planning on purchasing a car.
We recognise that when you move to a different country it can often take time to settle in. We have created a page with some advice and guidance to make the transition to living in the UK easier (UEA log-in required), with information on support options if you do find that you are struggling with anything.