If you are an international student moving to the UK this summer to start a university course, here’s a few top tips to help you make the most of your money!
- Open a e-Current UK bank account BEFORE you leave – Many international students assume a high street bank is the best place to go to setup a UK bank account, but often there will be delays in setting up an account and you have to already be in the UK before you start the process of opening an account. With an e-Current account like Aspire from Unizest, you can set up a UK bank account whilst you are still at home, giving you peace of mind that your account will be ready to use as soon as you arrive in the UK – visit unizest.co.uk for more information
- Don’t carry too much cash on you – If you have arrived in the UK with a large amount of money and haven’t be able to set up a bank account yet, ensure you don’t carry too much cash around on you as you could be a target for thieves. Keep it in a safe and secure place and try to set up a bank account as soon as possible.
- Be aware of transaction fees and exchange rates – If you are sending or receiving money from home, it is important to be aware of transaction fees and exchange rates, which can add up over time if you are dealing with lots of small transactions. Try to limit the amount of withdrawals from cash machines if you are using a foreign bank card, as the costs will add up significantly over time. This is why it is important to set up a UK bank account as soon as possible.
- Create a budget – It is hard for any student to adapt to the cost of living at university and this is even harder when you are in a new country and unfamiliar with the shops and prices. The UK Council for International Student Affairs has some great advice on how to prepare for the cost of living. Visit ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Living-in-the-UK/Cost-of-living for more information
- Ask your university for advice – If you are worried about any aspect of your finances, why not visit your student services department. They have worked with many international students in the past and will be able to help you find a solution to your money problems.
UniZest was conceived and launched by Peter Miles & Chris Donnachie (Direct North Solutions Ltd – DNS) in September 2015. Between them they have over 35 years’ experience in establishing and building innovative companies in the UK student market, and in the financial products sector.
The company secured some additional external funding in Q1 2016 from several High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), and the FinTech 2016 SEIS Fund – //fintechseisfund.com under an approved SEIS scheme. Peter Miles and DNS remain the majority shareholders.