Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you’re starting a new chapter of your life at university. Studying abroad is no mean feat and can be very stressful. Not to worry! These helpful tips will hopefully ensure that your transition to life in Sussex is seamless as possible.
Joining Facebook groups
The UK is a culturally diverse country and, with Sussex named among the 25 most international universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, you will find plenty of people in your situation to make friends with. In case you are anxious about getting to know people, a great way to meet your first uni friend is through the Sussex Facebook groups. Simply search ‘International Students – University of Sussex – 2019-2020’, so you can meet new peeps and discuss any questions you may have with them.
Opening a bank account
It is standard practice for students studying in the UK to have a bank account. It is impossible for you to keep exchanging currencies or to use your home country issued card (and avoid currencies charge) to pay for everything. Bear in mind that most UK banks don’t offer student bank accounts to international students, but you will be able to open a regular current account. To get started, you’ll need to prepare some documents: your valid passport, your valid visa (if you are not from the EU), proof of your term-time address, proof of your student status and proof of income. Then simply do some research on UK banks and you are good to go!
Getting health insurance
No one likes the idea of getting ill, but you always have to prepare for the worst. If you are an EU national with a European Health Insurance Card or have paid the health surcharge as part of your visa application, then you can enjoy health care from the National Health Service (NHS) in your time of need. If you’re living on campus you should register with the nearest health centre situated close to Lancaster House.
Checking whether you are eligible for a part-time job
If you want to slightly alleviate your financial burden, it is a great idea to find a parttime job for some extra money. For EU nationals, you can work as many hours as you want, just like the Brits. But if you are from a non-EU country, you normally can work up to 20 hours, as stated in your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Before applying for the job, make sure you have your national insurance number, or you won’t get very far! It’s always good to bear in mind that, with a job on top of your university work, time to enjoy yourself is important too.
All of these tips will hopefully help you to find your feet after making such a big leap overseas. Just remember to enjoy your time here and make the most of it!