Finances for International Students

Living Costs

It is difficult to estimate how much it will cost you to live in the UK because so much depends on your lifestyle. However, Tier 4 regulations state that students must show they have access to at least £1015per month for their living costs.

You will also need to consider any additional costs of travelling to and from your home country.
Please remember that exchange rates can vary and this may lead to an increase in the cost of living. You need to bear this in mind when deciding how much money to bring with you.

Some typical UK prices

Loaf of bread £1.40
1 kg of rice £1.60
2.5 kg of potatoes £1.30
Pint of milk 65p
Laundry (wash and dry) £5.00 (for a large load)
Shirts and tops and lightweight sweaters £30 and under
Jeans, casual trousers, skirts and heavier sweaters £40 and under
Shoes £20 – £60
Newspaper 30p-£1.20
CDs £5-15
Portable music system £30 and up
Cinema ticket £4.50 – £8.50
Bicycle £100 and up
Laptop computer £400-£600
Restaurant meal (without drinks) £15 average
Hairdresser £10 (men), £15-35 (women)


Average weekly living costs for a single student

Rent (including bills) £65-75
Food £32
Toiletries £6-£12
Telephone £6-12
Books and stationery £12
Clothes £12
Entertainment £12
Total estimated weekly living costs £145-167


Please note that figures quoted above should be used as a guide only. If your family will be living with you in the UK you will need to bring enough money to support them too.

International Student Calculator

The UNIAID International Student Calculator will help you plan and manage your money for study in the UK. This has been developed by two independent charities; UNIAID and UKCISA.


Financial Problems
It is essential that you make sure you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses while you are studying in the UK, because finding financial support once you have started your studies is extremely difficult. However, if you experience financial difficulties while you are studying because of changed personal or political situations, or for any other reason, it is important you talk to someone immediately. If this happens, you should call in to see an adviser in the University’s Student Money Advice Team where staff will try to assist you.


Banking Facilities in the UK
When you arrive in the UK one of the first things you need to do is open a bank account, you should be prepared that this could take up to four weeks. Please check Unilife for information on what services and facilities are available.


Transferring Money to the UK
The easiest and quickest way to send money is by electronic transfer from a bank in your home country to your account in the UK. To do this you will need:

  • The full name and address of your UK bank
  • Your full name as given on your UK bank account
  • The sort code and account number of your UK bank account

However, if you want to use a banker’s draft for living costs in the UK, please ensure you make it payable to yourself and not the University.


EU Cash Declaration Rules
A European Union (EU) law on travellers declaring cash has been introduced to help combat money laundering. As from 15th June 2007, people who are entering the UK from a non-EU country and are carrying €10,000 Euros or more (or the equivalent in other currencies) will be required to declare the cash to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on arrival in the UK. Forms on which to make the declaration will be available at ports or airports and will also be downloadable from the HMRC website. Travellers could face a penalty of up to £5,000 if they fail to comply with the obligation to declare, or provide incorrect or incomplete information.


US Student Loans

Information on US Student Loans can be found on Unilife