Preparing for life in the UK

Students enjoying time together on Surrey's campus

Warisa, our student ambassador from Thailand, takes us through the preparational steps she took ahead of starting her studies at the International Study Centre. Read her blog about how to prepare to study abroad in the UK here.

Travelling to the UK to study was a very big step for me. It meant the beginning of a new stage of life and a new journey. 2021 will be my first year travelling to the UK and I am very excited and looking forward for it. As everyone knows, before we can travel to a new place, there are some important steps that need to be taken. So, I would like to share the steps that I have completed in order to prepare for life in the UK.

1. Accept your university and make the payment

This is the very first step that you’ll need to take. Making the payment is the confirmation that you have the place for your course.

2. Apply for accommodation

You will need to apply for your student accommodation before you arrive, so you have a place to live ready for when you make it to the UK.

3. Apply for visa

Every student is required to apply for student visa, in order to go and study legally in the UK. You will need a CAS from your University to apply for the visa. If you do not have it, you will not be able to apply for the visa. It’s important to note that the Immigration Health Surcharge will be included as part of this application.

4. Plan when to travel

Arrange your flights and any other travel, making sure to arrive before your programme starts and giving yourself some time to settle in the UK.

5. Check your passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the dates of your flights.

Once you have done all the steps above, that means you are more than halfway towards starting your studies! In addition, there are also some steps that you should prepare for your living in the UK.

1. Set up a bank account

This will be the account you will use while you are in the UK.

2. Prepare important documents

You should make sure you have all the documents that are required to show for the immigration when you arrive to the UK or your university.

3. Pack your bag

This is my favourite task when I am preparing for travel abroad. Pack all the stuff you need for your living, but remember that some of the stuff you need can be bought after you arrive (so don’t bring too much).

4. Ask for any relevant information

As it will be my first time travelling to the UK, I have asked the International Study Centre’s student support staff a lot of questions about the studying and living in the UK. All the information they have provided is very useful to me, and has helped me to prepare myself better.

5. Learn about the local culture

I think, as an international student, it is certain that you will experiencing a new culture in the country you study in. For this reason, I have taken time to learn about the culture and lifestyle of people in the UK before I travel. This also includes finding out about the typical weather and environment. This step should help me to settle easier and enjoy life there.

Every time I completed one of these steps, I have grown more excited for my studies to start, and now I can’t wait to be in the UK. I would advise that your preparation will be easier if you make a list of what to do and pack — that way, you will not miss any steps or forget anything important as you get ready for your adventure.

I hope that the steps I have listed above will be useful for everyone, and that you all have an amazing time studying in the UK!

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.