Study abroad for a semester in


The United Kingdom, comprising England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, is a top destination for international students seeking world-class education and a multicultural experience. With a rich historical heritage, vibrant cultural scene, and diverse academic offerings, the UK provides an enriching environment for students. Whether you’re exploring the historical landmarks of London, hiking through the Scottish Highlands, or enjoying the lively arts scene in Cardiff, studying in the UK promises a dynamic and fulfilling experience.

UK is best known for

World-Renowned Universities 🎓: The UK is home to some of the most prestigious universities globally, including Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics, known for their high academic standards and cutting-edge research.

Rich History and Culture 🏰: With its historic castles, world-class museums, and vibrant theater scene, the UK offers a deep dive into a rich cultural and historical landscape.

Diverse Urban Life 🌆: From the bustling streets of London to the charming cities of Edinburgh, Manchester, and Bristol, the UK’s cities are teeming with activities, events, and opportunities for students.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance 🛂

Planning to study in the United Kingdom involves securing the right visa and health insurance to ensure you meet legal requirements and have access to necessary healthcare services. These essential steps are crucial for a smooth transition to student life in the UK.

Visa Types

  • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa: For students aged 16 and over who have been offered a place on a course at an accredited institution.
  • Short-Term Study Visa: For students enrolling in courses lasting up to 6 months (or 11 months for English language courses).
  • EU/EEA Students: Following Brexit, EU/EEA students now need a visa to study in the UK. The same visa categories apply as for other international students.

Application Process

  1. Apply to UK Institutions: Gain acceptance to an accredited institution in the UK.
  2. Receive CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies): Your institution will provide you with a CAS, which is required for your visa application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents including your passport, CAS, proof of financial means, and health insurance coverage.
  4. Complete Visa Application: Fill out the visa application form online.
  5. Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): This fee grants access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
  6. Book an Appointment: Schedule a biometric appointment at a visa application center.
  7. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents.
  8. Attend Visa Interview: If required, attend an interview at the visa application center.
  9. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: CAS from your UK institution.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds (approximately £1,023 per month for living expenses outside London, £1,334 per month for London).
  • Passport: Valid for the duration of your stay in the UK.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and submitted online.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Receipt: Proof of payment.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks, so apply well in advance.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Interview Preparation: Prepare for potential visa interviews by practicing common questions and answers.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in the UK. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • National Health Service (NHS): Upon payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), international students gain access to the NHS.
    • Cost: £470 per year for the IHS.
    • Advantages: Comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
    • Limitations: Waiting times for non-urgent care can be longer, and some services may not be covered.
  • Private Health Insurance: Some students opt for private health insurance to supplement NHS coverage.
    • Cost: Varies based on the provider and plan. IMG offers competitive and comprehensive plans.
    • Advantages: Faster access to services, additional coverage options, and flexibility in choosing healthcare providers.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than relying solely on NHS coverage.

Country-Specific Requirements

NHS Registration: Upon arrival in the UK, students must register with a local GP (General Practitioner) to access NHS services. This registration is crucial for receiving comprehensive healthcare coverage.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by UK authorities. Private plans often provide quicker access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing providers.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with IMG with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in the UK.

Choose IMG

IMG is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for UK

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in the UK?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in the UK. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

UK Government – Study in the UK: Provides comprehensive information for international students looking to study in the UK, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in the UK.
UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): Offers detailed information on studying in the UK, including immigration advice, health insurance guidance, and practical tips for international students.

2. Cost of Living 💰

Navigating the cost of living in the United Kingdom is crucial for budgeting and financial planning. While some cities, like London, are known for their high living costs, other parts of the UK offer more affordable options. With careful planning, you can manage your expenses and enjoy all that the UK has to offer.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Monthly rent varies based on location and type of housing.
£400 – £1,750/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
£250 – £550/month
Transportation: Getting around the UK is convenient with several options.
£50 – £150/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
£100 – £200/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying the UK’s vibrant culture and social life.
£100 – £250/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
£50 – £150/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. The United Kingdom offers a variety of housing options to fit different needs and budgets, from historic university halls to modern student apartments.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms (Halls of Residence): Typically provided by universities, these offer convenience and a vibrant social scene.
Price: £400 – £900/month
Shared Apartments (Flats): Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice.
Price: £300 – £700/month
Private Apartments: Renting your own place offers privacy and independence.
Price: £600 – £1,500/month
Homestays: Living with a local family provides cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: £400 – £800/month
Specialized Student Housing: Managed by private companies, these accommodations often include various amenities.
Price: £500 – £1,000/month

Find accommodation in UK

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Ask for Help: Utilize university housing services and student forums for advice and recommendations.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations.

4. University Information 🎓

Choosing the right university is a significant part of your study abroad journey. The United Kingdom, home to some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, offers a rich academic environment and a variety of programs to suit your interests.

Discover our partner universities 🎉

Enjoy the best free mover experience on our platform by choosing our partner universities. Those institutions have close ties with us, so for any eventuality you can rely on our help.

Partner universities in UK

Our best selection of destinations is awaiting you

Otherwise, surf through the whole selection of universities

Apart from partner institutions, we also list other destinations. They might be a riskier choice since information can be uncertain and response times higher, but still they are worth a try in our opinion.

Find universities in UK

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information 🛠️


The UK’s transportation network is extensive and efficient, making it easy to explore the country and beyond.

Public Transportation 🚆: Most cities have reliable public transport systems, including buses, trams, and underground networks. Monthly passes range from £50 to £100, with student discounts often available. London’s Oyster card is a popular choice for navigating the city’s public transport.

Bicycles and Scooters 🚴: Many UK cities are becoming more bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs like Santander Cycles in London. Scooters are also a convenient option for short distances.

Trains 🚄: The UK’s train system, operated by companies like National Rail, connects major cities and regions. High-speed trains are perfect for long-distance travel, while regional trains cover shorter distances. Booking tickets in advance can save money.

Tips 💡: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes and consider buying a railcard for additional savings on train travel. For intercity travel, book train tickets in advance to secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in the UK offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and NatWest.

Documents Required 📑: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, proof of address, and a reference letter from your university.

Currency 💷: The currency in the UK is the British Pound (GBP). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips 💡: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into UK society.

Punctuality ⏰: Punctuality is highly valued in the UK. Arriving on time for classes, meetings, and social events is expected.

Greetings 🤝: A firm handshake is a common greeting in the UK, especially in formal or business settings. In casual settings, a simple “Hi” or “Hello” is sufficient.

Mealtimes 🍔: Mealtimes in the UK are generally flexible, but lunch is usually around 12-1 PM, and dinner is typically between 6-8 PM. The UK has a diverse culinary scene, and tipping (usually 10-15%) is customary in restaurants.

Public Behavior 🤫: The British value politeness and respect in public spaces. Being loud or disruptive is generally frowned upon, especially in quieter residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.