There are some Money Mistakes International Student In The UK must avoid. The country is an education stronghold that attracts thousands of international students every year. In fact, being a bastion for education cal also relate to paying a premium price for your education, on top of your living expenses. For example, compare to domestic students, international students in the UK pay considerably more for their tuition.
While UK higher education is highly valued by students, before you start, make sure you think about how you can stretch your finances, avoid common money mistakes like falling prey to scams as well as losing money to unscrupulous individuals.
Money Mistakes To Avoid As An International Student In The UK
To save yourself the financial hardship and emotional turmoil that comes with financial woes, preparation helps. Here’s some advice to help you manage your finances properly:
Be aware of scams
Scams, such as student visa and student housing scams, are rife, making it crucial for students to be ‘scam-aware’ and read up on the common modus operandi that is used by unscrupulous individuals in order to avoid falling prey to their devious schemes.
For example, fraudulent visa agents often lure students by promising to give them a student visa so they can work, meanwhile they generally tend to work more hours that are allowed legally. Others may guarantee admission into a particular university before students have even applied.
Thus, it’s crucial for prospective international students in the UK to understand that there are no shortcuts to getting a job in the country without attending classes. As a matter of fact, institutions don’t accept students without first receiving an application or any documents from the student. Ensure you check the information provided on websites against official sites, such as gov.uk and/or the university’s official website.
In addition, students also need to watch out for fraudulent landlords who expect students to transfer money as a ‘holding deposit’ without visiting a property first. The National Union of Students recommends that students make a payment in person with the use of credit card and at a trusted letting agents’ office, adding that a formal contract should be signed before any exchange of money.
Alternatively, you can ask your students’ union or accommodation officer if they have approved lists of landlords or letting agents.
Keep track of exchange rates
International students in the UK are advised to make sure they monitor exchange rates. If you are coming from a country with a weaker currency than the UK, your spending power may be considerably less, which makes it crucial that you keep track of foreign exchange rates before making certain purchases that require a significant amount of money.
We are aware that exchange rates fluctuate daily, but what can appear to be a minor change can matter greatly when you’re making large transactions (like paying your tuition fees for the semester), which could set you back by hundreds of dollars when done at the wrong time, depending on the type of money transfer service used.
Make a budget – and stick to it
As a student, future-proofing your finances probably won’t be top on your list of priorities, but failing to stick to a budget as a student can severely impact your lifestyle, not just during the semester, but also post-graduation.
To make sure your money stretches across the academic year, try to make a budget – and ensure you stick to it! This includes deducting how much you need for your monthly essentials (i.e. rent, school materials or fees, etc.) and living within your means, cutting back where necessary.