The previous blog post tells my story about registration at the Overseas Visitors Records Office (Link) during my first week in the UK. Recalling this time as hectic and stressful, I decided to nail down 10 essential steps a student needs to make in order to settle in the UK effectively and hopefully cheerfully.
I do recommend accomplishing the following 5 steps in the given order:
|1. As soon as you pass the boarding control, settle down, find your new home. Whether it’s a hotel, a student residence, university accommodation or a shared flat, you need to have at least a temporary address.Write down your new address and remember to note the post code, ask someone if you are not sure how to write the address correctly.
NOTE: I won’t focus on the question of housing now as it deserves as my review of London areas and ways to find a flat is coming soon.
2. Register yourself at the police station; bear in mind all the suggestions made in this post.
|3. Visit your university and let them know your new address, register and receive your student card.Ask for the certificate of registration with your new address on it, signed/stamped by the university – you will need it. If possible obtain 3 copies.|
|4. Find the nearest bank in your neighborhood; open a student bank account. Your debit card is your magic key, which opens all doors around. Among most popular banks are: HSBC, NatWest, Lloyds, and Barclays. You can find plenty of their branches and cash machines around the town.You will need your student certificate with the UK address, a passport, and probably a proof of your overseas address. Check the requirements of the bank before going. Also, the beginning of an academic year is a hectic time so book an appointment to ensure you will be admitted.NOTE: my experience tells that it is always better to book your appointment anywhere you plan to go.|
|5. Get yourself a sim card with local number; compare rates and contract terms before making the final decision. You will need a bank account to get a contract. Most popular networks are Three, TMobile, O2, Vodafone, GiffGaff. My personal favorite is Three.|
The next 5 steps can be completed in any order you find convenient.
Now, you are settled, connected, and can start your adventure. Good luck!
Useful links and numbers:
- Advice for overseas visitors & students studying/living in London http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Advice-for-overseas-visitors–students-studyingliving-in-London/1400011322875/1400011322875
- Police registration scheme http://www.dorset.police.uk/default.aspx?page=1036
- Find a GP in your area http://www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/pages/servicesearch.aspx
- Transport for London http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
- Oyster card for students https://photocard.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gotoApply.do?type=student&from=home
- National Rail UK http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
- Council tax http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/YourlocalcouncilandCouncilTax/CouncilTax/index.htm
- 999 – Emergency number in the UK