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Top survival tips for international students

Top survival tips for international studentsStudying in a foreign country creates all kinds of challenges for international students.

Whether you are suffering from homesickness or simply want to know how to make life easier, here are a few tried and tested tips from other international students that could help.

Getting around

  • When you need to get a taxi, book one by phone instead of hailing one on the street. They are so much cheaper and your university may recommend trusted taxi companies.
  • A 16-25 railcard offers a third off off-peak travel on most UK trains. Find out how to apply for one by visiting your local railway station.
  • Find out if your local bus operator offfers a student discount. Every saving helps!

Eating out

  • You don't need to leave tips for everyone. You only need to leave tips in places like restaurants and cafes where you have received good services.


  • Internet calls like Skype are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family back home, and it's very cheap!
  • Alternatively, you can buy international phone cards from most newsagents.
  • Get a mobile phone when you arrive. That way you can keep in touch with all the new people that you meet.


  • ISIC cards are a great way to save money on hotels and hostels if you want to travel.
  • Perhaps your university has a free shuttle bus. This could save you a lot of money getting around.


  • Make the most of being a student and look for discounts – either in shops or on websites like Student Beans
  • Watch out, many shops in the UK shut at 5.30 in the evening. Ensure you get all your shopping done in time and don't get caught out.


  • You need to be registered with a doctors' surgery before you can see a doctor.
  • If you are studying in the UK for more than six months, you should be entitled for a discount on medicines.


  • Get internet banking. It means you can check your balance whenever you want and helps you see how much money you have left each month. Use PayPal if you want to transfer money from other countries. It's quick and will save you money.
  • Try to keep savings or some 'emergency money' separate in case you need it.
  • Bring travellers cheques rather than cash. It's safer.
  • Be aware of bank charges. Find out how much you will be charged for international money transfers, overdrafts etc.


  • Get involved in sports and societies. They're a great way to meet new people and find things out.
  • If you like going clubbing, find out when clubs have student nights with lower/free entry and cheaper drinks.
  • Look out for student discounts at the cinema or gyms.


  • Language in the UK can be quite confusing if you are new here. People say 'please' and 'thank you' a lot and when they say 'cheers' they mean thank you!

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