Bringing enough cash
You need to make sure you have enough cash with you when you first arrive to cover any expenses you may have while you’re setting up a bank account – no more than £250.
It’s best not to carry around large amounts of cash, so it is safer to use a debit, credit or cash card, with a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number). Your bank will provide you with this once your account is set up.
Opening a bank account
Having a bank account is the best way to manage your money while you’re in the UK, particularly if you’re staying here longer than six months.
Many banks offer accounts for international students, but these may take a few weeks to set up. Some banks have branches around the world, such as HSBC or Barclays, so it might be worth setting up an account in your home country to make the process a bit quicker.
Be sure to familiarise yourself with your government’s policies on transferring money to UK bank accounts, as some countries have strict rules about this.
We can help you set up a bank account in your first week, so don’t forget to bring documents with you – these include two types of picture ID, such as a passport and student ID card, proof of your UK mailing address and money to open the account. Once the bank account is set up, you can withdraw cash from cash machines around campus and the city.
It can be difficult for international students to get a credit card in the UK so we recommend you apply for a credit card in your home country – Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted.
UKCISA offer further advice on opening bank accounts in the UK.