Opening a Bank Account Opening a Bank Account

Banks in the UK

There are many banks in the UK and they offer different levels of service. It is a good idea to research the bank which will best serve your needs. There are online tools that compare banks / accounts such as www.moneysupermarket.com/current-accounts or

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/current-accounts

UK law requires banks to make checks on customers opening bank accounts to ensure that the account is not being falsely opened or operated. In the case of international students, banks will require proof of identity:

  1. Passport / ID / visa
  2. Proof of student’s address in their home country
  3. Proof of student’s new address in the UK. 
  4. Proof of being a UEA student (request the letter from your Hub – LTS 015)

For some banks, it may take up to 2-3 weeks to open an account. You should be prepared to support yourself financially during this initial period, through other means such as credit and debit cards / cash, but avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you and avoid keeping cash in your room for security reasons. 

Bank Statements

We recommend that international students do not turn off their paper statements, even if using online banking. Although banks can provide copies of statements, you may have to order these and it may take 5-7 days for you to receive them. Please retain your original bank statements which are sent by post, as you will need these for visa renewal purposes. Make sure you notify the bank if you change your address, as they will stop sending statements to you if their statements are returned by the postal service.

There are online banking options if you are not able to get an account at a UK high street bank or you are in the UK for less than 6 months. You can find out more at: www.unizest.co.uk  

Managing Your Money and Bills Managing Your Money and Bills

Paying UEA Bills

There are 3 ways you can pay your tuition and/or accommodation fees to UEA.

  1. You can pay them in full or arrange one of two payment options,
  2. Pay in 9 instalments, or
  3. Pay in 3 instalments by Direct Debit

You will be able to select how you want to pay as part of your online registration.

If you are being sponsored, on a student abroad programme or have other funding, you may have different arrangement for your fees.

It is important you pay your tuition and/or accommodation fees to the University so you do not get any late fees. Continued failure to pay your fees can result in you being suspended, so it is very important to keep the Finance Office aware of your situation.

If you have problems with paying your fees or you would like to make a payment, you can go to the Finance Office in the Registry.

Find out more about instalments, payment options, and about UEA Student Finance online

Managing and Budgeting Your Money

Having a good budget and managing your money will help you avoid financial problems and added stress. Knowing and understanding your financial situation will make your life much easier. The first thing you need to do is work out your budget, how much money you have or will come in, and how much you will need to spend.

Use the International Student Calculator which will set your budget up and breakdown your income and expenditures. https://international.studentcalculator.org/

Having a UK bank account will help you manage your money. However if you need to transfer money or you do not have a UK bank account, you will need to look at alternative ways to limit costly bank transfer and currency conversion fees.

Managing your Bills

You can normally pay your bills a few different ways. Direct Debit is where you set up an arrangement where a company takes the money out of your account. Normally on a specific date and a specific amount.

Standing Order is where you sent up a routine payment to someone, however you control this through your bank account. Paying directly to a company either via their website, bank transfer, on the phone, through the post, or in person. Lastly, you can have a prepayment card or account, where you add money and the credit is used as payment.

Discounts

As a student, you can student discounts at a lot of shops, services, and places. It is always worth asking if they do a student discount where you can get anywhere from 5%-15% off.

NUS Extra

Take advantage of student discounts on everything from food and fashion to entertainment and travel, not to mention 5% off all Amazon.co.uk orders! Cards cost £12 (one year) £22 (two years) £32 (three years) and can be purchased online at www.nus.org.uk/en/nus-extra so apply now to start saving money.

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

ISIC is similar to the NUS Extra card but is recognised internationally and allows you to access over 42,000 discounts worldwide. When you order your NUS Extra you will receive an ISIC card free for one year (any extra year will cost £12 and can be purchased online at www.myisic.co.uk or at STA Travel in the city).

Local deals

Local bars, restaurants, cafés and attractions would like to welcome you to Norwich with the special offers on Visit Norwich webpages

Tips for Saving Money

  • Buying and cooking your own food is cheaper than eating out
  • Do not buy new books before you start your course. Check the library first or buy used books if available
  • Ask shops and restaurants if they offer student discounts (some will require you to show your NUS card)
  • Research the best mobile phone plan before buying a phone or setting up a contract.
  • Bring a small amount of cash in British Pounds to cover any initial costs after you arrive in the UK
  • Consider bringing travellers cheques
  • Bring a cash/debit card or credit card (check with your bank – or Post Office – in your country) to access money from the UK
  • Look for the best way to transfer money from your bank overseas
  • Please be aware that restrictions apply on the amount of cash you can bring to the UK.

10 Tips for Student Money from Which University 

Student Budgeting Tips from UCAS 

Cost of Living in the UK Cost of Living in the UK

We estimate that a single student will need between £750 and £875 per month for basic living expenses. This is expected to cover food, accommodation, books, laundry and other basic day-to-day requirements. Tuition fees and travelling home are not included in this estimate. This amount is a guide only and will vary according to your choice of accommodation and lifestyle. You should also remember that your costs could increase or decrease with inflation or the rise and fall in the value of your currency against the British Pound. It will also cost significantly more if you have dependants living with you in the UK.

Here are some examples of costs in Norwich:

  • Inexpensive restaurant £12–£25
  • Take-away dinner £10–£20
  • Laundry £4.20 per load (wash and dry)
  • Cinema £8.20 with student ID
  • Milk £1.30 for 4 pints
  • Bread £1.40 a loaf
  • Chicken Breast £10.00 per kg
  • Rice £1.80 per kg
  • Taxi from UEA to Norwich one way £6–£10
  • Train to London £18–£60
  • Return bus fare from UEA to Norwich £4.30
  • Textbook average £40–£70
  • Paperback fiction books average £10
  • Printing 3p per page, 30p per colour page
  • Photocopying 6p per page per side on A4, 50p per colour A4 page.

Need Help? Need Help?

UEA Financial Advisers

If you having financial problems or temporary cash-flow problems, the Financial Advisers in the Student Support Centre can meet with you. Come into the Student Support Centre or email them on fac@uea.ac.uk. You can find more on how they can help on Money MattersTo book an appointment with an adviser, please come into the Student Support Service reception, or call 01603 592761 or email: studentsupport@uea.ac.uk  

Further information and advice

UKCISA Opening a Bank Account webpage 

If you change your address, or if your credit card/cash card is lost or stolen, you should contact your bank immediately. An International Student Adviser can help give you guidance if you are not sure what you all need to do in.