If you have friends or know of people that already live in London, check with them to see if you can crash on their sofa or in a spare room. Sites like Arrive Homes are great ways to look for temporary living spaces if you don’t know anyone here.
Flat hunting in London can be intimidating compared with the rest of the country, so we’ve made a handy flat hunting guide to help you through the search.
To show a bank that you are eligible for an account with them, you will have to prove you intend to reside in the UK for an extended period of time. You will also have to show why you are able to stay in the UK for an extended time.
Most banks in Central London and nearby universities will be inundated with overseas students trying to get appointments at the beginning of the autumn term. If you are coming over at other points in the year, the banks will be less busy but you may still have to make an appointment.
– Proof of identity – your passport + visa
– Proof of residence – a utility bill with your address on it should suffice. Unfortunately, most banks do not accept mobile phones as a utility bill so be sure to bring a rent, gas, electric, water or council tax bill as backup.
Some banks may try to charge you for having an account, but there are several that do not. Lloyds has handy banking tips for those new to the UK.
There are several different service providers in the UK, all with more or less decent plans for standard communications. When shopping around for a mobile plan, take into consideration the cost of a mobile – if you don’t have one already – or if a SIM only plan works best for you.
Aside from big names like O2, Vodafone and EE, TalkTalk and Lebara are all good options to consider. Giffgaff is one of the cheapest options available with no lock-in contracts! There is Wi-Fi practically everywhere in major cities like London so you can keep in touch with people back at home more easily, and save on data plans.
World Class Teachers can send you a SIM card before arriving in the UK, so you just have to top up and you’re ready to go!