Tips for Indian students going to the UK
Are you going to the UK for further studies or work? This guide is a mere attempt to tell you what it is like to live, work and study in the UK.
Most of the Indian restaurants are not actually Indian
Yes that’s right. If you are ever out and about and fancy a curry, the Indian restaurant you just saw may probably be not an Indian but a Bangladeshi, Nepalese, or Pakistani. The truth is that except in a few places, most of such restaurants are actually not owned by Indians. It is however quite common to name it or brand it as Indian. The reason is due to the popularity of Indian food.
United Kingdom is made up of four countries
The UK is made up of four countries namely England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and all these countries have their own parliaments, and currencies (except Wales).
Working in the UK
To work in the UK you will need a National Insurance Number which you would need to apply for if you have the permission to work here.
Tax for everything
You will pay tax on your salary, tax to drive your car, and tax for anything you buy.
Cars are cheap
You can buy a road worthy, ok looking car for a few hundred pounds.
Food is not expensive
Because its proximity to other European countries, daily food items and fruits are not as expensive and sometimes cheaper than India. A single person can survive for a month on £100 groceries.
There are a lots of accents
The UK is probably the only country in the world where accents can differ so much despite given the size of the country. Regardless how good your English is, you would need some time before your ears are adjusted for them!
Water, gas and electricity very rarely get interrupted supply. The utilities are available all the time.
You can drive with your Indian Driving licence
Indian driving licence is valid for a year to drive in the UK from the date of your arrival in the UK. After that you will need to pass the UK driving theory and practical test. Link
Choose an approved institution for your study
If you are going to the UK as a student, make sure your UK academic institution is an approved one. Failure in doing so may jeopardise your study visa and you might be turned away from the airport – not to mention losing the fee you may have paid.
Working as a student in the UK
You will only be allowed to work if the institution you are studying with is in the official UKVI Sponsor list and in the list of ‘recognised bodies’. If this is the case then you can work up to 20 hours a week during your term time and full time during the holidays.
The minimum wage
At the time of writing the minimum wage is £7.50 per hour. This is the amount you are entitled to for every hour of work you do.
Is it enough? If you only work 20 hours a week then that should be enough for you to survive outside London provided you live in shared accommodation and cook yourself.
Manual jobs are expensive
If you need to hire someone that will cost a lot of money. If you know how to fix a leaking taps etc. that will come handy and save you money.
Public transport is well connected but expensive
Public transport throughout UK is quite well connected and comfortable but expensive. A large chunk of your salary can be eaten by it if you need to use on a daily basis.
Most university will offer you accommodation if you are a student but you may find cheaper accommodation by sharing a house. When evaluating which options to go for, make sure you factor-in other expenses such as transportation cost to your university which might push up the total price of renting away from the university.
If you applied for a bank account and were unsuccessful, then try a different one. There are 5-6 major banks and a few other building societies (smaller banks); you might find one that accepts your application.
Your Indian mobile phone will work fine in the UK and there is a good chance that your mobile network provider will work too. Buying a new sim is very easy and cost nothing to a few pounds.
You call everybody by their first names including your teachers and bosses. Drop the “ji”.