Living in UK

As an international student, one of the first things you’ll worry about is the cost of living. Besides the tuition fees, cost of living does matter a lot and plays a big role in your experience in a foreign country. So here’s a quick look at some of your costs.

The cost of living in UK varies depending on what part of the country you live in.

If you have chosen to stay in London, it can be very expensive, in comparison to the other parts of the country. In fact, London is ranked as one of the most expensive cities to live in, though there are ways to get rid of some of the costs, which does not change the fact that it will still be pricey.

For example, choosing to rent a house in southern England can be very expensive, so it’s better to stay in the northern England. It is quite difficult to come up with a particular cost of living because it varies greatly all over the UK.

Where does that calculation come from? Let’s take a closer look.

  • Rent: The average rent that you will pay in UK varies depending on where you live. A one bedroom flat averages at £650 per month if you’re in the city; £550 if you’re outside of the city. It may be more if your energy costs are included in the rent.
  • Council Tax: If you live in UK, you have to pay council tax. They calculate how much you should pay per year based on where you live and how many people live with you (if you live alone, it’s much less). This tax helps pay for trash collection, police forces, and street maintenance. It usually averages about £25 per week.
  • Other utilities: If these aren’t included in the rent, the total for gas, electricity, and water per week is about £40. If you live alone or are not at home that often due to sightseeing, socializing, or studying, those costs may be less. Heat may also make utilities vary, but that estimate should at least help you budget throughout the year.
  •  Television license: In UK, you must pay for a television license if you’re watching TV at all, even if it’s on a computer or tablet. The cost of the license is £150 per year for a colour television. Luckily, this is per home and not per person, so if you have roommates, you just split this cost.
  • Travel costs: Many people in UK will buy passes instead of having a vehicle. It makes the commute faster and you can travel much further for much less. A monthly pass for most services. averages at £55, but students can get some great discounts.
  • Mobile Phone Plan: While you’re in UK, you are probably going to get yourself a local phone number to communicate with friends, family, and other people. There are many mobile networks you can choose, some are cheaper some more expensive depending on the services they offer you.
  • Other Miscellaneous costs: such as food, internet, books, toiletries, phone plan and other items and services you may need. Make sure that you also save a certain amount of cash for potential health care issues that come up, excess school costs that you weren’t expecting, and general emergencies.


Wondering about how much do specific things cost in UK?

Here’s a quick overview of some items that you may need and purchase as a student.

  • A meal at a pub or restaurant: £ 10.00
  • Combo meal at a fast food restaurant: £ 5.00
  • 1 Litre of milk: £ 1.00
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of chicken: £ 7.00
  • A pair of jeans: £ 51.25
  • Produce per kg: £ 1.00 to £ 2.00
  • As you can see, the prices in UK are very similar to buying most of those same things in the United States or Australia. Some of them are much cheaper (for example, produce).
  • That’s primarily due to the climate and the availability of those products in UK as compared to their availability throughout the year in other countries. In general, the cost of living is fairly average in UK, and it won’t take much of an adjustment to your current budget in order to live and thrive there.
  • It will take even less of a budget adjustment if you decide to work while studying in UK. Many students decide to work in UK while they are attending university; most employers will be flexible with your university schedule as well. Even if you’re only working five to ten hours a week, a job can help alleviate some of the costs you may accrue while you are studying in UK.
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