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Moving to the UK – Frequently Asked Questions

5 August 2020

Studying aboard is a great experience, you get the chance to meet new people, travel, learn a new language and gain independence. However, we understand moving away from home can come with a range of emotions like stress, excitement, and anxiousness.

Don’t panic, we are here to help! Below we have listed some top tips for you to consider.

Student Visa

Depending on which country you are from you may need to apply for a visa. This is a very important task and is usually the first step you take to start your journey. To apply, make sure you have a valid passport, spare passport photo and confirmation of your acceptance to study (CAMS), and that’s just naming a few. Make sure you check the comprehensive list of requirements specific to your visa type, prior to applying.

Not sure if you need a visa? Check here.


There is nothing better than prepping before your move and the internet can help you do that. Have a search around your new neighbourhood, get familiar with the local food stores and find out what the weather is like (it will help you pack). Most importantly try and connect with other students in your area – search your university student union page to find societies you may want to join and you can also like their pages on Facebook. It’s good to know you have a support network when you arrive to help you settle in.

Bank account

Although many international banks work worldwide, it’s best to set up a UK account. This will help with paying rent, phone bills and other essential things like drawing out cash and setting up direct debits. With several reputable banks in the UK like HSBC, NatWest and Barclays (just to name a few), it’s worth also looking into Monzo and Revolut; free banking apps managed by your phone. As always, do make sure you read all the small writing and pick a bank which supports and offers the best deals.


If you would like to pay your rent in instalments you will need to have a UK-based guarantor or a guarantee.

We have partnered with Housing Hand who offer a secure, reliable, and insured rental guarantor service for students renting in the UK.

They will act as your guarantor, allowing you to benefit from the flexibility of our payment plans – with options for 4, 10 and also 12 instalment plans when renting with Novel Student.

Find out more about Housing Hand here.


The NHS is the UK’s healthcare system. Whether you need to see a dentist or visit a hospital, it’s really important to have medical cover. When you arrive, we suggest you either contact your university who can advise on local services or you can search for them here. Depending on your visa type, you may be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to benefit from NHS services or you may need to look into private healthcare insurance.


If you want to explore further then you can walk, then you will need to hop onto public transport. How do you pay for it? Well, Oyster cards used to be extremely popular (pass as you go travel cards) but with the introduction of contactless payment, most people nowadays get from A to B with a tap of their phone or debit card. For a more luxurious door to door service, have a look into Uber, a taxi service managed through an app on your phone.
*Don’t forget to consider the environment and how we can help protect it! You could hire a bike whilst enjoying a dose of daily exercise. Novel bikes are free to hire!


Last but not least – looking after you! A new routine and place can sometimes come with stress and setbacks. It’s so important to look after your physical and mental health, A few necessities to support your well-being, especially when undergoing transitions such as moving to a new country, are below:

  • Getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night
  • Staying hydrated
  • Staying active
  • Socialising
  • Maintaining a nutritious diet


At Novel we understand the importance of wellbeing and it’s at the heart of everything we do. From wellness events to relaxation rooms, we have designated spaces to unwind in outside your studies.

We are here
to help

Got a question? Get in touch and we will do our best to help.

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