Tuition & Cost of Living Estimates
Cost of Living in the United Kingdom As with most popular expat destinations, the cost of living in the United Kingdom varies depending on lifestyle choices and location. In general, expats will find that major cities like London are more expensive, while the provinces and countryside towns are far more reasonable.
Many expats move to the UK in search of new job opportunities and a better quality of life. Although salaries tend to be relatively high, the reason for this is often to offset the higher cost of living in the United Kingdom.
There are plenty of ways to save while still experiencing expat life in the UK. For example, most expats living in the United Kingdom will have access to at least some level of free healthcare on the UK’s National Health Service and they’ll be eligible to send their children to British state schools at no cost.
The costs of accommodation, transport and entertainment are fairly high, but expats who take the time to investigate the cost of living in the United Kingdom will find plenty of discounts around.
Cost of accommodation in the United Kingdom As is the case for expats all over the world, a significant portion of their income will be spent on accommodation. Renting doesn’t come cheap; especially in London, but most expats still choose this over buying property in the UK, which is much more expensive. Renting a furnished two-bedroom apartment in the London averages about GBP 1,900 per month, with large price variations between different areas. Rent in other big cities such as Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds will be a little more reasonable.
Some students and expats rent a room within a larger house. It is possible to rent a room in London for around GBP 400 per month. House-shares are also a great way to meet other young people.
Utility costs vary depending on the size of the property. The average cost of water and electricity is around 140 GBP per month. Heating costs average around 80 GBP per month, but increase considerably during winter, particularly in a drafty older property without proper insulation.
Council tax is not included in the cost of renting a property in the UK. It is loosely based on the value of the property and expats can expect to pay at least 100 GBP per month. Cost of education in the United Kingdom Expats with temporary residency in the UK will be eligible to send their children to a state school at no cost. Standards vary considerably and the better state schools tend to be located in more affluent areas. At more popular schools, admission is restricted to students living in a particular catchment area. Parents will be required to pay for uniforms, stationery and school excursions.
British private schools, or independent schools as they are commonly called, charge high fees. Parents should expect to pay between 5,000 GBP and 7,000 GBP a term. These schools usually offer a higher standard of education and a host of extracurricular activities.
Many expats living in the UK send their children to an international school that allows their child to continue studying the same syllabus as they would in their home country and therefore offer the least disruption to the child’s education. International school fees in London are amongst the highest in the world and can reach up to 12,000 GBP per term.
Cost of transportation in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom is served by a national network of trains and long distance buses, but with the growth of low-cost airlines in Europe it is also possible to fly between cities at very reasonable prices.
Train travel in the UK can be expensive. On average, a return train fare between London and Manchester costs around GBP 70. Travelers can save money by booking the journey well in advance or by investing in a rail card.
Travelling by long-distance bus in the UK is a more economical option. A one-way trip on a National Express bus from Birmingham to Manchester will cost around 18 GBP, but fares can be as low as GBP 7 if booked in advance using a Coach Card.
Within British cities the price of public transportation varies considerably. London has the UK’s most comprehensive public transportation network but fares are relatively expensive. A single bus fare will cost around GBP 2.50 for a short journey within the city. Commuters save money by investing in weekly or monthly travel cards.
While most expats living in the UK won’t invest in a car, it is fairly cheap to buy and maintain one. Petrol prices fluctuate but are reasonable compared to elsewhere.
Working While Studying in London and the UK There are hundreds of jobs and work experience opportunities for students and graduates in London. As an international student you can work for up to 20 hours a week while studying. Working While Studying You are allowed to work while studying if you study at a university or college that is listed on both the official UKVI Sponsor list and the list of ‘recognized bodies’. International students who study a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate degree course at a recognized university are allowed to work part-time during term term for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during the holidays. If your course is at a lower level, you study at a further education college or your institution is not listed on the lists above, you will not be allowed to work during your studies. . There are no working restrictions for students from the European Union (EU). For a comprehensive guide to working in London during your studies visit UKCISA and the UK Visa and Immigration websites. There are thousands of part-time student jobs in London to help support your studies. Many universities have careers and work placement centers to help you find employment.