Studying abroad is a big decision, it involves being really independent and outgoing to leave the norm at home, and move country to experience something new. Everyone who studies abroad goes through various struggles throughout the duration of their time in a new country or city, however these can be overcome and will end up making you more proactive and independent.
If you’re not making the most of your student bank account, it’s no better than a penny jar. Here’s how to wring the most from it!
1. If you want to stay on track
Don’t just get a bank account – get a couple: start with the best student accounts to find yours.
You pay your income (wages, Student Loan or grants) into one main account. You then siphon enough money to cover your essential monthly costs (bills, rent and any direct debits) into another account. Anything left goes into a third account for your monthly spending allowance: make it last between top-ups!
The right tools can definitely help here:
- Your bank’s app: for sliding money between accounts on the go
- Toshl or Monefy: log your spending to keep your budget on track
- Payfriendz: beats IOUs for paying or receiving shared expenses.
2. If you want to save-up
With interest rates skimpier than Nicki Minaj on dress-down Friday, savings can seem like a bust – but you just have think a bit wider than your typical savings accounts.
At 3%, Santander’s 123 student current account beats most savings pots, never mind your mattress. There’s a £500 minimum pay-in each term, so check your Student Loan instalment and wages will stretch that far (or if you can just transfer in – and out – the money each time).
If you can lock cash away for longer, fixed-term savings accounts may pay better interest. Or, if you just want to get the savings habit, Premium Bonds pay zero interest but offer the chance to scoop a lottery-style win (with about the same odds, though!).
We all know that remaining healthy at university can be an almost impossible task. From the greasy burger truck calling your name after a late student night out, to the hungover McDonalds breakfast muffin the next morning, it can be a real struggle for students. Statistics show that 46% of freshers miss their mum’s cooking when they take the leap into university. Weekly shops can be really tough when the multi-pack of Walkers crisps is far cheaper (and tastier) than the small bag of fresh spinach, making it harder for students to choose the healthy option. Why would you spend £10 on a balanced healthy dinner, when you can spend £3 on a quick, easy and cheap microwave meal?
If you have found yourself in this unhealthy dilemma, here are some top tips on remaining healthy whilst on a budget at university.
There are loads of exciting things about going to university – venturing off on your own to a new place, meeting like-minded people, maybe living away from your parents for the first time. Sorting out your bank account, however, is not one of those things. It’s dull, but if you get organised and find the right one, you’ll make life a lot easier once you start spending in your first term.
Why you need a student account
You might already have a bank account, but your financial needs and priorities will change once you’re at university. Student current accounts are special because they’re tailored to your new situation, with perks and benefits specific to the account type. They usually have a healthy overdraft with 0% interest, so you can borrow without paying a fortune, and you might even get a great freebie like a railcard or insurance.
When you can get one
You can apply for your student bank account as soon as UCAS sends you an offer letter, conditional or unconditional, which you’ll need to take with you, along with ID, to a branch of your chosen bank. It doesn’t matter if you’re signing up in the branch closest to home, as you can still do your banking wherever you end up.
If you haven’t heard of Pokemon Go in the past month, where have you been? Everyone is on it trying to catch their favourite Pokemon. So what exactly is it for those of you who don’t know? Pokemon Go is an originally American App which can be downloaded on iPhone and Android. It is a game which shows all your favourite old school Pokemon characters coming to Earth, and gives you the opportunity to catch them.
All you have to do is walk around with your phone and it will vibrate when a Pokemon is near. Some give in easily; others resist capture, and will keep you jabbing at your phone like a loon for a good few minutes, before you maybe give up and actually go on with your commute.
Once you catch your Pokemon, you can go to a ‘Pokemon Gym’ to fight with others. And the rumour has it, these are the best Pokemon Gyms in London:
Are you going to Barcelona this summer for internship, vacation time or summer programs? If you do, some days you’re just not in the mood for the surf and the sand. But a nice dip in a pool sounds just about right.
You’re just prefer to swim where you can see your feet, or a true athlete and swimmer, find the perfect place to beat the summer heat with these top urban swimming pools in Barcelona.
Yes, British Summer Time has officially begun, and, despite no guaranteed sun, it’s time for Londoners to step outside. Whilst the capital’s museums still offer some of the world’s best exhibitions (and are perfect respite from the inevitable summer rain), London’s offering a whole heap of fantastic outdoor activities to take part in.
When you first think of Spain, there is an 80 percent chance you are thinking about Barcelona or Madrid. Granada is the coolest place to be and study in Spain.
Yes, we all know about the beauty of the French capital, its historic monuments, dining scene, spectacular river banks… and the list goes on.
But what about the city of Lyon, just a two-hour trip to the south by train? We never hear Lyon bragging about what it has to offer.
Just for starters, it’s rich in Roman history and the first motion film camera was invented there, but there’s actually a whole lot more going for this city than you might have thought.
Katie De Salis is studying Film Studies and French at Exeter University, and is spending her year abroad working as a British Council Language Assistant in the Vaucluse region of France, living in Avignon. She has appeared on the news during her stay there! Here are her favourite year abroad apps…