Elements to consider as an International Student: Part 1

Moving to another city for university can be daunting, let alone across the world. Through the process of uprooting my life in Canada and making the great decision to attend the accelerated LLB program at the University of Dundee, I learned many things along the way. Many of which, I did not even imagine. There are definitely some things I suggest doing prior to your arrival. Make a list of things you need to figure out right away. 

I would find a cellphone plan and bank that offers student accounts. 

Regarding a phone plan, before you leave your country, look into the roaming plans/ charges. Roaming fees can get super expensive, especially if you have not had a discussion with your service provider ahead of time. 

Try and research phone plan providers before you arrive at your accommodations. I suggest waiting a day or two before you arrive to order your sim card, as many companies require you to sign off on your postage when you order a personalized sim card. Your first few days are going to be extremely busy in getting settled, and if you can get your sim card delivered directly to you instead of the post office, that is ideal. If you are looking to travel to nearby countries during your studies, try and find a plan which accommodates EU roaming to help cut down on your usage fees in the future. 

Setting up a bank account can be a lengthy process for your debit card to get delivered to you. I suggest bringing cash with you. Even if you have a credit card, using your card in a different country can be costly when it comes to usage fees. Additionally, with your current bank at home, call and have them leave a note on your file that you will be out of your country for your studies, and if you are sending money from your account to a UK-based account that it is not fraudulent activity. Once you get your account information, and card number, be sure to let your bank at home know, so they can confirm what account you are sending to.

Additionally, it is always good to be prepared if there is a worst-case scenario a bring cash with you. When signing up for your UK bank account, you will have to provide the following documentation: your passport, an additional form of ID (driver’s license), your tenancy agreement, and a letter from the university confirming your enrolment and that you are residing in Dundee. Printed hard copies of this information are a must to ensure approval.

Having these few things sorted before your arrival in Dundee will allow you to be able to settle in a little easier and relieve some stress of the transition period.

Written by:

I am Jacquelyn, a 24-year-old international student from Canada, currently in my second year of the accelerated LLB program at the University of Dundee. I am here to share my tips and tricks on tackling university and my experiences along the way!

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