International students
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Managing your money

Managing your money

Managing your money and living within your budget are very important considerations for your student life.

How much money will I need?

When starting a course, you must make sure you will have enough money or funding to cover:

Your living costs will vary depending on your accommodation and lifestyle, but if you require a Tier 4 student visa, you must show financial evidence of funds to cover at least £1,015 per month for accommodation and living expenses, in addition to the cost of your tuition fees.     

If you are bringing your partner, spouse or family with you to the UK as visa dependants, the amount required is higher.

It is almost impossible to find financial support after you have arrived in the UK. Any scholarships or bursaries should be confirmed before you arrive.

When you arrive in Nottingham

  • You may not be able to open a bank account immediately, as you will usually need to be a registered student first.
  • Bring some cash or travellers' cheques with you to last for at least the first few days until you can open an account.
  • You can also bring a bank card or credit card from your home country if you are sure that you can use it in the UK – check this with your card provider. There will be charges for using your card abroad so we advise opening a UK bank account instead as soon as you can.
  • Be careful not to overspend, especially during the excitement of your first week or two at Nottingham. Plan a personal budget and keep to it.


  • Work out much you are spending or will need to spend, and try to calculate a weekly budget. Make sure it will last you through the year.
  • Make a list of your expenses to identify how much you spend on priorities and luxuries, so that you can adjust your budget if needed.
  • Working part-time during your studies can provide you with some extra money, but not enough to fund your studies alone. There are restrictions on the number of hours you can work while studying and you cannot use potential earnings as financial evidence in a visa application.

Looking after your money

  • Although the UK is generally a safe environment, beware of possible crime. Be careful at night, and don't carry more cash than you need. If you do have a large amount with you, be careful not to let others see it.
  • When you're using an ATM, don't let anyone see your PIN or how much cash you are withdrawing. If the ATM looks like it has been vandalised or tampered with, don't use it.
  • Keep your bank and card details secure and don't share them with strangers. Watch out for phishing scams, which often target students.
  • If you use your card for online purchases, make sure you are buying from trusted websites over a secure internet connection.
  • See our cyber safety guidance from IT Services for more advice on online security and protecting your devices.
  • If any of your belongings are stolen, report it to the police – especially if it includes items which could be used in identity fraud, such as your phone, laptop or documents with your personal details.

Avoiding scams and fraud

  • International students occasionally receive phone calls or emails from frauds impersonating UK border officials, asking for payment as a 'fine'. Don't share any personal or finacial details if you receive a call like this. The UK Home Office does not charge fines.
  • You should also be cautious about callers claiming to be from the police or your embassy. Explain that you will hang up and call back, using an official published number (such as the number listed on the embassy's website) rather than any number given by the caller.
  • These callers may have obtained information such as your name and contact details. This doesn't necessarily mean you should trust them. Watch out for anything suspicious such as callers asking you for for your card or bank details and threatening you if you won't provide them.
  • Find out more about avoiding telephone fraud.
  • If you receive a suspicious phone call or believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact your Welfare Officers for support and advice. 
  • The Students' Union Advice Centre can also help if you are the victim of a crime and need support in reporting it or coping with it.

Using cards and cash

  • Use cash machines (ATMs) which don't charge you for withdrawals. You can find these on our campuses, at banks, supermarkets and shopping centres.
  • Independent ATMs in some shops, nightclubs and tourist areas may charge you a fee for using them (usually about £3 or less).
  • You can also use your UK bank card for payment in most shops, restaurants and bars, so you don't need to carry large amounts of cash.
  • You will need cash for some transactions, such as city buses which usually require the exact fare paid in coins.

Advice and support

Banking in the UK Students' Union Advice Centre Student Welfare Support UKCISA Tuition Fee Services


For more money tips, take a look at our blogs

International Student Recruitment

C Floor, YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK

+44 (0) 115 951 5247
Contact us by email