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Piret

Why did you choose the UK?

Because of it's internationally recognised excellent level of higher education, it is English speaking country, and student funding of SAAS

Best thing about the UK?

Good education, beautiful country, nice people, but if you want me to give one then I say a variety of opportunities

Have you found any challenges living here?

Settling in during first year was pretty challenging. Also, studying in English, especially expressing myself verbally and in written form. Finding accommodation was very competitive and the deposits are far too high in my opinion (in fact for our flat it was ridiculously high with no good reason).

Have there been any surprises?

British people have lots of rules and they are very strict about obeying these. Health care and prescription medicines are free. Scottish weather is not so bad after all. Minimum wage in UK is nearly 4 times higher than in Estonia. These are the first things popped into my mind when I thought about things I didn’t know before and what were surprising about UK.

Where are you living (uni accommodation / private rented)?

Private rented

How have you financed your studies?

Support from parents and grandparents, personal savings from summer work, part-time work during second year of studies

What do you wish you had known before you arrived?

Nothing more actually, I would not have wanted to scare myself off from the decision to study abroad. Everything has worked out well, although it has not been easy

Do you think your time here is worth it?

yes

How have you coped with money in the UK?

I think well. I was afraid of the financial side, but money always comes and goes when needed. I should say that accommodation is at least twice as expensive as in Estonia, travelling is very expensive too and my parents wages are probably half the size or less than most of the parents in UK. However, the education is free and I am the only child, so there are ways.

What advice would you give to other students coming to the UK?

To stay in self-catered student halls for the first year, do shopping in Lidl, apply to part-time job during first and second year and scholarships (especially 2nd year onwards, because then is less time to work), don’t be afraid to ask money from parents (they usually want to invest in your education and future and don’t want you to fall out from uni because of work or financial problems)

Piret's budget

INCOME
Loan £0
Scholarships £0
University Bursary £0
Savings £1500
Employment £2500
Family and Friends £4300
Any other income (please specify) £0
Total income £8300
Expenditure
Tuition fees £0
Accommodation £4728
Utility bills (Gas, electricity, water etc.) £300
Transport £360
Food £1800
Shopping £270
Socialising £300
Study costs (books, printing, trips etc.) £150
Insurance £0
Clothes £180
Phone, internet etc. £80
Any other expenditure (please specify) £
Total expenditure £8168