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Samantha

Why did you choose the UK?

UCL was the best option for me to study Neuroscience, more prestigious than in other European countries, and more internationally transferable degree.

Best thing about the UK?

The opportunities in terms of education and work. Also, I really like the people in London.

Have you found any challenges living here?

I have not found any challenges so far, apart from money challenges (London is very expensive).

Have there been any surprises?

Mainly pleasant surprises. Perhaps the only negative surprise has been that the British government invests nothing in making the country cycle friendly. Also, I was surprised that there is so much added sugar in the bread, and that London is crazy expensive!

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

I am living in Queenspark/Maida Vale, in a private rented shared house. In my first 3 months in London I have lived in a private rented flat share in King’s Cross.

How have you financed your studies?

My parents loan me the money for tuition fees, and the government loans me a large amount of money in order to get around.

What do you wish you had known before you arrived?

That London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, with rent prices I could never have even imagined.

Do you think your time here is worth it?

Yes, definitely. I see being here as an investment in my career, and UCL is a fantastic university. It is a great experience to live in a city like London.

How have you coped with money in the UK?

I opened a bank account with Lloyds soon after I arrived. They were the friendliest and the least difficult. About once or twice a month I transfer money via TransferWise from my Dutch account to my Lloyds one.

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

Say sorry for everything, and start every email or letter with a ‘’thank you’’ or compliment. Also, try to find a gym with sauna, or something else that will keep you from getting depressed in the winter months. It gets dark so early! And it is very grey outside.. Other than that, just go with the flow. The UK is a very friendly country, and it is easy to live here.

Samantha's budget

INCOME
Loan £15500
Scholarships £0
University Bursary £0
Savings £0
Employment £0
Family and Friends ( £10000
Any other income (please specify) £0
Total income £25500
Expenditure
Tuition fees £10000
Accommodation £8000
Utility bills (Gas, electricity, water etc.) £0
Transport £500
Food £50
Shopping £200
Socialising £2080
Study costs (books, printing, trips etc.) £100
Insurance £0
Clothes £500
Phone, internet etc. £150
Any other expenditure (please specify) £1000
Total expenditure £22580