Let’s start into a fresh new week. Now that I’ve been sharing with you my tips around organisational stuff in Moving to London #1, this post is going to be more about essentials, such as student cards, bank accounts that you should get right on time.
Moving to London and the fact that most of the things such as insurance and bank account are more difficult than they are here in Vienna made me become a little suspicious. F.e. Bank accounts aren’t given with ease to new immigrants and most of them decline your application. One of the requirements that I didn’t have was living in the UK for more than 3 years, but I was glad I found another option. So don’t give up in the beginning, there’s always a way to work around ;)
Money, Cards & Discounts
It’s the International Student ID Card that comes with a lot of benefits such as discounts at restaurants, retail shops and sightseeing tours. All I did is ordering it online and I received within 2-3 working days.
Since I’m an enthusiastic reader of TimeOut I also found out that they’ve got their own discount cards which come also with a big list of restaurants, brunch places and cinema ticket discounts. I still didn’t get that card, but I will asap.
The most important card above all. Since I was used to an annual payment here in Vienna, it was quite experiencing for me how to use the Oyster Card. Basically it’s super easy and you can top it up by card at any Oyster Card machine big tube station or even at some shops.
National Insurance Number
Getting a National Insurance Number (NIN) can be quite difficult. The process that you have to go through in general is by making an appointment at your arrival and by taking all the documents with you that are required. All that happens at Jobcentre Plus. In the most common case you should bring with you:
passport or identity card
- residence permit
- birth or adoption certificate
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- driving licence
Thanks to LondonNewGirl I was happy to find this very useful website, that offers Kickstarter UK packages. What you get is advice and help with your NIN application (you still have to do the interview yourself) and a SIM card or London map to add extra. You can get your Kickstarter package at an 1st contract store right after your arrival or you can have it send to your UK address.
If you want to save some money, you can always do it yourself. Although opening a bank account is difficult task, there are some few tips that I’m going to share with you. What you need to know first is that every bank asks you to perform an income check or demands an initial, rather large, deposit. Both things, that students are not likely to have, which is why I kept searching for Banks that didn’t ask for that. Fortunately, these two banks offer student accounts for reasonable conditions and you should definitely check them out: Barclay’s and Lloyd’s.
At Barclay’s you will have to present 2 forms of ID and a proof that you are a Full Time Student. Each bank site has listed courses that are accepted, don’t forget to have a look at them. The most important piece is your confirmed UCAS Letter that you should also bring with you. It is also mandatory to present a UK based Proof of Address and a National Photo ID at the branch for an account application.
Phew…again another very long post but I thought these tips might be really useful for you!