Cost of Living in UK for International Students

Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 16, 2023 3:09 PM IST

Living Expenses in UK for International Students

The living expenses in the UK for international students vary depending on your budget, lifestyle, and expenditure. The overall expenses of living are a sum of tuition costs, residential rent, transportation, food and utilities, entertainment, etc. The estimated monthly expenditure for an international student in the UK is as follows –

Expenses Estimated Monthly Expenditure (in GBP)
Food 160 - 200 per month

Halls of Residence (Including bills)- 400 - 600 per month

Private Accommodation (excluding bills) - 320 - 530 per month

Electricity, Water, and Gas 40 - 50 per month
Internet 40
Mobile Bill/Recharge 15 - 50 per month
Stationery 21 per month
Bus Fare 32 per month
Laundry 25
Clothing and Shoes 25 per month
Movie Ticket (can be exempted) 9 per show
Dinner at Restaurant 15 per meal
Total 677 - 1,067 per month

Please note that the expenditure completely depends on your lifestyle and needs as well as the place of your residence. The above-mentioned chart is just an estimate of costs as of 2023.

See How Much You Will Spend Studying in the UK Here!

Tuition Fees in the UK for an International Student

In the UK, the government is the response regulator in setting the range of tuition fees. However, the fees set for international students are quite higher than fees for students who are residents of the UK. It will also further depend on your nationality, the course and the academic level of your course that will account for your tuition fees in the UK.

Fees, in the UK, cover the entire cost of tuition along with excess fees including information technology, tutoring and library services that may be available. 

An undergraduate degree would cost an international student between GBP 10,000 and GBP 38,000 per annum and an undergraduate medical degree may cost up to GBP 53,700 per year.

To earn a postgraduate degree, an international student in the UK may have to pay a minimum of GBP 11,000 which can go up to GBP 32,000 per annum. However, there is no upper limit on the charges for a postgraduate degree in the UK.

Given below is an estimate of tuition fees applicable for different courses:

Level of Program Annual Tuition Fees (in GBP)

10,000 and 38,000 - For lecture-based courses

53,700 - For medical courses

Postgraduate 11,000 - 32,000

Institutions in Wales may charge no less than GBP 9,000 per year and students applying to Northern Irish universities may be required to pay up to GBP 9,250. The fees in Scotland might go a little higher for a foreign student.

With all that being said, the UK government makes a number of financial resources available to international students pursuing higher education in the UK. These various types of financial aid include scholarships, student loans and other grants. Of the top, the most popular scholarships for Indian students in the UK include Chevening Scholarship- India, Inlaks Scholarship, The Felix Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarships, and more.

Student Housing/ Accommodation Options in the UK for International Students

The UK offers a diverse range of accommodation facilities for international students, which include the following:

  • House-Flat Share

  • Host Families-Home Stay

  • Private House-Flat

  • Halls of Residence

House-Flat Share in the UK

Here the student takes a room on rent from a third-party landlord, with whom most UK universities help connect. This is a choice preferred mostly by second-year students, who are more likely to look for more independence by the second year of education in the UK. 

Host Families-Home Stay

It is here where students can stay with a local British family, most preferably near the campus. Most hosts provide all essential facilities including kitchen & bathroom, meals and great hospitality.

Private House-Flat in the UK

International students can also get an entire private house on rent, especially in major cities like London. However, one may find it difficult to find a house that is close to the campus. That said, students usually prefer this option during their second or third year, when they wish to enjoy more flexibility that they might not have while living in halls. 

Halls of Residence in the UK

These are halls owned by universities that provide students with accommodation along with a range of benefits including a supportive sphere of like-minded students; proximity to malls, lecture halls, markets, gyms; food; etc. Not to mention the university support and affordable rent. Among international students, this option is the highest in demand as they reduce an international student’s concern about accommodation and also helps ease their financial burden. On average, living on-campus in the UK will cost between GBP 400 to 600 per month.

Here is an overview of how much accommodation will cost an international student in the UK in case they choose to live in the following cities:


Outside City Centre (in GBP)

Inside City Centre (in GBP)

Monthly Rent of 1 BHK in UK
















Monthly Rent of 3 BHK in UK
















At the end of a three-year undergraduate degree in the UK, an overseas student can expect to have spent around GBP 16,800 on accommodation.

Find Out Which Universities Are Offering You Scholarships

Transport Costs in the UK for an International Student

With the British transport network being one of the most advanced in the world, international students can find a number of travel options in the UK. An overseas student in the UK can expect to spend the second-largest amount on travel costs which would depend primarily on the city and the mode of transport. 

For students, public transport is usually considered the most convenient option, which also offers discounts for students, thus, reducing the overall cost of living in the UK. Outside London and other major university cities, an average single bus journey is about GBP 1.50 and GBP 45 a month for a student travel card. Students at central London universities should expect to spend GBP 23 a week on travel (covering London Underground, buses, trams and trains) or GBP 140 a month. 

Students also benefit from one-third off travel on regional trains with a 16-25 Railcard. For example, a single adult ticket booked on the day of travel from London to Brighton (a popular day trip destination) is GBP 17.50, or GBP 11.50 with a student railcard. On average, a litre of petrol costs GBP 1.16, while a litre of diesel is GBP 1.18.

Given below are the average transport costs that an international student would have to bear in the UK per month:


Average Monthly Transport Costs (in GBP)











Other Essential Student and Lifestyle Costs in the UK for an International Student

Other essential costs including books and university material, broadband internet costs, socialising and utility contracts, and utility bills, among other things, would cost an international student around GBP 4,800 on an average per year, adding up to GBP 14,400 for the three-year period.

Books and university materials would cost nearly GBP 21 per month on average and electrical, gas and water bills along with mobile phone bills and broadband internet costs would range somewhere between GBP 10 and 100. Broadband internet costs would, however, be split between tenants, in case you share an apartment.

Lifestyle costs would majorly depend on the way you choose to spend your days in the country and the city you live in. Prices in cities in the South are comparatively higher than cities in the North. Food bill costs in the UK would be around GBP 160 to 200 per month on average, with a restaurant meal costing GBP 10 to 25. Membership in a gym would cost around GBP 45 a month although gyms may offer discounts to students.

For those interested in understanding the estimated costs of the basic necessities and a few other miscellaneous costs that every international student living in the UK bears, the table below highlights some of the costs associated with living and studying in the UK as an international student.


Price (in GBP)

Food & Groceries


0.90 per pack


1.00 per litre


1.57 per 300g


2.08 for 12 eggs


0.81 per kg

Cooking Oil

1.11 per litre


.84 per 1.5-litre


Movie Ticket


Concert or Theatre Ticket


Restaurant Table for Two



Prepaid SIM


TV License


TV+WiFi Package


Call Costs

0.15 - 0.46






Household Items








The prices that have been listed above have been provided for reference purposes only and are estimated costs for 2023. The actual costs of the items and services you avail of while living in the UK will be determined by the lifestyle you choose.

Here are the Best Cities in the UK for Your Higher Studies!

Life in UK as an International Student

One of the benefits of travelling to a new country is the possibility of exploring new places, cultures and people, thus, giving a more wholesome study abroad experience. The UK, like many other top study-abroad destinations, is a melting pot of cultures, allowing everyone to witness new experiences now and then. Sharing new experiences with people from across the globe adds to the student life in the UK for Indian students.

The popular higher education ranking institution annually publishes the list of the best cities to study as an international student. Listed below are the best cities in the UK for international students and their global rankings in the latest QS ranking list.

City Name

QS Ranking Best Cities Ranking 2023











Newcastle Upon Tyne










As per QS, the cities have been ranked using 5 major parameters, viz, Student View, Student Mix, Employer Activity, Desirability and Affordability. Apart from these parameters, it is safe to assume that the country openly welcomes a variety of international students, allowing for increased diversity.

In addition to this, travelling to the UK will open up several opportunities to learn new things about an entirely new country with different cultures and traditions. Coupled with a mesmerising landscape, students will be compelled to travel the country over the weekend or during the holidays. Speaking of travelling, the country is well connected with a range of transport mobility options including buses, trains and flights.

One of the major opportunities that students will receive when travelling to the UK is experiencing new cuisines. While during their terms they may be required to cook their food or order takeout from close-by restaurants, they will also have ample opportunities to experience different cuisines from different countries, many of which may be completely authentic.

Overall, the life of an international student or an Indian student in the UK is filled with opportunities that students can take advantage of. With the option of being able to work while studying, they may be able to widen their possibilities of experiencing the UK lifestyle. While students may miss the comfort of their home countries, the UK offers enough opportunities to deal with their homesickness as well.

Minimum Wage in the UK

Every international student has been allowed to work in the UK either during their studies or after, provided they follow the guidelines properly. Once eligible and after receiving a job offer, students will qualify for a minimum wage in the UK. The minimum wage limit has been determined based on the age of the professionals which has been highlighted below:

  • For ages 18-20, the minimum wage is determined at GBP 6.83 per hour.

  • For ages 21-22, the minimum wage is determined at GBP 9.18 per hour.

  • For ages 23 and over, the minimum wage is determined at GBP 9.50 per hour.

*Data collected from

Additionally, there are certain requirements that international students must fulfil when planning to work while they study or after. Some of the requirements have been listed below:

  • Students must be above the age of 16 to be eligible to work. However, only students over the age of 18 are entitled to the UK minimum wage.

  • As outlined above, different age groups will be entitled to different minimum wages in the UK.

  • Students working part-time will only be allowed to work 20 hours per week.

Tips to Find Internships in UK

Internships are one of the most common routes taken by university students across the globe to enhance their CV/resume as well as their career prospects and professional skills. Moreover, with actual professional experience, students will stand a better chance of getting the job they want. Here are some tips to find internships in the UK.

  • Internship Platforms: Several websites have been established and trusted by students to find good internships in the UK. Among them include:

    • Student Circus: Internships specifically targeting Tier 4 Visa holders can be found here.

    • Millkaround: The most common platform that offers over 1000 internship opportunities to students across the country.

    • Rate My Placement: A platform that allows students to apply for internships as well as offer their feedback about the internships. Moreover, the platform also allows students to enhance their knowledge about finding internships.

    • E4S: A platform that offers students a range of short-term summer internships, part-time or short-term jobs. 

    • Target Jobs: This platform offers students the opportunity to find internships and get valuable advice from industry experts.

  • LinkedIn: Another common route taken by students is scanning through the official pages of employers, businesses and companies. Employers often offer a range of jobs and internships that students can apply to.

  • Government resources: The official website of the government, i.e., also updates its pages with vacancy information on a range of job types including full-time and part-time jobs, internships, apprenticeships and even short-term jobs.

  • Direct Apply: Companies may also publicly advertise openings in their organisation through flyers and newspapers or their official website, which students can use to apply directly to the company.

  • Social Media: Companies also use their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and other popular social media platforms to announce vacancies and openings.

Apart from these, there are a few things that students should keep in mind when applying for internships in the UK, as outlined below:

  • Authentic Sources: A key element to searching for internships is to ensure you are referring to authentic and reputable sources. When searching for internships, it is possible to see advertisements claiming to offer internships, however, it is important to verify whether that claim is accurate.

  • Be a full-time student in the UK: One of the requirements to be employed in an internship is to be enrolled in a full-time programme offered by one of the universities in the UK. Those enrolled in a part-time programme will not be considered qualified for internships.

  • Meet Deadlines: Be sure to meet the application deadlines set by the companies offering internship opportunities to students.

It should be noted that universities often help students find internships or even offer internships during their studies, through the “Career Services” established by the university. Therefore, be sure to connect and maintain rapport with the Career Services team to find internship and part-time job opportunities while studying in the UK.

FAQs on Cost of Living in UK for International Students in 2024

What is the health insurance cost for international students in the UK?

As an international student, you will have to pay around GBP 470 per year for health insurance which is usually referred to as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which will be paid along with your application for the appropriate visa.

How much does it cost to have fun in the UK?

When studying the UK, you are bound to splurge a little towards entertainment. However, worry not, the cost of entertainment is relatively inexpensive, with 1 movie ticket costing GBP 12 on average. There are several other ways you can entertain yourself all at minimal costs, however, this will heavily depend on how much you are willing to spend.

What are the essential costs that I will have to pay when studying in the UK?

Among some of the essential costs associated with studying in the UK include, costs related to food, rent, electricity, water, gas, network connectivity (internet and mobile), travel expenses, etc. These costs can accumulate to around GBP 687 - 972 per month.

What is the cost of renting a 3 BHK in the UK?

Assuming that the other rooms will be rented out as well, as an individual you may be expected to pay rent for a 3 BHK apartment in the UK ranging between GBP 1,000 and GBP 3,000 per month (Changes depending on location and amenities offered).

What are the day-to-day costs of studying in the UK?

The day to day costs incurred by international students in the UK usually include the travel expenditure (if you live outside the university campus) and the cost of meals, totalling around GBP 10 - 20 per day (varies depending on lifestyle choices).

What is the cost of a 1 BHK apartment in London?

Depending on the location you want, the cost of renting a 1 BHK near the city centre can amount to around GBP 1,649 per month, while outside the City Centre, a 1BHK apartment may cost around GBP 1,272 per month.

How much does it cost to rent accommodation in the UK for international students?

Depending on the choice of accommodation they choose as your accommodation, international students may spend anywhere between GBP 15,000 - 20,000 (approximately) at the end of a three-year programme.

What are the accommodation options available for international students in the UK?

International students planning to live in the UK and complete their studies can choose from multiple accommodation options such as Flat Sharing, Home Stay with other families, renting a private apartment, or staying in the halls of residence provided by individual universities.

What is tuition costs for international students in the UK?

International students, depending on the university and course they have chosen, along with other parameters may pay anywhere between GBP 10,000 - GBP 38,000 per annum for undergraduate studies, while graduate studies may cost anywhere between GBP 11,000 to GBP 32,000 per annum.

How much does it cost to live and study in the UK as an international student?

While the actual cost of living and studying in the UK, as an international student will vary depending on different factors such as the location, tuition costs, lifestyle, etc. However, it is estimated that an international student may incur GBP 677 - GBP 1,067 per month on top of the tuition costs.

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