Before I got here, I was stressing about money considerably more than I’m stressing about it now, which is worrying in itself. So for anyone in the same situation, I’m going to break down how I survive.
Background: I receive a student finance loan, as a home student. I also happen to recieve the minimum student loan there is and no grants or bursaries. At the same time, the financial situation at home is such that I wouldn’t nag for money unless I need it, although of course they take care of me and are prepared to be a safety net, so I never end up selling my own kidney. My parents basically bought all my uni stuff, paid for my first food shop and then gave me a couple of super handy installments. Since then I appear to be surviving on my own. That’s probably not even going to be true by the time real human eyes read this, but we can all pretend.
1. Get a job
2. Get another job
3. Don’t lose the jobs
I highly recommend tutoring or teaching of some kind, as it provides really useful experience, as well as paying pretty well. There are a bunch of tutoring sites that can help get you clients, but you can also just try and find them independantly. Family friends or posting in facebook groups such as “Russian children’s education in London” are always a good start.
I currently work Saturdays at a Russian school as a teaching assistant in the mathematics department. I was rather lucky to even get such a job, but the process involved me actually attending the school as a student for 5 years, so it does add up. I also tutor students aged 5-17, so my week fluctuates between a-level help and being drawn on with Hamley magic markers.
Finally, as a tiny back up, there are always little jobs around the department such as interview tours or putting together brochures. These are sort of paid, as in you get food vouchers valid in all Imperial canteen outlets. That’s way better than real money, let’s face it.
My maintenance loan doesn’t cover my accomodation by £30 a week, but I tend to earn more than that, so life can at least continue. Warning: this is not a usual situation. I was just stupid enough to apply only for single bedrooms and to the accomodation directly across the road from my building, despite not really being able to afford them. If you are at all nicer or less lazy than I am, this is unlikely to be the case.
I’m also an idiot, because I just bought a ticket to Download. I now have no money minus another £200, but I saw that Rammstein was playing and seeing them live is worth being poor.