After paying the second half of my tuition fees, it’s fair to say that money has been on my mind a lot this week. One of the reasons that I chose to come to the UK for grad school was the cost. Higher education in the US is infamously expensive and, unlike my undergrad degree, I would be taking on the price of grad school entirely myself. Even factoring in the exchange rates, the cost of a UK MSc was still far less than one from back home. Pretty much a no-brainer to study here, right? However, as an international student, choosing to pursue a master’s degree at Imperial rather than another UK university has been its own financial challenge.
For theatre addicts London is like a bar for alcoholics: a paradise and a hell at the same time. Since the beginning of my PhD I’ve spent a bit too much money and time on plays and musicals — more than I’d ever publicly admit. Meanwhile I’ve mastered the art of getting cheap tickets, so if you’re also a theatre lover on a student budget, read on! This article isn’t sponsored by any of the companies I mention (unfortunately).
- Install TodayTix on your phone. You’ll be able to book tickets with one swipe, get some additional offers (e.g. 24-hour-long sales) and, most importantly, participate in lotteries.
Warning: This is what I have gathered from this all. I could have bits and bobs completely wrong here, so please do correct me.
So today I was on student finance England, trying to work out how much debt I was in. Luckily for me, if you log into www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk you can check it out.
The below is a very honest account of my debt, hopefully will be able to lay it out honestly for prospective students about what they are facing.
So, I have a grand total of: £45,274.67 debt after just 3 years of studying, and 3.9 interest rate.
Living in London is amazing. There are so many opportunities and such an incredible atmosphere, however it is a massive burden of cost. Having been at uni for 3 years now (still 3 more to go…) I have a 3 TOP TIPS on how to save money living as a student in London (especially in South Kensington…so expensive)
1-Travel: Make sure you have signed up for your student oyster and linked it with your railcard to save 1/3 on travel! https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/adult-discounts-and-concessions/railcards
2- Social: Make sure you sign up to the Times Student. It has saved so many of here at Imperial.
Back to money. Warning: I’m about to go into detail of how much money I have or don’t have and where it comes from. If this seems boring, that’s because it is, but I need to rant about my own stupidity.
Background setting of sorts: As I’ve mentioned at some point already, I receive no bursaries or grants, the minimum student loan and I live in Beit. Complain complain my own fault for choosing expensive accomodatipon weep weep I know. My parents are also not super-rich; they just have a lot on paper and no-one in Student Finance cares how many people your dog eats for or how much debt you have.
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.