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How to Get Settled

Financial Advice

Opening a Bank Account

When you arrive in Portsmouth, you may wish to open a UK bank account. It is advisable that you research the different options available to find the one that best suits your needs. Almost all banks offer standard student accounts; however, with some banks, students can also get additional benefits including freebies and interest-free overdrafts. A few examples of banking options in the area are Lloyds, HSBC, NatWest, Barclays and Santander, all located within 10 minutes walking distance. You will need to prove your student status when opening your account, and the Student Services team can provide you with a letter of enrolment to support this once you complete your registration.

Student Discounts

You are eligible for student discounts when you arrive that will make it more affordable for you when purchasing services and products. Here are a few of the options you have:

  • NUS Card can be applied for via the NUS website for student discounts in many major high street stores
  • You can apply for a rail card for discounted train tickets
  • By entering your university login details on the Unidays website, you are able to unlock a multitude of discount codes for retail stores
  • Similar to Unidays, Student Beans offers discount codes after logging into your university portal via their website
  • Some of the most popular supermarkets are Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Co-op. Most of them offer loyalty cards which give you access to discounts and special deals when shopping in-store.

Buying your Essentials

  • Food, generic toiletries and cooking utensils: Supermarkets like Tesco, Co-op, Sainsburys, ASDA, Waitrose
  • Specific toiletries or pharmaceuticals: Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds the Chemist
  • Bedding and Homeware: Wilko, Argos, Matalan, Gunwharf Quays, Ikea (Southampton)
  • Clothing: The main clothes shopping areas can be found at Commercial Road and Gunwharf Quays.

Working Out the World of Work

As a student in the UK, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, usually at the national minimum wage. You must not rely on part-time jobs to fund living expenses or pay tuition fees. Any income earned from part-time jobs should be seen only as a supplement to established sources of funding.

It’s also important to know that everyone who works in the UK must pay National Insurance (NI) contributions. If you have a part-time job offer or can provide evidence that you are actively seeking work, you can apply for an NI number. Please contact Student Services for further information on how to apply for an NI number once you arrive at ICP.

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