The free UK Study Visa app; a free gift to all who want to download it. It is a companion tool for all you prospective students around the world considering study in the UK, and Hallbookers way of welcoming you to our little isle, which just so happens to be full of excellent universities!
UK Study Visa is now available on Google Play, please click this Link.
Our easy to use search tool will help you find the right visa for your needs and give you essential information and guidance on how to apply for it.
The search tool covers every type of course in the UK - from short language school summer courses - to full time undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and everything in between.
Wherever you are from in the world - or whatever age you are - our search options will cover your particular case and provide a simple route to your visa application.
We also have a set of unique tools that help you find information on and make decisions about where to study in the UK - as well as a cost calculator to help you plan your budget for your study stay.
You can search by university and calculate the average accommodation and living costs in that particular city.
- Easy to use search facility to find the correct visa for your UK study needs.
- Easy to find, simple and clear information on the requirements for your visa application.
- Clear information on your legal status for paid employment during your stay in the UK.
- Clear information on legal length of stay outside your course dates.
- University ranking comparison tool.
- Easy to use and comprehensive accommodation price guide tool for every UK university city.
- Cost of living calculator.
- Unique cost of living vs official ranking evaluation tool for every UK university.
FIND YOUR VISA SEARCH TOOL
Our visa finder tool will guide you through the visa process. You will learn about the requirements you’ll need for your specific visa. What documents you’ll need for your application and any extra special details that may apply to you based on your country of origin. You can then proceed directly from the app to the official GOV.UK online visa application process and start your journey to living and studying here in the UK. You’ll find easy to read and understand information on your rights to find paid work during your stay as well as the time you can legally stay in the country both before and after your course starts and finishes.
UNIVERSITY RANKING VS ACCOMMODATION COST EVALUATOR
Use our dynamic infographic tool to help you evaluate which UK university could be the best choice for your study needs and budget. Compare room type costs in any UK university city against official Guardian Newspaper university league tables to give you a guide to the best value for money college for your needs.
COST OF LIVING CALCULATOR
Enter any university of your choice into our built in budget calculator to get an estimate of your accommodation and other living costs during your stay in the UK. See how far your money will stretch and try different universities to suit your budget.
What is clearing?
Clearing is the system run by UCAS where universities and colleges can fill any vacant places on their courses. For students it is the best way to secure a last minute place if you aren’t holding an offer already.
From 5th of July to 23rd of October UCAS clearing is the only official resource allowing you to search for course vacancies and then contact the providers.
Are you eligible?
You are eligible if you are a prospective student, UK or international, who isn’t currently holding an offer from a UK university or college.
This can be because you weren’t made any offers, you declined the ones you were given or you didn’t meet the required conditions of the ones you intended to go for. Or perhaps you applied late, after the 30th of June.
If you already have a firm choice, but have decided that you no longer want to take it, you need to call the uni to inform them. Only after you have discussed the matter with them can you be released into clearing.
How to sign up for clearing.
If you haven’t already registered with UCAS you need to sign up here and make an application.
UCAS will then send you an email issuing you a Clearing Number and Personal ID and giving you instructions how to access Track.
Track is the system that allows you to check the progression of your application once you have submitted it, so you can check if any of the universities you have been talking to have made you an offer.
It is in Track that you will know that you have definitely entered clearing, as your status will read: ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has Started’.
If you didn’t get the results you thought you needed but Track hasn’t yet confirmed your clearing status, get in contact with the university/college, it may be that they are still considering your application despite your results being under the usual requirement.
How to use clearing.
Even if you think you are likely to hit the requirements of your offers, it is still worth using the UCAS search tool to see what your backup options might be. Clearing can be a hectic process and the more prepared you are the better.
The search tool has a very useful filter to refine your search.
The obvious first step is to search for your originally intended course, but also consider the possibility of side-stepping to other subjects that you might have transferable skills for, or even consider joint honours courses.
Another approach might be to filter by location, this might be useful if you wanted to be close to friends or family, or had your sights set on a particular city. Also use the map function so you can see where the campus is located in relation to other amenities.
Remember to keep checking regularly as availability can change on a daily basis, sometimes places that are listed as full may get vacancies later on.
Research the university that you are interested in thoroughly, student reviews on such sites as whatuni can be very useful for impartial insights beyond the university marketing material.
How to make contact.
After you’ve made a shortlist of the universities you are interested in the next step is to call them. This process can be tiring especially if you are contacting a lot of places, but keep in mind that you’re still trying to sell yourself, and although the universities are eager to fill places there may well be a lot of competition.
So take some time to prepare yourself as you would for an interview. Have some notes in front of you from your research about what attracts you to the course. Have a copy of your personal statement and grades for easy reference, and have some questions ready about the course and any practical considerations, such as whether they provide accommodation.
You should find a quiet place to sit and have a notebook ready to take down any information. Most importantly you should have your Clearing Number and Personal ID at hand so you can give the provider access on Track to review your application.
If the call goes well then the university may offer you a verbal confirmation, it is also good practice to request an email to have it also confirmed in writing in case of any miscommunication later.
What to do with a verbal offer.
Once they have given you a verbal offer you can now add the clearing choice in Track. This can be done by clicking on ‘Add Clearing Choice’ and filling in the details before the deadline the university/college has given you.
Doing this means that you have definitely accepted the offer, so if it is confirmed by the course provider then it will show up as an acceptance on Track in the ‘Choices’ page.
Only add a choice after you have spoken to the university, if you add before speaking to them it may slow down the whole process.
How you’ll receive an email offer
After speaking to you on the phone the university/college will review your application and decide if they can offer you the place, they then inform UCAS and this is when your clearing choice will become confirmed.
If you’re accepted UCAS will send an email to inform you that something has changed in your clearing status.
In Track you can view and print your acceptance letter, as well as showing it to your relieved family and friends you might also need this as evidence to open a student bank account or book into student accommodation.
Direct Contact Service
An additional option that UCAS now offers to students in clearing is the Direct Contact Service. It is an optional service which you have to sign up for, whereby universities and colleges that offer similar courses to those you applied for can contact you directly to make you an offer. Although it means you will have to be prepared to talk at any moment it does give you the potential of many more options, perhaps ones you would never have considered when just searching for yourself.
Before signing up it is important to be aware of your consumer rights, the course providers must ensure that you have all the necessary information before you make this life changing decision.
Opening A Student Bank Account, Time To Take Account Of Your Options.
If you are just about to start university this September you should already be seriously thinking about what banking options are available to you. Before we get into the details, it’s important to take a moment to consider why the banks are so keen to appeal to new students.
By going to university you are actively investing in your future, aiming by merit of your intelligence and creativity to be a specialist in your field, and potentially a big earner. Don’t feel just because you have little more than fluff in your pocket at the moment that you aren’t of great value to the banks, they are long sighted and they know a large proportion of students will stay loyal over time (with only 1 in 6 students changing banks year on year). So know your value and realise it’s a buyer’s market, don’t be scared (or lazy); shop around and approach the banks with the confidence and dignity of a valued customer.
Student Bank Accounts: Do I Need One? Can I Get One? What Do I Need To Open One?
The first thing you may ask yourself is; do I actually need a student account? Not necessarily. Your student finances can be paid into a normal account just as easily. However there are a lot of potential benefits to specialised student accounts.
The crucial difference is that a student bank account generally comes with a large 0% interest overdraft, whereas a normal account usually has charges for overdrafts and higher interest on positive credit. If like most students you expect to have to borrow a little money while studying then a student account is probably best. However if you are one of the lucky few with piles of cash, a regular account makes most sense.
The main requirement for opening a student bank account is proving you are a student. This can be done with the letter confirming your offer from the university, (with a copy of your results if the offer is conditional), or more directly by using your 16-digit personal status codes provided by UCAS.
You will require some form of identification, such as a passport or driving license, and you’re also likely to need a proof of address in the UK - you can use your student accommodation tenancy agreement for this, or a utility bill if you have received one.
If you are an international student coming to study in the UK then unfortunately you won’t be eligible for most of the benefits of a student account, such as the 0% overdraft. However you will still be allowed to open a standard account with most UK banks.
See below for a list of banks that allow international students to open an account without charging a subscription fee, and a list of things you will need in order to apply as an international student.
Getting Started With Your Student Banking Options.
If you already have an account then it makes sense to start by looking at what your current bank is offering. If you have been happy with their service and they seem to be offering some good incentives then there may be no reason for you to move. However it is wise to review what else is out there first.
Beware. All that glitters is not gold. When reviewing the incentives banks are offering be careful to balance the short term benefits of the freebies against the hard maths of what you are getting in the long term. It's all very well getting a free travel card, but if you are being hit by heavy charges for exceeding an overdraft that isn’t big enough for your needs, then the only place you’ll be travelling is down a slippery slope.
The main attraction of any student account is the beloved 0% overdraft limit, and there are all manner of sizes and stipulations on offer. Be sure to fully understand what you are getting; most importantly whether the overdraft limit is “guaranteed” or “up to”. If it’s “up to” there may be factors such as your credit history or income which can limit your access to an overdraft. Find out if the overdraft is “tiered”, in such cases the amount increases over certain periods, so decide whether you are able to wait for the full allowance.
Also crucial is knowledge of the penalties for exceeding your overdraft limit. Most student accounts have quite severe penalties and some will freeze your account if you are overdrawn.
Other Things To Consider When Opening a Student Bank Account
The location of the branch may not be the most essential factor in this age of internet banking and free cash withdrawal from most ATMs, but if you intend to be in close contact with your branch it may be advantageous to have it near your campus or student accommodation. Perhaps your Nan still gives you your birthday money in cheques and you want to be ready to exchange it as quickly as possible into spending money!
Seeing all the incentives on offer you might think: how many student accounts can I have? Is it possible to receive the benefits of multiple accounts? I’m afraid the banks have foreseen this and will allow you to have only one account exclusively with them, sometimes only activating the benefits once the student loan has passed into the account.
Be aware that the bank may run a credit check against you, which could severely limit your access to big overdrafts or from opening an account altogether. If you are a school leaver then hopefully there is little wrong with your credit history, but there can be anomalies or exceptions.
Next, you must consider what happens in a few years when payback time comes around. Unfortunately that £2000 is not yours to keep forever, you will have to pay it back at some point! On this issue it is important to study the stipulations of the account carefully, so you are prepared to deal with the repayments when they arise.
Also see what the bank offers in the way of graduate accounts. Once you graduate you will most likely be given the option to change your student account into a graduate account. These usually come with slowly diminishing overdrafts that allow you more time to pay off your debt.
In conclusion, figure out what is best for you by assessing all the options carefully, discuss it with family members or friends who may be a little more experienced in financial matters, and don’t be fooled by the shiny extras.
Comparison of Overdraft Allowances And Freebies of Main High Street Banks (2018).
Bank of Scotland - Up to £1,500 in years 1-3 then up to £2,000
Barclays - Up to £1,000 in year 1, up to £2,000 in year 2, then up to £3,000
Halifax - Up to £1,500
HSBC - £1,000 in year 1, up to £2,000 in year 2, then up to £3,000
Lloyds - Up to £1,500 in years 1-3 then up to £2,000
Nationwide - £1,000 in year 1, £2,000 in year 2 then £3,000
NatWest - Up to £500 in term 1, then up to £2,000
Royal Bank of Scotland - Up to £500 in term 1, then up to £2,000
Santander - Up to £1,500 in years 1-3 then up to £1,800 in year 4 and up to £2,000 in year 5
TSB - Up to £1,510
HSBC - 20% off National Express, up to £434 off Apple Education, save £10 when you spend £30 or more with Domino’s.
Nationwide - Cashback with Simply Rewards.
Santander - Free 16-25 railcard for four years (? off travel).
Must register for online banking and pay in at least £500 per academic term.
NatWest - Free National Express Coach Card for four years (? off travel).
Must sign up to receive paperless statements.
Lloyds - Free NUS Extra card for up to three years, this gives savings on 200 high street and online brands, access to cashback scheme, each month the chance to be paid back for something you’ve bought up to £500.
Royal Bank of Scotland - Free National Express Coach Card for four years (? off travel).
Must sign up to receive paperless statements.
Halifax - Earn up to 15% cashback when you shop
Must be registered for Online Banking and have activated Cashback Extras.
TSB - £10 overdraft buffer
Barclays - Access to Barclays Blue Rewards, cashback scheme and personalised debit card.
First Trust - Commission-free foreign currency.
Ulster - Commission-free foreign currency.
List of Banks That Allow International Students To Open Accounts
(With No Subscription Fees)
NatWest Student Account
HSBC Basic Account
Barclays Student Additions
Santander Basic Account
Lloyds Classic Account
TSB Classic Account
Al Rayan Current Account (Sharia compliant)
When applying for a bank account as an international student you will need the following:
Valid visa (non-EU)
Student ID or acceptance letter
Home bank statement
Proof of address in the UK
To visit the bank in-branch